Technology and the Cognition Crisis


Our lives on this plan­et have improved in so many amaz­ing ways over the last cen­tu­ry. On aver­age, we are now health­i­er, more afflu­ent and lit­er­ate, less vio­lent and longer liv­ing. Despite these unprece­dent­ed pos­i­tive changes, clear signs exist that we are in the midst of an emerg­ing crisis–one that has not yet been rec­og­nized in its full breadth, even though it lurks just beneath the sur­face of our casu­al con­ver­sa­tions and swims in the under­cur­rents of our news feeds. This is not the well-known cri­sis that we’ve induced upon the earth’s cli­mate, but one that is just as threat­en­ing to our future. This is a cri­sis of our minds. A cog­ni­tion cri­sis

We need bet­ter brains to man­age the del­uge of infor­ma­tion we con­sume on the inter­net, on social media, on our smart­phones today–as well as the new tech­nolo­gies we’ll sure­ly encounter tomor­row. We need to ele­vate the matu­ri­ty of our col­lec­tive con­scious­ness in order to thrive in this new environment.

This calls for some­thing big: coor­di­nat­ed effort by major actors, from the White House and the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health to the Unit­ed Nations and the pow­er bro­kers at Davos. Indeed, address­ing the cog­ni­tion cri­sis should be posi­tioned as a grand chal­lenge, on par with oth­er press­ing glob­al pri­or­i­ties, such as erad­i­cat­ing infec­tious dis­eases and dis­sem­i­nat­ing clean water.

Suc­cess in solv­ing such glob­al chal­lenges depends upon us hav­ing the men­tal capac­i­ty to actu­al­ly solve them: high-lev­el atten­tion, rea­son­ing, cre­ativ­i­ty, deci­sion mak­ing, com­pas­sion, and wis­dom are required. If we can’t focus our atten­tion and make cre­ative, wise, and more future-ori­ent­ed deci­sions, we will nev­er effec­tive­ly deal with com­plex, time-delayed crises like the one affect­ing our cli­mate, no mat­ter how much infor­ma­tion we acquire…

This is a per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty for the same tech­nolo­gies that are a source of the cog­ni­tion cri­sis to play a pos­i­tive role in enhanc­ing what makes us human, rather than dimin­ish­ing us.” Read full arti­cle by Adam Gaz­za­ley over at Medium.


About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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