Re: Identity by smell (was Re:silly walks department)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 10:03:34 MDT

"Sean Kenny" <> writes:

> [Non-member submission]
> > It is easier to detect smell differences than "absolute smells", so a
> > good first step in training oneself to act as a tracking dog is to
> > cross smell tracks. If you walk along a street, slowly inhaling
> > through your nose you can detect the changes in the air when you cross
> > the track of somebody else. It is a quite interesting pastime to try
> > to "see" the world like a dog presumably does.
> Richard Feynmann had an anecdote on this very subject, but he said it was
> better if you moved around on all fours closer to the ground for the full
> dog experience.

Interesting. Although I think most human smell would be at chest
height when we walk around... now I have to test it, I wonder how to
do it discreetly without convincing my colleauges that I have finally
snapped completely? :-)

> He also did an experiment where he got some friends to
> handle some books, and after smelling his friends hands and smelling the
> books he could match each person to the book they had handled.

Sounds like an interesting party trick or way of exercising one's smell.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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