THE SIXTH SENSE

We humans have 5 different senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. We get along quite well with the quality of those senses day-to-day. However, comparing the quality of those senses to those of other species, we might want to look away in shame. The average eagle spots a mouse from 300 feet away, the same distance from which our feline couch companion can hear a mouse treading across the floor and our dogs can pick a drug smuggler from a line of perfectly normal looking people using it’s nose. I personally cannot think of a species that tastes better than us, but there must be several (hence the succes of McDonalds). I guess the very picky koala has an edge. I am convinced that the mole rat and an earth worm certainly have a better sense of feel than us. Ever tried to catch one sneaking up on it?

There’s an app for that!

5 years ago no one would predict that throwing computing power into a magician’s hat while adding optical sensors, recording capabilities and geolocation tracking, would combine to something Frankenstein-like. Yet this is exactly what it did. I am writing this blogpost as i look at my iPhone and  i am starting too feel obsolete, but bare with me for a moment………….you’ve become obsolete too!

Human senses ‘ featuring’  your phone

HEARING: Imagine this; you drive along in your car and the radio plays a song that you like but cannot pinpoint. You try to remember the name of the song and it’s lyrics, but by the time you get home you’ve forgot both. Our brain proves inadequate in this situation. Luckily our phone are not. Shazam listenes to the song and provides you with the name of the song, the artist and even the version you listened to. Shazam’s hearing is absolute. By the way, check out the Google Translate app, which is pretty epic as well. It certainly beats most of us as at translating into multiple  (say 10) languages.

SIGHT: Google Goggles might see the same as you, but it can recognize what it sees much better than you. Waving your phone in front of a painting, Goggles almost always get’s the name and the artist right. Ok, not always, but the success rate is certainly higher than mine when confronted with European masters. Actually our phones can look beyond to what we are able to see. Layar unveils things that our eyes could never uncover by putting a virtual layer over our visionary lives.

TOUCH: Years ago there was an iPhone app that used it’s microphone to blow out candles by vibration. This time around it is upside down. An app turns vibration of speech into electricity. Fair enough, we humans can generate energy by moving, but by doing so we lose energy reserves as well. Hardly a perpetuum mobile. This technology charges your phone by just being itself. It charges by receiving speech.

SMELL: NASA has developed a chemical sniffing device that plugs into your phone. It can detect gas and a lot of other substances that our human noses would never detect. It could actually save our lives. What is your kick-ass life saving feature in hazardous situations? Mine is ‘run’ and scream: “Run for your lives!”.Ok a phone might be better of alarming groups of people by text messages or ‘push’ technology, but i challenge contemporary HAL‘s to do it with such drama as only we humans can.

Do we challenge anything intellectually, or are we intellectually challenged (by everything)?

Thank god for taste!

TASTE: we humans still have an edge here 😉 I challenge anyone to find an app that beats human smell. In 1997 humankind (or specifically Garry Kasparow) was beaten by a computer called Deep Blue. 14 Years onwards, we are being taken over by the sixth sense, our mobile phone, the device we created ourselves. Let’s all cling to our McDonalds-favouring taste to keep claiming superiority on this planet.

All of our senses may be marked as ‘average’ in comparison, but a lama’s spitting doesn’t stand a chance to our wit. Our intelligence is definitely superior to all creatures’ senses. We invented smoking, managed to distill cocaine from leaves, ‘light-bulbed’ the atomic bomb and outlawed the guy who told us the earth was a sphere. Considering this ‘thought leadership’, it’s no surprise than that no less than 65 years onwards we are overtaken intellectually by the iPhone. Wake up and smell the coffee!


I LOVE social media!

I HATE social media! So for those who clicked on the link because of the header, please leave this blogpost. Those with social media in their bio’s, i pity your existence and Black Belted Social Media Guru’s, i advise you to go #FCK yourself!

SoMe must DIE!

Surrounded by social media people telling me that SoMe is shaping the futue, i find myself confronted by a timeline filled with social media ‘y’knows’. Even management tells me: “we should definately do something with social media”. *i disike*. I know that I’m not the first to be annoyed by the phenomenon, hence this classic: , but the terror never ends. I aim for a different perspective though.

“Working with computers” 

I saw a vintage clip the other day where a Computer Department Executive from GE elaborated about his responsibilities, 1994 was the year. His task was not having people develop epic computing power, his task was managing people who worked with computers. Whatever those emplyees did on their computers, be it marketing or computing, was irrelevant. It was the state-of-the-art Computer Department, people worked with computers. Talking to a friend in administration 15 years ago might give you a bore-out and make it impossible what he did day to day. Yet, you would be able to pinpoint his profession at the blink of an eye when someone would inquire. He: “what does he do for a living?”, you: “He works with computers”; would be your feeble, yet in those days convincing, reply.

A heap of crap

Fast forwarding to our day and age I see history repeating itself. Most of us are amazed by the power of people connecting with each other. About 15 years ago the internet made us all interconnect. I played MS Links against all kinds of people all over the world, over ten years ago. Nowadays I engage with people on Twitter, ask advice about repairing my car on the Alfa Romeo Forum, seek advise for the best hotel on Tripadvisor keep in touch with friends on Facebook. So i engage in social media, that simple? I’d say: meeting, garage, travel agency branche, family meeting. The similarity might be that the conversation is through an online social medium, but there is still a distinctive difference. A difference that the current generation self proclaimed SoMe wizards just not seem to be able to grasp. As we are in the middle of a time shift, that is nothing to be ashamed about. But please, let’s come back down to earth again.

Both goldfish and piranha’s are fish

As i said, it’s been over 10 years since i first really engaged socially online with Microsoft Links, sharing and communicating. Yet after those 10 years, we all talk about a bunch of media as if all were the same. Isn’t it time after all these years to start focussing on the differences instead of the similarities? Before writing this post I ate a handful of sour grapes, obviously. But next time you look in the mirror and you see “someone working with social media” glancing back at you, try to look a little closer.

Found nice Slideshare presentation dissecting three types of media. Let’s all take it from here.