Reflection: What its like to march in a band while blind.

Beginning thoughts

I have been reflecting on the last decade and a half of my life over the past couple of months, in an attempt to better understand why I have made key decisions, and how those decisions were pivotal in shaping me. This is partially part of my goal setting exercise, where I plan to have at least 5 long term goals set out for myself by the end of 2021 since clear goals are very crucial for guiding ones life. As part of this reflection, it occurred to me that I never formally documented the truly amazing experience I had marching in the band as a blind high schooler. I realize it's been nearly a decade since I last stepped foot on a field, and my knowledge may be a little rusty, but I want to make sure information is available for blind children who are questioning if they can march in the band. I've talked to people who were required to stand on the edge of the field while the rest of the band marched, and I simply want other blind people to have a resource to use, and a resource to point future teachers, section leaders, and drum majors to for reference purposes so that blind people can actually be successful marching. There was one instance in band, where due to some odd conditions with the field, I didn't march during a 2 hour window, and as a result it made me realize I need to tell my experience the way it was, with no fluff, to encourage other blind teenagers to go out, march instead of stand on the sidelines, and have the time of their life. The friendships I made in band changed me and my friends for life, and I truly got to be a member of the band, my section, and the school in a special way that other blind people often don't get.

Read Reflection: What its like to march in a band while blind.… (6 paragraphs remaining).

Some Thoughts on Smart Canes

over the last few years, many attempts have been made at creating a smart cane. None of them have successfully lead to a market transforming technology that's actually used by any substantial users.

I saw a recent example of a smart cane getting news coverage, and it deserves particular attention because of a particularly egregious argument used within. I've seen this argument, or variations therein, made in several posts about smart canes. I will address this below, and lay out why this argument does not present a solid case in favor of a smart cane. I will then lay out several design and engineering constraints that must be met before I would ever be able to recommend a smart cane to another blind person.

Read Some Thoughts on Smart Canes… (6 paragraphs remaining).

Two math problems on money and sequences.

Math problem for the mentally curious

For those who enjoy a math problem to finish off a great day on this planet, here is a problem for you. I randomly came up with it while watching the democratic debate last night (must have been bored).  It is two problems, the second one follows from the first.

Problem statement!

Suppose you owe me money from a recent lone. Your unfortunate situation lets me demand money from you in either one of two ways. You get the choice to choose one of them .

Option 1:

You pay me 1 dollar a day for $$n$$ days.

Option 2.

You pay me 0 cents today (day 1), 1 cent tomorrow (day 2), $$0+1+2$$ cents on day 3, $$0 + 1 + \dots + i + \dots +(n-1)$$ cents on day n.

The dilemma:

[1]: At what day does it become not profitable for you to pay me with option two.

[2]: Additionally, create an expression to tell me how much money I will profit if you pick option 2. Hint: Negative profits for days 1 and so on, are possible until the day when statement 1 above is true.

Problem statement!  For problem 2

Suppose you owe me money from a recent lone. Your unfortunate situation lets me demand money from you in either one of two ways. You get the choice to choose one of them .

Option 1:

You pay me $$x$$ dollar a day for $$n$$ days.

Option 2.

You pay me 0 cents today (day 1), 1 cent tomorrow (day 2), $$0+1+2$$ cents on day 3, $$0+1+ \dots +i+ \dots +(m-1)$$ cents on day m.

The dilemma:

Find an equation for x and n that calculates what day it becomes not profitable for you to pay me with option two (in other words, figure out which day $$nx = m$$. Additionally, create an expression to tell me how much money I will profit if you pick option 2. Hint: Negative profits for days 1 and so on, are possible until the day where $$mx = n$$.