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If I could augment my senses (w/ implant or similar) ...

Displaying poll results.
I'd most want a radiation meter
  384 votes / 1%
I'd most want to be able to safely detect electric currents
  997 votes / 4%
I'd most want a built in compass
  1067 votes / 5%
I'd most want a lie detector
  8334 votes / 40%
I'd most want to see a wider color specturm
  5290 votes / 25%
I'd most want to hear a wider range of sound
  1292 votes / 6%
None of these are what I'd want (I'll explain below!)
  1430 votes / 6%
My senses are fine as they are, thanks.
  1699 votes / 8%
20493 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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If I could augment my senses (w/ implant or similar) ...

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  • AR, cyberpunk style (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:53PM (#43215283)

    I'd obviously want an implanted computer interface. I can't believe this wasn't included.

    • Oh, didn't you get the email about the upgrade? Man, it must have gone to your spam box by mistake.

      It's too bad that the offer ended last week. Sorry...

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I'd obviously want an implanted computer interface. I can't believe this wasn't included.

      Easy-peasy [xkcd.com]

  • by Wycliffe (116160) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:54PM (#43215285) Homepage

    If you could actually create a true and accurate and transparent lie detector,
    It would change the way we interact with people. It would be almost as good
    as a mind reader and would definitely change politics among other things.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:12PM (#43215545) Journal

      But would it distinguish among the different classes/severities of lie, and other attempts to deceive? In some fields (politics, religion, etc.), one person's lie is another's truth. This would make it complicated for statements made in the media, such as in print or videos, or on the radio or on web-sites. Recall that to be a lie, the person uttering it must think the utterance to be false. If they truly believe the falsehood, there is no lie in speaking or writing it.

      An infallible lie detector might make us aware that we receive the unadulterated truth fairly seldom. Most people leave inconvenient truths unsaid at times, and bias the truth (often with good motives) at other times. My own opinion is that any inerrant faculty for detecting lies would lead to disillusionment and cynicism in whoever suffered from having it, likely accompanied by increased combativeness.

      Now a detector of statements contrary to fact would be much more useful than a detector of statements thought to be false. Alas, it's far less likely, and would perhaps violate some things thought to be true [wikipedia.org].

      • Now a detector of statements contrary to fact would be much more useful than a detector of statements thought to be false. Alas, it's far less likely, and would perhaps violate some things thought to be true [wikipedia.org].

        This gives me a wonderful mental image of a big room full of people - one group is paid to state propositions, and the other (with lie detectors) is paid to state if they told the truth or not. You send your propositions to this group and they get back to you with true/false...they can even spend their spare cycles just like the computing@HOME projects, narrowing in on the answers to interesting scientific questions, like so:

        Is there a room-temperature superconductor?

        Does it contain element X, Y, Z,..

        • Bah, one little slip-up administering the truth serum to the witness and you have to seal the courtroom for the next 70 days to save society from being exposed to way too many bizarre facts about frogs.


          geeze, I google'd that up to make sure I got it more or less sort of right, and find that somebody's already hit that one up on /. SIX days ago!
          • by Macgrrl (762836)

            Please take this toothpick as an sign of my appreciation.

            Giggles about the frogs.

      • I was about to make the same point, but you stated it better than I could. The only change I'd make is to give your "detector of statements contrary to fact" its proper name.

        I want a bullshit detector. That would change politics as we know it.

      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        My own opinion is that any inerrant faculty for detecting lies would lead to disillusionment and cynicism in whoever suffered from having it, likely accompanied by increased combativeness.

        That's true if only one person can detect lies, but if everyone did, people would generally stop lying. It would also be just as good if most people were simply more skeptical and open to bad news. In such an environment it would become too difficult to lie and get away with it and there wouldn't be as much of an incentive

        • by arth1 (260657)

          That's true if only one person can detect lies, but if everyone did, people would generally stop lying.

          I'm not so sure that would be a good thing. Sure, you would spend less time doing jury duty, but I see many negatives too.

          • - Brick-and-mortar stores would close, as sellers would prefer not to be in lie detection range of potential buyers.
          • - A new breed of more stupid politicians would come to power. Why? Because only those stupid enough to actually believe what they say would be elected.
          • - Restaurants would die. No one would want to buy the special with slightly off scallops and gristly steak that's recom
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      However, you wouldn't want everyone else to have it too. Imagine this conversation: "No honey, that doesn't make you look fat!" "You think I'm a cow, really!"

      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:36PM (#43216499) Homepage
        It's all about whether or not you believe what you say. Think about it this way

        Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?

        Husband: No, the dress does not make you look fat.
        (while at the same time thinking, it's all the extra fat on your body that makes you look fat, the dress has nothing to do with it)
    • by magarity (164372)

      The question is about one's own senses. If you were the only one who could detect lies, you'd be the most hated and shunned person ever. Your scenario assumes everyone has the ability.

    • by addie (470476)

      A built in lie detector would completely ruin romantic relationships, or at least redefine them in almost every way. An honest and healthy relationship is built upon a bed of well-meaning half-truths that make the partner feel better, stronger, more beautiful, and ultimately more loved than he or she may actually ever be. They are lies with the greatest and most honourable of intentions.

      Constant truth would be emotionally crippling for most of us, and I for one wouldn't wish it for a moment.

    • by mk1004 (2488060)
      As George Costanza said, "It's not a lie if you believe it."
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Lie detector implies the speaker otherwise knows the truth - or that a truth is even known on the subject. Fact is most human interaction doesn't really involve truth or lies.
  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:54PM (#43215291) Journal

    It would be great, but I would be unable to watch the news or any political speech. The Lie-Detector alarms would ring so hard in my head that it just may explode.

  • Think of all the money it'd make. Plus suddenly socially awkward people would know exactly when and how to enter a conversation, and can thus make themselves more productive. And then we could all stop browsing this site and get something done, like programming software for a social intelligence enhancer. Which is about as social as anyone who visits this site gets.
  • Synesthesia sounds like fun. But of course I don't have it, so maybe it would be annoying. But I'd like to try it.
  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:00PM (#43215381) Homepage Journal

    X-ray vision.

  • Zoom (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:01PM (#43215393)

    I would choose to be able to zoom in on objects. Granted I already have this ability, but what if I didn't want to walk that far?

    • Re:Zoom (Score:5, Funny)

      by RussR42 (779993) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:14PM (#43216297)
      Lister: Any problems?
      Kryten: Well, just one or two. In fact I've compiled a little list if you'll indulge me. Now then, uh, my optical system doesn't appear to have a zoom function.
      Lister: No, human eyes don't have a zoom.
      Kryten: Well then, how do you bring a small object into sharp focus?
      Lister: Well, you just move your head closer to the object.
      Kryten: I see. Move your head ... closer, hmm, to the object. All right, okay. Well, what about other optical effects, like split screen, slow motion?
      Lister: No. We don't have them.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:04PM (#43215423)

    Back then: Good eyesight, good hearing
    Now: Blind in one eye, glasses for everything and hearing loss.

    All I want is to have my original senses back.

  • Buy it now! (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrLogic17 (233498) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:04PM (#43215433) Journal

    At least one of these you can buy now. http://sensebridge.net/projects/northpaw/ [sensebridge.net]
    Haven't bought one yet, but I'm tempted.

    I'm betting that Google Glass/other vision system will have expanded visual spectrum (mapped to "normal" colors) soon. Great for color-blind people, too.

  • by Freddybear (1805256) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:24PM (#43215697)

    I'd be very happy if I could just get back the hearing I lost to too many hours of loud headphones and drugs.

    • I'd be very happy if I could just get back the hearing I lost to too many hours of loud headphones and drugs.

      Out of interest, what drugs contributed to your hearing loss?

      I could understand some drugs leading to enjoyment of overly loud music - which itself contributes to hearing loss - but I struggle to think of any that will cause or contribute to hearing loss directly (other than drugs that will cause much more significant problems than ONLY hearing loss and you probably wouldn't be posting on slashdot any more).

      • Opiates. And yeah, I probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't managed to quit.

      • Opiates. And yeah, if I hadn't quit them I probably wouldn't be here.

      • by compro01 (777531)

        but I struggle to think of any that will cause or contribute to hearing loss directly

        There's a fair few ototoxic drugs that can cause permanent hearing loss. Aminoglycoside and macrolide antibiotics, quinine, hydrocodone, Lasix, platinum-based chemotherapy, among others.

    • I'd like to get my hearing back, too. In my case, however, it was caused by too many rounds of outbound artillery fire back when I was on the Gun Line in '72. Of course, my hearing aids are free because it's Service Connected, but still, it'd be nice not to need them.
  • My eyes are getting old, and weren't that good to start with - but it'd have to get a lot worse before mucking around with surgical implants. Doing so starting with good vision? No way. A touch from the wand of the 20/20 fairy, fine.

  • by schlachter (862210) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:48PM (#43215995)

    What ever the sense is, I'd need to be able to shut it off. Any of these senses, if always on, could be a curse.

  • The wider color spectrum, the radiation meter, and detecting electrical currents could be the same thing--perhaps some sort of visor that can see the entire EM spectrum from radio to gamma rays. Once you were good at it, you could also be a lie detector (although TNG seems to have ignored that ability in most shows.)
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      'cause then Troi would be more useless than she already was.
    • by arth1 (260657)

      Just being able to see UV would be ... interesting. I'd spend a lot more time at outdoor cafes, watching the, ehrm, world pass by....

      But honestly, if I could augment one of the traditional senses, I'd go for touch. It's probably the sense that has lost the most over the years, and if I could go far beyond even how sensitive my skin was as a child, I'd be ecstatic.

    • Mixed forces (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TWX (665546) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @12:08AM (#43220705)
      And here I was going to say that the compass and the electric currents ones would be mixed since the force is electromagnetism. Depending on the strength of such a sense, this could let one detect everything from whether or not there's current on a trace on a circuit board to if there's a submarine under the water beneath one's self.
  • The ability to speak, read and write every language in the world.
  • by TrumpetPower! (190615) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:09PM (#43216255) Homepage

    ...actually covers many of the other options.

    If your wider spectrum extends into gamma frequencies, there's your radiation detector.

    If it extends into infrared, you'll be able to see the heat given off by live wires, which is "good enough" generally for your electrical field detection -- assuming you're wanting to know which wire to (not) cut.

    Infrared would also let you see involuntary changes in blood flow patterns, which again should be "good enough" for your lie detector.

    If you extend the definition of "color spectrum" just enough to also include the ability to detect the polarization of light, then you can very easily determine the location of the Sun at all times during daylight (and dusk) hours, even when it's cloudy. That's again generally "good enough" for a compass.

    Doesn't do a whole lot for sound, though, I'll admit....

    Cheers,

    b&

    • by RussR42 (779993) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @05:26PM (#43217903)

      If you extend the definition of "color spectrum" just enough to also include the ability to detect the polarization of light, then you can very easily determine the location of the Sun at all times during daylight (and dusk) hours, even when it's cloudy. That's again generally "good enough" for a compass.

      Actually, you already can sort-of just barely detect polarization: Haidinger's brush [wikipedia.org] . And also xkcd [xkcd.com].

    • by bradley13 (1118935) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @07:06AM (#43222155) Homepage

      It would be interesting to have true color vision. Right now, you have three chemicals in your eyes, which means that you truly only see three colors. For example: your eye is unable to distinguish between true orange light and a mix of red-and-yellow that stimulates the chemicals in the same proportion. When we mix primary colors, we don't truly produce a new color - we are just fooling our measly three chemical detectors.

      Imagine if you could directly perceive hundreds or thousands of individual frequencies of light? What might the world look like?

  • Echo-location (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Brad (19034) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:24PM (#43216399)

    Either like Daredevil, or paired with the ability to emit ultrasonic pings...

  • by metlin (258108) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:32PM (#43216461) Journal

    Honestly? Ignoring the more crazy one, I'd love to have better spatial visualization and perception. When I work with numbers or math, I've always wished for the ability to better visualize some of these things in my head.

    I can do it to an extent - I can visualize simple equations, some elements of topology, and most stats as graphs and charts. But beyond a point, my ability to visualize things in multiple dimensions and translate that back into what that means plateaus.

    That's also one of the reasons I didn't quite pursue what I've always wanted to do -- math. I find that most people who excel at math (especially topology) are just naturally good at spatial visualization and perception, and can derive solutions visually and translate that into equations.

  • So far most people have selected "built in lie detector", which isn't an augmented human sense by any stretch of the imagination. So I'd choose to augment my senses with the ability to fly. Actually, no - I'd augment my senses by being able to instantly seduce any woman I choose.

    Just kidding, honey! (in case my wife ever actually reads Slashdot...)

    Besides, what good is a lie detector? People tell me lies every day, and I'm usually aware of it - most people aren't good liars. It's not like I can do anything

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      You just negated your own argument. You said you could tell when people are lying because they aren't good liars. Which means this is a human ability. Wouldn't it be even better if you could more accurately tell if people were lying? Also, there is something you can do about it. Call people on their lies. People lie so much specifically because they are able to get away with it. I make a habit of letting people know when I think they are lying. People stop lying to you once they figure out that you'l
      • You just negated your own argument. You said you could tell when people are lying because they aren't good liars. Which means this is a human ability.

        I can do math too, and can carry a tune - that doesn't make either one a human sense. The title of this poll is "if I could augment my senses".

  • ... it would better allow hearts to not get broken, and negate the "distrust factor" in relationships, business or personal.

    Of course, a really good liar believes their own lies so, would a lie detector catch that?

  • My parents always told me I aint got no sense.

  • I wish I had a good inner ear, maybe it would cure my heightsickness.

  • Visual augmentation to include color range, gamma spectrum and infrared. Light enhancement like night vision devices would work also, as infrared will not spare you from that hole in the snow, at night.

    Wider hearing range, would be great to hear all the things some animals can and would allow for farther vocal communications. Ability to tune out unwanted ranges (dog whistles)

    Olfaltory sense that would allow for the early warning of a poisonous atmosphere. CO2, other gasses.

    Not a sense really but the a

  • by Necron69 (35644) <jscott DOT farrow AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:58PM (#43216759)

    I can't even see the 'regular' visual spectrum, you insensitive clod!!

    Red-green colorblind, eh?

    Nercon69

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @04:04PM (#43216819) Homepage
    Interestingly, the most popular option is the one that we don't have the technology to implement. I'd rather have my vision or hearing extended than to have a sense of such dubious accuracy as a polygraph.
  • If people really wanted any of this, they would be dropping acid every day - which they don't.
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @04:19PM (#43217031)

    I'd most want a radiation meter
    The odds of you actually needing one of these would exceed the threshold of usefulness. If you live in a high risk area, you can easily simply buy an instrument to measure this for you. I would think in most situations where you might be exposed to excessive radiation, you would be able to detect it just in time to know there is nothing you can do about it anyway.

    I'd most want to be able to safely detect electric currents
    Seriously? What are you a lazy electrician? A simple instrument to measure this is not only cheap, but easy to find. Why waste your senses.

    I'd most want a built in compass
    Even more lazy and silly than detecting electrical currents. Compasses are easy to find and dirt cheap. Many times free, or attached to other things. If you are worried about being in a plane accident and stranded in the wilderness, knowing where north is might help, but you have to survive the plan crash first anyway.

    I'd most want a lie detector
    The first really interesting answer. But then again, what is a lie? Does this detect truth and false, or intent. If I believe my own horseshit does that mean that I am not lying? In addition, sometimes a lie might be preferable to the truth. Do you really want to know what other people feel about you for example?

    I'd most want to see a wider color specturm
    Another interesting one, depending on your definition of "color spectrum". As has been mentioned, go far enough up or down the line and you get all sorts of powers!

    I'd most want to hear a wider range of sound
    Why? You want to hear dog whistles or something?

    None of these are what I'd want (I'll explain below!)
    Comic Book X-Ray Vision of course is the correct answer. (Selective of course, you don't want that shit on all the time! Some things are better left unseen!)

    My senses are fine as they are, thanks.
    Young and unimaginative unless they write some story about the dire ramifications of all the above...

    • by muridae (966931) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:36PM (#43219471)

      It surprises me that people want more hearing, a sense we already have several octaves of range in, versus wanting better vision. Our vision is just about a single octave; extending it to the range of our hearing (about 10 octaves) and we'd be seeing from the ultraviolet down to the middle microwave. Shift our vision down some +3 and -7 octaves around what we see now, and we'd be seeing wifi noise and microwave ovens.

      And since most of our clothing is designed to not block infrared heat from leaving, with that you would have comic book vision!

  • Electroreception, like a platypus or echidna. I would rather enjoy knowing where every living thing around me is by it s muscle movement...
  • Curious that so many want a built in lie detector. Anyone can learn to read facial expressions and other body language to detect deception.
    Here's a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_Action_Coding_System [wikipedia.org]
  • I've never had vision that is correctable to 20/20. If there were a safe way to augment, I would leap at the opportunity.
  • Where's "ability to wear sunglasses during a night operation?"
  • As others have mentioned, it brings up so many issues.

    I would like a greater dynamic range to my existing senses. I'd like to be able to not walk into things at night and also not need sunglasses during the day. I'd like to go to concerts and not need earplugs but also be able to hear the proverbial pin drop (obviously not at the same time).
    Oooh and polarisation might be a handy vision upgrade.

  • Really? who wrote this, a pre-schooler? How about electromagnetic spectrum.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can already get magnetic implants which allow one to sense magnetic fields. The implant is effectively a small magnet placed under the nerve center in the tip of one finger. When exposed to a magnetic field the magnet will move, this movement is picked up and interpreted as a novel sense.

    I got one of these implants about 6 months and after a 2-3 month acclimatisation period it's fascinating what you can pick up. Although the range is typically very short (normally 6 inches or less) I can feel magnetic f

  • Some guys were experimenting with implanting small rare earth magnets in their fingertips. There are some issues with that sort of thing, not least of which is that rare earth magnets like to shatter if impacted sharply. Not to mention the concerns with having to get a MRI. Still, it bought them the ability to sense magnetic and electrical fields by touch, which is pretty nifty. Not quite nifty enough for me to seriously consider implanting something not FDA-Approved under my skin like that, but it's a "new
  • The survey neglected to offer what would likely be the most popular choice: greater resolution...

  • by vanyel (28049) * on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:55PM (#43219981) Journal

    I'd like to be able to know exactly where problems are and of what sort, and the control and knowledge to go with it: antibodies! Get that now! Metabolism! I just ate a piece of cake - crank it up and burn it off! (well, after running it on high for a few months to lose <too many> kilos) Abs - a little more definition please.

  • We already have lie detectors built in. Way too many of us don't know how to use them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @03:32AM (#43221449)

    I want:

    * sight in near-total darkness,
    * some extra sensory organ that allows me to make my way in absolute darkness; maybe something like large facial hairs with highly-sensitive follicles,
    * a sense for when someone's in the deepest phase of sleep so I can choose the maximally disruptive time to walk on their face,
    * hypersensitivity to body language so I instantly know exactly who in the room is allergic to me,
    * such keen hearing that I can detect the fridge door opening three rooms away, and
    * the ability to switch my hearing off again when anybody wants me to do anything.

  • Memory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by codeButcher (223668) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @03:43AM (#43221487)
    Perfect memory. With super-fast recall.

    And user-selectable delete, or better even, trashcan.

  • by Quakeulf (2650167) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @06:25AM (#43222011)
    I want to be able to breathe like the fish do while under water so that I can never drown. :3
  • by RotateLeftByte (797477) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @07:48AM (#43222331)

    You insensitive clod!

    I could do with some new eyes though. They've seen enough over the past 60 years.

  • echolocation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by qwerty shrdlu (799408) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @11:42PM (#43231145)
    Not just the puny human variety that lets you sense walls before you walk into them (sometimes), but actual bat- or dolphin- level perception of the world around you. Or even weirder, a lateral line might be fun too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_line [wikipedia.org]
  • by Selivanow (82869) <selivanow@gmail.com> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @01:23PM (#43236479)

    Some women are quad-chromatic and can see more shades than most. I just think that would be cool and maybe my clothing wouldn't clash so much :)

  • by gregthebunny (1502041) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @03:25PM (#43238005) Journal

    Considering I suffer from dichromacy [wikipedia.org], I'd surely like to be able to see a "normal" range of colors.

    Also, "specturm" really?

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @03:30PM (#43238069)

    Sarcasm detector, yeah that would be a useful power.

    goes into a seizure

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

 



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