a complaint we’ve all heard about the internet: all the cat videos and
incessant celebrity gossip sites are making us, as a culture, stupider.
However, digital community expert Howard Rheingold, doesn’t think
that’s the case. In fact, he believes that both designing and using
digital media can actually improve our intelligence. As Rheingold sees
it, human beings have the unique ability to build tools — like
alphabets, speech, writing, and printing — that leverage our ability to
think and cooperate. When it comes to computers and the Internet,
Rheingold says there’s potential for us to systematically direct the
evolution of intelligence.
Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? examines
the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and lays out the
foundations for their future. In it, Rheingold proposes an applied,
interdisciplinary science of mind amplification. He also unveils a new
protocol for developing techno-cognitive-social technologies that
embrace empathy, mindfulness, and compassion — elements lacking from
existing digital mind-tools.
Mind Amplifier is available for the Kindle, Nook and iBookstore, and you can also download it through the TED Books app. And after the jump, watch Rheingold’s TEDTalk.
Howard Rheingold: The new power of collaboration
Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct
to work as a group, says Rheingold. In this talk, he envisions the
coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective