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Oct. 10th, 2004 | 11:18 am
mood: ditzyditzy

reading [http://www.well.com/user/smalin/miller.html] via [papertygre's del.icio.us links] reminded me of something I noticed recently:

I was watching a movie today on DVD. The dialogue was being presented in English, both as audio and as subtitles.

- I didn't notice the redundancy.
- my friends found it distracting and stopped the movie and restarted from the same point after turning off the subtitles.
- it was harder to follow the movie after that, especially at first. After a few moments it seemed normal again, but I had to pay more attention to the dialogue in order to achieve immersion.

If I spoke any other languages, I wonder if I would distinguish between them at all as input.

With the subtitles on, I guess I didn't have to work as hard. I could flash-read the whole sentence before any of it was spoken, so I could devote more attention to the rich visual information (the movie was high-resolution rendered animation of a fantasy world) and let the words fall into place. I could also glance back at the caption for context about the scene (nouns, verbs, and key words).

I can hardly wait until technology permits me to freely transform input streams (people talking, music, text) and sensation (the standard ones, plus a few) into other simultaneous and overlapping forms. I know that sounds like a nightmare to most people, but it really would work for me.

I want modally variable, selectively redundant synesthaesia.

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Comments {3}


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from: oriori1
date: Oct. 10th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)

I had to look that sucker up (below). Sounds like some sort of VD. I wonder if there's some VCR you could sleep with and catch this "disease". You'd probably have to pour paint on yourself while eating a dictionary and listening to Philip Glass at the climactic moment. :)

Main Entry: syn·es·the·sia
Pronunciation: "si-n&s-'thE-zh(E-)&
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from syn- + -esthesia (as in anesthesia)
: a concomitant sensation; especially : a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated
- syn·es·thet·ic /-'the-tik/ adjective

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Chef Monkey

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from: chefmonkey
date: Oct. 10th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)

I'm with you on this one. We watch television with the captions turned on as a matter of habit, and you pick up on subtleties that you would otherwise miss.

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from: kai_
date: Oct. 11th, 2004 08:31 am (UTC)

I always watch DVDs and programs with the captioning on, if at all possible.

Part of it is that I have a fairly distinctive drop in my hearing abilities on mid-range tones. Although the audiologist seems to think it's "nothing", the end result is that often I'll miss parts of words or phrases, just because the pitch of the end/beginning of a word is completely lost.

Also, I read pretty fast. When there is good dialogue, it's nice to see the actual subtleties of the language being used. More than once, a line has changed both context and meaning, when a word that I'd mistaken had been corrected with the right one, on seeing the text.

I wish people who I spoke to on the phone would be nice enough to subtitle what it is they have to say. Toooooooo often I find myself asking a number of times "could you repeat that please? I'm afraid I didn't understand you." Of course, poor diction is something notable about people in lower socio-economic classes. I've never understood why.

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