Our focus has been on technologies as prosthetics for the mind, and human-as-machine style productivity. This has led to burn-out, poor health, poor sleep, and what I call email apnea or screen apnea. We wonder where our attention has gone. Turns out, it’s right where we left it — with our ability to breathe fully. What if technology became a prosthetic for our beings?
Watching Cameron Carpenter play the organ is a transcendant experience. It’s as if he’s “lit.” The organ just sits there, and Carpenter’s body exudes a powerful energy. Most of us, when we interact with digital technologies, “merge” our energies with the device, exhausting ourselves. Experienced musicians don’t do this. In the evolution of our relationship with digital devices, we have a lot to learn from experienced musicians.
“Point of view is worth 80 IQ points,” is a constant guiding consideration for me. It comes to mind when I convene groups or organize advisory boards for companies: Is there a diverse mix of thinkers, personalities, and expertise represented? It’s on my mind when I organize dinner parties. In the years I spent working at Apple and Microsoft, it was on my mind when I made hiring decisions and assembled teams to work on any type of project.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing that about a third of people walking, crossing streets, or standing on the sidewalk, are ON their cell phones. In most cases, they are not just talking; they are texting or emailing — attention fully focused on the little screen in front of them. Tsunami warning? They’d miss it.
For many of us, our evolving relationship with technology in a 24/7, mobile, always-connected world, traps us in a hyper-focus on the screen, and a blindness to the rich world around us.
Our relationships with our SmartPhones, and this wicked habit that many of us, of walking or driving while texting or talking, hold us in a state of perpetual inattentional blindness.
Today, we are Knowledge Workers evolving into Understanding Workers. Understanding Workers use technology to anticipate, judge and act. Think about it. This is what we’re doing with FitBit, Quantified Self, 23andMe.com, Facebook, and so many other technologies of this era.
The iPad is the iPod of reading. The world around you disappears when you engage with it.
Personal technologies today are prosthetics for our minds. Our opportunity is to create personal technologies that are prosthetics for our beings. Conscious computing is post-productivity, post-communication era computing. Personal technologies that enhance our lives. Personal technologies that are prosthetics of our full human potential.
One of my favorite 8 year olds can’t get enough of his Wii. I enjoy this child and hung out with him recently while he played his favorite video game. He was hunched over on the sofa and I promise you, his breathing was undetectable. With some coaxing, he moved to a wooden chair. ForContinue reading “Kids, Video Games, Posture & Breathing”
Are We at War with Technology, considers the relationship between the WHAT (technology), the HOW (how we’re using it) and the human (us).
The Internet stole my body, now a lifeless form hunched in front of a glowing screen. My senses dulled as my greedy mind became one with the global brain we call the Internet.
The challenge is, most of us, especially the brainy future thinking high tech types, tend to favor the inclinations of the mind. The mind, for many of us, is often tyrannical towards the body. “Just stay up 3 more hours. One more all-nighter. A Red Bull or two and I’ll meet this deadline! No walk until this paper is done…”
In ZG Mapping, one of the patterns that emerges suggests that as technology becomes closer and closer to us, we are less able to manage privacy at each advancing layer. Today, through social networks, sensors, geo-location software, personal DNA testing, quantified self technologies and more, highly personal, private and intimate information about us and ourContinue reading “Why Managing Vulnerability and Reputation is More Important than Ever Before”
In early 2007, at the suggestion of my M.D., I took a course in Buteyko breathing and incorporated it into my morning routine. I would get up, take a walk, do twenty minutes of Buteyko, then, sit down at my computer to work. Day one: Within the first few minutes of sitting down at myContinue reading “Diagnosis: Email Apnea”