Mending Misconceptions#1: extrasensory senses

This was originally posted on March 1, 2016 at 7:19 PM on Blogger


First, I’d like to say that I did not forget to upload on Saturday night.  I actually had most of the post written, but I’ve been having computer and wifi trouble (nothing knew because both my laptop and the wifi in my dorm suck).  Okay, to the post:

So, I thought I’d do a series of misconceptions that need mending.  They won’t be uploaded weekly or on any real schedule, but whenEver I think of some.  But whenever I do make them, I’ll link them all together.

The first misconception I want to discuss is a pretty common one: extrasensory senses.

Whenever people have asked me if my hearing was better than the hearing of others’, it was always hard for me to answer.  Wouldn’t it depend on how good the hearing of the other person was? And the same for smell?

So, depending on how I felt that day, I would ask them these questions.  I would try to lead them to the same conclusion: that it’s all relative.  I know fully-sighted people with exceptional hearing, and fully-blind people with fairly poor hearing.

I think that we just have to depend on our senses more so it may seem better, but its nothing special.  This world is so visual that most people don’t know how good their hearing or sense of smell could be, because they don’t try.  Most people depend on their eyes first and hesitate to trust their other senses.

Close your eyes one day, at some random street corner, and see how much you notice: the scent of exhaust and coffee, dirty water dogs and perfume.  What do you hear?: heels clicking smartly, a child babbling.  Is it possible that you hear farther than you see?

On the other hand, it might not be the best idea to just stop in the middle of the street, close your eyes and do nothing.  But you get what I mean, right? Don’t even try extending your senses, just take it all in, see how much additional information you get.

Then try it with your eyes open.  Does it make any difference for you? Can you now smell the coffee before seeing Dunkin Donuts?

I genuinely believe that it’s not a special skill/superpower.  As I said before, it’s a visual world.  So people who just have naturally good hearing or smell, notice these things automatically.  But most people don’t even think to try.  It’s no one’s fault, it’s just how it is.  Like the world is built for right-handed people, because 90% (or so) of the population is right-handed.

A hunter or soldier cultivates their other senses because its a matter of survival, same concept for blind and low vision people.

I think I have pretty good hearing, and a fairly good sense of smell. But I am definitely guilty of relying on the bit of vision I have. I’ve tried walking around with my eyes closed (and my cane of course) and I’d always walk into things. Well, more so than usual.

Below I’ve linked an article that my vision teacher (click here for a definition) showed me in eleventh grade. It was published in the Times two years ago called Why Do We Fear The Blind, and it’s really interesting.

Well, till next time


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