Sense and speed

There has been a new finding to show that our noses can detect up to a Trillion scents (that’s with a T).

Welcome to Spring allergy season.

At least, it’s returning every year, to draw us to Claritin.

The study put our sense of smell way out of the ball park as compared to our sense of hearing ( hundreds of thousands distinct sound) and our visual sense (millions).

The takeaway: take time out to smell the flowers, since by the time we are dead, we could barely sample a fraction of available scents out there.

I remember the joke about “smellevision”. Yet, glossy scratch-and-sniff pages from Vogue are not far from hitting this bull’s-eyes.

Scientists even venture to speculate that mate selection is largely determined by the “scent of the woman” (ably portrayed by Al Pacino).

Years have passed, yet a bunch of friends can still recall the smoked-barbecue beef on stick by a vendor outside of our neighborhood swimming pool (that’s when we were starving after the exercise).

With K-9 unit, we know that a trained dog is most feared by drug smugglers.

We have yet exploited this finding, since our marketing still relies solely on yesterday’s findings (Audio-Visual, or short as A/V).

As of this edit, researchers at Harvard have just announced a start-up capitalizing on our sense of smell.

It takes no time for industry experts to monetize science and technology latest discoveries.

Tech and techies don’t rest during a recession.

It keeps innovating and surging forward (Moore’s Law and Big Data). China’s Huawei is talking about Cloud and Mobile as if they had operated out of Silicon Valley since day one.

The speed of change.

One example of this is saving money for your child to go to college. What if by the time your child enters college, he or she doesn’t need all the assumed funds ( with online university), or he/she doesn’t want to go to college at all.

Years ago, one would never have thought of  learning Chinese. Today, it’s a reverse. Tomorrow, things might change again, thanks to Google translation. (The Age of Ambition). By then, Google translation might not be the only game in town.

Having touched on just the surface of Sense and Speed, I want to travel back in time to recall my favorite scents e.g. the sizzle of a steak in Hong Kong (Su 83), the great smell of my first child’s shampoo (Johnson Johnson). I wish the speed of time would slow down for those moments, so I can fully appreciate the scents of the time. Remember those 80’s hairspray? Yew! Things have changed quickly, at least, for a certain sector of the economy. Moore’s law and Metcalfe effect! Tech and social. Meanwhile, the contrarian in us wants to enjoy slow-boil broth, as in Pho, instead of instant noodle and microwaved frozen pizza. It is to show we are made of different parts with various built-in speed of adoption: part of us want things to move quickly, while other parts want to cling to comfort and safety.  We have the debate well portrayed by Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in Papillon.

Our senses are made to function in a physical reality. We cannot smell the ones and the zeros. It will take some convincing for sites like to leverage this new finding: see my photo, hear my voice, and ……smell my skin????





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