Computer Lib/Dream Machines Nugget

“Computers are simply a necessary and enjoyable part of
life, like food and books. Computers are not everything, they
are just an aspect of everything, and not to know this is
computer illiteracy, a silly and dangerous ignorance.”

This nugget speaks for itself, but I wanted to use it to bring it back to my inquiry project.
Computers have become a necessary part of everyday life now. Which technically means the brain damage we incur from them is unavoidable. Therefore, it is essential to know what is hurting us, and how we can limit damage from the beginning.
This brings me to to the adverse effects of social media on cognitive function. We need computers for daily function now, so getting rid of them is not the answer. The answer is to use this necessity in moderation, just like food and water and sunlight. Just like food and water, social media is “an aspect of everything” and can be limited in order to help support brain function, just as food can be limited in order to support better health.

EDIT: Sarah’s post trails back to mine via brain function. Sarah mentions that our full potential is not able to be unleashed due to our education system. Shoving different shaped brains down the same tube and praising the ones who mold to the tube the best.
Lina’s post is absolutely true. With our extreme use of social media, I don’t see a better way to advertise. While on social media the exposure can be all around us or subliminal, but it all makes a difference on the way we think.
Kahn’s post relates back to the infinite knowledge across the internet. It is pretty cool to think about how the internet allows experts and amateurs to enlighten anyone who comes their way over the vast network the internet is.

Panning for Nuggets

“This study showed that individuals who were lonely or did not have good social skills could develop strong compulsive Internet use behaviors resulting in negative life outcomes (e.g., harming other significant activities such as work, school, or significant relationships) instead of relieving their original problems.” –Source

This first nugget is super important in stating that social media is rewiring our brains so that daily life is becoming significantly more different for the person using said social media. The brain is meant for face-to-face human interaction, it requires that type of stimulation to activate key areas of the brain such as emotion and critical thinking. Social media only allows that this type of brain activity be substituted with a computer, allowing the person to take on any type of person they would like to be. This almost multiple personality disorder type of interaction is dangerous for the brain.

“… understand these sites monitor for potential problems with cyberbullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.” –Source

This nugget, in comparison to my first nugget, deals with the adverse effects of social media on the sociology of the user, versus the psychology of the user (the nugget above). Not only does social media have an effect on the brain, they also affect the way society works. Social media promotes connecting on a large scale, but they also give easy access to cyberbullying. Without proper maintenance and restrictions, a lot of inappropriate content is thrown around social media ruining peoples lives and corrupting others. Nowadays, everything is incredibly sexualized, and many people think that sending or posting revealing pictures or media in general is the norm. I do not think this is a good way to utilize social media and it is creating a hazardous environment for our younger generations.

Diigo Dynamics

While there were many, many technologically geared sources to use, I narrowed mine down to four main ones I may like to use in the future. These mainly revolve around social media use, how it effects our brain chemistry, and the brain itself, for an good understanding of the biology behind it will help in understanding why certain types of technology do effect us the way they do. They include articles 1, 2, 3, 4.

Questing My Dream

Although I choose to go solo on my inquiry project, I will take what I have learned from others’ projects and bring them together in my own project.

I want to research what types of technology have significant influences on brain function. I want to see what man himself has created that can change his own brain chemistry. I also would like to see the proof behind brain games created to rejuvenate and even improve brain function, leading to that same man made creation rehabilitating our brains.

My project differs from others because I want to combine biology and technology together to see how they effect each other. I prefer to do this alone just because of my own time constraints.

Diigo Connections

The main focus of the pages I bookmarked from other people on Diigo were all geared toward technology and what usage of it had negative effects on the brain. For example, technology effecting mental health, social media and its adverse effects, addiction and depression due to technology and/or your Facebook, etc. The main connection between my nugget and these thoughts is that technology does have some sort of psychological effect on each and every individual who uses it. In this day and age, it’s pretty much impossible not to use it.

Elisey, from section 008, uses their nugget to expand on man and computer working side by side in order to produce the best outcome for a situation. This relates back to one of my nuggets where I mentioned that man-machine should not happen in the future, for the sake of humanity. I think Elisey’s idea would be the best, we can continue to advance our technology to aid us side by side, without letting it become or overtake us.
Abdul, from section 006, elaborates on how computing itself has augmented intelligence. I agree with Abdul on some levels, but relating back to my nugget, technology has also obviously taken a toll on cognitive function. Can you do fractional math without a calculator? If we weren’t to rely so much on disruptive technology, we may have even higher intellect.
Justin, from section 008, brings up my very first nugget – mechanical aids. He mentions physical mechanical aids to begin with, such as tools. He then mentions mental mechanical aids, which he believes are so in abundance as are physical mechanical aids. The most prominent mental aid mentioned was the computer, an example I brought up in my own nugget as well. I also believe that the computer and technological advances in general have effected our intellect greatly, whether for better or worse.

I think we can use Diigo to make sense of a huge amount of data to stripping multiple topics down to their basics. Tags work best to accomplish this. Using my bookmarks for example, I could use the tags technology, brain, psychological function, and computers to put together the many inquiry ideas from other authors that may be on the same wavelength as mine.

Augmenting Human Intellect Nugget

“In other words, the human mind neither learns nor acts by large leaps, but by steps organized or structured so that each one depends upon previous steps.”

This nugget stuck out to me because it sounds a lot like how technology has been building upon itself. We didn’t go from the telegraph straight to the smartphone. It takes time and it takes a learning process to go from good to better to best. Our brains work the exact same way, slowly building upon foundations, step by step, improving itself.
This ties back into my inquiry project by way of brain games mentioned in previous posts. These games are designed to steadily increase brain function and are improving the mind the best way it is able to – “by steps organized or structured so that each one depends upon previous steps.” These activities measure and gauge the level you’re at and make stepping stones to reach goals you can achieve. If technology can take you down a notch, it can certainly help bring you back up a couple.
This simple observation of the way the brain learns is important because it is essential to the rehabilitation of the overworked or under worked brain. Overuse of technology can stress our brains out, while use of mechanical aids such as calculators can render our brains inadequate in times of need where we do not have access to the necessary technology.

EDIT: I feel as though Jamie’s post related a lot back to mine. The paragraph she chose mentioned how “…break down a large problem in such a way that the human being can walk through it with his little steps, and it is the structure or organization of these little steps or actions that we discuss as process hierarchies.” I think this almost directly coincides with the human brain needing to learn step by step, as a gradual process. Jamie mentioned how the same process works for the creation of online games that use humans to create human images and their movements on the screen. Slowly but surely, game designers and engineers put together the duo of visual and keyboard/joystick movements, once again thanks to man-machine components used to recreate virtual humans.
Lina’s post also relates back to mind because she breaks down the learning or building process into more narrowed terms using her nugget. Engelbart describes four augmentation classes, an Lina puts them together to describe how we create new ideas and turn them into inventions. Without artifacts, language, methodology and training to guide these processes, I do not think we would be where we are at today.
Perez’s post brought her back to Pandora. What if music, man, and machine could be one? Well, in order for this to ever happen, we must go back to the beginning and realize that this will not happen as quick as we may want it too. It requires patience and diligence and gradual baby steps, just as my nugget recommends.

Dreamers Unite

This article from the Huffington Post will give anyone a good idea of how and why technology is facilitating brain decline. In my Interpretation of Dreams post, I mentioned how multitasking through all our different technologies can impact brain function negatively. Our brain was meant to use as a whole, splitting its attention only reduces how much it could be doing at 100%.
The Department of Psychology at UCLA advises strongly against multi-tasking since it adversely affects the brain’s learning systems.
The Huffington Post has also done an article on how the internet, a product of technology, has a role in rewiring our brains.
The series Your Brain on Computers by the New York Times illustrate how technology effects the brain at the cognitive level which then translates into the real world.
Brain training is where we can get our brains back into shape and away from this technology overload.


People should want to join me in this research project because it is a very real possibility for all of us who have come up in the generation of advancing computers and calculators. To see the impact your cell phone, iPad, laptop, GPS, calculator, all affecting your brain function is something I think would be of some importance to this generation.

Extending My Dream

Well, here goes nothing:


Could #technology be the reason for #mental #decline as well as provide a way to #improve #brainfunction?

Can #cognitivescience and #neuroscience prove that #braingames such as #luminosity can #improve our #intellectual #machinery using #technological #machinery?

Could the drastic increase of only #technology use in the future be considered an #appliedscience or will we become #man-machine cyborgs?

I believe these are some of the better terms to research because they bring large, broad ideas to a head. Everything from the brain, to science, to computers all leads back to the same point which can bring different perspectives, ideas, and attitudes to the project.

The Interpretation of Dreams

There are many people I know that can relate to this same scenario:

Someone has asked you to solve a simple math problem, probably throwing in a negative, all without a calculator. You stall, you take some time to make sure you did it just right because you can’t remember if two negatives make them positive or if you carry the one or if you can actually divide decimals the old fashioned way or not. You eventually come to an answer, praying its correct since you’re already red from embarrassment for taking longer than you think it should have taken you to solve the problem. And that’s when you wish you had an invisible calculator you could control with your mind. But you do. It is your mind, and maybe it needs to have some play time to rejuvenate its incredible, built-in qualities.

The reason for this sweat inducing drama is the fact that we haven’t put down calculators since we were first taught to use them. The beautiful, number crunching, all answer giving device has played a large part in decline of brain function in that area. I want to research how to get our brains back up to speed, and how we can further improve them after that. Through the website Luminosity, your brain can play games that will help improve areas such as memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving, all while tracking your progress.

The brain and technology as a synonymous object of study is something not only of interest, but also of importance. Day by day, more and more technology is being spit out and more and more of it is to reduce mental strain to allow us to multitask “efficiently.” That’s funny because the brain does not work efficiently when multitasking. Therefore, to see the effect that our awesome and cool techy gear has on brain function is something that should be looked into when creating new awesome and cool techy gear. Another person could study this by seeing what types of technology can create mental deficits and if other types of technology could remedy it as well. I think this project could be looked at from all different perspectives, agreeing or disagreeing or proving or disproving and I think it would be great to see those who believe in brain training and those who believe this new technology is only the next step through ‘evolution’ of the brain into man-machine among other skeptics and advocates.

Texting My Dream

In previous posts, no one has been able to really decipher what my inquiry project is or apparently what I am even saying so here’s the gist:

-Mechanical aids are useful for both mental and physical tasks
-Could they be hindering our mental capabilities?
-If so, can some mechanical aids turn around and actually help deteriorating brain function?

Which then brings me to a great Brain Training program on the web called Luminosity. If after this post you are still confused about what I am writing or my inquiry project, please feel free to use this program.

Luminosity is a web site specifically designed with one thing in mind – your mind. It builds a personalized brain training program fit for each person. Luminosity tests memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving through games geared towards sharpening those parts of the mind. It engages the mind while reinforcing weakened bridges. Luminosity digs deeper by giving specific options the user may choose within the categories. For example, the memory category has four in depth “workouts” which the user may or may not choose to put into their program.
Now take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The internet, used through various mechanical aids, could be argued that it is making us stupid (Google). This program provided through the same pathway is here to help mental function.
I want to use this as my primary text because it is completely hands on and interactive and I can share my own progress through research of my own mind. It’s not stagnant and mind numbing research, it’s something I can branch out from and break numbers out of and create statistics from. It’s very interesting to see the role technology has on our “modern” brain function in present day.
I think others need to see that mechanical aids do indeed have an effect on brain function every single day and my conceptualization of it is possibly a new age, first world problem that may need to be fixed – seemingly with the same mechanical aids and technology.