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catching up

Riki's picture

Going back to Monday's conversation... The question was asked, can we really become one with everything? Someone in class said that skin is a physical boundary between and organism and its environment. I disagree with this. Our bodies are constantly interacting with the environment -- sharing electrons, exchanging gases and nutrients, hosting viruses and bacteria, etc. So I don't really see extending ourselves into technology as something completely foreign.

Something I've been thinking about during our class conversations is a TED talk I watched about sixth sense technology, which falls into Clark's idea of scaffolding. It seems inevitable that our lives will be seamlessly entwined with technology. One can always reject the technology but would become severely disabled in doing so.

I agree with Clark when he talks about adaptation. I don't think evolutionary psychology contributes useful stories to my understanding of myself. I think some people in class were getting too worked up about humans being wired to use technology. He's not saying there's a gene for understanding how to text (not that there's a single gene for any behavior anyway). He's just saying that humans are wired to adapt. This isn't even a uniquely human characteristic -- every living organism is capable of adapting to its environment. And adaptation doesn't necessarily mean over hundreds of generations. Clark mentioned neural plasticity. I think we often underestimate how plastic our brains are. My friend and I were talking about the generational divide between us and our parents when it comes to using computers and cell phones. Our generation learns differently because we grew up with this technology. My grandpa lives in a retirement home and is the designated computer expert there. He converts everyone to Apple and helps them with email, Netflix, word processing, video editing, etc. He knows a lot more than I do about computers because he's been using them longer than I have. But he didn't grow up using them. I can type faster, facebook is more intuitive, and I don't have to play around as much as he does to figure out new features of my computer or websites. Using technology may not be "natural", but it is natural for us to experiment and solve the problems that face us.

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