Re: Enhanced Senses

Paul Hughes (
Fri, 21 May 1999 00:59:34 -0700

Natasha Vita-More wrote:

> >Ultimately, if you want the best senses that technology can build, you will
> >have to resort to creating new brain structures to process the data.
> This is a good point.
> It seems entirely plausible that we will add on new structures to our
> brains. And, perhaps a new brain layer. (Max has a current chapter on
> this, in fact, I don't know whether it is ok to comment on now.)

I look forward to Max's work. Perhaps a new brain layer, but I'm more inclined to see a more thorough reorganization of our entire brain structure as we add on more processing power and increased and varied input. Even without any new sensory input, it seems advantageous to be able to process existing input in entirely new ways. Why not see smells, hear colors, and smell sounds? Synasthesia requires no new sensors, only a re-organization of our current processing. I'm very exciting by Steve Mann's work in this area. I would love to try on his sonar suit, and omni-directionally feel my environment up to 100 meters.

> When I think of radical sensory enhancements, I think of mega processing
> power and all sorts of router systems and intelligent agents working away
> steadily to allow a vast array of awarenesses to asthetically alert my
> consciousness. I'd like the "sensorial aesthetic awareness" it to drive
> like an smoothly steered vehicle. (But I'll have to discuss this with
> Anders a bit.)

This is how I have always imagined it. I would very much like to hear more of your thinking on this. I have always seen my future nano-self as a vehicle fully immersed in an omni-directional, fully synaesthetic continuum. A continuum that morphs and changes based on input from any imaginable source as well as how my internal constructs wish that data to be presented. Imagine the possibility of having 'sexual' and fully orgasmic experiences while one's mini-probes explores the unique topography of a new planet? I can't think of a better way to discover the unique nuances of a new geology as one would a new lover.

Paul Hughes