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Paula Cano

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HOW IS TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK?

How much are we relying on technology?
Are we underestimating the value and the capacities of our own brain?
Or is technology an extension of our own intelligence?
Are we solving problems or creating greater ones?


These are questions that arise from the daily observations of our habits driven by new technology. I wonder if it really is as good as it seems.

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    Sky F

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    Apr 22 2011: I'll have to dig up a book for the quote, or I could just paraphrase:

    An anthropologist wrote about the introduction of the watch to society. He said that it forever reshaped the way our minds worked. For the first time in history, time was quantifiable and dividable. It was possible to actually be *late*. Can you imagine not living by a clock? It's become an important part of every single person's lives now a day.

    I cited that in my research proposal paper I wrote last year for my neuroscience class. My theory actually was that revolutions in technology actually *DO* change how are minds work forever-after. I hypothesized that the internet is as significant of a revolution as the watch was and will forever change how are minds work. There has already been research on it to suggest that our attention span is shrinking because of it. This makes sense when you consider how quickly accessible the internet is, how we can bounce around from site to site, collecting information and filtering out what is mostly useless to us. It's become the 'fastfood' of information, it's cheap, dangerous to our health, quick, and for a lot of people, more preferable.

    Long story short, I predict it will be dangerous. But that's only if we want to maintain our values of 'taking the scenic route' when it comes to acquiring knowledge and beauty. Hell, there's a generation of kids using the website tumblr who stare at pretty pictures of pretty places and pretty things all day. The irony is that they spend all day in their basement with bedhair, letting the actual beautiful world happen unnoticed outside. It's sad really, but tumblr provides quick and cheap access to such beauty.

    Technology also brings us closer while keeping us apart. I think this was one of the main themes of the movie Up In the Air. Very cool movie.
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      Apr 23 2011: This is interesting, I had compared it to the beginning of written information, when our brain was no longer responsible for holding massive amounts of information. It was the creation of what some call "extensions" of our brain.
      And although technology could be used to expand our knowledge, very few of us are asking the right questions and inquiring things that will actually contribute to one's individual growth..
      I wonder, accepting that technology is our reality now, if nothing will reverse its effects, if there are ways to warn future generations or to motivate current ones to change the course we are inevitably taking..
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        Sky F

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        Apr 23 2011: I think the solution is simple: with all things moderation. There are many people who I believe need to 'get a(n offline) life!'

        I use the internet a LOT, but I'm also very outdoor inclined. The fact that I believe this is such an issue is why I value conservation of the environment. While I use the internet a lot, I always try to make this quote an important part of my life:

        "Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
        -Edward Abbey

        Technology is solving the worlds problems. But it's also removing us from the world. The solution is simple, go outside :)
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        Sky F

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        Apr 23 2011: Please do! :D
        Tape it to your bathroom mirror! You'll look at it every day. That's what I do with the things I need to keep in mind.

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