The Outsourced Brain
Until that moment, I had thought that the magic of the information age was that it allowed us to know more, but then I realized the magic of the information age is that it allows us to know less. It provides us with external cognitive servants — silicon memory systems, collaborative online filters, consumer preference algorithms and networked knowledge. We can burden these servants and liberate ourselves.
Moving Freely between Virtual Worlds
"Human cognition was designed to function in 3-D, and our computation eventually has to have a 3-D interface to maximize the matchup with the human brain as it evolved," he says. People will need to find a way to combine a concrete, 3-D spatial understanding with the connective power of the 2-D Internet, Lanier says.
The Double Edged Passion
The end of World War II saw Germany and Japan switch rapidly in the Allies psyche from terrible enemies, complete with derogatory nicknames, to stalwart friends, demonstrating that even those prejudices that had been chiselled, literally, into granite, aren’t. Ever since Sherif's experiment, psychologists have wondered about the best way to help such thaws along. Recently psychologists Thomas Pettigrew and Linda Trop (2006) gathered the results from hundreds of studies on this question (covering thousands of people), and used complex "meta analysis" statistics to take a powerful new look at the collected results. What they found is strong support for the ‘contact hypothesis’ - that personal contact between group members helps improve feelings. Contact even works substantially better when a number of conditions are present. From what you've heard so far, you won't be surprised to know that it helps to have a shared goal to work towards (like getting your bus unstuck), and that it is good to have a shared outgroup to rally against ("stupid vandals"). Other things help too, though, such as having the contact occur on an equal footing, with no group having higher status than the other.
A Minor History of Giant Spheres

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