Re: "Sound and Fury" over enhancements

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 11:16:18 MST

On Wed, Jan 09, 2002 at 12:44:56PM -0500, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> Just as I oppose multilingualism in education for immigrants, I do the
> same for ASL. If you want your own culture at home, that is fine, but if
> you want to communicate with the hearing world, don't put the cost on ME
> to enable you to communicate with me. There is no reason why all deaf
> people can't get the implant and simply remove the external transceiver
> when not desiring communication with the hearing world. They can then
> preserve their 'culture' while accepting their own responsibility to pay
> their own costs of communication.

Again, I agree that one should pay for one's own costs, even if it
might also be moral of other compassionate people to help one out. The
problem with the above reasoning is that you assume that getting the
implant is purely beneficial. In practice getting an implant means a
lot of hard training, a slight but real risk of infections or other
damage and the worry that the child might be stranded between cultures.

It is well worth remembering that many disabled people are extremely
sceptical of new gizmos and treatments doctors are trying to push -
they are the ones who will have to live with them even if they do not
work, while the doctor often stands to gain valuable (to him at least)
research data and risks nearly nothing. In the past several treatments
promoted extensively have proven nearly disastrous, and at least here
in Sweden the deaf culture is still angry after a failed pedagogical
program that made an entire generation of deaf people signing impaired
and hearing impaired.

It is against this background one has to realize that introducing
cochlear implants is a very sensitive business. It is far easier to
sell the idea of retinal implants.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST