Saturday, January 22, 2011

Humanity Through Machines

In the TED videos, Amber Case explains why she studies cyborg anthropology in We are all cyborgs now and relates to future technologies that are being developed.  Humans are also inquisitive in nature.  We explore space, under water worlds, jungles, and the undiscovered.  One undiscovered world is the possibilities of technology.   Technology enhances life, cures illnesses, adds comfort, and makes life more livable.  Our children grow up with a smart phone attached to them.  Their life and culture revolves around communicating through texts, chats, facebook posts and much more brought about by technology.
Technology has brought about a second self.  Now we must manage both our primary self and our second or technological self.  We carry our life’s history in our devices and online.  The question is how do we control or present our second self.  Friends begin to interact with our second self even when our primary self is not watching our second self.  We are or can be in touch with any of our friends or family at any time instantly through technology whether it’s with cell phones through texting and calls or with computers through chat and video conference calls (Skype).  Technology creates the first technosocial wormholes that bring our second selves together.
Technology is great, but it does have its impact.  Think of the psychological impact on society.  We are always connected to one another.  You can reach me any time and connect with me.  I have hundreds of friends who follow me on some media or another like facebook, twitter, Skype, blogs, or wikis.  I get calls, texts, and skypes at all hours.  Granted my wife gets a little upset with me when my phone goes off at 1 or 2 in the morning, but nonetheless people can reach me.  Amber suggests that people are taking less time for mental reflection and are not slowing down from being connected to all their friends and family competing for their attention.  The psychological stress is very demanding.
Moreover, I mentioned before that our life’s history is on these devices.  What will happen to our spatial reality?  Spatial becomes a real issue.  Typically we purchase a lot of stuff in our life time, but have you noticed that you purchasing less physical items and more virtual items.  We have thousands of apps, software, digital pictures, digital videos, and virtual worlds.  Our second self is expanding and needs more virtual items. If our devices crash and we don’t have a backup, we feel a sense of loss.  Part of our documented history can never be recovered again.
I would like our think tank to consider the psychological effects of technology along with its spatial changes.

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