Touch at a Distance

I’m listening to Radio Lab while at work and they are conducting sort of a meta show where they discuss how they use sound and music in their editing process. For a long time I have been fascinated by this broadcast because of their savvy, imaginative productions. Jad is interview one of his personal heroes, Walter Merch, who edited such films as the Godfather, cold mountain, etc. Mr. Merch explained that the oldest senses creatures have according to the evolutionary progress is Touch, or smell. Hearing, by contrast is the last sense to truly develop. because what is hearing but an extremely sophisticated sense of touch at a distance?

Interestingly, the sense of hearing is the first sense to develop in unborn children during gestation. With the barrier of the mother’s body the child cannot see, touch, smell or taste the outside world… but they can hear it. Hearing is the only sense that travels through matter.

There needs to be a new word to describe the type of joy I feel when I learn about the world from programs like this. It’s fascination at the topic. It’s inspiration derived from the skill of the teachers. It’s hopeful. It’s joy. — j