Creative Loafing – Weekly Planet Tampa: Talk Of The Town: Life Sentences: In Living Color:
The hardest thing about being colorblind is trying to explain to people who aren’t colorblind what it’s like to be colorblind.
I’m not colorblind, but I always advocate colorblind friendly web design as part of universally accessible design (ok, yes for everyone that uses a standards compliant browser, not for everyone). Here is a translator so you can judge your design : http://colorfilter.wickline.org/
In any case, when i was reading thee story linked above… something else struck me. there are a variety of forms of colorblindness, i know, but what struck me was the relationship between learning the names of colors, sociality, and colorblindness. How is that learning negotiated and how the social experience must be fundamentally different for someone that doesn’t really see the same sets of things. by that i mean…. if i am pointing at something that is green and you don’t really see the same green, and you have to remember that even in color-seeing populations there are variations in what people see, then when we create the category of green in our minds over time, does it have different properties between different populations in relation to the social properties, as we know it does across cultures. so when we are learning the category green, however you want to claim that is done… what happens when the relationships between people that is implied in the learning of this category linguistically, cannot be certain of their referent. does the inability to communicate some aspects of our perception and map that onto other people fundamentally cause a different relationship between people? is our situatedness (of social relations) grounded in capacity (to share perceptions), i’d say yes, but do we supercede our capacity (to create share perceptions) through frequent shared experience. but… it is an interesting question. does someone that does not perceive color the same way as you, learn to treat people differently because of the difficulties in defining color?