miércoles, 8 de marzo de 2017

Talking point: The senses

This week's talking point is the senses. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

What are the five senses?
What memories/sensations do you associate to specific senses? V.g. The sheets feeling really cold or rough (touch)
Which sense do you think is most important to you in your everyday life?
Which sense would you be able to cope best without?
Which sense triggers the most memories?
Have you ever lost the use of one of your senses temporarily?
Do you know anyone who has one sense especially well-developed?
Do you know people without a sense, either totally (someone who’s deaf) or partially (someone who’s colour-blind)?
What do you think it might be like to live in a world without colour?
Why do we talk about a sixth sense? Can you give some examples?
Do you remember any famous films or books where one of the senses plays an important part?

Imagine that you have the option to have some software device installed in your body that allows to extend your senses. Here are some of the capabilities that the device might allow you to have (taken from the TV series Heroes).
If you could choose only one of them, which one would you choose. Give your reasons. Would you life change for the better?

Teleport yourself to a different place and time
Envisage the future
Hear people’s thoughts
Copy the abilities of anyone you’re in contact with
Have superhuman strength
Regenerate your body after an injury
Affect the operation of machines (technopathy)

To illustrate the topic, you can watch Neil Harbisson's talk for TED I listen to colour, where he tells us about the fact that he was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color — and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.

You can read the full transcript here.