Is the human brain the pinnacle of evolution… or the starting point for innovation?
Instead of asking whether the Web is making us stupid, Howard Rheingold turns that lens around and asks how designing and using digital media mindfully could make us smarter. What if humans could build tools that leverage our ability to think, communicate, and cooperate? Humans invented social learning, speech, writing, alphabets, printing, computers, and the Internet, which means we should be systematically directing the evolution of intellectual augmentation.
Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Makes Us Smarter? examines the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and then lays out the foundations for their future. Rheingold proposes an applied, interdisciplinary science of mind amplification. Rheingold unveils a new protocol for developing techno-cognitive-social technologies that embrace empathy, mindfulness, and compassion elements lacking from existing digital mind-tools.
Howard Rheingold is truly a digital elder, and I mean that in the most respectful, old-school way. All of the fetishizing of the “digital native” can distract us from the wisdom of those who experienced and shaped the birth of internet culture, and Rheingold was right there, in time and in space. His new book, Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? traces the history of mental augmentation in its social, cognitive and technological forms. — Anthony Wing Kosner, Forbes