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Lisa Sieverts said in October 4th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hi James,

It’s interesting that you’re mostly following companies. Have you tried to find a search tag (hashtag) that would help you get more information from Twitter? That’s one of the things I’m curious about for this session for each of you … What’s the hashtag that’s more useful to you?


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Andreas deDanaan said in October 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Wow. That was brilliant. I think there are definitely some addiction problems associated with Twitter. Good social commentary. There’s a book I put on order (one of my few orders from a brick-and-mortar store called The Plug-In Drug ( It was written decades ago with a focus on TV, but it’s been updated recently with research covering computers, video games, etc. I’m looking forward to reading it. I was obliquely reminded of it after watching The Corporation ( this weekend.

I think as adaptable human beings we can (and must) figure out how to survive with this stuff because it’s not going away. I’m sure it is changing the landscape of our selves. All this technology can be really harnessed for really useful things, but so can guns, I guess. Are these technologies “sustainable?”

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Lisa Sieverts said in October 5th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

It depends on what we mean by sustainable. There is plenty of evidence that all of our computer usage is changing our brains. We are different from our grand-parents. Our grand-children will be different from us. This has always been true, but the rate of change is accelerating. I don’t think we can stop it at this point. My hope is that we can build enough awareness that it’s possible to make explicit choices about how we change our brains.

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James Nye said in October 5th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Lisa I think here is where the MAT stuff is going to come out. I got into a discussion in the Pedagogy class about the biological vs mental evolution of learning with the human mind. I was one of the few people who don’t believe that our mind has changed biologically over the last 5000 years. That our learnng has changed not how we process data. Some people will always be a hands on learner and others will be conceptual. People are still doing mundane work, but instead of pumping out cogs from a factory, they are pushing papers in an office. We are just now approaching the point where people are learning that there such a thing as too much information. While in the past knowledge resided in people, now knowledge resides in society. The role of people is changing from one of knowledge holders to knowledge filters. Now we can “google” how to do somethig instead of finding some one who has the knowledge, unlike our grandparents. How will society change when we are the grandparents instead of the grandkids, who knows, but I fear Idiocracy coming true.

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Wendy Windle said in October 6th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

History tells us that our brains have indeed changed and adapted from various outside stimuli. The brain is a flexible and malleable organ. We cannot predict the future as to how technology will effect are brains, but neuroscientist Susan Greenfield( makes a good argument that the biological changes that are occurring are not just based on our use of gadgets but also our use of prescription drug. Our need to alter our moods and correct our personalities coupled with the “hive mentality” is indeed threatening our cerebral topography but also on our individuality.

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