Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chef Mojo's Hearing

Via Instapundit, I came across this utterly wonderful testimonial to the efforts of all the innovators who put in long hours unsure of the outcome of their efforts. I hope all of those in the chain leading to this technology know what great things they have done.

She plugged the hearing aids into the laptop through a miniature data port in each device. I was hooked into her computer, with various clicks and snippets of sound breaking though the silence, as she set the programs for the various channels with which this device would service me.

Then she looked at me and said, hold on.

In my left ear, a sound like a starship engine cranking up blasted into my world, repeated in my right a moment later. Then silence. Then a little digital melody best described as a light variation on the Intel theme.

And then humming.

And I asked, what's that?

She smiled, and looked at The Lady. Say something, she said.

The Lady gave me a little look and said, Hey sweetie. And she started reading from a poster in the office.

I almost started crying.

I'd never heard her before. Not like this. Not this way. Not to the point of being almost normal. Her voice was pure sparkling clarity and oh so sweet.

I turned to the audiologist who said, the humming is the light fixtures overhead. I looked up and it occurred to me that the world was opening up in waves around me within this tiny office. I could hear the secretary a room away on the phone and the printer printing and a phone ringing behind me, and I knew right were it was.

It was overwhelming. I was like a child in a sonic candy store, grasping this way and that; lurching after sounds. Sounds that I could never have imagined in my wildest dream.

Sounds the rest of the world takes for granted.

That was 2 days ago. This morning, I picked up the aids after the requisite transfer of funds was completed. Essentially the cost of 3 very powerful laptops sit nearly invisible on and behind my ears, replicating the power of those very computers, analyzing sound to a degree that will continue to bogle my mind.

I have an automatic default setting that screens out sounds that are not of use to me if I don't need to pay attention. I went to work this morning with them, and as I walked along the kitchen's hot line, the sound of the hood fans faded out as I walked to the cook to ask him what his specials were today. I could actually talk to him on the line without the hoods drowning out the conversation.

On my way home, I was trying out the "music" channel on the car radio; switching back and forth between stations. A Spanish waltz here, new alternative there and Roger Daltrey wailing out on Who Are You to depths and highs I never knew existed.

I think for the first time, I really understand where Bill is coming from on the concept of singularity. In the mere passage of days, my life has blasted into another dimension; one where insects buzz, cats purr softly and tree frogs sound like an apocalypse of joy and sensation. Where a pair of devices smaller than the first joint of my pinkie whispers to me the leaves of trees in a summer evening breeze as I walk across the street to Domaine Mojo.

The future is hear.

Those who love to snivel at technology, snivel on. I don't really think you much care about other people.

I speak as someone as well with plastic lenses in both my eyes, seeing better than I ever did in my life before the operations.

As a side issue check out Suzie's rough morning. A large part of me still terribly misses my cat Oliver.


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