This is going to be my last of my Thinking Digital Stories for 2018, that is unless I come up with some more bright ideas.
I am going to go back to the fascinating Moon Ribas, who is using sensors embedded in her body to extend her experience. She is pushing back our understanding of what our self means. The information that she receives through the sensors give her an additional sense. In this way, the Internet has become a sense that can enhance our ability to engage with the environment around us.
Most people understand that we have only five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Why only five? Many neurologists identify nine or more senses, and some list as many as twenty one.
Touch can be broken down into several somatic senses, including perception of pressure, heat, and pain.
Interoceptive senses include balance, the organic sense including hunger or thirst and proprioception, which is the brain’s knowledge of relative positions of body parts.
There are strange senses such as when you are in a car you can sense how big it is and the space you occupy within it, or the sense that someone is watching you, or even fear.
The human body becomes more complex with every attempt to understand it and to generalise senses into a handful is to do it an injustice.
Whatever the number, we can add another one or type, the Internet. This opens up so many possibilities such as a geological sense, earth movements, a meteorological sense, pressure and wind movement, as well as sentiment sense through a social media vibe.
Technology offers us the opportunity not only to develop the way that we do things and interact with each other but challenges the very essence of who we are as a species. The age of the cyborg is here and the boundary between human and machine becomes more blurred by the day.