Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Winner's Brain and You Are Not a Gadget

The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success
You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

There are some people who can recite the whole Koran. A few memorization prodigies can perform all of Shakespeare's soliloquies. But the rest of us have probably been seduced by speed dial and bookmarks.

The memory centres of our brain are caving in and Mark Fenske, a professor of neurology at University of Guelph, can tell you how to save yourself from the fog of memory. In an article in the Globe and Mail he proclaims, "Gadgets are making us stupid!" He has also written A Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success. You've heard the proverb "Use it or lose it." Now's the time!

But memory isn't the only loser in today's techno-culture. The brilliant Jaron Lanier, who was one of the pioneers of virtual reality, warns of the dark side of the Internet in You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Once an optimist about the possibilities of creativity in digital culture, he now warns of cyber-totalitarianism, homogenization of thinking, and pack mentality.

He decries, "We have repeatedly demonstrated our species's bottomless ability to lower our standards to make information technology look good." That's why he's spending a lot of time these days playing ancient instruments. You are not a gadget!

- Barb

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