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69

Youngsters. The first computers read and wrote punched cards or punched paper tape; they did not have any kind of user interface where being blind or sighted mattered. It was perceived as major revolution when some smart technician adapted a typewriter to be able to print computer output; electric teletypewriters were then adapted so that operators could ...


47

Alice is an avid user of World-Builder. While the average person might not notice ... The bed materials would be courser and stiffer than usual. She will feel colder, especially in her extremities. Her body mass will be distributed differently, e.g., her breasts would exhibit less sag, etc. Her hair will be finer thus less stiff, and it will not fall as ...


26

No Standard Bayesian analysis of the situation will suggest that Bob, rather than somehow violently breaking the vast majority of the laws of physics, has instead decide to play a practical joke by moving Alice while sleeping to a ludicrously accurate scaled-up room. There are objects which don't function well at larger sizes than they do at smaller sizes, ...


18

Will Alice figure out what has really happened before she sees Bob? Gravity says she could, but she still won't work it out. Stuff takes time to fall. We are adjusted by the experience of our entire lives (what age Alice might be I'm too much a gentleman to ask), so we have a very strong instinctive feel for the time it should take for things to e.g. fall ...


15

Three factors enter into how well you can see a medieval city from the air at night. First, outdoor lighting is almost exclusively torches and oil/fat lamps (depending on the situation). These aren't very bright, compared to modern streetlights or yard lights. Second, due to cost, such lighting is likely to be as sparse as it can be, without too much ...


14

I see no differences in how computer would have developed. The first computers used punched cards to take input and give output (one of the favorite prank among nerds in those days was to swap two random cards in the physical folder containing them, when the owner was not paying attention), and graphics came much later. And the reason is that when you move ...


10

A very good eye for geology, a sensitive inner ear and remarkable dead reckoning skills. The dwarves just get geology in the same way humans intuitively understand how to throw and catch things. If you ask a Dwarf to describe the geology of their surroundings they won’t be able to, but on a bone deep level they’ll have picked up that the red sandstone layer ...


9

I think the biggest difference would be in the development of user interfaces. If computers had been designed primarily by and for blind users, I imagine a much more sophisticated version of the Refreshable Braille Display would be in common use by now. I'm imagining a grid of keys instead of a single row forming a kind of tactile screen. This would allow ...


8

Yes. Alice will feel lighter, or stronger, depending on how you look at it. Perceived weight (that is, difficulty lifting something) corresponds to strength. Presuming Bob's shrinking technology doesn't change the fundamental laws of physics, mini-Alice's atoms have to be the same size and mass as before, meaning she has fewer of them. Mass scales with ...


6

There's a story from the age of the Altair. The Altair was one of the first computers that a hobbyist could afford. You put it together yourself, and then hopefully it worked. It became an odd solution in search of a problem. Nobody quite knew what to do with it. There were "computing clubs" where people met to try to figure out what it could do. In ...


5

Echolocation through their body There are more ways to hear sounds than just your ears, and by sensing vibrations in the ground and walls a dwarf can "feel" their environment. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/seeing-through-soil-with/ When a dwarf walks around his feet create vibrations in the ground that will reflect off of objects and ...


5

The snarky answer is that no she does not notice because Alice wakes up, realizes that this is not her room, then proceeds to roll over and get another hour of sleep. This is certainly Bob's doing and he'll explain himself later when he decides to crawl out of bed and draws upon his life-giving coffee. And now for something less snarky: When Alice wakes ...


5

I think a good technology to consider in comparison is the telegraph. The telegraph also began as a technology processing bits of information that while accessible, in that they used the sound/touch of tapping, was also cumbersome to use in that it required the user to learn a specialized code to both input and interpret. So, you had a specialized profession ...


4

If you have to use echolocation, you cannot afford solid surfaces blocking your line of sight. This means forget about glass windows if you want to perceive the outside of your vehicle. First cars and airplanes had their driver/pilot exposed to the outer environment, thus there would be no issue for those heroic gentlemen. But as soon as they want some ...


4

Sound and light will be very different. I would not like to say exactly how the differences will impact, but the optics in Alice's eyes will function differently; her smaller eyes will not gather as much light, and as wavelengths have not changed there may be some chromatic effects. (Edit: there is a difference between a child's eye and a scaled-down adult-s ...


4

The bee example that AlexP and ProjectApex mention in their comments is interesting. There is a PNAS commentary https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/113/26/7020.full.pdf that explains that they may not have a sensory apparatus like sharks or vertabrates, but instead use the accumulation of charge may cause the position of sensory hairs to change. That is not ...


4

Plasma is made by a "cloud" of atoms dissociated in electrons and charged nuclei. I am sure it would be pretty aggressive on physical matter. During my PhD I used to clean sample surfaces with a plasma for this very reason. So, shaking hands with plasma-man is a no no! In order to see, these hypothetical creatures would need to interact with ...


3

Whiskers! Did you think those beards were just for show? Every stiff hair in a dwarf's impressive facial mat is attached to a highly sensitive nerve, capable of detecting the most minuscule of vibrations. Together, they function as an incredibly powerful 3-D network of receptors, giving them echolocation capabilities that would put bats and dolphins to ...


3

Yes, through Deduction and Analysis of the Meta-Game I will make a key assumption, as to how gifted Alice's reasoning abilities are. Can she deduce from root causes why she is in such a situation? I believe that the answer is yes, because Alice is only pretending to be naive on the surface, and is actually a genius in disguise. From this knowledge, we have ...


3

Halfthawed's answer is right (I upvoted that; don't upvote this) - Alice will not work out she's been shrunk - but only because the question is so unreasonable. "Alice's body seems to be functioning normally" rules out any clues like mass/strength oddities and defeats the otherwise clueful points of Gary Walker; and not getting out of bed takes care of the ...


3

You will use landmarks. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/aug/01/canterbury-kent-walk-medieval-streets-attractions-cathedral Depicted: Canterbury cathedral. It has been there a long time. Most towns of any size in the period would have at least one church - if not a cathedral, some built thing with bell towers. At altitude it would be visible from ...


2

I think that computers would develop very different mechanisms to display information. Some form of Braille dot matrix that stimulated 5 or 10 fingers at a time would run out a practicality for many applications. It would work for simple question answer type problems, but data visualization wouldn’t work well. But, humans have sensitive skin on their faces ...


2

I think you are biased against No-nosers while it would be the Blackendwaiters who are in the serious disadvantage. Not being able to recognise colors means eating a lot of wrong things during "Hunter-gatherer" stage or even at scavenging. What worse is that it stop the ability to gather and share/pass knowledge about dangerous food items. You cannot make ...


2

I know its a little off from your original concept but if I were building a universe with something like that in it I would actually make it a purposeful mark, a tattoo of some description. If you wanted the species to be a repressed one then it would have been forced upon them by others wanting to identify their kind at a distance. If not then it would be ...


2

They are tattoos. This is the simplest explanation. The marks have cultural significance for the empath race and the tattoos are added as each individual achieves life goals. Your crew members are young and probably have only one or two. An elder of this race might have the tears circumferentially around her eyes. As regards why a tear - as they become ...


2

My take on this situation: the ‘teardrop’ is an essential, black, teardrop-shaped organ located on the Empath’s face. You could have the Empath have thinner skin, allowing the teardrop’s unique colour to be visible on its face as markings. The thinner skin could be somewhat permeable, like a frog’s, allowing fluids to blend into the bloodstream. This is ...


2

The period of a pendulum varies with the square root of length. Her arms and legs are pendula and her head is an inverted pendulum. These pendula now have periods $\sqrt{0.6} = 0.77$-times as long as was previously the case. Steps are faster, arm swinging is faster, head lolling is faster. Her hair swings and bobs faster. That her usual learned control ...


2

This reminds me of the braille interface that the character "Whistler," played by David Strathairn, used in the movie "Sneakers." Maybe they are real things but it would take a non-blind person to build these things. As an alternate path you can focus on the person. Blind people could become very adept at quickly processing streams of data and making ...


1

Magnetoreception. Many birds and other animals have magnetoreception, and are able to sense north/south due to the earth's magnetic field. The most likely mechanism for this is clumps of iron surrounded by bundles of nerves in the brain. If you use a larger clumps that are made of a material that is more magnetic than iron, you could sense not only north/...


1

The early fliers would not use any windows in their planes so they would have an unrestricted echo location “view”. These planes would probably not fly very high as they would want to be able to echo locate the ground and landscape. Before long instruments would be developed that gave them an artificial horizon, altimeter, air speed indicator and compass. ...


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