Ten for ’10: New Gadgets for Home and Away

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A big ‘Wow!’

I never cease to feel amazed by the awesome flood of beauty, talent, and innovation that these devices represent. We are blessed to live in our free and peaceful (not perfect, though, by any means) country and be able to participate in a resilient and powerful economic system that nurtures inventiveness and talent. We are doing lots right here in a way no other people ever have in all of history.

Having said that, I also never forget the findings of modern neuroscience: These technologies are created by our wonderful human minds, and are but secondary to the primary purpose for which our brains evolved — to make the enormously complex calculations required to live together and know each other in so many ways as social creatures. So — paradoxically, in a long term biological sense, our technological inventiveness is a happy side benefit of the brain sophistication we require to be social beings.

The development of each of our minds and brains is itself even more miraculous than any gadget we can ever come up with (an even bigger ‘Wow!’), and we must be careful to keep these precious environments ‘green’. In the long run, I believe that we have a responsibility to be thoughtful and systematic in applying these inventions as tools to benefit our human condition. Each of us can do that by tending carefully to our own personal and family lives. I believe that we can be more proactive in how we think about and how we use these devices in our homes — especially how we expose our children to them. Currently, we seem to place these devices into children’s hands with only, at best,  a passing nod to the ultimate good or harm they may cause in the long run (which we have yet to really know — although we know lots about what is good for kids and families.)

I have no doubt that there will be long term consequences to all of this  — so let’s be more thoughtful and clever about raising our digital kids more carefully and present them with nutritious technological diets rather than letting them consume junk unsupervised.

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