Can Geordi see?

Geordi’s visor on Star Trek allow him to see normal light? It is designed so that he can see the entire EM spectrum but even though visible light is on the EM spectrum it doesn’t seem that he can ever see normally. Surely he doesn’t look at every spectrum all the time so why can’t he ever set it to “normal” visible light.

Maybe he does… he only mentions seeing something out of the ordinary when something out of the ordinary is going on. Often, he didn’t see stuff until somebody suggested he look at it. On the other hand, he did mention that he doesn’t see normally, which meant normal light, so the visor may have been giving him the shotgun treatment of flooding him with all the information it could and he had to pick and choose what he wanted to see from all the information, kind of like picking the flute out of an orchestra.

if that’s the case it seems like a poor design. Why not just limit it to visible light rather than trying to make him see everything? Seems like the good is being sacrificed for the perfect.

Why do that? “Here’s a vehicle. It can only go on paved roads at are within 2% of level.” The VISOR can read all sorts of wavelengths. It needs to be programmable, of course, which I think it is.

ETA: Apparently not. Stupid design, then.

There’s an early (first season?) episode where they wore the main bridge display into Geordie’s visor, so everyone can see what he sees on an away mission. It doesn’t look anything like normal vision, closer to thermal imaging than anything else.

ETA: Here’s a screenshot from the episode, or at least, one like it. Pretty sure that’s Worf on the right.

For his job as an engineer, he’d probably choose the mode of seeing that is most useful for whatever he’s doing. The standard range for humans might not be the most useful. Perhaps he spends most of his time looking at radiation levels.

Actually, that was from an episode in which he got brainwashed by the Romulans.

From what we know of him, I imagine he keeps it set on “X-ray Specs.”

He’s complained several times that he can’t see ordinary light, even though the visor can canonically pick up microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma, and even (by God!) neutrinos. No explanation is ever given why that one narrow band was omitted when it can do everything else.

::turns the visor over::

Hmmm, made in China.

I always understood he couldn’t see normally. He could see tell you if the grass was reflecting 530nm or 585 nm wavelength light, but it didn’t have the emotional component that green grass vs dried grass has for a sighted person.

I think it was based on the way deaf people describe cochlear implants.

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Yes, Geordi can see visible light as well as x-rays, gamma, and so forth. It’s just that unlike, say Superman, he doesn’t have an off switch for any given part of hte spectrum, but gets everything all at once

I don’t recall him ever making that complaint. I recall him complaining that he can’t see the way others do, which I took to mean his realization that he was not having the same aesthetic experience of Tasha Yar’s fineness that Will Riker was getting,

My sister has one of those; it belongs in Troy’s hair. Very stylish. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m pretty sure on at least one occasion he commented on a woman’s beauty after seeing her image on a viewscreen. Unless the monitors on the Enterprise are extraordinarily vision-impaired-accommodating, he’s judging her on appearance alone and not, say, because she has an appealing infrared configuration.

Indeed, if he can’t see visible light in fine detail, he’s extremely unsuited to any job that involves reading information off monitors or control panels.

I handed out dozens of those at a science fiction convention, and we had an informal “Geordie LaForge Fan Club” gatherum.

^ Sweet.

So I’m turning into Geordi, only without super-powers Great.

(With the usual caveat that the Geordi and his vision had almost twenty years of canonical history, at the hands of many different creative workers, who may not have always succeeded at, or even tried to be, wholly consistent…)

I can recall a couple of instances where he gained “normal” eyesight (via his eyes literally being regenerated) where he marveled at sights—Tasha Yar, and a sunset, respectively—as if they were not only beautiful, but unique experiences, for whatever that’s worth.

In “Star Trek: Generations” (spits on ground) though, the baddies “bug” his VISOR to relay a video feed to them, and the output is in the visible spectrum. So the device apparently is capable of receiving that spectrum, it seems. Other 24th century visual prostheses exist as well—Seven of Nine has one, for example—which seem to offer normal vision.

The original TNG show bible also specifically says that the VISOR’s input includes the visible spectrum—however, since it was written so early (and very possibly under the influence of drugs) in the series’ development, and so much was changed before the series made it to screen, that’s probably not worth much.

It’s also never explained, IIRC, exactly what medical problem caused Geordi’s blindness, aside from it being a “birth defect.” One has to presume some manner of illness or injury, as a genetic disorder could have been corrected, even in utero. Perhaps some exotic Trek malady—Delta Radiation exposure?—is responsible somehow not only for his blindness, but the inability of his brain to receive a more normal visual input.

The only other thing that comes to mind would be some kind of technical limitation with the VISOR itself—possibly even ones that were only present in early generations, which Geordi had used since early childhood, but that he was content to live with, being used to the device he’d trained with, or even preferring the augmented capabilities of the kludge he had.

I don’t recall him ever saying that. He does say he can’t see normally, because the VISOR is feeding in the whole EM spectrum (plus other stuff) all at once. So he has no concept of what vision would be like limited to the visible spectrum only.

As others have said, he has to learn to pick out the relevant bits from among the noise. And human brains are good at doing that anyway, given some practice.

Why would they? With his VISOR he basically has a superpower, which proves useful on multiple occasions.