I’m giving at talk at the Edinburgh festival on August 9th, called The Connected Brain. It will be at Summerhall (Fringe Venue 26 during the festival), cost £3, and here is the blurb:
Headlines often ask if facebook is making us shallow, or google eroding our memories. In this talk we will look “under the hood” of research on how digital technology is affecting us. We will try and chart a course between moral panic and techno-utopianism to reveal the real risks of technology and show how we can cement the great opportunities that it presents for the human mind.
The talk will be similar to the one I did in London recently at the School of Life. Ben Martynoga wrote up some details of that talk, which you can find here. The ideas in the talk involve using some examples from the Mind Hacks book to illustrate some principles of how the mind works, looking at the extended mind hypothesis and reminding ourselves of some of the history of moral panics around information technologies, which Vaughan has written so engagingly and often about (thanks Vaughan!). The place I get to, which is where I’m at with my thinking and where I hope to start a discussion with the audience, is that, rather than panic about technology making us dumb, distracted and alone, we need to identify the principles which will help us design technology which makes use smart, able to concentrate and empathetic.
So that’s, me + Edinburgh + August the 9th. Link for tickets : The Connected Brain