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The Human Brain on Technology

Friday, December 9th, 2011



Our brains are literally rewired by our excessive daily technological usage. There is no denying this. We have yet to even see its full effects on the human brain because, well, we are still in the “thick” of it. It will be many years from now before we can see it’s repercussions. Kind of like testing a new drug and the FDA only sees it’s negative effects ten years later. But this doesn’t mean technology is bad. Not in the least.

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It’s just a simple truth that Westerns have grown accustomed to the availability of electronics. Our “progressive” population has grown considerably in the name of technology, albeit the majority of medical, scientific, and industrious revolutions come in the wake of a brand new technology.

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Or your brain on technology?

The New York Times reported in 2010: “Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information. These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.”

Think about how Angry Birds literally transforms the idle doctors waiting room office…

Red Angry Bird CufflinksRed Angry Bird Cufflinks

“The technology is rewiring our brains,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world’s leading brain scientists. She and other researchers compare the lure of digital stimulation less to that of drugs and alcohol than to food and sex, which are essential but counterproductive in excess. Technology use can benefit the brain in some ways, researchers say. Imaging studies show the brains of Internet users become more efficient at finding information. And players of some video games develop better visual acuity”

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“More broadly, cellphones and computers have transformed life. They let people escape their cubicles and work anywhere. They shrink distances and handle countless mundane tasks, freeing up time for more exciting pursuits. For better or worse, the consumption of media, as varied as e-mail and TV, has exploded. In 2008, people consumed three times as much information each day as they did in 1960. And they are constantly shifting their attention. Computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour, new research shows”

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The nonstop interactivity is one of the most significant shifts ever in the human environment, said Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco.

“We are exposing our brains to an environment and asking them to do things we weren’t necessarily evolved to do,” he said. “We know already there are consequences.””–By MATT RICHTEL, for The New York Times, Published: June 6, 2010.

So we’ve had our “Industrial Revolution.” Well ladies and Gents, we are in the midst of the new big era: the Technology Revolution. Where will it take us next?


Have you laughed today? SNL Skits

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

…..and this is not a cheese commercial.

Along with Steve Jobs, but maybe not on such an exponential level, SNL has changed the world too. Well maybe not the entire world, but just the little world that sits in front of the tube late Saturday nights and relishes in the comedy.I don’t know about you, but skits from the show have been brought up at the dinner table, classrooms, subway stops, and “hey you gotta watch this…” moments with friends.

How many bands did you learn simply from watching the show? It’s like they know the latest and greatest, suck you into new artists, and make you download their music. They’re catchy, hip, edgy artists that you want to have a beer with or at least consider buying their album. Just this morning, I awoke to the tune of a song I first heard last Saturday on SNL. How does this happen? Pure Genius.

In honor of the lovely crew at SNL, here are some memorable moments that occurred on random nights:

Let’s start with last Saturday’s musical guest, Foster the People

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Next up we have the duo we love best. They brought us “____ in a Box,” for the Christmas season, “Mother Lover,” “J___ in my Pants,” and most importantly, “The Golden Rule” song. As controversial as these may be, (not really but we thought we might add that in there), show them to your mom and we guarantee she’ll laugh too. Makes you wonder: how do they play this stuff on television?



Or our precious Harvard Graduate Natalie Portman, gone mad-woman gangster boo.

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Our Presidential Candidate Favorites: Hilary and Sarah. Let’s be frank, no one, and we mean no one, plays Sarah Palin quite like Tina Fey. The resemblance and mannerisms are simply uncanny.–hillary-open#s-p1-sa-i3

And lastly, a weekend update from our favorite, Stephon, the City Correspondent. The whole ‘hand over mouth’ thing is just…perfect. He’s a typical east village, club obsessed, strangely thin/weird/obsure gay man. But we’re starting to think that the hand over mouth is just to keep him from laughing hysterically at the camera.


Stay tuned for more videos, laughter, and worldly insight.