Tag Archives: Technology

Attitude and Perspective Matters

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The attitude and perspective we have has a big effect on our emotions, ability to learn, and ability to succeed.

I’m a terrible actress. I don’t like people’s eyes looking at me, I don’t like being on stage, I hate public speaking, I’m terrible at improvisation, and I go blank. But every year I  have to act at least once at a family holiday program I’m part of. I get very nervous and anxious during rehearsals and just before going on stage if I have a large speaking role. (If I can be a clown or someone who mimes, I have a ball on stage!)

But there was one year I had a large speaking role that I had to memorize. I was freaking out! One of my friends heard me mutter that I couldn’t do it over and over. He did the best thing. He had me stop muttering and had me focus on him.  He said with authority that if I told myself I couldn’t do it, I stopped myself from succeeding right there. When he told me this I knew he was right. I defeated myself with my own perspective and attitude. I had to change it. I didn’t feel any better about it and I didn’t know if I could do it, but I knew I had to stop thinking I couldn’t do it.

I stopped telling myself I couldn’t do it and just focused on remembering the words. And guess what, I delivered the monologue to a T.

I was with an older person today and he’s not very computer literate. The whole time we were talking about computers he said he couldn’t do it and that he’d never figure it out. He got angry at the rate of changing technology, blaming it for the problems he faced with it.  But instead of getting angry, I thought all he needed was a change of perspective and attitude. Instead of wasting all that energy thinking he’d never get it and being angry over it, he could use that energy to really focus and learn the new technology.

I think part of the key is to stop focusing on how bad things are and how much you don’t like them. I don’t like acting, this guy didn’t like new technology. They are difficult things for us that we have to get used to. But there’s no point getting worked up about it and fighting it trying to get your own way. Separate yourself from it a little and get a different perspective. Embrace it with a different attitude. Learn what you need to know. It might be hard and a lot of work, but try.

Having the right attitude and perspective means you’ll have the discipline, commitment and focus to at least give it your best go.

I have a friend who was never any good at school and hates studying. The problem is she can’t get anywhere with the career she wants without studying. I think she can study and get to where she wants to be, but she thinks she’s a lost cause in that area. She’s defeated herself right there. She doesn’t even want to try, because her attitude and perspective won’t let her.

To give it a go, get the right attitude and perspective.

You might not be able to do whatever it is you want and/or need to do, but if you tell yourself you can’t do it from the start, it’s certain that you won’t be able to do it.

How’s your attitude and perspective? I think I have to check mine in a few areas.

The Significance of Friendship

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technology

The electronic age is wonderful, it truly is! I love the fact that I can type out a few words, click the mouse and as if by magic, answers appear. I remember how I used to wait for Saturdays because my mother would drive me to the library and I could look up things that I wanted to know about in the encyclopedias or the card catalogues. It was something I always looked forward to.

So, having the ability to form a question, click and have resources deluxe pop up for me to explore just blows me away. It is something I never cease to marvel at and be amazed by.

I also love how there can be live conversations and communications with people halfway across the world. It brings people so much closer together and can help keep people connected in ways that they could never hope to stay connected years ago.

Technology and the electronic age is really amazing!

But – – – even with all the help of technology and the advances made in electronics, research shows that very few of us manage to develop and maintain meaningful friendships the way people used to.

Frienship

We don’t want to discount the significance of friendship. Recent research links things like work production and satisfaction and healthy eating directly to friendships. It has been proven that if people have a close or best friend who eats healthy, they almost double their chances of becoming and staying healthy eaters themselves. And people who have friends at work are much more productive and enjoy their jobs than people who feel they have no friends at work.

It seems, however, that electronics and technology seem to be focusing on shortening our interactions with other people even more than they already are. Our ever-increasing pace of life does not lend itself very readily to the time needed to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships.

Google

Where clicking in a browser for information leaves me with a vast amount of information and fills me with possibilities to explore, clicking on an email, texting a comment, or tweeting a hash tag and a word or two doesn’t fill me with a feeling of connection that I would call meaningful or substantial.

There is no real substitute for a face to face with a good friend or a heart to heart with a great one. And we can advance technology to the nth degree, but when it comes to friendships and relationships, we ought not fool ourselves into believing it is enough to settle for something quick and virtual.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

The Machine

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The Machine

Forget for a moment about consciousness—the conscious and the unconscious. For the moment, it does not apply.

 

 

 

 

 

GearsElements of The Machine – Imagine instead a machine, otherwise known as Labor Machine, an Economy. Imagine an assembly line: the parts, every person behind an ergonomically correct desk (ergonomically correct since it is important to keep the machinery operating as long as possible for the most value, the highest appreciation, even as it depreciates from the first day of service. The same way you oil your car, defrag your computer, or upgrade your cellphone). Every product, the papers shuffled and chased, faxed and scanned, keystroke logged and date transmitted across the aether. The fuel, every illusion in the guise of ambition, promotion, education, salary increase and wage increase, health care benefit, and credit of disposable income (and all income is disposable). The cling and clang, every depressed Enter key, every E-mail sent successfully, and every business call. The oil, every complaint lodged around the bottled water vending machine, every gossip, every rumor, and every Facebook status. The gears, every doctor’s office visit, every pill taken as prescribed, every weekend all-nighter, every vacation, every affair, every therapy visit, every porn film viewed in secret, every alcohol binge, every drug abused, every party, every fight over finances, and every spousal argument. Take a step back now and conceive The Machine, look at it moving, it resembles a pogrom, a laboring camp, intent upon operating unto final extermination.

Wicked LondonThe Production of the Machine – There is much this Machine produces and not all of it tangible. One of which is the so-called Underground Economy. How does this work? As drug deals performed with government supplied money, alcohol purchased with currency-exchanged food stamps, paperless jobs with federal money unreported as transacted, shoplifting and reselling outside of store walls, loans with unapproved, non-LIBOR based rates of interest, unacknowledged police forces, undocumented education, unlicensed practices of lawyering, doctoring, and surgery, unmarked graves and unreported deaths, unconsented fornication, crime never called and violations no law has touched or judged imagined, prisons without statistics, and new humans without names or birthdays. . .endless deception. A machine within The Machine; an inception. On certain levels, there are those who never notice or hear about the underground machine, but profit from its existence. Oh, its shallowed ills are certainly spectacularized by media, but even this arm of the pogrom does not have full access. Its vantage point is too contrived. Nevertheless, within the depths, in limbo of the machine only the workers (Worker Bs) know. Only those marked within the walls, incarcerated by its mentality, suffer sheep-like, the effects. Just wandering blank-eyed zombies with scientifically managed jingles on perpetual play in their heads. Does The Machine disgust no one? Does no one spy its black blood?

UntitledAugmented Reality as Deception in The Machine – Let us now return to consciousness. For it is only consciousness that can conceive of the aspects of the unconscionable; therefore, perceive the products of its creatures. But why deception (as mentioned in preceding paragraph)? Augmented reality:  “More Real Than Real Life” [NOTE: this phrase surmises the definition of augmented reality, which enhances reality by modifying the view of real life using computer-generated input]. Think about that statement. If reality were not merely “real” but also ultimately realized, a reciprocal relationship between subject and object becomes clear. A kind of seamlessness of Heisenberg’s Principle, which, I think, is fundamentally the [philosophical] idea that the external world is as much a component of the internal world as the internal world is as much a component of the external, or the symbiotic synthesis of inner space and outer space. Analogous to if the extrinsic and intrinsic were mother and child, or womb and offspring. As such, sharing molecular structure and genes, atoms of womb remain with offspring. Essentially, transcending the barrier (however, the barrier could also be said to be an illusion, that there really isn’t a between at all; this idea will be explored in subsequent posts, but is not altogether necessary or relevant to current post) of form; i.e., skin and skein, thusly applied to the idea of inception, a machine within The Machine. The Machine as womb, and the Underground Machine as offspring. Now, augmented reality supposes supernaturalism over real and realized, the real world. A kind of divinity, a god; i.e., more than itself than image of itself, like reducing the holy trinity to a hyper-coupling. Mathematically, three equals three plus two, or 3=5. In other words, inception of The Machine creates exponentially (much like the Fibonacci sequence relates to exponential grown) other machines. Not necessarily lesser or greater machines as to use smaller, lesser, or similar description would not adequately describe as size does not matter, only that there is reproduction, another level or subsequent dimension, i.e., the analogy of womb and offspring, with “genetic” structure like the mother, yet dissimilar enough to operate independent of the mother. Ergo, any inception of The Machine resembles The Machine (interdependency) yet operates under its own volition (independency). Exponential because The Machines fractalizes which creates an Underground Machine.

How is reality realized? One way is through sensation, the medium of the senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Imagining “real life” using this perspective begets a question: what senses, if any, are involved in the realization of Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality by formula conveys by way of transmission through the eyes and ears, subsequently realized in the brain (signal processing). However, Augmented Reality (and essentially the internet and current Digital Era) is actually an illusion. Simply data created about the external world, not information directly processed from or of the external world (the real world, reality). That data, therefore, as sole substance of the extrinsic. Does this not, ergo, effect and affect the intrinsic? Augmented Reality’s apparent boast (“More Real Than Real Life”) does not augment reality, but transforms realization and metamorphoses real life (that is a style of life based on what is realized). Essentially, Augmented Reality would actually purport to possess control over real life. As the senses become obsolete in reality augmented to such an extent, supplanted by steady streams of data. This is the deception.

Mechanical Rose HipThe Ghost from The Machine – The Worker Bs incorporating The Machine constitute a biological organism in the first degree. A biological organism as god, created in god’s (The Machine) image (inception). The manifestation of the trinity (the hyper-coupling mentioned above), more than the realization, quite a difference between manifestation and realization. Augmented Reality as data stream downloaded into the brains (the hive consciousness) of the Worker Bs and the Worker Bs employed, occupied, functioning as an organized body is the manifestation of the trinity; i.e., phasmatis ex apparatus (“ghost from the machine”). Worker Bs (or people, the inhabitants of the Machine as an environment) construct the “consciousness” of the Machine, that consciousness (consciousness in the sense of wisdom of the crowd, or cloud computing) composes the ghost.

Unfortunate EventsThe Machine as a Realized Environment – How does this apply to The Machine? What if The Machine were a realized reality? In other words, not real, only realized? If a biological organism were inhabitant of that machine, in what way does that environment (ex., the operation of The Machine as an environment) affect that organism? Wouldn’t the outcome result in an inception? Quite the inversion of its promises (reality augmented), perhaps a diminished reality (counting as an inception, recall that size or direction does not apply, only that a fractalization results). A dying under the auspices of vitality, a dulling disguised as quickness, a boredom masquerading as invigoration (ex., bureaucracy, employment, and schooling). That is how I see the underground machine, as an inversion. A 90° turn, a twist, a displaced and tangential realm. Clone of the “original” economy (The Machine), only the copy is not quite as astute so degenerates further into depravity (as a whole). The Augmented Reality as perverted, not as superior of nature, but as infranatural or a hyporeality. Not even a parallel universe (the fractalization does not occur linearly) but one tangential; therefore, an electronic homunculus, a monstrosity; albeit, unlike Frankenstein’s for it lacks awareness of its existence.

This originally appeared on my other blog I share with my boyfriend, EXPLORINGtheLATERAL as “Machine: Part One” (I am the original author of the post on that blog).

*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Gears” by tim_d
“Mechanical Rose Hip” by rore
“Steampunk Beholder Miniature robot sculpture – Daniel Proulx – Canada . : Steampunk Exhibition at The Museum of the History of Science, The University of Oxford, U.K.” by Daniel Proulx 
“Wicked London” by Trey Ratcliff
“Untitled” by Jose Maria Perez Nunez
“Unfortunate Events” by ToNToN CoPT

 

 

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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Projected Ages of Centenarians

Projected Ages of Centenarians

How many people living in the United States are 100 years of age or more?
10,000?
25,000?
50,000?
Well, if you agreed with any of these numbers you still would be way too low.

More than 84,000 people living in the United States have reached the mark of centenarian (100-years-old).

Hold onto your hats for this next piece of information. According to SeniorCircle.com that number is expected to increase to 580,000 within the next 30 year! It is anticipated that the United States Baby Boom Generation will be experiencing the longevity benefits of modern research and technology and boost the number of people who will live to blow out 100 birthday candles by more than seven times!

Happy 100th Birthday

Happy 100th Birthday

I started thinking that it might be a good idea to take a closer look at the information and research coming out on what these 100 years young people are doing to keep themselves vital and contributing members of their advanced generation and the truest source of wisdom and experience society has to offer.

• Almost 20% of a 2010 poll of a hundred 100-year-young people said that they are involved in some type of volunteer work.
• Approximately 1/3 – 32% – eat organic foods regularly.
• A whopping 75% report that they get eight hours or more sleep at night.
• Centenarians clearly believe that laughter is the best medicine – an amazing 72% say they laugh or giggle every day.
• 4 in 10 walk or hike at least once a week. 31% keep themselves active by gardening.
• 3 out of every 4 centenarians consume nutritionally balanced meals daily.
• 62% engage in some type of spiritual activity such as praying or meditating every day.
• Topping the list – more than 80% reach out and touch someone and communicate with a friend or family member every day.

If you are fortunate like I am, to have had at least one grandparent very close at hand while growing up, you will already know how much wisdom our society is going to be gaining with the increase in longevity this aging generation is going to provide.

Fit at 100

Fit at 100

With the increased number of older people, we have the opportunity to tap back into the wisdom of the ages by seeking opportunities to engage these amazing people into our lives and our decision-making processes.

I hope and pray we can see this golden opportunity our society is being granted and incorporate the experience and history of this generation into our lives by connecting with our younger generation and sharing their lives with them, by seeking their involvement and opinions in helping us understand what they have seen work best in society and what they’ve seen not work so well.

We are being handed an opportunity to combine the genius of tomorrow’s minds with the wisdom and impact of the past. Let us join together, honor yesterday, improve today and build the best future we can!

ABOUT ME

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

What Is Digital Dementia?

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smartphones(Originally posted 7/4/13 on my own blog.)  In the last few days, I’ve been reading about some interesting research coming out of the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, Korea.  They have identified something called digital dementia, which a recent study was shown to affect some smartphone users and cause them to exhibit symptoms similar to those seen in other forms of dementia.

Smartphones have already been blamed for many ills.  These include addictions, cancer, and a decline in face-to-face social interaction.  These problems only increase as society’s dependence on technology grows with each passing year.

According to Dr. Byun Gi-Won, persons who use smartphones rely heavily on the left side of the brain.  The left side of our brain governs language, reasoning, and logic.  The right side, on the other hand, is responsible for creativity, concentration, and emotion.  This lop-sided use of the brain, so to speak, can result in a significant imbalance that leads to memory problems (particularly for details, such as telephone numbers), shortened attention spans, and emotional flattening.  The reduction in social interaction can lead to problems initiating or carrying on a conversation, or forming friendships.

It has been estimated that close to 20 percent of smartphone users are between the ages of 10 and 19.  Because the brain is not fully developed during this period, this places youngsters at a significant risk for negative effects which can become permanent and influence their academic, social, and emotional growth.  As many as 15 percent of this group is at serious risk of developing digital dementia.

Some experts have classified digital dementia as a form of early onset of a more lasting and serious form of the disorder.  However, a lot more research needs to be done before we can be sure about the long-term effects of this new condition.  It is recommended, however, that smartphone users consider the possible risks that can accompany a dependence on these devices until more is known about them.

Digital dementia has become so prevalent in South Korea that a number of clinics have been established to deal with the problem.  Experts have already called for internet addiction to be classified as a mental disorder; the emergence of this condition only intensifies the outcry for moderation of smartphone use.

Sources:

http://www.inquisitr.com/812289/digital-dementia-may-affect-smartphone-users/

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/26/new-digital-dementia-plaguing-young-tech-users/

http://fox4kc.com/2013/06/28/digital-dementia-surging-among-young-electronics-users/

How to not be alone

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English: Jonathan Safran Foer at the 2007 Broo...

English: Jonathan Safran Foer at the 2007 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A thought-provoking and interesting article, that points to a trend that is scary in some way. Like many things in life, something that can be good, can also often be  bad if it isn`t balanced. One glass of red wine might be good for the health but too many is not recommended. Nuclear weapon can be used for destruction, or for making energy that this planet need.

It is our job to use the internet right. It can be a source for inspiration that open our thoughts and make us more knowledgable, and that is certainly what it was meant for. But we can also use internet the wrong way.

Following you find J. S. Foer`s thoughts on how too much of the internet, can be problematic for us and the society.

———————————————————————————————-A couple of weeks ago, I saw a stranger crying in public. I was in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, waiting to meet a friend for breakfast. I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early and was sitting on the bench outside, scrolling through my contact list. A girl, maybe 15 years old, was sitting on the bench opposite me, crying into her phone. I heard her say, “I know, I know, I know” over and over.

What did she know? Had she done something wrong? Was she being comforted? And then she said, “Mama, I know,” and the tears came harder.

What was her mother telling her? Never to stay out all night again? That everybody fails? Is it possible that no one was on the other end of the call, and that the girl was merely rehearsing a difficult conversation?

“Mama, I know,” she said, and hung up, placing her phone on her lap.

I was faced with a choice: I could interject myself into her life, or I could respect the boundaries between us. Intervening might make her feel worse, or be inappropriate. But then, it might ease her pain, or be helpful in some straightforward logistical way. An affluent neighborhood at the beginning of the day is not the same as a dangerous one as night is falling. And I was me, and not someone else. There was a lot of human computing to be done.

It is harder to intervene than not to, but it is vastly harder to choose to do either than to retreat into the scrolling names of one’s contact list, or whatever one’s favorite iDistraction happens to be. Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat. The phone didn’t make me avoid the human connection, but it did make ignoring her easier in that moment, and more likely, by comfortably encouraging me to forget my choice to do so. My daily use of technological communication has been shaping me into someone more likely to forget others. The flow of water carves rock, a little bit at a time. And our personhood is carved, too, by the flow of our habits.

48e17-oxyPsychologists who study empathy and compassion are finding that unlike our almost instantaneous responses to physical pain, it takes time for the brain to comprehend the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation. The more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the expense of depth, the less likely and able we are to care.

Everyone wants his parent’s, or friend’s, or partner’s undivided attention — even if many of us, especially children, are getting used to far less. Simone Weil wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” By this definition, our relationships to the world, and to one another, and to ourselves, are becoming increasingly miserly.

Most of our communication technologies began as diminished substitutes for an impossible activity. We couldn’t always see one another face to face, so the telephone made it possible to keep in touch at a distance. One is not always home, ee7dbc565aeaf92f11ec5beffdafd24aso the answering machine made a kind of interaction possible without the person being near his phone. Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered, for whatever reasons, too burdensome or inconvenient. And then texting, which facilitated yet faster, and more mobile, messaging. These inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminished, substitutes for it.

But then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished substitutes. It’s easier to make a phone call than to schlep to see someone in person. Leaving a message on someone’s machine is easier than having a phone conversation — you can say what you need to say without a response; hard news is easier to leave; it’s easier to check in without becoming entangled. So we began calling when we knew no one would pick up.

Shooting off an e-mail is easier, still, because one can hide behind the absence of vocal inflection, and of course there’s no chance of accidentally catching someone. And texting is even easier, as the expectation for articulateness is further reduced, and another shell is offered to hide in. Each step “forward” has made it easier, just a little, to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey information rather than humanity.

THE problem with accepting — with preferring — diminished substitutes is that over time, we, too, become diminished substitutes. People who become used to saying little become used to feeling little.

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teach empathy, and don`t forget to use it, either.

With each generation, it becomes harder to imagine a future that resembles the present. My grandparents hoped I would have a better life than they did: free of war and hunger, comfortably situated in a place that felt like home. But what futures would I dismiss out of hand for my grandchildren? That their clothes will be fabricated every morning on 3-D printers? That they will communicate without speaking or moving?

Only those with no imagination, and no grounding in reality, would deny the possibility that they will live forever. It’s possible that many reading these words will never die. Let’s assume, though, that we all have a set number of days to indent the world with our beliefs, to find and create the beauty that only a finite existence allows for, to wrestle with the question of purpose and wrestle with our answers.

We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.

Most of the time, most people are not crying in public, but everyone is always in need of something that another person can give, be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to such needs. There are as many ways to do this as there are kinds of loneliness, but all of them require attentiveness, all of them require the hard work of emotional computation and corporeal compassion. All of them require the human processing of the only animal who risks “getting it wrong” and whose dreams provide shelters and vaccines and words to crying strangers.

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We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.

Jonathan Safran Foer is a novelist who delivered the 2013 commencement address at Middlebury College, from which this essay is adapted.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 9, 2013, on page SR12 of the New York edition with the headline: How Not to Be Alone.