We are becoming trans-sensuals.
All living things are tuning organisms, having evolved
to narrowly but deeply sense in particular EM spectral ranges.
As though we are handicapped, our new sensing and communication
technologies are sensory aids, allowing us to sense and communicate
across and in a full range of tunable wavelengths and frequencies.
This complexly rich, life-endowing flow and flux of energy and information
surrounds and permeates us and all other things, in ways we are
just beginning to tune into. This is more than data, which is the by-product
of digital sampling and thinking (discrete bits). But digital sensing and
processing are interim stages of development. Will we soon be able to sense
and comprehend a macro-to-micro continuum (the new analog)?
Creatively exploring this sensory spectrum over the past 45 years, I have
encountered some individuals with synaesthetic abilities, able to 'see' slightly beyond
the visible range, into the near IR or UV window, or have other extended sensory ranges.
Playing with researchers at Smith Kettlewell Institute in San Francisco in the mid-70s,
allowed for creative works with 'blind' performers, who with the aid of sensory aids,
used ultrasonic echolocation devices to spatially navigate through complex spaces,
translating sound variations into spatial sensory modes. B&W video cameras
would activate a low-res matrix pin-screen, worn on the back or on a finger-tip or
in the palm, so that a non-sighted person could sense visual-space imagery
as a tactile display. My personal experience was that it took very little time
and training (less than one hour) for our brains to make the shift and connection
to process this trans-sensual information, into navigational skills.
This opens up the realm of trans-sensory language development and understanding.
We can do this 'naturally', with our limited senses, and we will continue to tune into,
extend and explore our information-rich environment with new technologies,
which will also evolve to be more sophisticated and semi-organic sensory aids.
The information/energy ecosystem is rich and complex. Our evolutionary future,
is leading us to be more sensate and in-tune, with and without tools, for ultimate survival.
This is our nature.
On Apr 18, 2015, at 10:18 AM, roger malina wrote:
> you are absolutely right the david eagleman
> is not a 'new sense' but an 'extended' sense where he 'translates' data into
> a form where human sense of touch is activated
> i usually talk about three categories
> - augmented senses when you increase the sensitivity of a sense ( eg
> optical microscope)
> - extended sense - eg when you extend the sense of vision to the IR or X ray
> - New sense when you create a situation where the body can sense forms
> of energy that
> it is not build to detect ( eg gravity waves, cosmic rays )
> in the case of new senses you can either translate them into a form an
> existing sense
> can detect as eagleman does- or as you point out you could create a
> new input directly into the brain
> which is also what david eaglement talks about
> anyway - i often argue we are now in a 'data culture' where we make decisions
> as much from direct sensory inputs to the real world as from
> interfaces to large data
> sets about the real world
> but we are still behaving like 19C scientists trying to visualise data
> using techniques
> that were developed in an era when we were not deluged with data ( dan boorstin
> calls this an epistemelogical inverstion- going from meaning rich and data poor
> to data rich and meaning poor)
> the video of the sun that you showed that started this discussion
> is using sound in a way that is irrelevant to understanding the amazing
> images of the sun and fails to take advantage of the brain's multi modal
> perception and cognition
> and in fact those images use augmented and extended senses methodologies
> but the science film is in a nineteenth century way of thinking
> roger malina
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Guillermo Muñoz <email@example.com>
> Date: Sat, Apr 18, 2015 at 9:31 AM
> Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] Why do Science Films often have such
> terrible use of music or sound
> To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Wow, this TED talk is amazing ¡¡ But, in reality these examples are not new
> senses, no?, these are kind of translations, and used by brain plasticity
> to have alternative feeling experiences. But the connection is made by
> conventional senses (visual, tactile, sound, smell or taste). May be some
> detector directly conected to brain driving electrical discharges could be
> as new sense, no?
> In another hand, this is a very famous example: the artist Neil Harbisoon
> uses an extension of senses to listen colors. I leave this TED talk:
> Roger F Malina
> is in texas
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