The future no longer provides a comfortable home for human imagination; its discontinuities are becoming impossible to imagine. But rather than mourn the loss, we increasingly turn to the instant moment of always on connected culture.
Cherishing one's inner life is made difficult by the always-connected demands of the digital world. Psychoanalysis can help and accurate portrayals of psychoanalysis, such as by Molly Knight Raskin in the current print edition of PT, provide helpful reminders.
Today's new adults are the first generation of digital natives to come of age. And they are getting an underserved rap for being shallow victims of the self-esteem movement. More than Generation Me, they are Generation Us.
We should pay very close attention when a technologist as accomplished and gifted as Jaron Lanier takes issue with the outrageous predictions and rhetorical excesses of the technological elite. But it is up to both the producers and the consumers of emerging technologies not to confuse the technical with the human.
Our increasingly networked world can magnify both the wisdom of crowds and the stupidity of crowds. After all, networks exhibit tremendous content-apathy: crap flows as freely as gold. Understanding ill-considered collective decisions, such as the July '10 US Senate failure to enact climate change legislation, benefits from understanding the structure and function of networks.
Celebrity meltdowns can often teach valuable lessons. Consider Mel Gibson. "The Hatred of the Gibson," a story without a resurrection at the end, shows that hatred is corrosive. Hatred almost always hurts the hater. While you don't always see it, while you may try to ignore it, the foundation of someone's character can get so worn away by hate that the person's facade cracks and falls.
When it comes to trying to understand the Internet's psychological consequences, Jimmy Durante, the old vaudvillian with the prodigious schnoozola, has it right, "Everybody wants ta get inta da act!" But when it comes to literacy and quality education, does it make sense to talk about children as though they were lone warriors wrangling information. Or is it better to once again realize that children learn from what we adults do and how we care for them.
While an IBM computer named Watson is on the verge of becoming Jeopardy? champion—something that is a pretty significant milestone in natural language processing systems—we need to remember that humans made the technology. Watson's eventual victory is actually a victory for our species.
Saying good bye is never easy, but it is worth it. Don't hide behind the illusion that social networks make saying good-bye unnecessary. Instead, embrace the full human experiences that can come from the process of saying good-bye.
A Public Service Announcement written by consumers at the Rockland Psychiatric Center with guidance from filmmakers Alicia Salzer, MD, and Nikole Cattell. Mary Barber, MD is the Clinical Director at Rockland Psychiatric Center and she wrote that the project specifically was "made to raise awareness and reduce stigma around people with mental illness."
Discussion about technologically-mediated psychotherapy too often become polarized arguments rather than thoughtful debates. When the media oversold a small, preliminary study about CBT telephone therapy for depression the reflective space between technophilic enthusiasm and technophobic resistance got lost.
The story of Paul and his girls begins to end with a struggle in therapy, a war actually, in which Paul discovers life and the pleasures of living, all while challenging his therapist's empathy and openness.