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Old Jan 26 2015, 07:31 PM   #81
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Default Re: Deaf Pernese and Blind Pernese? And Color Blind People?

I think that fostering outside the hold is more for higher-ranking families. Within the holds children might end up being fostered according to who is more suited to raising children, but it would be expensive to send a child to another Hold. I expect those children who are tapped to become apprentices in a craft are sent to the crafthall at the expense of that Hall.
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Old Feb 17 2015, 04:10 PM   #82
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As far as deaf/blind candidates: Anne herself has said unequivocally that they will not happen. Being from a militaristic background and understanding how it feels to be in an aerial dogfight, I can quickly explain why this could never happen. Dragonriders who are completely healthy would be at a disadvantage. Those who are disabled wouldn't have a chance.

(I mean no disrespect to the courageous people who live with disabilities and accomplish amazing things.)

Some say it could happen in an Interval. I'm going to say no and this is why. Due to the issues inherent in a disabled rider, I think Kitti Ping would have engineered the dragons so that when they choose their rider, they choose the best partner out of those presented. They search for different things such as telepathic ability but they also search for a healthy, sound rider. So no, I don't see a dragonet picking someone who wouldn't be able to take care of them or perform their duties. Now, a disability caused by threadfall, disease, or injury would be different since it happens after Impression. Then they would be treated as disabled veterans and would be introduced to duties they could still complete despite their injuries. Probably a lot of these, especially in a Pass.

Now, as far as deaf and blind people on Pern-yes. They do exist. As Anne herself has said, there are accidents and diseases that will cause them as a side effect. And you have problems due to age. In the books you see Nuella, Pellar, Breide, Wansor, Camo and others with disabilities. Most of them were not genetic however. Because yes, the original colonists were screened. However, due to years/mutations/illnesses certain people can become carriers for things and there will likely be a few people who have them.

I agree with the above gentleman and lady. I think as far as deaf people there would likely be a Hold or cothold made up primarily of deaf people. IE: sort of like a leper colony. They could make out their own way of life with perhaps a few hearing people sprinkled in. Like people seek like people and they would be accepting and more able to deal with those folks than others. Plus the interbreeding would make it more likely for more deaf people to be born. And yes, just because it isn't in the books doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I don't see something like that actively figuring in main plotlines and so would be ignored.

Deaf/Blind folks could manage to be musically talented and could be celebrated as a savant or something (Hint Beethoven and others). I don't see there being a large group of them being successful though since they don't have the infrastructure of support outside of a community of like individuals. Pern probably doesn't have a Braille system or visual signs for the deaf or those sorts of accommodations. I see it skewed towards the able population. Especially being an agrarian society. Traditionally those sorts of societies tend to cast off the disabled as useless or they put them in a corner somewhere to be tended by those who don't work as much. They're not exalted or respected. They're seen as a blight. I'll even say the farther you get from the original colonists (aka the enlightened bunch from civilization) the worse the treatment will become of them.

Camo is treated well because his mother is right there to watch over him. If Silvina wasn't..

Anyway, those are my thoughts.
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Old Feb 19 2015, 09:18 AM   #83
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I was quite disappointed to see this view expressed here. Just because Anne said it could not happen doesn't mean her word is law in fanficdom, much less if Pern existed in this dimension. Anne's perspective was rooted in her limited knowledge of disability and deafness and has no coorelation with reality.

Let's look at a few of the claims above:

1) Modern military airfighting has little to do with threadfighting as far as hearing ability goes. You had access to modern technology, including radio communications, auditory alarm systems, etc. Dragonriders don't have anything that is sound-dependent. How often do we even read about dragonriders speaking verbally to each other during threadfall or drilling? It's all done telepathically. I'll quote what D.M. Domini said elsewhere:

"I mean, it's obviously her world, but with wind whistling in your ears during flight, how much would dragonriders realistically be able to hear anyhow? What would you hear over the loud, sheet-snapping-in-the-wind sound of dragon wings flapping? Or their roars or bugles? I think they rely on dragons telepathically relaying things, and hand-gestures more than speaking during a Fall. And thread has never been said to make a sound. So what's the burden, then, of a deaf dragonrider? I think the bond between dragon and rider might be different from what you'd have in other cases, more developed if the dragon is "forwarding" sound data--or at least information derived from sound such as "Look that way!"--but Skies of Pern has already shown that dragons have psychic abilities that are not well-understood, trained, or utilized."

The main challenge I foresee with a deaf dragonrider is weyrling training. All these lectures, lessons, etc. But, you know, I learned to ride and train horses, competitively, despite being able to hear jack. Accommodations CAN be made, and deaf people CAN learn dragonriding and everything it encompasses. The only time I ever got tripped up in my riding career is when other people tried to stop or prevent me from riding on the basis of flawed assumptions about my abilities, on which my lack of hearing has absolutely no impact.

2) Disabled veterans are pushed out of combat roles because the nature of modern warfare is heavily auditory-based. My own father is a DAV and we've talked about this. He strongly believes deaf people should be allowed into the American military, as they are in the Israeli army, but in supporting roles. I have to agree with him because the nature of human-on-human fighting is very auditory-based for strategic reasons. However, when you're fighting a silent, mindless enemy atop a telepathic dragon in midair without the use of electronic communications equipment ... hmm. I don't see anything auditory-based there.

3) And ... awesome. Thanks for the leper colony reference. And the comment about deaf people being discarded in agrarian societies is not necessarily reflected in all segments of the historical record of Earth or anthropological research. The evidence actually suggests that deaf people are integrated BETTER into small agrarian societies, particularly because those societies are more family-based, interdependent, and only a tiny slice of the day-to-day work they do is auditory-dependent. I've cited examples of historical and contemporary records - The Weald, Martha's Vineyard, and the Bedouins. Deaf people in the United States had a far higher employment rate pre-automation, working manual jobs such as assemblyline and printing presses. When automation came and manual labor began to vanish, deaf people were left behind until society began realizing the need to provide accommodations in education and the workplace. So deaf people today struggle with high unemployment and those who are educated and employed are only so by their and their families' perseverance and DESPITE the current structure of modern society and economics. Many low-literacy deaf people continue to work in the vocational trades inasmuch as they can obtain training and employment opportunities, which often are denied them on the basis of flawed assumptions on the part of employers about how their ears relate to their brains and hands.

Ultimately, deafness is not a physically limiting disability. Nor does it affect intellectual and learning abilities (eff you, Aristotle). It also certainly is not contagious, like leprosy. It is purely a communication-limiting disability that requires adaptation and adjusting your thinking to outside-the-box approaches that you may not even know exist.

Master, miner, harper, smith,
Tanner, farmer, herdsman, Lord.

Only two of these occupations on Pern would seem to require the ability to hear - Harper and Lord. A deaf individual is perfectly capable of mining, smithing, tanning, farming, and herding. And dragonriding.

I'll stop here because I have to go. But for the love of God, if there's nothing else you come away from this with ... just NEVER use the word lepers in a conversation about deafness. We get treated as lepers often enough, without justification, to make that word highly offensive. Thank you.
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Old Feb 19 2015, 10:42 AM   #84
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Two more things to add ...

Deaf people have better awareness of their surroundings than the average person due to relying on vision to make up for the loss of another sense. Which would give them more of an advantage in threadfighting than the ability to hear would a hearing person. NOBODY can hear Thread coming or locate strands via sound. Think of a dragon's already strong proximity awareness and add in a deaf rider's strong peripheral vision, and you have the makings of a particularly close, potentially successful working relationship during falls. This closeness would bleed over into other aspects of the relationship, including telepathic communication, making communication ability during falls even stronger.

Second, sign language is far more effective in communicating motion and spatial concepts than the English language or diagrams on paper/slate. That's another advantage. Once a Weyrlingmaster wraps his head around the idea of visual communication and how it works, I bet you he'd see it as a great tool to use for instruction. I've seen this in action myself, during riding lessons. Hearing students have to "translate" verbal instructions into physical motion and often struggled with nuance and perfecting fine motor skills. I grasped concepts far faster when my trainer used gestures to explain them to me, and I'd be out on the rail working on my bend while my classmates were still standing with the trainer in the middle of the arena puzzling over where exactly their legs were supposed to move to and how to close their hands just so, and where each hand should go, and so on.

Sign language can convey motion and spatial concepts on three axes (X, Y, Z), while with paper/slate, you only get two, and with verbal instruction, none. So once a Weyrlingmaster gets past his mental blocks generated by a system of auditory-dependent education and understands how to communicate visually and spatially, he'd be able to explain the interaction of two dragons within a wing, or two wings in opposition to each other, far easier in signs than via verbal English or diagram.
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Old Feb 21 2015, 12:20 AM   #85
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Default Re: Deaf Pernese and Blind Pernese? And Color Blind People?

I'm not trying to be offensive. Keep this in mind-I am not attacking you or deaf people. I am explaining my opinion on how I think that sort of person would survive on Pern, a fictional planet. So don't take it as a personal attack or even an attack on a culture, because that is not what it is. And yes, I used the term leper colony because it was the easiest way to explain that sort of situation, not because I think deaf people are like lepers.

Anyway, some people may feel differently but I think since Anne created the world, she gets to have a say in what happens within it. Sure, her opinions and rules may not coincide with how we think, feel, etc but it is _her_ world and regardless we have to go with it. So if she says, then so it is. And yes I'm aware that there is fanfiction out there that doesn't necessarily go along with her rules. There is a reason why that is fanfiction and not canon, however.

You are right in that a dragonrider-threadfall setup is not the same as modern warfare. You don't have radar and all the other toys. And yes, thread doesn't make a sound. It is visual and not necessarily auditory. However, it would still be necessary for the rider to communicate telepathically. Now this is theory mind but here's my wondering on the matter.

Yes some deaf people depending on their hearing loss and other factors can learn speech. They can't speak it themselves but they can learn words/recognize lips. What about a person who can't? Even though it's telepathic the dragons would be using language-english by the books. So the dragon is speaking into their mind, but they're not understanding it, because they've never heard spoken speech before then. Like a deaf person trying to sign to a hearing person who doesn't know sign-it's useless.

Of course that's all dependent upon how you see telepathic speech. IE: are they talking into their minds or are they sending thoughts that the mind turns into speech? If it's the latter, then they wouldn't have a problem. But if it's the former...then I don't see it working in those situations.

Either way, in a threadfight/dogfight, I think there would still be speech between riders that isn't necessarily telepathic. Yes there is wind and high altitude, but there is wind when you're driving a car fast and you can still shout out the window and be heard. Dragons aren't flying at supersonic speeds. I do agree that visual signals will also be used as well as speech through the dragons, but there will be rider to rider speech too. In my mind the dragons fight in close quarters, almost wingtip to wingtip so they could definitely communicate. The DLG and some of the maneuvers/charts/formations etc corroborate this as well as the wings/flight setup used. Because as a good as a dragon's eyes are and as good as a rider's vision is (even a deaf person's) you need to hear when another rider behind you that you didn't see is saying MOVE! because their dragon is about to accidentally flame yours.
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Old Feb 21 2015, 08:13 AM   #86
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It's been a while since I last read the Pern books, but from what I remember, the human mind translates draconic thoughts into speech, which is why a dragon's "voice" sounds like his or her rider's in the rider's head. However, I'm not sure how a dragon's telepathic communication would translate into sign language. Unless I'm completely misremembering, dragons can't understand human speech unless they are in telepathic contact with the person.
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Old Feb 22 2015, 11:45 PM   #87
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Default Re: Deaf Pernese and Blind Pernese? And Color Blind People?

I think a deaf person hearing word telepathically would learn quickly what words mean. I think a hatchling and rider could work out communication quicker than you think. A lot of it is feelings. Hungry, love, itchy ect... from there words are learned.

I don't think you could talk to a rider on another dragon when flying. You are not going to be close enough. They have to be far enough apart not to get their wings tangled. I also think a dragon telling another dragon to duck would be a LOT faster than a rider trying to yell to another rider. I could see a deaf person becoming a rider.

I don't think the same is true for a blind one. Impression is made when eye contact is made and it would be hard for a blind rider to visualize where they were going.

I know what you were going for, using the word lepers was the wrong choice. I think you meant to say is that there would be hold that would mostly be deaf and not have much to do with others. I don't agree with you on that.
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Old Feb 23 2015, 05:58 PM   #88
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Impression does not depend on eye contact. K'van was hunched in a corner, hiding, and his dragon came to find him. Of course, they had had contact through the eggshell, but still - the mental connection was made after Heth hatched.

If a person was completely deaf, and had always been so, and had no comprehension of spoken words, the communications from a hatchling might not be words. It always seems to be feelings first, anyway - love, devotion, trust, and hunger! - then "My name is."

It might prove tricky for the other dragons to communicate with the hatchling if it imprinted on a mind that doesn't use words. It might require translation, of sorts, from the mental impression/connection that means the same thing as a word.

It would be different if the person was only partially deaf, or had not always been deaf. Imagine having been deaf and suddenly hearing words in your head?
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Old Feb 23 2015, 09:37 PM   #89
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Have you see any of videos on Facebook when people get the implant that lets them hear for the first time, priceless.

I think it would take time to learn what words mean, but it would help if you get emotions along with the words.
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Old Mar 16 2015, 06:55 PM   #90
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To note: These "implant miracle" videos are hugely controversial - not just among culturally deaf people but also people with implants (whether culturally deaf or not) and hearing people who have some sort of connection to deaf people/the deaf community.

What these videos show is that initial activation moment when the person hears sound for the first time, which can be a very emotional moment. However, what they don't show or explain is that the deaf person usually has NO clue what that sound is, nor the long, hard slog through auditory and speech therapy that almost as often as not doesn't result in any level of ability to understand speech by hearing alone, especially for people who are implanted after age 4. These videos also exclude activations in which the person can't hear at first because their brain is so unaccustomed to processing digital sound, and it takes them days for their brain to recognize sound. As far as success goes, it's often considered a breakthrough just to identify running water. Forget about speech comprehension. Think, thousands of hours of intensive therapy and frustration and feelings of inadequacy when progress isn't rapid enough or goals are so rarely met. There are thousands of deaf people who got implants and eventually stopped using them because they didn't work - or work as quickly or as well as they expected. And thousands more who muddle along with being able to hear but not understand speech. Many of these people were deceived by the "miracle" part of the narrative, which makes these "miracle activation" videos all that more offensive because they send the wrong message to the rest of the world about what the WHOLE implant experience encompasses.

For every person I know who is able to utilize an implant, I know someone who trashed theirs (but is stuck with the internal component and insurance doesn't cover removal) or can't understand speech or has to rely on lipreading to supplement their hearing. Never mind the forced explantations due to infections or pain (i.e. a company was just sued for implanting children with defective internal components that resulted in electric shocks every time the CI was turned on). That never gets shown in the media or "miracle videos"; it's taboo to discuss these, and those who do (like me) are accused of being cultural militants.

I'm pretty familiar with this because my husband has had one since he was 12 (still uses it), and I have dozens of friends with CIs, both "successes" and "failures." Seeing the "miracle activation" videos hurts many of them very deeply because of how superficial they are, and I get very tired of both hearing my "CI friends" talk about that pain AND seeing hearing people gush about those videos.

That aside, I just had a thought about dragons being used for speech therapy. The biggest challenge for a deaf kid in learning to speak, if he/she is not an ideal CI candidate or the CI doesn't work well enough, is being unable to hear speech well enough to imitate it. I can think in what I consider spoken English (i.e., I articulate words in my head as I think or read them) but obviously don't think them in terms of how they actually sound. So it is possible to understand how spoken English works even if you can't produce it, and IMHO this comes down to a debate of whether telepathy actually works through auditory information versus signs and symbols as represented by words (to get into the linguistics of it). There are instances in the Talent series in which characters send impressions, ideas, feelings, etc., rather than words via telepathy. In any case, if she sounded like me, my dragon would be able to communicate via the telepathic version of spoken English but she'd sound rather monotonous since I've never been able to hear pitches and inflections
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Old Mar 16 2015, 07:05 PM   #91
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I.e., what Granath said: " the human mind translates draconic thoughts into speech, which is why a dragon's "voice" sounds like his or her rider's in the rider's head."

It's entirely possible that a human brain wired differently would translate draconic thoughts differently. Dragons could be communicating a certain way completely different from how humans think, and what humans "hear" is just how their brains interpret it.

However, I don't think in sign language, FYI. I only think in ASL when I'm thinking of ASL idioms that don't translate well into English, or ideas/narratives that involve spatial information. For example, if I'm thinking about what I need to put on my grocery list, I most frequently think in English, not the ASL signs for each item. But if I'm thinking about whether to tell someone to go right or left, I will think it in ASL first and then translate into English instructions. The added complication to that is ... think of how ASL signs for right/left are perceived by the other person I will sign right, going right, but to the person viewing me, my hand goes left. It's really fascinating how a person who knows ASL just automatically converts that contradiction without thinking and understands, "go right."

Anyways, I'm off topic. Another bottom line ... I highly recommend against trying to explain how deaf people's brains, language, or whatever work if you don't actually know and are just inferring from logic or limited practical knowledge. I will always be more of an expert on these subjects than most hearing people thanks to almost 32 years of living it, and meeting thousands of other deaf people of widely differing backgrounds. I'm not trying to sound arrogant here, just putting it bluntly.
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