TED Global 2012 Lecture: Neil Harbisson – I Listen To Colour

Guiltily, I was not initially impressed with the lecture for the first half of it (I’ll explain the guilt later.) I’m glad I kept listening, because the end of his lecture was very strong. The only reason I had chosen to watch the link is because I am interested in synesthesia, and (being a musician and daughter of an artist) I myself am strongly moved by music/sound and art/colours.

In retrospect, I think my boredom/apathy stemmed from the fact that Harbisson’s extra-sensory perceptions are things that I do not have, do not experience. And so, like a person leading a stupid horse right up to the water, Harbisson had to eventually lead me and the audience to how these extra-sensory perceptions could have an impact on in world-at-large, on our knowledge. I feel guilty to have been apathetic for the first half of the lecture because I think it implies a lack of vision… or a lack of creativity to independently apply what he was saying to anything greater.

If we were able to sense a wider range, or more, of what we are currently able to experience, humans would be able to draw more correlations between things than we have or are capable of without the aid of technology. This seems like a very dull statement; obviously, if we couldn’t see the little bacterias without the microscope, we wouldn’t understand biology as we know it today. But what Harbisson says technology could aid humans with, is so much more direct and personal; first-hand observations of the world would be completely different.

(Also, totally agree with him–enough with the useless phone apps. Make some apps to interface directly with humans. Something game-changing. Not one more tower defense game or farm city friend game.)