TED Conversations

TED Book Chat

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Live Chat with TED Books author Howard Rheingold today at 2pm Eastern: Can our digital tools make us smarter?

Continuing with our series of TED book chats, for the next few weeks we'll be discussing Howard Rheingold's new TED eBook, "Mind Amplifier".

Do we humans co-evolve with the tools we build? Can our tools actually make us smarter? "Mind Amplifier" explores the origins of our digital tools, and lays out a framework for harnessing them to collectively and collaboratively solve our most pressing problems.

The book is available for Kindle, Nook, and iOS devices (which have a great new custom TED Books app):

Kindle copy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GQXRQ8

iOS app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted-books/id511071050?mt=8

The author will be joining us for a live Q&A November 8th at 2pm Eastern, mark your calendars!

You can also watch Howard's 2005 TEDTalk, linked below.

So, let's get things started... do our new online tools make us smarter? And if not, can we design and use them in a way that does?


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    Nov 8 2012: You also talk about "the distinction between 'convivial tools' and the kinds of technology that deaden, poison, dull, and imprison the human spirit."

    I'm curious about this… do you have any thoughts on what the layman could do to use these tools in a more mindful, convivial way, or to encourage others to do so? You say we need to learn by example, but as you point out, a large portion of behavioral examples on social networks isn't the most useful or cooperative. Do you know of any examples of these tools being used convivially?
    • Nov 8 2012: We need to examine our social practices. Don't text while your children are trying to get your attention! Use that laptop in the classroom judiciously. Metacognition -- becoming aware of how we are deploying our attention -- is especially important in an environment when the screens all around us magnetically attract our attention. In terms of cooperation, I worked with Institute for the Future to try to aggregate information about what we know: http://cooperationcommons.com -- there is a lot of knowledge and many examples.

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