Hard: Blind Man Tries Explaining His Concept Of Color

December 10, 2012


Note: Sick-ass 'Dark Side Of The Moon' Photoshop work by yours truly.

This is blind-since birth Tommy Edison. Tommy was presumably named after famous inventor Thomas Edison, who was born not only blind, but with the head of a lizard. "Stop rewriting history." Haha, I'm hoping some kid doing a school report reads this and mistakes it for truth. HE INVENTED iPODS. This is a two minute video of Tommy trying to explain color. It's pretty interesting to hear what he has to say. Short story even shorter: basically, he has no concept. It would be like me trying to explain what the embrace of a woman who isn't my mom feels like.

Hit the jump for the video.

Thanks to Ben, the man behind the camera, for getting my brain churning so early on a Monday morning. Like a defibrillator to the cerebral cortex.

  • Dude is funny. Seems like he's got a nice way to um.. look.. at life.. Thumbs up from here.

  • Tommy is awsome! Thanks for featuring him, been watching his vids for several months now.

  • magneto1138

    He should read 50 Shades of Grey.

  • vadersapp

    Way to go, Orange! Way to be involved!

  • Poor blindy he thinks that black is all colour at once and white is the absence of them...

  • Guest

    poor blind man he thinks that black is all the colors and once and white is the absense of colors.

  • vadersapp

    He's right, actually. Black substances are created by the combination of pigments, white substances are created by the absence of pigments. With light, though, it's the opposite, which I believe you were referring to. A combination of colors of light produces white light while the absence of them appears black (though there's no such thing as black light). An object appears, say, green because its pigments absorb all wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum except either green, or those wavelengths who average out to green. So when you mix all color pigments, between them they absorb all wavelengths of visible light, reflecting back little or no light, making that object appear black. Only when there are no pigments absorbing light do all colors of light reflect back, producing white light. Explaining the difference to him, though would be pretty pointless.

  • ZomBBombeR

    I don't get how you nailed this explaination and totally botched the last one??? water and air do appear blue, not for the reasons you mentioned but they do none the less, ice however is clear or white, I've never seen blue ice that wasn't dyed.

  • vadersapp

    Ice is white when it's not frozen in a solid crystal. That's because the surface of the ice is a mess of tiny crystals that refract the light and reflect it back. If the water is frozen just right so that the surface and the internal crystals align, which is difficult to do outside artificial methods, the ice will not be white at all. That's what ice sculptors do to get perfectly transparent sculptures. Just like water, in small volume, ice appears colorless, but it's not. It takes a lot of it and it helps to have better crystal formation, but it's just as blue as liquid water. There are glaciers and icebergs that melt the surface smooth and show the amazing blue underneath if you'd like to see. For example: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    And I wasn't specific before about why, but all of these things appear blue because both air and water scatter short wavelengths of light (i.e. blue) while the longer wavelengths of light are either absorbed or pass through more or less unaffected by water and air, respectively. It takes large quantities of both to appear blue to our eyes because the blue light is scattered in all directions (as opposed to reflecting off in one direction) meaning little of the blue light "bouncing" off air and water molecules meets the eye until a large number of molecules are bouncing them at you.

  • Rolandas Val

    Kids these days! Do they learn anything in school? It is only fundamental physics, not rocket science :/

  • ZomBBombeR

    I see what you did there, touchée monsieur.

  • Suarga

    i like long replies, i can tell how much posting on the internet means to you

  • Reece_c

    I like pointless passive aggressive replies to valid posts. I can tell how much trolling means to you

  • vadersapp

    You can tell how much I was bored this morning and how much I enjoy physics and art. Don't care much about the posting part, but take it however you want to.

  • AmselZephlyn

    I, for one, learned something. I was gonna make the same comment as the Guest until I read your reply. You smart.

  • this reminds me of the research i was doing(because i'm an evil scientist trying to take over the world) on color hearing. it's not really for the blind, but more as how to listen for tone color sin perfect pitch. I've only been able to accomplish that the note C sounds like Green to me.

  • n_a_a_s

    GW.... graphic wizardry

  • Except, colour is practically indescribable. You try explaining what "red" is without referencing anything coloured red. It's goddamn impossible.

  • n_a_a_s

    not impossible. many blind people have associated red to what hot feels like & blue to touching something cold. I dont know about other colors but I'm pretty sure they're not limited to just temperature. BTW whoever told this guy ice & water were blue is cruel

  • vadersapp

    They are blue. Just not very blue. It takes a lot of water to make its blue color apparent. Like air. You look through air all the time and it doesn't look blue, until you look in the sky or at a long distance where it is clearly blue. You ever seen a mountain range and seen how the farther away the hills and mountains the more blue they look? That's because air is blue. It's the exact same with water.

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