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Technology and the Cognition Crisis

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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.

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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