While taking the metro to work this morning, I sent about six emails during my 30-minute commute. Many of the people around me were doing the same. It's our new normal, and whether strangers once spoke to each other cordially, being social now means attending to our mobile devices. So while grappling with ever-evolving technology stimulates our brain like a thick piece of chocolate cake, to what degree we benefit as a society remains an open question.

As Fast Company mocks the late John Philips Sousa for fearing the rise of the phonograph, can there be any doubt that the musicality of popular songs have steadily decreased as the medium has become more democratic? When cultural commentators remark on the dangers of technology, they are not all Luddites by trade. But when the investment society has made in certain traditions is threatened, they are right to express concern. Our communities are more than a sum of working brains.

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