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        Michael Reddy, Ph.D, CPC
           Healer  Trainer  Author   610 469 7588

Thursday June 29, 2017
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Technology and Society

Endless Invention--Panacea or Peril?

If we “externalize” all human skills by inventing mechanical and electronic replacements for them—what happens to us?  What becomes of our role in the world?  

mechanical_hand_pare_ambroiseOur civilization’s a bit one-sided.  It chooses almost always to invent external devices for doing things.  It almost never uses those same needs-to-do-things as occasions for evolving human skills and awareness. Let's call that tendency "externalism." We are "externalizing" almost every human ability. Handwriting, for instance, is replaced by typing.  Typing is replaced by speech recognition software.   As computers voice more text, perhaps reading itself will fade.

Our polar opposites would be "internalists." Such people would employ relatively simple external tools to develop very high levels of human skill and awareness. Their attitude would be, gosh, don't invent a gizmo for doing that. Such a gizmo would take away all the health and strength and growth we get out of doing it ourselves. Our skills bring the meaning and fulfillment to our lives.

As externalists, when the horseless carriage comes along, we clap our hands and say, cars!--wow, cool, it's inevitable! So long, walking! We'll go twenty times as fast, with no effort at all! Internalists, on the other hand, would be very suspicious. Without walking, they would ask, what happens to the strength of our hearts and legs? Or, how would we visit with people and trees and the river on our way to work?  So how is this going to play out?

CyberSense—Holistic Health in a Wireless World

Wireless technology drives us into an abstract "i-life" where only fingers and brains do any walking. How do we stay healthy in body, emotions, and spirit?

Going Within—but Not the Old Sacred Way

iLifeWe live, perhaps without quite noticing, in the midst of a great exodus. Most of us, more or less, are on the trek, like it or not. Left behind is the old Earth, where good bodies were just the thing, and face-to-face communication was key. Back there, “reach out and touch someone” implied being at arms length, and “I’ll see you” meant just literally that.

Where we are going now is “within.” Not, however, the deep sacred “within” of the saints and the sages, but rather a hastily constructed, profit-driven, furiously evolving, virtual “within” the marketing people like to call “i-life.” The “i” here stands for “Internet.” But as so many different devices embrace chips, we might also say “e-life”—“e” now for all things “electronic.” Because this new promised land comes to us increasingly via all sorts of electronic screens, speakers, and controllers—in everything from cars to coffee-makers.

Music, Migrations, and Hope-in-Hard-Times

Singing, dancing, playing music and drumming together with friends and family foster a sense of renewed energy, warmth and community, magic and hope.

WHO Earns Twice the Pay?!

portageImagine you are part of an expedition 200 years ago, venturing into the Canadian Northwest. As a voyageur, you strain from dawn to dusk to help paddle a 40-foot canoe. Where there’s no water, you hump a 90-pound pack, and later the canoe itself. Up and down wind the portages, across treacherous, rock-strewn ridges. Hernias, or bone-breaking falls are common. Either, in this wilderness, can end a life. Still you only get paid half as much as the little guy sitting next to you with the prodigious memory and loud voice.

Who’s he? the boss? the guide? No, actually he’s the chanteur, the expedition’s singer. He leads the different songs sung many times a day by your entire company. It’s his contribution that is worth twice yours. Shared music brings rhythm to your strokes, and keeps a smile on your face. In some fundamental way, the songs keep hope alive in your struggling heart.

Books, Video, and Family Health

There are certainly some good videos out there, but books have always been an absolutely fundamental way to build our imagination and intelligence.

Books Can Help, Too Much Video Can Hurt

boyonbooksreadingclip100I think it was Francis Bacon who said, “speech makes a ready man, but writing a careful one.” Conversation, with its unpredictable ebb and flow, tends to promote quick-wittedness—whereas writing a lot teaches you more about organizing thoughts carefully. Similarly, today we might say, “too much video dulls the mind, while reading enriches it.”

tvcouchpotatoesclip130Good cybersense is knowledge you need to hold your family together in an increasingly wireless, media-dominated world. How the different media affect your own and your loved ones minds is important. Over time, these effects can be profound.

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