Tag Archives: technology

We’ve Got Rhythm

At the Near Future Summit 2017, I organized and moderated a capsule on Cycles and Rhythms.  After years of studying the psychophysiology of our relationship to technology (how our attention, emotions, and physiology (breathing, etc.) are impacted by the way we use technology today), I realized that, at a deeper level, this all relates to the rhythms of the body.  And the body is all about rhythm!

For starters: our gait, pulse, respiration, heart rate variability, organs, cranial rhythms, and our circadian rhythms, play a significant role in our health.  Just as our bodies are all about rhythm, our planet, too, is all about cycles and rhythms.

Here’s my blog post from Medium.com on the session.

A few more words (and links!) on the Near Future Summit…

The World Positive area on Medium covered a number of the capsules at the Near Future Summit 

For me, attending this event, was one of the most uplifting and optimistic experiences ever.  Presenter after presenter shared break through technologies  from CleanTech  and urban farming to medicine, and from the treatment of PTSD to anti-recidivism.

If you have a moment to look up any of the following speakers, you’re likely to discover some extraordinary projects and startups:

Medicine:  Dean Kamen, Osman Kibar, Nina Tandon

Food/Urban Farming:  Tobias Peggs

CleanTech:  Ben Bronfman, Etosha Cave, Ilan Gur, Molly Morse

Social Responsibility and Community Building:  Cameron Sinclair, Yosef Ayele, Lindsay Holden

Cycles and Rhythms:  Satchin Panda, Marko Ahtisaari, Dave Gallo, Li-Huei Tsai

PSTD:  Rick Doblin

Criminal Justice Reform:  Valerie Jarrett, Scott Budnick, Catherine Hoke, Lynn Overmann

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

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From the Atlantic: Interview with James Fallows

Jim Fallows asked me to talk with him about the future of attention.  I wanted to share the links for the short version that appeared in the magazine, and the longer version that appeared online.

The short version, followed by a link:

From the time we’re born, we’re learning and modeling a variety of attention and communication strategies. For example, one parent might put one toy after another in front of the baby until the baby stops crying. Another parent might work with the baby to demonstrate a new way to play with the same toy. These are very different strategies, and they set up a very different way of relating to the world for those children. Adults model attention and communication strategies, and children imitate. In some cases, through sports or crafts or performing arts, children are taught attention strategies. Some of the training might involve managing the breath and emotions—bringing one’s body and mind to the same place at the same time.

Read more here…

Here’s an excerpt from the full interview, which Jim posted on his blog:

We learn by imitation, from the very start. That’s how we’re wired. Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl, professors at the University of Washington I-LABS, show videos of babies at 42 minutes old, imitating adults. The adult sticks his tongue out. The baby sticks his tongue out, mirroring the adult’s behavior. Children are also cued by where a parent focuses attention. The child’s gaze follows the mother’s gaze. Not long ago, I had brunch with friends who are doctors, and both of them were on call. They were constantly pulling out their smartphones. The focus of their 1-year-old turned to the smartphone: Mommy’s got it, Daddy’s got it. I want it.

We may think that kids have a natural fascination with phones. Really, children have a fascination with what-ever Mom and Dad find fascinating. If they are fascinated by the flowers coming up in the yard, that’s what the children are going to find fascinating. And if Mom and Dad can’t put down the device with the screen, the child is going to think, That’s where it’s all at, that’s where I need to be! I interviewed kids between the ages of 7 and 12 about this. They said things like “My mom should make eye contact with me when she talks to me” and “I used to watch TV with my dad, but now he has his iPad, and I watch by myself.”

Kids learn empathy in part through eye contact and gaze. If kids are learning empathy through eye contact, and our eye contact is with devices, they will miss out on empathy.

Read more here…

Both in the interview with Jim and later in a post for the Atlantic website, I talked about how we think about and measure productivity today:  more work, faster pace, more efficiently, and how we might rethink productivity and how we measure it going forward.

Note that I’m not arguing against being productive.  I’m asking that we re-consider how we evaluate productivity.  Is it the number of emails we send and receive?  The number of hours a child spends on homework?  Read the excerpt and click on the link below.  Please consider sharing your experience and thinking on this.

An unintended and tragic consequence of our metrics for schools is that what we measure causes us to remove self-directed play from the school day. Children’s lives are completely programmed, filled with homework, lessons, and other activities.. There is less and less space for the kind of self-directed play that can be a fantastically fertile way for us to develop resilience and a broad set of attention strategies, not to mention a sense of who we are, and what questions captivate us. We have narrowed ourselves in service to the gods of productivity, a type of productivity that is about output and not about results.

Read more here…

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