David Kolb

computer and notepad on table

Fumble Fingers

There is another theme in this blog: Parkinson’s disease. In 2016 I wrote a short book reflecting on my experience as a philosopher descending into Parkinson’s disease (A Shaky Walk Downhill : A Philosopher Moves into Parkinson’s World). It’s time for a five year update: alas, nothing has changed for the better. My symptoms have gotten worse, especially balance, gait and slowness of motion. Unfortunately despite increased research the medications available still only lessen symptoms. Nothing slows down the disease. Progress was promised in ten years, fifteen years ago. We have learned to discount such predictions. If I were revising my text now in 2022, I would wish to improve the last chapter about dementia and self-identity, but I’m as puzzled as ever about how to illuminate that darkness..

The disease has made it difficult to work with computers, and forced me to investigate technological aids. I am working on a series of essays focusing on tools to help people with neurological problems deal with computers and their new modes of communication. I will be discussing the costs and benefits of proposed workarounds for difficulties with keyboards and mice, and vocal problems and dictation. The essays are going slowly, because of PD difficulties but also because good and rapid changes keep bringing new ways to help. Producing them by testing the tools is part of the project. Stand by for bulletins from the front lines.