What are we re-defining? From my vantage point, learning fuels the economy and social networks are empowering us to connect in ways that support new paradigms and possibilities. I’ve compiled a few snippets that reveal what myself and my sources may be mulling. The basic idea is that there are “other worlds” where networked learners can solve global issues and form back-up plans while earning alternate currencies.
The DYNDY project encourages us to re-consider how we deal with and create money in our present world where financial, banking, and economic crises result from faulty top-down decision-making processes that serve the few and not the many.
“We are in a situation whereby the incapacity to re-define how we deal with money could resolve in an a severe damage to society as we commonly refer to it: contrary to what happens with information systems, there are no backups with money systems.”
A search on the term led me to a paper stemming from the Neuro- and Bioinformatics field (gradschool.uni-luebeck.de ). The work of Thomas Martinetz and team utilized “mental models” of how our brains accurately predict changes in context of how we relate our intentions, emotions, and goals to others. I don’t see “empathy” mentioned, but it’s my thinking that empathy is the dynamic the researchers are noticing when the subject’s brain regions reveal a “high similarity in emotional experience” and a “similarity in activation patterns”. The researchers observed this using a MRI technique called ‘pseudo hyperscanning’ on their subjects. The first subject was being video recorded while scanned and questioned and then later the second subject watched the video while under the impression it was live.
It appears that Hebb’s rule of “Neurons that fire together wire together” could also apply to asynchronous exchanges. This has me questioning if a network of individuals could use consumer brain–computer interfaces both as a controller and monitor to gauge their collective ‘creative coherence’. We might also investigate if brain waves in any way correlate with the Earth’s magnetic field. The notion hasn’t been fully explored, but Dr. Buryl Payne appears to have scratched the surface.
I was looking for another guest for Future140 and I got a hold of somone on Twitter who was attempting something rather inspiring. This person’s name is Ryan Leach and he knows a thing or two about zombies, but what attracted me to him was his effort to channel the power of the collective. His project depends on one thing in order to succeed, collaboration. It is called “Lost Zombies” and it combines zombie roleplaying with social networking and croudsourcing media in order to produce a film like none other that I’d ever seen. I was intrigued.
He left me a short message about his project. I uploaded it on Future140 as a micro-podcast (in 140 seconds or less (listen here!) ). He really inspired me.
An amazing investigative journalist named Mattathias Schwarts came to one of my Media Studies classes this spring. He wrote a hot article for the NY Times regarding “Trolls”. Trolls are the folks who for some reason or other find harassing and manipulating people on-line as a delectable treat. I asked him if he would be willing to give me a few minutes to record a “micro-podcast” regarding Trolls on Future140. He gladly did so, and you can listen to it here.
Schwartz tells us that we see more troll-like behavior on the Internet because of anonymity. We can’t mask ourselves in public face-to-face interactions where antisocial behavior most certainly brings shame. Masking ones online identity in order to cause others is a power we are all capable of. He urged us to develop a “thicker skin” when engaged in online social interactions. He made no mention of OpenID’s or other online credentialing systems that enable high value online identity’s for users to carry across multiple platforms.
It is late. I woke up thinking about how technology makes things so convenient and how we steadily input more and more of it into our lives. A certain amount of convenience is nice but when everything is micro-packaged we think it means we should consume more of it. We eat more fast food because it steals less time from our day that we could be spending with our child. We “scan” RSS and twitter feeds while sipping on a 40 oz. diet coke. We get frustrated when there is no wi-fi in a building because we need to check our e-mail, now! The way we consume is hyper-accelerated. We get stressed out. We get sick.
This is not happening everywhere in the world. This blog hopes to examine how other cultures incorporate technology into their already existent value systems. I hope that we will learn the value in slowing down. I already wrote about the “slow family,” which I believe is a good place to begin a more conscious lifestyle with less stress. The world – out there – will take some time to slow down, but you can begin to become aware of the subtleties, flavors, and joys of taking it a notch down, while at home.