Oct 22, 2012

Seeing in the Dark

John and Zoltan are both blind, but they deal with the world in completely different ways -- one paints vivid pictures in his mind, while the other refuses to picture anything at all. In this short, they argue about the truth of a world they can't see.

When John Hull, a theology professor in England, lost his sight he became convinced that the images in his mind -- like his memories of his wife's face when she was younger -- no longer matched the reality in which he lived. He didn't want to live in a world of fantasy, so decided to stop picturing the world altogether. Zoltan Torey, on the other hand, simply couldn't stand living in a world without images, so he resolved to visualize everything. He constantly creates a world of pictures inside his head that (he says) matches up with the world as it really is.

Because they settled on diametrically opposed ways of living without sight, we wondered what would happen if we got them on the phone together to duke it out. So we patched them through our studio, and recorded their conversation for our live show In the Dark.

And! Before we go, a quick reminder that we need your support to keep this podcast going strong, to keep giving you stories like this one. If you like what we do, help us keep it coming -- it takes just a few minutes. For a $75 contribution, you can pick up a copy of "Demetri Martin: Standup Comedian" as a thank you gift. Or join our new digital membership program, Lab Partners, and we'll thank you with new downloads each month like Radiolab ringtones, digital posters, and video extras -- in November, Lab Partners will get exclusive access to a video of Demetri performing during our live show In the Dark. Thanks in advance, and thanks so much to everyone who's already donated!

Read more:

Zoltan Torey, The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain

John Hull, On Sight and Insight: A Journey into the World of Blindness

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