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Social Networking Made Me Dumb March 2, 2009

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Not.

In this very interesting and entertaining segment(British sarcasm makes for great debates), Dr. Ben Goldacre, columnist for the Guardian debates the notion that engaging in social networks and tools like Twitter presents a clear danger to the brain, if even to small children. Apparently, the English ‘Daily Mail’ reported that social networking was harmful, sparking a debate over the pond.

Sigh.

It is true that an excessive amount of time spent on a computer will have clear physical effects and possible social inadequacy, but so would any activity that limits face-to-face interaction and physical movement.

As a true child of the digital age, I started using social networks and tools in the form of instant messengers that allowed profile search (ICQ anyone?). I can’t say that it had a negative effect on my ability to interact, or even my intellectual capacity ( actually, 13 year-olds in PR would find it very normal to exchange a few photos with people we knew to be in the same social circle, and go out to the movies after talking to a while). If anything, social networks have enhanced the ability of technology to be inclusive and interactive, rather than isolationist and oppressive.

The social effects of digital networking in my generation are quite positive, as it makes us more keen on sharing and participation in a community. With so many problems that require both local and international cooperation, the spirit of our age -as defined by digital social networking -seems right for the challenges ahead.

[Via Bad Science]

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The World Future Society lives up to its name February 28, 2009

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By 2030 everything you say, think, or do with the genetically engineered body you bought in a corner store will be recorded.

According to the World Future Society, these will be realities in the future:

10. Access to electricity will reach 83% of the world by 2030
09. The middle east will become more secular
08. Urbanization will reach 60% by 2030
07. The race for genetic enhancement will parallel the space race
06. Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired
05. The world’s legal systems will be networked
04. College majors and future careers will be more specialized
03. The cars’ days as king of the road may soon be over
02. Bioviolence will become a greater threat as technologies become more accessible
01. By 2030 everything you say and do might be recorded.

I am especially intrigued by the general feeling that information ubiquity as powered by technology will somehow translate into the very act of creation and acquisition of knowledge being so accelerated and complex that it could actually surpass the capabilities of society to handle it. Of course, renowned sociologist Anthony Giddens wrote that one of the hallmarks of modernity was accelerated ‘reflexivity,’ or the dynamic of observing phenomena and incorporating the knowledge from observing almost immediately into the act of observation (thus changing the very knowledge we are observing just by observing it).

Of course, this theme has been implicit in the acceptance that technology will lead us all to have a sort of shared consciousness, shattering pretty much any wall separating reality from virtuality. Will we really be so flooded with knowledge that we’ll need machines to handle the overload?

I just know it is going to be freaking cool when I can order chinese food just by thinking of it.

[Via PSFK ]

Hello World! February 28, 2009

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Just moved from BlogSpot…WordPress is definitely a step forward.

Everything runs on a good idea. Here I discuss those that make me feel dumbfounded, insignificant, inspired, and simply amazed.

Blackberry takes a shot at Apple (Literally) February 28, 2009

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