Adaptation or Reformation?
Are we adapting, or are we reforming? They are two very similar words, yet there are
subtle nuances in the definition. Adaptation is the skill to acclimate to changes. However,
adapting is not necessarily a way to simply
with a problem. These conformations may also
be seen as reformations, improvements for the better. Such opportunities to progress are seen
universally, especially in the cases Oliver Sacks and Henry Jenkins introduce. In Sacks’ essay,
the blind’s adaptation to their disadvantage is talked about. Yet, it seems like those who were
struck by the unfortunate neurological condition are better off blind. Henry talks about kids who
write fan fiction via Internet. Such technologies have not only allowed us to handle our
problems, but also have made life much easier.
Sacks, author of
The Mind’s Eye
, brings up many cases of people who have the same
disability, their loss of sight. Among them, he acknowledges and writes about is John Hull. John
went into a state of what he calls deep blindness, a state in which he can no longer associate
concepts of direction with sight. As a blind person, Hull’s other synergic senses have become
more acute, his sense of hearing in particular. Using rain as a resource, he claims it can
“delineate a whole landscape for him, for its sound on the garden path is different from its sound
as it drums on the lawn, or on the bushes in his garden, or on the fence dividing it from the road”
(Sacks 508). Justifiably, he doesn’t need his sight to visualize anymore. With his new adaptation,
John emphasizes his lost of sight is not just a compensation, but also “a whole new order, a new
mode of human being” (Sacks 508). It may not be obvious that this has helped Hull, but imagine
certain situations when it is nighttime and it feels as if you’re in a pitch-black environment.