The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All  (Read 4606 times)

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« on: 17/01/2013 14:21:17 »


The latest copy of my professional magazine came in the post this morning.  Clearly some of the High Street opticians such as Spec Savers have a financial interest in such magazines for, whereas previous issues were sized in a readable A4 format, the latest issue is A5 sized i.e. half the size, with type too small to be easily read without glasses.  Despite this the editors proudly tell me that the “new look” and “compact size” of the magazine is not only “more contemporary” but also “more convenient”. 

The use of the word “contemporary” has an unwritten implication if “desirable”.  There is no actual connection but advertisers have loaded the word “contemporary” such that it has an air of desirability. 

I would certainly agree that the new format is more contemporary, simply because the modern trend is to design publications in such a way as to render them unreadable.  For example, take some of the recently published encyclopaedias I have been reading.  They are heavily illustrated and images or textures are used as backgrounds over which the words are printed.  So, the sort of situation that arises is that white coloured type is printed over a very pale grey background making the text virtually invisible.  Alternatively, the background texture is so heavily patterned, and the type size too small and of too similar a colour to the background, to be readable.  In other words, designers have completely lost the plot.  For reasons that I will not go into here, they are so busy being “contemporary” that they are no longer able to design items which actually function.

As to “more convenient”, well, “more convenient” for whom?  The new format with its tiny type is not more convenient for me for I cannot read it  - and I do not need glasses for reading (unless the type is so small that there is nobody who could read it without some means of magnification).   

However, the fact that the editors are doing a hard sell on this “new look magazine” means that they are up to no good, and the no good they are up to is increased profits (often called “reduced production costs”)……….at my expense.

Firstly, I am paying the same money for a magazine that now I cannot read.  (Actually, the content is hardly worth reading, but that’s a different issue.)

Secondly, this fashion for smaller type (even in children’s books) and bad book design will inevitably have a detrimental affect on your or your children’s health e.g. it may well induce eye-strain and/or headaches and the totally unnecessary purchase of spectacles.  In other words, bad design is bad for your health, yet bad design is rampant and getting worse by the day.


 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #1 on: 17/01/2013 20:26:48 »
No doubt the internet has put strain on both the news and magazine printing industries.  Thus, smaller means less paper.

Many journals are coming out in E-Reader format, which I assume allow expanding print and illustration sizes without loosing content.

While there is something that is pleasant about reading printed texts, it is not uncommon to have shelves full of books that are read once, and then shoved aside on the shelves.

The 2000's will be the century marked by the struggle between paper texts vs electronic texts.

I suppose it is about time for the next eye checkup as I've been having troubles with reading ingredient lists on packages, and certain low-contrast markings on various objects like the IMEI on my cell phone, written in minuscule white on silver print.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #2 on: 17/01/2013 21:05:09 »
Like CliffordK, I think that all of the print media is struggling with the "new media" enabled by the internet, where distribution costs are almost zero. (...and the user can choose his or her own font size!). Perhaps they are trying to reduce their print costs by reducing the paper size?

My professional society has a long tradition of printing magazines for members and university libraries. The professional society costs are borne by the membership fees, magazine subscription or reprint fees.

But some views on the internet suggests that all information should be free (like Wikipedia) - and some governments are now dictating that government-funded (non-classified) research should be available for free.

My professional society is now experimenting with electronic distribution to members (with a tablet/smartphone app) - I tried it, and it works surprisingly well.
They are also experimenting with alternative economic models where the published article is available electronically for free, but the author(s) pay a fee to cover the costs of maintaining an editorial staff, and tracking a network of peer reviewers (who appear to have always worked for free?).
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #3 on: 17/01/2013 21:08:28 »
I don't have vision problems - I have "short arm syndrome"!

I just can't hold the document far enough away so it is in focus...

[Many people entering middle age tend to become more long-sighted. They have to hold a document further and further away to read it, and/or squint. This is not helped by small print, as in the original post.]
« Last Edit: 19/01/2013 07:50:56 by evan_au »
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #4 on: 17/01/2013 21:43:48 »
But some views on the internet suggests that all information should be free (like Wikipedia) - and some governments are now dictating that government-funded (non-classified) research should be available for free.
In some fields, a large amount of the research receives government grants. 
If you add to that all public universities, the amount of public funded research becomes very large.

What about tax free donations?
Government scholarships, fellowships, and tuition grants?
I would doubt that most of the private universities could claim full independence from government funds.
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #5 on: 18/01/2013 03:48:15 »
... it may well induce eye-strain and/or headaches and the totally unnecessary purchase of spectacles ...

No such thing as “unnecessary spectacles”, apart from the ones that don’t have any lenses  :) ...

Reading small print does not damage eyesight, it’s the other way round : deteriorating eyesight makes it difficult to read small print ...

Quote from: John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO
... reading small print will not harm your eyes or vision. If the print is too small, or lighting too dim, etc, then this can cause eye strain or fatigue. This can cause a visual discomfort, or perhaps a headache, and while it may be uncomfortable, this will not *harm* you.
 
Small text, poor contrast, poor lighting, holding print too close, and refractive error (if you need glasses) can all cause fatigue, but again, this is just discomfort -- not harm.
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Ophthalmology-Optometry-979/2012/9/impact-small-text-technology.htm
« Last Edit: 18/01/2013 03:56:11 by RD »
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #6 on: 18/01/2013 09:27:53 »
Hmmmm....... Do I detect a little cynicism here? Has pantodragon gotten old and grumpy?

Good on yer!!! Keep up the good work, don't let the buggers get away with it. Moan, gripe and groan all you want. And on the point of small print, why does food packaging now have so much information on it, that the important bits, like how long and at what temp or microwave setting to cook, needs a damn microscope to read it!

Look...... if its got wheat in it, I don't need to be told 'may contain wheat'. If its a packet of peanuts, I don't need to be told 'may contain nuts'. IT HAD BLOODY WELL BETTER CONTAIN NUTS!!!
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: 18/01/2013 12:15:04 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #8 on: 19/01/2013 16:17:41 »
Like CliffordK, I think that all of the print media is struggling with the "new media" enabled by the internet, where distribution costs are almost zero. (...and the user can choose his or her own font size!). Perhaps they are trying to reduce their print costs by reducing the paper size?


I don't like all this talk about costs.  It's all a big con, and things have gone so far that I don't think anybody REALLY knows the cost of anything any more.  Take the internet, for example, one's always being sold the idea that it makes things cheaper.  But this seems to me to be no more than an advance on the idea that advertising funded television and the like are "free" - of course they're not!  You pay for them every time you buy a loaf of bread - which arranges things nicely to ensure that poor folks who cannot afford a computer or an internet connection, are still forced to fund them: a case of the poor supporting the wealthy in the luxury to which they are accustomed - and this is a serious point: in spite of the hype prices are generally about the poor supporting the rich.
 

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #9 on: 19/01/2013 16:25:26 »


Reading small print does not damage eyesight, it’s the other way round : deteriorating eyesight makes it difficult to read small print ...


 

Ok, so my eyes up to the job of the latest small print that I've got to read, but that's no different from my muscles not being up to lifting a .................. heavy weight.  So I exercise my muscles and very soon I will be able to lift the heavy weight, and I am now graced with shoulders to compete with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  So, I improve my eyes by exercising with smaller and smaller print, and very soon my eyes are bulging out of their sockets like tennis balls.

Also, I really do have better things to do with my time than to build up eye sight or muscles or anything else at the sayso, and just to suit, some magazine publisher.
 

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #10 on: 19/01/2013 16:29:14 »
Hmmmm....... Do I detect a little cynicism here? Has pantodragon gotten old and grumpy?



Ah, no, pantodragon has retained her position in the land of the living i.e. pantodragon does not roll over and die.

I like your encouragement, but I would like your participation better.  We could do with a lot more of the kind of people who refuse to roll over and die, or who are not brain washed into a torpor - of course, you may have chagrined posts elsewhere and if so, I'm sorry I haven't noticed them.

« Last Edit: 19/01/2013 16:31:30 by pantodragon »
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #11 on: 20/01/2013 14:24:46 »
So, I improve my eyes by exercising with smaller and smaller print, and very soon my eyes are bulging out of their sockets like tennis balls.

You’re flogging a Tesco burger (dead horse) there : eye exercises don’t correct presbyopia ...   

Quote
... exercising the ciliary muscles have neither scientific basis nor have they been proved effective
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyopia#Exercises
« Last Edit: 20/01/2013 14:27:18 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #12 on: 21/01/2013 15:23:19 »
So, I improve my eyes by exercising with smaller and smaller print, and very soon my eyes are bulging out of their sockets like tennis balls.

You’re flogging a Tesco burger (dead horse) there : eye exercises don’t correct presbyopia ...   

Quote
... exercising the ciliary muscles have neither scientific basis nor have they been proved effective
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyopia#Exercises

I prefer to go by personal experience and intuition rather than by science books, and since I gave up the science books (medical profession), I have never looked back.  One of the main benefits is that as I get older, I heal quicker from everything which, as you will know, is not the way it is supposed to be.  However, if you see the human mind and body as having a fundamental capacity to learn (including the immune system) then my experience of healing quicker with age (but without doctors or drugs) makes sense.
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #13 on: 21/01/2013 23:10:24 »
I prefer to go by personal experience and intuition rather than by science books ...

Scientific method would show whether eye-exercises actually improved vision: have two groups of similar individuals with presbyopia, have one group perform eye-exercises, the other not as a control.
Objective vision tests would then reveal if eye-exercises improved vision. They don't ...

Quote
Exercising eye muscles will not eliminate the most common maladies that necessitate corrective lenses — namely, nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (age-related lens stiffening).
http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0903c.shtml


...  if you see the human mind and body as having a fundamental capacity to learn (including the immune system) ...

Unsurprisingly the immune system does deteriorate with age, a mind-over-matter attitude will not change that fact ...

Quote
The immune system loses it's ability to fight off infections as you grow older. This increases your risk for getting sick, and may make immunizations less effective. Flu shots or other immunizations may not work as well, and protection may not last as long as expected. The immune system's ability to detect and correct cell defects also declines, which results in an increase in cancers associated with aging.
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004008.htm
« Last Edit: 21/01/2013 23:27:56 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 116
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #14 on: 24/01/2013 14:26:02 »
RD:  Scientific method would show whether eye-exercises actually improved vision: have two groups of similar individuals with presbyopia, have one group perform eye-exercises, the other not as a control.

"There are stranger things in heaven and earth than ye wot of, Horatio"  -  and no amount of scientific effort will get rid of it all.  It is a testimony to the successful imperialist strategy of science that you, along with probably most of the rest of the population, find yourselves unable to conceive of any other way of dealing with the world than the scientific method.  Well, here's news: there are alterantives, and unlike science, at least one of these is sufficiently sophisticated to deal with the world and, in particular, the hyuman mind and body.

As to the immune system, I would agree that it normally i.e. in our society at this time, degenerates with age.  But I would not then conclude that it must always degenerate with age, or indeed that is has always, or will always, degenerate with age.  Do I have GROUNDS for saying this?  Yes.  Personal experience and more, about which I have written in other posts.

As I write this, I get such a strong sense of how science slams the door in one's face.  It says "such and such a thing is not possible" or that "such and such a thing is the case" and says it with such conviction that it does not occur to one to explore for other possibilities.  It takes a death-grip on the mind.
« Last Edit: 24/01/2013 14:34:55 by pantodragon »
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #15 on: 24/01/2013 17:01:33 »
As to the immune system, I would agree that it normally i.e. in our society at this time, degenerates with age.  But I would not then conclude that it must always degenerate with age, or indeed that is has always, or will always, degenerate with age.  Do I have GROUNDS for saying this?  Yes.  Personal experience and more, about which I have written in other posts.

If you've had the function of OAP's immune systems objectively measured, (e.g.  T-cell count), and it is the same as a those of youngsters, then you'd have evidence to back up what is otherwise an unsubstantiated assertion (which looks like wishful thinking). A personal subjective self-assessment is not evidence of anything.

Quote
It is well-documented that immunocompetence declines with age; that is, as people age, the immune system begins to lose some of its functions and cannot respond as quickly or as efficiently to stimuli. Age-related changes in the immune system have been observed at all levels ranging from chemical changes within the cells, to differences in the kinds of proteins found on the cell surface, and even to alterations in entire organs. Studied separately, some of these changes may seem trivial, but when all of the changes are added up, they radically affect the overall health of the individual.
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/archives/immune-aging.php

[science] says "such and such a thing is not possible" or that "such and such a thing is the case" and says it with such conviction that it does not occur to one to explore for other possibilities.  It takes a death-grip on the mind.

The scientific method is an exploration by experiment, not dogma.
If anyone doubts the orthodoxy they can construct objective an experiment to try to refute it.
If they manage to produce independently repeatable evidence that the orthodox view is incorrect it will be overturned and there will be scientific progress. Inertia yes , dogmatic "death grip" no.

[science] says "such and such a thing is not possible"

Some things which people claim/wish to believe are possible, are not true and this can be demonstrated, e.g. ESP, intercessory prayer is beneficial, Breatharianismmild electric shocks can cure cancer and aids , drinking bleach cures cancer & aids &(insert illness here).
« Last Edit: 24/01/2013 17:41:19 by RD »
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #16 on: 26/01/2013 08:02:25 »
Ironically, the January 2013 edition of my professional journal arrived this week.
They also have created a new layout & logo. They, too seem to be using some smaller font sizes.
 

Offline cheryl j

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1460
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #17 on: 30/01/2013 04:21:33 »
If I'm not mistaken, age related myopia is not the result of weak eye muscles that control the lens, but the flexibility of the lens itself. As we age the lens becomes more rigid. . So I don't think you can "exercise" your way to better vision by reading small print.

On a side note, I thought I was just imagining that print was getting smaller because of my own deteriorating vision. But the other day I picked up an old paper back from the 60s and the print is huge!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: 20/20 Vision v. No Vision At All
« Reply #17 on: 30/01/2013 04:21:33 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums