Friday, July 3, 2015

Mind Change by Susan Greenfield **

Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield promised to elucidate the fundamental changes of our brains caused by social media, computer games, and Internet surfing - Facebook, Blizzard, and Google. With a title explicitly meant to echo Climate Change, I was expecting great science and conclusive research.

It seems the science is not ready to "establish a causal link," and most of the reviewed science was modified by: jury is out, linked, would seem, suggests, potential, could, at least one instance, perhaps, maybe, possibly, and the strong "often causes." This equivocal language led to wish I was reading one the many book referenced instead of the survey in my hands.

I was disappointed.

[end of review - rant follows - my apologies]

And could anyone have predicted ... six of the seven billion people in the world would have access to a mobile phone, while only four and a half billion have access to a working toilet?
I am reminded that indoor plumbing and sewers were invented in response to the crowded conditions caused by urbanization. Early accommodations can be seen at Pompeii and Knossos. We should not be surprised there are still places where plumbing and sewers are not required, but that these rural folk might still want cell phones.

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