I visited the optician this evening for a two-yearly check up. As I suspected, my near vision is steadily going downhill (along with most of my physique). It’s that little thing called age.
On the plus side, my eyes - apart from the overall loss of shape - are in very good health. So I have an extremely healthy pair of eyes that can’t see a lot. Oh well.
But I digress.
Reaching that conclusion involved eye drops to dilate the pupils, and a lengthy examination staring into bright lights.
Very bright lights.
Painfully bright, in fact.
To distract myself from this torture, during which I completely forgot which was left and which was right when it came to following instructions, I thought about the technology in Tiamat’s Nest, and in particular the kind of nasty tricks hackers play on each other in that world.
This not-too-distant-future story includes implants that delivery fully immersive virtual reality through direct stimulation of visual and auditory centres. The implants are equipped with safety limits that stop any damaging stimuli, but hackers can override the implants and over-stimulate nerves to the point of inflicting permanent damage.
Several times in the story, there are examples of painful attacks of sound and vision, but I’ve always worried that they come across as a bit tame. After all, it’s only loud sounds and bright lights, right?
But picture staring into something as bright as the sun, and not being able to shut it out! Closing your eyes or turning your head does nothing because the sensations are being fed straight into your brain.
My experience this evening persuaded me that even safe exposures can be painful, so maybe it isn’t so wimpy after all.
Have you ever managed to conduct some writing research without even realizing it?