Uncategorized

The Faster I go, the Dumber I Get

In my brief study of the dull science of economics I seem to remember only a few things- one of them being Adam Smith’s talk of the “ever upward spiral of capitalism”. Inherent in this phrase was the idea that progress was always taking us to higher and higher triumphs. I remember feeling a bit doubtful about this balloon like ascension and was surprised to see that someone is also applying that feeling to the ever upward spiral of technology.
In his 2010 book, “The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr argues that this increasing ease that technology gives us may be making us dumber rather then smarter or better. I am fascinated by his point but it makes me wonder if we are not painting ourselves into an evolutionary corner? I remember the moralistic science fiction movies I watched growing up about how in the future men had grown weak and allowed machines to take over their lives making them slaves to the computers they had made. Is it possible that we are giving our challenges that make us evolve and grow to computers and will one day find ourselves helpless looking at our electronic creations to set us free?

Dumb-Computer (1)

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Why I love Google

I have to come clean at the start. I love Google. Yes, I use the search engine and think its great but that isn’t the real reason for my devotion. I love Google because they have a commitment to a optimistic future. Larry Page and Sergey Brin are willing to invest in projects that may or may not come to any financial fruition- what can be called a forward focus. In a world where the news is constantly telling us how bleak the future is I find this optimism to be a breath of fresh air. If it is true that we find what we look for then why not look for a bright future where the new technology has the ability to change our life in a positive way? So what if Google Glass may not have been a success or the chorus of disdain for the driver-less car drowns out the fact that- both things are really pretty cool. What if they don’t work out – what about what we learn by our willingness to make mistakes and to take chances.
When asked about his failings, Thomas Edison replied, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. One of the many offshoots of the space program was Teflon- While that wasn’t what we were looking for it was something found along the way. We were willing to tolerate and accept mistakes as a cost of success. We were willing to take risks on what seemed absurd to discover something beyond our wildest imagination. The fact that Google’s willingness to fail is seen as an oddity makes me fear a future where we take no great risks for fear of failure.

largeNewGoogleLogoFinalFlat-a

Standard
Uncategorized

All we have to fear is, everything,

While reading the Harper’s Index, I was surprised to see that while in the last ten years violent crime rate has fallen in eight of those years while during those last ten years the majority of Americans think that violent crime is on the rise. So while we are safer in reality the perception is that we are less and less safe. As a media pundit I can only think that the reason for this is the fact what we are being bombarded with bad news or that possibly we, like Eeyore, seeing a world that is pessimistic and gloomy, even thought he reality may be quite different. Is this happening because of our new medias ability to push information and news into every moment of our life or is it that we are still stuck in the “if it bleeds it leads” mentality regardless of the reality and have we come to a place where that trend is endangering our perception of reality- possibly allowing us to create a world that matches our perception.
Lets hope that we can stop seeing reality on our screen and see the world around us for what is really there

Eeyore_3

Standard