August 19, 2014
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Here is Cydcor’s review of Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? By Howard Rheingold.
About Mind Amplifier: Author Howard Rheingold asks the question, does designing and using online and digital media make us smarter? Mind Amplifier examines the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and then explains how such technology can and will advance in the future.
This TED book provides an accessible overview of some of the key ideas of online media, along with some history regarding people’s relationships with tools. From learning to create language all the way to the printing press, he makes the argument that because of the unique capabilities of the human brain, humans can and do co-evolve with their tools.
Why Cydcor recommends this to future leaders: This is a quick 62-page read that provides an excellent example of how media and social interactions are changing. Mind Amplifier asserts that, if we hope to achieve a global sense of progress, people need to adapt to such innovations.
Rheingold compares the effect of the Internet with other similar mind-changing revolutions throughout history. It presents both sides of the impact of the Internet on our mental and emotional abilities.
Our favorite part: “It sounds dizzying, but reflective awareness of one’s own thinking processes is the fundamental mind-tool, useful in mastering higher-order methodologies.”
Rheingold’s at his best when he’s providing the framework for thinking about how we might best harness the tools to work collectively to solve many of the current problems we face. The author doesn’t sugarcoat the digital age; he acknowledges that technologies have been used in damaging ways, yet he remains optimistic and mindful of how such tools can change lives for the better.
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