We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Enhanced hearing

No longer are hearing aids just for people suffering from defective hearing. This article in Wired, the U.S. technology and futurism magazine, says manufacturers are now producing aids that even someone with “perfect” hearing can use to enhance the experience of certain sounds. An example of how a medical technology ended up becoming almost a luxury product like coloured contact lenses.

Sounds like a winner. I suffer from a permanent mild buzz in my right ear, the results of an ear infection. It sometimes is a little hard to make out what a person is saying in a loud party gathering. With one of these new, inconspicuous aids, I could listen in to comments across the room better than Superman. Thinking about it, it might make it impossible to whisper a confidential message to anyone without fearing that a guy with one of these hearing gadgets might pick it up. Shades of Q Branch fantasy turning into reality.

On the subject of enhancing human capacities via technologies, I have ordered Ronald Bailey’s latest hymn of praise to developments in this area. Looks good from the initial reviews.

10 comments to Enhanced hearing

  • I would be very happy if I could not hear dog whistles. However I am more keen on them getting their butts in gear and making me a nice cybernetic eye for my useless left eye. A firewire connection in the back of the head would work as well.

  • I hope to see a review here when you finish that book.

    Have you read “More than Human” as well?

  • bago

    Damnit, I wanted to mention Mez’s book first!

  • Johnathan

    Guys, I will review the book for this blog when I get a chance.

    Andrew, I feel for you sir. Be nice if you get an eye with X-ray powers, though women might get nervous.

  • Nah x-rays are not necessary…just a nice mp3 player, pda, phone and info centre would be alright.

  • JSAllison

    I’d like some non-correcting, mirrored soft sun-contacts…

  • I saw an add recently for laser-cornea surgery for the purposes of improving a healthy person’s vision from 20/20 to 20/10.

    Argumentation is a’coming.

  • Fred Drinkwater

    I’ve always rebuffed suggestions that I get LASIK done on the grounds that I’m waiting for a complete eye optics replacement (preferably with “Carl Zeiss Jena” picked out in fine gold around the rim, of course. I suppose I’d settle for Nikon or Canon if necessary.) With my presbyopia, LASIK would be pretty useless. Bring it on!

  • Can you guess who hear has read quite a bit of cyberpunk? If we get stuff like that there will no doubt be numbnuts who deliberately get rid of an eye or both to get augmented ones.

    Zeiss would be cool I must admit.

  • htom

    It would be nice not to hear those flyback transformers in CRT’s, and to barely hear the lawnmower, tablesaw, router, …, and not to have to put on muffs for shooting, all while being able to hear my wife’s calling me from a hundred yards away.