It’s a Big World, After All.
The Web has sprung the lid on a Pandora’s Box of new human connections - mirroring and magnifying the best, the worst, and the ugliest aspects of our nature.
Jason Gots is a New York-based writer, editor, and podcast producer. For Big Think, he writes (and sometimes illustrates) the blog "Overthinking Everything with Jason Gots" and is the creator and host of the "Think Again" podcast. In previous lives, Jason worked at Random House Children's Books, taught reading and writing to middle schoolers and community college students, co-founded a theatre company (Rorschach, in Washington, D.C.), and wrote roughly two dozen picture books for kids learning English in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the proud father of an incredibly talkative and crafty little kid.
This idea was suggested by Big Think Delphi Fellow Danah Boyd
Kranzberg's First Law of Technology:
Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
What's the Big Idea?
Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, thinks we can do better. “We look at the internet. We think we’re getting this wide view of the globe. And we forget that most of the time we’re checking Boston Red Sox scores.” In a world facing global problems that need global solutions, Zuckerman calls our “imaginary cosmopolitanism” a problem we have to solve.
Getting people to cross those bridges is another matter. Zuckerman argues that we need to rewire ourselves, too, by promoting xenophilia as a cultural value. He cites the example of NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, whose Travel Channel show Dhani Tackles the Globe takes his fans deep into the heart of cultures far from the NFL.
This is bottom-up rewiring. It's slow and incremental. And success is hard to define or guarantee. But unlike top-down governmental regulation, it creates structures that reflect the collective thought and will of entire communities. As a tool, the internet is uniquely suited to building these kinds of movements, but they rely on leaders who can articulate a vision that excites people to action. Should such leaders arise in sufficient numbers, with powerful enough ideas, We the People might haul a smarter internet out of its primordial ooze.
There's still a lot even doctors don't know about it.
- Scientists are experimenting with applying electrical current to brains as a potential therapy and enhancement.
- A wave of DIY brain-shocking is worrying experts.
- Would you ever zap your own brain to see what happens? DIY and direct-to-consumer devices are available, but researchers have called for an open dialog with the DIY community about the risks.
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.