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hearing and sound

"What would happen if...?" has always been a staple of Science Fiction. What do you wonder about?

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hearing and sound

Postby Bmat » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:13 am

I recently got hearing aids, not so much for my hearing, or so I thought, but because I have tinnitus- ringing in my ears. The aids help a little with the ringing, but something I've noticed is that with my improved hearing (yes, it turns out that I had lost some hearing) that of course I am hearing things I didn't before.

One of the sounds that I noticed most is the sound of my own footsteps as I walk down the hallway in my house. I thought I walked soundlessly, but now I discover that my footsteps do make noise after all.

My speculation is that what if everyone had the same level of hearing as I did before hearing devices? Then everyone who listened would think that I walked silently.

Which brings me to the question of the tree falling. The answer would have to be yes, there is a sound, even if people have to turn up their hearing aids to hear it.

Also, I wonder how sensitive one should make the hearing aids (my audiologist brought me up to "normal" hearing) But what about if the aids were adjusted even higher to more and more sensitive levels- Super Hearing?

Which also leads to how enhanced should people be? In SF, people can be enhanced by chips in their brains to make them think faster, by eye implants, and so forth. If the technology existed to enhance your senses, would you jump at the chance?
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Re: hearing and sound

Postby nightlock » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:08 pm

Bmat wrote:Which brings me to the question of the tree falling. The answer would have to be yes, there is a sound, even if people have to turn up their hearing aids to hear it.


Also, conservation of energy.

But in regards to your question, I find it extremely difficult to answer. How much of a good thing is too much? Even now, I have days in which I question whether or not I might be too smart for my own good. Boosting your senses might sound fantastic at first, but what if you cannot turn off your super hearing thus always be forced to listen to the atrocious music of your next door neighbour and always knowing exactly when they are having a fight again. Being unable to find a place of peace and quiet also means giving up a lot of sleep time. The same goes for sight. Try sleeping with night vision goggles on, or looking at the world with a pair of binoculars attached to your eyes. Our bodies are the way they are because this is what we need them to be. We could improve on our senses, but neither or minds nor our bodies are capable of fully dealing with that level of sensitivity. Would it be heaven, or would it be hell?
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