Tech to Remember, Tech to Forget
Is tech destroying our ability to remember what it means to be human?
Almost a year ago, I bought a smartphone. I use it the same way I used to use my dumbphone — infrequently. It’s bad enough that I have an iPad. People are more interested in “removed communication” via smartphones than they are in person-to-person communication. This is one reason I turn off my cell (and iPad — airplane mode) when I’m with another person. I don’t want to be interrupted by a tech device.
When I got the smartphone, I received a plethora of notifications — I’ve since turned most of them off. Notifications were reminding me of what I had already remembered. So why did I need them? I didn’t. How did we get along without notifications, short-cuts, texting, health smartwatch apps, cell phones, pagers, laptops, desktops, and even mainframes?
Are we shaping tech? Or is tech shaping us?
It seems more likely that tech is shaping us because of its addictive “shiny toy” appeal that we cannot live without our devices.
Is the exclamation:
“Oh my God, I’ve lost my smartphone. Ah…” the equivalent to “I’m losing my mind” ?
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops are “helping” us all to remember increasingly vast amounts of data about ourselves both as a way of service and shaping service to be about profit with us as the perpetual loser.
Steve Jobs Might be Rolling Over in His Grave
It used to be that the Apple aka Mac Computer was an elegant operating system with a great user interface. It is still the case except for their inane suggestions that seem like it’s mimicking Microsoft’s over-aggressive “helpful” attitude. “Are you sure you want to change this?” as if I’ve made a mistake.
I shout back at it — “Quit reducing me to an idiot. I made the change on purpose.” I have looked for a way to stop this, but to no avail. Changing the name on a folder can be done faster by highlighting the name and changing it, rather than opening the folder, clicking on re-name…
It took 2 or 3 years to make a simple suggestion for the iPad of moving frequently used apps to the front of the list rather than searching two tiers of lists for it. I was relieved and rejoiced that they had done it.
Tech to Remember — the double-edged sword
Tech companies are making remembering easier for us in two ways.
They are supplying us with more data to make our lives easier. There will never be enough information. It’s a game of taking something — a service of measuring how many calories you’ve burned based on the steps you have taken or ran. Next, break it into smaller pieces. This is the game of capitalism: break stuff into increasingly smaller parts and then sell the parts. And the Capitalist-Tech Complex is dumbing down the world to create more slaves to technology.
If you’re running many apps that send you notifications/reminders, then integrous memory is eroding. Why? It’s because we’re relying on a machine to be our memory. There’s too much information and you may be overloaded. My mom was constantly telling me what to do before personal computers. I don’t need a computer mom, or appointment coach to order me about.
If you’re a busy executive or start-up entrepreneur, okay, sure. Managing your downtime in the same way for efficiency’s sake, then beware of the addictive factor.
Are we all becoming increasingly efficient automatons?
Tech to Forget
It used to be about making lists, a pen-to-paper kind of thing. It’s the time-honored personal way of getting things done. Sometimes I make a grocery shopping list and forget it at home, but because I’ve taken pen to paper, I usually remember what’s on the list.
Let’s suppose that our neocortex is a transceiver of consciousness. Memory is part of consciousness. When I turn part of my memory’s function to the machine connected to a network, is this an abdication of memory? Am I insulting my innate memory by handing over memory to a tool?
Since computers, neuroscientists have been using computer metaphors to describe brain function. This is clearly a desire to reduce the organ of the brain to a simplistic function. I am thankful there is a rebellion against such comparisons amongst some neuroscientists. Our brains are marvelous and are far beyond any computer, including AI. There can be no comparison.
Is the fusion of capitalism and tech co-opting our ability to remember? If memory is being eroded by tech devices, isn’t this addiction: slavery? Doesn’t this portend deeper slavery of people as machines instead of people as lightbeings?
Lucky on the Outside
As a Baby-Boomer, I was born with Earth instead of on the planet of personal computers. Even when PCs first appeared on the horizon in the 1970s, I missed using them in college. By the time I entered the workforce, there was no need for a personal computer, initially.
Even though I worked for a mega-corporation that manufactured Main-Frame Computers and I used a few personal computers for work-related functions, I never looked into their future.
I saw and have direct experience with the human network built on the connectivity of light and love. It wasn’t confused with a human-built network we now call tech and the internet.
Take a Walk in the Woods