On this episode of Spark: Real-time Renaissance, Kinder Tech, and The Decline of Creativity. Click below to listen to the whole show, or download the MP3 (runs 54:00).
You can also listen to individual stories below.
Technology and The Wandering Mind
Science writer Jonah Lehrer recently asked whether our fascination with digital technology has diluted our ability to let our minds wander, and therefore be creative. But is digital technology actively taking away from day dreaming? And just how is a roaming mind linked to creative thought? Kalina Christoff is an assistant professor in the Psychology department and the Brain Research Centre at the University of British Columbia whose research focuses on the mechanics of introspection and mind-wandering. (Runs 11:49)
Kids and Tech Gadgets
If we aren't leaving ourselves much daydreaming time, then what about our kids? Earlier this week, a study called "Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America" was released. It turns out that not only are we never idle thanks to our devices, we're filling our kids' empty spaces with them too. Jeana Lee Tahnk is a tech writer and a parent who wonders if parents are contributing to a decline in creativity by not allowing our children the space to daydream. (Runs 10:20)
The Real-time Renaissance
Mark Jeffrey is an author and web entrepreneur, and back in the 90s he developed on of the most popular real-time chat spaces. But the timing wasn't right. The technology just wasn't advanced enough for the concept. Cut to 2011 - the tech has finally caught up, and Mark thinks we are currently experiencing an explosive resurgence in real-time chat environments. Beyond video games and Second Life, the new breed of real-time chat spaces are setting the stage for the next level of social media - "purposeless" social places to connect and hang-out virtually. (Runs 10:09)
Account Deactivation and Content Removal
What happens when the virtual public square is owned by private companies? Jillian York is the co-author of a new report that investigates principles and strategies for shutting down online accounts and pulling down content, from the perspective of private companies like Facebook, and individual users like you. (Runs 9:47)
The Influencing Machine
Brooke Gladstone is the co-host and managing editor of the NPR program On The Media. She's also the author of the new book The Influencing Machine, about the nature of mass media. From an onstage interview with Nora at the International Festival of Authors, she talks about media as a reflection of the technology and politics of its times. (Runs 5:41)
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