I’ve often wished we could selectively turn off our senses and simply receive brain notifications that certain things are happening. For instance, upon smelling an especially foul odor, wouldn’t it be nice to say, “Okay that sure does stink, now nose, just send me a thought next time instead of the full-scent experience.” You know, something like, “Excuse me, Brain. This is Nose. Sorry to interrupt, but body has just entered an area smelling of decomposing trash and cat feces – just thought you ought to know.”
The same could work for pain. “Yes, I know Finger #3 (Frank) has a paper cut. Thank you for reminding me, Nerve. If it’s not healed in 24 hours, please send me another pain-free update.”
Even better would be if we could apply this principle to other people. Our brain could send a message to another brain requesting a temporary shutdown of a particular sense as it pertains to us. For example, if you were half asleep when you dressed in the morning and are now wearing a horribly mismatched outfit, your brain could simply tell a viewer’s eye to ignore the mismatch.
We could call it something catchy like Hypnotic Automatic Limiting Telepathy (HALT). This would be especially great for missileers like me. Due to nuclear hardness and other issues, the air flow in an LCC is somewhat poor, and fresh air is very limited. After spending 24 hours in an enclosed space which has been constantly occupied by at least two people for over 30 years running, you tend to smell not-so-fresh. All right, you just plain stink. We call it “capsule funk,” as in “man, I stink – I’ve got capsule funk all over me.” When someone new mentions the smell, crew members are often quick to comment, “What do you expect – there are 30 year-old farts floating around down here.”
With HALT, all you have to do is set your brain to auto-suppress the olfactory senses of anyone who gets too close, and as far as they know you might have just stepped out of the shower. Speaking of showers, this would be a great way to conserve water! You wouldn’t need to shower until you started to itch, but then of course you could suppress the itching sensation – you would never have to bathe again! … Okay, I just grossed myself out. Maybe I won’t patent HALT after all. I’m going to go wash my clothes now – they smell like capsule funk.