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Perfect taste?

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Why isn't perfect taste one of the Heightening benefits? Do they just not notice it/haven't thought about it or do they not consider food an art form enough for it to be reflected in the benefits?

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Since BioChroma doesn't enhance all the senses, the best explanation for why taste isn't included is probably 'just because'. We know color recognition was picked because that's important to Nalthis and Brandon thought it would be a neat idea and since that's basically 'perfect pitch for colors' it's not too surprising that he included actual perfect pitch as well. I suspect that extending this to other senses would have overloaded the magic with too many features, especially since none of them are as relevant to the setting as the traits the Heightenings actually bestow.

Plus, can you imagine having Perfect Smell? I'd rather not know exactly what I'm smelling sometimes... Perfect Touch could be more distracting than useful (imagine having the disorientating sensation that comes when you suddenly get a huge increase in Breath, every time you touch something) and while Perfect Taste could be cool if you're a gourmand it could be just as much a downside if you're not eating high quality food all the time. If you've read Discworld, imagine the bar scene in Monstrous Regiment. I suppose it could be useful in terms of detecting poison in a food but since immunity is already a feature of BioChroma it would also be a redundant perk.

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Also, taste and smell can be subjective. What's good for one person is unpleasant for another. There's actual mathematical, objective numbers for colors and sounds.

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10 hours ago, Weltall said:

Since BioChroma doesn't enhance all the senses, the best explanation for why taste isn't included is probably 'just because'. We know color recognition was picked because that's important to Nalthis and Brandon thought it would be a neat idea and since that's basically 'perfect pitch for colors' it's not too surprising that he included actual perfect pitch as well. I suspect that extending this to other senses would have overloaded the magic with too many features, especially since none of them are as relevant to the setting as the traits the Heightenings actually bestow.

Plus, can you imagine having Perfect Smell? I'd rather not know exactly what I'm smelling sometimes... Perfect Touch could be more distracting than useful (imagine having the disorientating sensation that comes when you suddenly get a huge increase in Breath, every time you touch something) and while Perfect Taste could be cool if you're a gourmand it could be just as much a downside if you're not eating high quality food all the time. If you've read Discworld, imagine the bar scene in Monstrous Regiment. I suppose it could be useful in terms of detecting poison in a food but since immunity is already a feature of BioChroma it would also be a redundant perk.

I think you could have Perfect Taste and Perfect Smell easy enough, in the sense that they would be heightened to give a level of detail that normal people dont have, much like Dogs.  They say (and I dont really know who "they" are) that a person with dog Smell would not smell "Spaghetti" they would small Pasta and Tomatoes and Garlic and all the other individual things, rather than the mixed blur of scents that we get and name the combinations.  There's an anime character Ive seen who had "the God Tongue" and was able to taste various piles of salt and tell you which salt mine it came from (Food Wars, a really odd cooking anime), and identify any ingredient in a dish, while the Super-smell guy could walk down a fishmarket with his eyes closed and pick the highest quality fish from the pile.  Perfect Touch could be Perfect Tactile Detail (ie read microscopic braille), Perfect Thermal Sense, etc.

That being said, the Watsonian explanation Id go with is that the Heighening enhancements are restricted to Waveform-based things the same way Lightweaving is.  Lightweaving and the other surges are supposed to be reflections of fundamental forces in the Cosmere, so other systems having similar diving lines would makes sense to me. 

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2 hours ago, Quantus said:

That being said, the Watsonian explanation Id go with is that the Heighening enhancements are restricted to Waveform-based things the same way Lightweaving is.  Lightweaving and the other surges are supposed to be reflections of fundamental forces in the Cosmere, so other systems having similar diving lines would makes sense to me. 

I absolutely agree with this. It makes perfect sense for awakening to influence waves, but not chemicals (or inter-molecular forces, for touch), because they're just different categories of interactions. Humans group them together because we only have a few senses for interacting with the world but the actual processes involved are very different.

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58 minutes ago, tmnsquirtle said:

I absolutely agree with this. It makes perfect sense for awakening to influence waves, but not chemicals (or inter-molecular forces, for touch), because they're just different categories of interactions.

So maybe the Umpteenth Heightening grants instant spectroscopic analysis of material composition!

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1 hour ago, robardin said:

So maybe the Umpteenth Heightening grants instant spectroscopic analysis of material composition!

That might be happening already with the Color Distortion of the Tenth Heightening, though presumably you'd need the education to actually know what different color patterns correlated to various materials. 

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Whilst rereading part of WB this morning, I came across Vivenna complaining about noticing smells more acutely, or something, and she qualifies this not as a smell-related version of perfect pitch, but as a sort of atmospheric aftereffect of holding extra Breath.

Quote

Vivenna wrinkled her nose at the smell of refuse. Scents were more vibrant to her now, too, much like colors. It wasn't that her ability to smell was any better, the things that she smelled just seemed rich. She shivered. Even now, weeks after the infusion of Breath, she didn't feel normal. [WB, hardcover ed. pg. 226]

Since smelling and tasting are similar, I suppose whatever this implies for the one, it suggests for the other.

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Another random observation: Szeth experienced color more vividly while wielding Nightblood.  Not sure what that implies about the nature of his connection to Nightblood, but it's interesting that he's getting something along the lines of Heightenings without having any Breath

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On 1/5/2019 at 11:03 AM, Quantus said:

more vividly

It was actually more deeply, with softer tones becoming harder and darker while he wielded nightblood. Probably has something to do with corrupted breaths.

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