[nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?

Jim jp100 at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 19 21:28:14 CDT 2010


Mike, I love these questions!
Got anything there??

Chuck, you're right, but I wonder if we couldn't have fun trying to tackle
them anyway.
JP

-----Original Message-----
From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of ckrugman at sbcglobal.net
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 11:55 AM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?

and those are questions that I can't answer because we are dealing with 
factors that take on a subjective or relative quality since we are dealing 
with the human factor which is a variable in itself.
Chuck
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Freeman" <k7uij at panix.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?


> Right. And your musings below then lead to a number of further questions: 
> (1) what level of competence should members of society routinely assume 
> blind people have (I suspect we would receive different answers from 
> different organizations of the blind)? (2) When and to what extent should 
> society in general and NFB in particular encourage individual blind people

> to strive for increased competence beyond that which they already possess 
> and when should we attempt to compensate these same individuals for any 
> supposed lack of competence? (3) How do we distinguish between flexibility

> of training and/or expectations and knuckling under to our 
> all-too-often-experience of having reduced expectations of ourselves and 
> others by virtue of our/their blindness?
>
> No one ever said tackling any philosophy of living at the margins would be

> easy.
>
> Mike
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <ckrugman at sbcglobal.net>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 1:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>
>
>>I think the point here is that we are living in the real world and not a 
>>utopian world where all blind people will receive the proper training or 
>>adapt to all levels of the so-called proper training. The question now 
>>becomes whether "proper training" is the same for all blind people. and 
>>what happens for whatever reason if the ability to attain the necessary 
>>skills that define completion of proper training are not achieved for 
>>whatever reason by all reasons. This proposed issue regarding proper 
>>training is similar to the problems that exist as a result of reliance on 
>>too much standardized testing for achievement for students in our schools 
>>or reliance on such mandatory standards such as high school exit exams for

>>all students. The reality now becomes that since we are in the real world 
>>which is not perfect there will degrees of attainment of the competence 
>>referred to with the so-called proper training and the degree to which 
>>blindness becomes merely a nuisance is related to the degree to which a 
>>blind person accomplishes the so-called "proper training." As a result of 
>>this we are now back to the current position that we deal with in the real

>>world that the degree that blindness is merely a nuisance is an individual

>>factor determined by many variables which I don't need to go in to here as

>>it doesn't take much imagination to consider what these variables are.
>> Chuck
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 8:51 AM
>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>>
>>
>>> Ah! Actually, you bring up an exciting possibility that never occured to

>>> me.
>>>
>>> No, I can't honestly say that I've been arguing that the NFB philosophy 
>>> should be modified. The trouble is that I've always believed that an 
>>> advocacy group cannot be effective when its own philosophy is that the 
>>> problem it is organized around is fairly minor. Why bother working for 
>>> change when blindness is a mere nuiscance anyway?
>>>
>>> You're probably saying, "That's not waht the NFB philosophy means." And 
>>> I think it should be clear that I know that especially after my 
>>> dissertation about how similar  the NFB philosophy is to Lombardi's. The

>>> problem, as I see it, is that it is impossible to avoid having the 
>>> philosophy to morph into something that blames the victim.  It 
>>> inevitably will lead to a situation where its a sin to ask for an 
>>> accomodation, any accomodation. The only solution I see is to get rid of

>>> the philosophy all together.
>>>
>>> Well, that's the only solution I saw until now. Actually, I'm really 
>>> excited about the idea you bring up. Can the philosophy be tweaked to 
>>> address the problems I have seen? I'll admit I'm very skeptical. But it 
>>> sure is worth some thought and/or discussion.
>>>
>>> Actually, I'd consider it a major victory if someone, anyone, would 
>>> acknowledge the problem itself. How can the NFB be effective as an 
>>> advocacy group when its own philosophy is that with proper training, 
>>> blindness can be reduced to a mere nuiscance? If I were President of the

>>> NFB (scary thought, I know), I could go on for days about how those 2 
>>> ideas are not really contradictory. But as a practical matter, I just do

>>> not think they can work together. And you've got to admit that on the 
>>> surface, they seem quite at odds.
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>> From: "Ray Foret Jr" <rforetjr at comcast.net>
>>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>> Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 9:34 AM
>>> Subject: [nfb-talk] philosophy taken to another level then?
>>>
>>>
>>>> Okay John,  So, let me see if I understand you correctly.  What some of

>>>> us have viewed as your attacks on the NFB philosophy are actually not 
>>>> attacks at all; rather, they are attempts on your part to help the NFB 
>>>> fulfill and perhaps even improve on its  philosophy?  I want you to 
>>>> understand that I do not intend my question as an attack upon you; but,

>>>> instead, I truly want to see if this is where you are going.  Because, 
>>>> if so, I think we may have the beginnings of a rather forward thinking 
>>>> discussion about a substantive way of moving forward that if we advance

>>>> it to the leadership of the NFB in exactly the right way, we might 
>>>> perhaps gain ground not otherwise obtainable.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Sincerely,
>>>> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>>>
>>>> E-Mail:
>>>> rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>>> Skype Name:
>>>> barefootedray
>>>>
>>>> On Jul 16, 2010, at 9:02 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I'm impressed with the number of swimmers on this list. Its a good 
>>>>> sign, IMO. It says something about the NFB philosophy.
>>>>>
>>>>> I may have given the impression that I disapprove of the NFB 
>>>>> philosophy but nothing could be further from the truth. Its very close

>>>>> to my personal philosophy of life which is borrowed from Vince 
>>>>> Lombardi.
>>>>>
>>>>> A lot of people think Vince Lombardi was the mean old coach who would 
>>>>> do anything to win. No, that was not what he was like at all. His 
>>>>> players loved him and still gather to meet each year to honor him. 
>>>>> What he believed was that life's greatest moments come when you meet a

>>>>> challenge and over come it. That's what life is about. That is what it

>>>>> is to be human.  You've got to have the will to win, to be the best 
>>>>> you can be. Strive for perfection, knowing you'll never obtain it but 
>>>>> on the way there, you'll find three things. First, you'll do more than

>>>>> you ever thought you could. Second, you'll find the struggle itself 
>>>>> can be fun. And third, , when you do succeed, it will be the greatest 
>>>>> feeling you've ever had. So when I went blind, I decided I was going 
>>>>> to be the best damn blind guy I could be. I learned braille, tried to 
>>>>> learn to play the violin, got a guide dog, and got back into running 
>>>>> and swimming.
>>>>>
>>>>> The beauty of Lombardi's philosophy is that whenever you run into 
>>>>> adversity, you don't say, "Oh, woe is me. Life is so hard."  Instead 
>>>>> the response is , "Well, what are you going to do about it?" You don't

>>>>> seek out adversity but when it comes, embrace it. Take it on.
>>>>>
>>>>> Not to create controversy again but like the NFB philosophy, the 
>>>>> problem with Vince Lombardi's philosophy is that it is easily morphed 
>>>>> into a mentality of showing contempt for losers. You can't live 
>>>>> Lombardi's philosophy and be satisfied -- well ever really since 
>>>>> perfection is impossible to obtain. You can always get better. But not

>>>>> everybody has the same strengths and not everyone can win.  And no one

>>>>> has any right to tell anyone else how to live their lives.
>>>>>
>>>>> anyway, I think you can see the simularity between Lombardi's 
>>>>> philosophy of life and the NFB philosophy. I would say, though, that 
>>>>> Lombardi's philosophy is a step beyond that of the NFB in that it 
>>>>> gives you a sort of method for carrying it out. The idea of never 
>>>>> settling for anything short of success is implied in the NFB 
>>>>> philosophy but not spelled out. I think Lombardi's take on the NFB 
>>>>> philosophy would have been that the most important thing in life for a

>>>>> blind person is striving to reduce blindness to a mere nuisance.  You 
>>>>> may never get there but the most important thing is to never be 
>>>>> satisfied until it is.
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Johnson" 
>>>>> <stevencjohnson at centurytel.net>
>>>>> To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:10 PM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi John,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I think it is just cool that you are swimming.  I think the best I 
>>>>>> would at
>>>>>> my skill level is circles!  Good for you in wanting to be a 
>>>>>> tri-athelete!
>>>>>> Steve
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>>>>>> Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:25 AM
>>>>>> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If you swim laps and if you have a way to stay on your side of the 
>>>>>> lane, I'd
>>>>>> like to hear about it.  I believe most lap pools have the swimmers 
>>>>>> keep
>>>>>> right like on a road. You swim up the right side of the lane and on 
>>>>>> the way
>>>>>> back you come down the other side. The best I've been able to do is 
>>>>>> to swim
>>>>>> with my right arm flailing out so that i can touch the lane divider 
>>>>>> on every
>>>>>> stroke.  That doesn't really work very well.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It isn't really very helpful to tell me my skills need to improve. 
>>>>>> After
>>>>>> all, I already asked for tips on how to improve.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:14 AM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] swimming (was: Bard(
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> A lane for yourself alone?  Why?  Is it your swimming skills that
>>>>>>> vastly need improvement; or, perhaps your blindness skills?
>>>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>>>> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> E-Mail:
>>>>>>> rforetjr at comcast dot net
>>>>>>> Skype Name:
>>>>>>> barefootedray
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Jul 15, 2010, at 9:04 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> So you're a swimmer, huh?  Do you ever have to share a lane? If so,
>>>>>>>> how do you do it? I have never managed to do that successfully. 
>>>>>>>> Here
>>>>>>>> at the pool at the University of Wisconsin, I call ahead and they 
>>>>>>>> set
>>>>>>>> a lane aside for me so I can have it to myself. Its only a minor
>>>>>>>> sacrifice because there are usually several lanes with only one
>>>>>>>> person in them. So when they reserve a lane for me, it only means 
>>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>>> other person has to share a lane.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Have you ever done any open water swimming? I would like to enter a
>>>>>>>> triathlon but I don't like swimming tethered to someone else. I 
>>>>>>>> just
>>>>>>>> can't get comfortable doing that. It effects my breathing and I 
>>>>>>>> just
>>>>>>>> can't swim normally.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Wm. Ritchhart"
>>>>>>>> <william.ritchhart at sbcglobal.net>
>>>>>>>> To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:04 PM
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I really like the new digital talking book player.  I do wish it 
>>>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>>> still smaller and lighter.  With all my swimming gear, lunch,
>>>>>>>>> back-up cane and everything else I have in my gym bag; it is still
>>>>>>>>> too heavy.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>>> Behalf Of Steve Johnson
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 8:22 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: 'NFB Talk Mailing List'
>>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> John, I have not tried one myself yet, so this is good to know.
>>>>>>>>> Thanks, Steve
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>>> Behalf Of John G. Heim
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 3:26 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>>>>>>>> Subject: [nfb-talk] Bard
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Man, I just got one of those new digital book players from the
>>>>>>>>> National Library Service.  You might wonder why a computer nerd 
>>>>>>>>> like
>>>>>>>>> myself took so long to ask for one of those things. Well, I guess
>>>>>>>>> mostly the reason is that I have 2 tape players that I bought 
>>>>>>>>> myself
>>>>>>>>> plus the one from NLS. So now I have to use the player from the 
>>>>>>>>> NLS
>>>>>>>>> all of the time.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> But holy cow, is this thing nice. I downloaded a book and put it 
>>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>>> a USB thumb drive and was listening to a book amybe 3 minutes 
>>>>>>>>> after
>>>>>>>>> getting started. And navigation within the book is very nice.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Your tax dollars at work.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk mailing list
>>>>>>>>> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>>
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