Sunday, April 27, 2008

Doggerel #153: "Sense"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

There are a lot of methods for finding out more about the world around us. Those generally qualify as the proper use of the word. Humans have the 'main' five senses and a lot more, some of which have been the result of scientific inventions. A forgivable misuse of the term is when people get a feeling from multiple sources of sensory data to form hypotheses. That's what's called intuition and cognition. For woos, however, the word apparently means something else.

A fair share of Star Trek fans might feel compelled to make some sort of joke about Deanna Troi right now. Real world "psychics" generally don't make themselves any more useful. The things they "sense" tend to be vague to start with, and change as the person being read gives more information. That's one reason why transcripts and recordings are important. The same often happens with alties who do "energy medicine". All the scientific methods of detection have to be reasonably consistent to be useful. Apparently woo senses don't need any consistency whatsoever.


Valhar2000 said...

Well, even though it was rarely shown on-screen, it was often implied that Deanna Troy's ability to tell how people felt made her a singularly effective counselor.

The Enterprise must have been full of happy, well adjusted people! In fact, I don't think the crew were ever caught doing anything bad, except for the main characters doing something forbidden but necessary.

Anonymous said...

And then there's Barkley...

They seem to have decided "we should have some mental issues" and dumped ALL of them on ONE person.