This week Sara and I talk to writer Amy Donahue about the way that social media shapes our relationships.
Download and Show Notes: Mindful Cyborgs: High Fidelity Connections and Social Media with Amy Donahue
In this episode, a conversation about our concerns about where technology takes us back to issues raised in some of the earliest episodes as we talk about the duality of “online” and “offline” and whether our concerns are rooted in technology or society. Also, perhaps a little late, a conversation about why Google Glass was such a bomb.
Download and Show Notes: Mindful Cyborgs: Cyborgian Promise, Cyborgian Perils
This week we talk about the weirdness of being on TV, the early history of the internet, and coping mechanisms for depression. This one gets really personal. Probably our most intense episode yet.
Download and Show Notest: Mindful Cyborgs: Dark Nights and the Ghosts of Tech’s Past
The second part of our conversation with Willow Brugh of the MIT Media Lab about the Networked Mortality project and their efforts to help you figure out what to do with all your digital stuff when you die.
Download and Full Transcript: Mindful Cyborgs: Color Coding for Sex and Death PART 2
Here’s the second part of our conversation with Gary Weber about quieting mental chatter. This time around we talk more about specific strategies, including meditation and writing.
Download and Full Transcript: Mindful Cyborgs: Empirical Emporium Beyond Selfie Blah-Blah PT2
This week Chris Dancy and I talk with Gary Weber, author of Happiness Beyond Thought, about what we can do to quiet our internal chatter — or as Gary calls it, “the blah-blahs.”
Download and Notes: Mindful Cyborgs: Episode 38 – Empirical Emporium Beyond Selfie Blah-Blah PT1
This week Chris Dancy, Alex Williams and I talk about the mindfulness racket, cyborg bank robbers, wearable computing going mainstream and more.
Download and Show Notes: Mindful Cyborgs: This Time Let’s Just Sit Quietly and Breathe
Evgeny Morozov writes:
We must subject social media to the kind of scrutiny that has been applied to the design of gambling machines in Las Vegas casinos. As Natasha Dow Schüll shows in her excellent book Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, while casino operators want us to think that addiction is the result of our moral failings or some biological imbalance, they themselves are to blame for designing gambling machines in a way that feeds addiction. With social media—much like with gambling machines or fast food—our addiction is manufactured, not natural.
In other words, why we disconnect matters: We can continue in today’s mode of treating disconnection as a way to recharge and regain productivity, or we can view it as a way to sabotage the addiction tactics of the acceleration-distraction complex that is Silicon Valley.
Full Story: The Mindfulness Racket: The evangelists of unplugging might just have another agenda
The idea of disconnecting as subversive activity reminds me of Hakim Bey’s Immediatism.
Gentrification protesters crash Google talk on corporate mindfulness
For Silicon Valley, Meditation Is About Getting Ahead, Not Inner Peace
Contemplative Computing: Lessons From Monks About Designing The Technologies Of The Future
Protesters stormed the stage during a Google-led panel on mindfulness at the Wisdom 2.0 conference last Saturday to display a banner reading “Eviction Free San Francisco.”
Tricycle’s Alex Caring-Lobel reports on the incident and concludes:
Bringing Buddhist meditation techniques into industry accomplishes two things for industry. It does actually give companies like Google something useful for an employee’s well-being, but it also neutralizes a potentially disruptive adversary. Buddhism has its own orienting perspectives, attitudes, and values, as does American corporate culture. And not only are they very different from each other, they are also often fundamentally opposed to each other.
A benign way to think about this is that once people experience the benefits of mindfulness they will become interested in the dharma and develop a truer appreciation for Buddhism—and that would be fine. But the problem is that neither Buddhists nor employees are in control of how this will play out. Industry is in control. This is how ideology works. It takes something that has the capacity to be oppositional, like Buddhism, and it redefines it. And somewhere down the line, we forget that it ever had its own meaning.
It’s not that any one active ideology accomplishes all that needs to be done; rather, it is the constant repetition of certain themes and ideas that tend to construct a kind of “nature.” Ideology functions by saying “this is nature”—this is the way things are; this is the way the world is. So, Obama talks about STEM, scientists talk about the human computer, universities talk about “workforce preparation,” and industry talks about the benefits of the neuroscience of meditation, but it all becomes something that feels like a consistent world, and after a while we lose the ability to look at it skeptically. At that point we no longer bother to ask to be treated humanly. At that point we accept our fate as mere functions. Ideology’s job is to make people believe that their prison is a pleasure dome.
Full Story: Tricycle: Protesters crash Google talk on corporate mindfulness at Wisdom 2.0 conference
(via Al Billings)
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