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telephones are stupid.

TTY phones are worse.

bitchy IT people who don't understand that there *is* no secure realtime way to get in touch with you are even worse.

I think I need to go reread The Design of Everyday Things and feel superior.


Feb. 1st, 2002 11:43 am (UTC)

You have to forgive my ignorance here, but i'm curious, and am hoping its alright to ask you the following question:

Is the TTY phone the only way you can communicate over the phone? I mean, a regular phone doesn't work at all? I ask, because once i had a class with you (Language and Thought), and you seemed to be able to communicate very well. I'm not skilled enough to be able to guess how much of that was lip reading, or how much was hearing.

In a related vein, i'm becoming more interested in speech processing, and hearing aids. in fact, i've been toying with the idea of working on hearing research. With that in mind, i wonder -- are you able to hear better in person? For example, does the phone limit the frequencies it passes through? Or is there too much noise? Or is it just that i thought you could hear better than you can?

Just curious about all this -- if you don't want to answer, well, thats alright too.


Feb. 1st, 2002 12:19 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the questions - you're giving me a chance to ramble on about myself, who minds that? :)

Basically, my hearing aids do more than just amplify volume; they also reduce noise and correct for my individual loss/frequency curve (I have ~50% loss at lower frequencies, ~90% loss at higher).

Even with those corrections, I still depend a fair bit on lipreading; I can understand people without seeing them if I know them well, can predict what they're saying, and/or I concentrate hard. I do a *lot* of interpolating when watching/listening to people talk - my comprehension goes way down when the conversation makes a non sequitur, or I get distracted during a subject change. The better I know a person and the deeper their voice is, the better, as well.

While there are attachments that claim to make wearing a hearing aid while on the phone practical, I've not yet found one that actually works. Volume controls don't have the added corrections I mentioned above.

All that said, there are a very few people I'm willing to try talking to on the phone, assuming my head is together enough to be able to concentrate really hard. Even then I have to ask them to repeat themselves all the time - fortunately, since they know me, they're ok with that. Try asking a random person on the phone to slow down and speak more clearly - it doesn't work!

So at work, my only real recourse is email, IM, or TTY - and here, at any rate, nobody's ever heard of a TTY or knows how to deal with it, and the phone they gave me has the world's worst UI. *sigh*
Feb. 1st, 2002 07:46 pm (UTC)
Hm, that's pretty interesting. I never really knew how hearing loss works. I guess it makes sense that you sometimes have a hard time understanding me since I a) am a girl, so naturally have a higher pitched voice, and b) tend to not enunciate very well anyways. Of course, I barely notice when you ask me to repeat myself because a lot of other people do that too. :)

My mom's dad also had significant hearing loss (bomb blew up near him during one of the wars), but other than him and you (er, and Krista), I've never known anybody with any hearing disability at all. It sorta fascinates me. That and blindness, since although my sight is worse than most people I know, I can still see</a>. It's correctable. I try to remember to be thankful for that whenever I start despising my eyes.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just get the whole world on zephyr? :)
Feb. 2nd, 2002 05:32 pm (UTC)
that should be adapt phones, not adopt phones, in my other comment...

I have some interest in hearing loss for a few reasons. One is that I love being able to hear. I love music, and i love the sounds of things, like trains or snow or thunderstorms. I would not like to become deaf.

Another is that my (aforementioned) uncle struggles with hearing loss, and is passionate about making progress in treatment. After years of speaking with him, some of it is rubbing off.

Oh, and that since he, and my grandmother, and now my mother to some extent, have hearing loss, its more likely that i will have some as well.

Finally, it is an interesting engineering problem for me. Signal processing (for image or speech recognition) is just sorta of cool. I enjoy the way that good recognition algorithms start from a really good understanding of the underlying mechanisms in sight or hearing. Also, enhancement of the underlying signal is as close as my work ever comes to art.


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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