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Thursday, July 23, 2009

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Dan

Damn, girl. Fine post.

xarkGirl

oh and the graphics are by me. photoshop is teh awesome.

Agricola

Nice, thoughtful words, that really struck a chord with me. In my fumbling attempts to embrace the technology, social media, and the other cool parts of the curve, it has become apparent that a gulf develops between the embracers and the non-embracers. I'm not at all sure it is an "age" thing. I wonder if some folks are just more adventurous, and the "willingness to explore" gene thus provides an opportunity for our brains to develop the new pathways that you write about.

xarkGirl

I think you are absolutely right. I have always remembered a conversation dan and i had years ago about an article on why some people come out of trauma and some peope succumb to it.

Al Siebert wrote a book about it: The Survivor Personality and he found that humor, the ability to adapt mentally and emotionally flexibility and wisdom were common traits in people who move past hardship.

I also have read a theory that early America was defined by Type-A personalities, because those were the ones that got on the damn boat to come over here. Adventurous, willing-to-explore risk-takers. I would not say those qualities are inherently more valuable -- it depends on the situation and unmitigated doses are less attractive -- but I do believe some of us are just a little more out there.

The good part is just as the rambunctious can learn to settle down, the more sedate can learn to try something new.

Michele

Two thoughts:
1. While I am all for technology and change, digital life moves so fast that many become extremely impatient in the slower 3D world. There's no need to "pump up the brakes," but IMO stepping back frequently to get a little perspective is advisable.
2. Yes, our brains now notice different things. But for each shift in our neural nets, we lose some acuity elsewhere. Example: Some years ago read about a tribe in the Amazon whose members could tell by smell how long ago an animal had passed by, and distinguish one animal from another by the smell of their urine. The author suggested it was once a universal skill. I'm happy I can't do that in NYC -- I could never ride the subway. But I still wonder about the trade-off I'm making right now, without noticing.

Dan

Which is an interesting thing, isn't it? Because those Amazon tribesmen are well adapted to their environment, just as we are better adapted to ours, and it's really just a question of choices and priorities.

What's new here, I suspect, is that we're not only adapting our brains to an environment, we're adapting to an environment that is defined by its pace of change.

xarkGirl

. I am not familiar with research that says we lose acuity other than if you don't need it, it goes. If you needed heightened smell for survival and used it every day, then I imagine you would retain it.

Everything has a flip side. I completely agree that the digital world has drawbacks. It is essential, as you say, to step back and evaluate. Understanding that we are changing -- and how -- can help us make good choices about what we choose and what we choose to let go.

I've no problem with people who point out that not everything new is good, only with those who say nothing new is.

Michele

Yes, exactly, we lose what we no longer need in everyday life. Our brains are changing so fast now, do we even know what we're losing? I think of things like Sensory Integration Disorder. It's always been there, but seems much more common now. Why is that?

Just thoughts. Anyway, good piece!

Kristin Zeaser-Sydow

JAnet, did you write this? If not, who is the human being that did-- not the "user name" if available. Very interesting as I am quite taken with this whole concept as it applies to children and teachers and learning.

xarkgirl

Yep, it's me!

Joyce Sasser

Me too, Kristin.... survival skills for the coming generation....a really important part of that and a great post, Janet....see where it takes you, Kristin.... as a "last generation" teacher now part of the system again, this is important now more than ever... wish I could think like Janet! Worth a lot for the teachers of America to help the kids coming along in the way THEY look at life and learning..... open new doors....so much to explore, so little time! Go, Janet!

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