7 recent mind bending technologies that are altering what it means to be human

by Ishaan Kumbkarni, Staff Writer

  1. DNA editing

A new technology called CRISPR lets geneticists edit the human or any other organism’s DNA (chemical which carries code for how we will turn out to be physically and mentally). Think of it as a genetic scissor. Its applications are endless, ranging from disease resistance crops to designer babies, yes, you heard it right, designer human babies.

 

  1. Artificial Olfaction

Research in the area of e-sensing or artificial replication of the human sense organs has been on for quite a few decades. E-nose a device that can detect odours and flavours is already used in some industries (for eg for quality control in the food industry) and is now being developed for medical applications. Ground-breaking.

 

  1. Super Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has been around for quite some time but did we ever think that it would get real to the point that it would outclass our actual existing reality. For an article in TechCrunch the writer experimented between standing at the edge of a tower in the VR Minecraft game and compared it to standing on the edge of an actual mountain in Norway. He reported greater feelings of dizziness and vertigo in the Virtual Reality game. Let that sink in.

 

  1. Emotional Surveillance

In China an “emotional surveillance” system is allowing supervisors to scrutinize employees’ brainwaves for signs of distress. Lightweight sensors embedded in workers’ hats or helmets wirelessly transmit the wearer’s brainwave data to a computer. Then, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms scan the data, looking for outliers that could indicate anxiety or rage. Wow.

 

  1. Digital Afterlife

This might sound right out a Black Mirror episode, but this is true. According to tech website futurism.com, a digital afterlife industry has cropped up, which can include online memorial services or even re-creation algorithms that attempt to write messages and posts in the dead person’s voice. Feel weirded out yet?

  1. Artificial Imagination

And you though artificial olfaction was weird. AI (Artificial Intelligence), till now was very good at identifying things, but not very good at creating things. Creation requires imagination. The solution came to a PhD student, Ian Goodfellow during an academic argument with his friend at a bar. As a result of that eureka moment, now two AI systems can spar with each other to create ultra-realistic original images or sounds, something machines have never been able to do before. Effectively creating non-human, artificial imagination. I need to start having better conversations while having a cold one.

 

  1. Iron Man Suit

British inventor Richard Browning recently set a Guinness World Record for flying a body-controlled jet-engine-powered suit that he built in his garage, over a lake in Reading, England, reaching a speed of 32.02 miles per hour. It is propelled by 6 micro gas turbines mounted on the arms and back. Iron man suit is here. I repeat. Iron man suit is here. Search him on YouTube to watch the super smooth video of Richard Browning, flying.

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 ways in which we delude ourselves

 

by Ridhi Murari, Freelance Contributor

 

Resistance stems from a deep and intense struggle between wanting to change and wanting to hold on to our habitual patterns of reacting, emoting and behaving; more often than not in a desperate attempt in protecting ourselves from facing our demons. When we actually confront a problem which is seen by us as unmanageable or difficult we fall into a pattern of deluding ourselves; here are 7 ways in which we do that:

 

 

  1. Publishing Odd Future GIF-downsized_largeREPRESSION When we forget things we find unpleasant, it is called repression. We all have incidents that shake our core from within, hitting us with the impact of a physical blow. This is where repression comes in. The thoughts that flow through our minds in this stage are typically, “Oh, I’m so mad at her that I can actually pick up a matchstick and burn her in hell, oh God, how did I become so violent? Let me not think of her this way. “

 

 

 

  1. sad love and hip hop GIF by VH1-downsized_large            SUPPRESSION- When one is aware that a particular feeling, thought, or want has made way into ones consciousness and yet they make a deliberate effort to not dwell on it―one, by not thinking about it (internally) and two, by not acting on it (externally). for eg a wife may be peeved about her husband’s behavior but because of some guests around her, she may control her reaction at that time. But one should also be aware of the possibility that these impulses and thoughts might make way again, and that they will need to be dealt with at the time that they do.

 

              

 

               

  1. world series no GIF by Brett Eldredge-downsized_large           DEPRIVATION- He has it and I don’t and the endless discourses on how the world is an unfair place to live in which follow; such comparison is inevitable, someone has the intangibles we want. This deprived state leads to complaining, resenting, and dwelling in a spiral of negativity and eventually, being exhausted by the process, seeking refuge in a sea of optimism through any means possible. PS- Beware of over-enthusiastic people, it’s often a reversal of the deprived state that makes them overjoyed.

 

 

 

  1. Brendan Fraser What GIF-downsized_large                   AMBIGUITY INTOLERANCE- “But you have to tell me what do I do next?” “If I knew what to do why would I come to you?”; to avoid those uncomfortable situations of awareness, reflection and introspection, we would do anything in the world for another being to dictate the steps of our life so I can later blame them for all of it. The degree to which an individual is comfortable with uncertainty, unpredictability, conflicting directions, and multiple demands. In essence, tolerance for ambiguity is manifest in a person’s ability to operate effectively in an uncertain environment.

 

                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. like GIF-downsized_large                                         INERTIA- “Okay, let’s do one thing since I’ve tried everything from my end, there is nothing more I can do so let it be. This is my fate and destiny, so what’s the point?”. This is the world of the inertia, of people who have given up and entered the realm of learned helplessness. The psychological meaning of the word “inertia” implies an indisposition to change – a certain “stuckness” due to human programming. It represents the inevitability of behaving in a certain way, to the extent that it may have been indelibly inscribed somewhere in the brain.
  2. routine GIF-downsized_largeROUTINE SEEKING- There are, among us, people who need to know what to do at each step. Bound by routine, they are beings who hate stepping out of their comfort zones. Change is uncomfortable for most of us, even if this resistance does not manifest itself in the form of an incessant need to stick to a staunch routine. Not that all routines are bad. We need routines, but the question is: who is the master? us or the routine.

 

 

 

7. hd GIF-downsized_largeENTITLEMENT– We all want things. But some people feel they are entitled to whatever it is they want, and they feel they deserve it all now. That can make for very difficult relationships, a lot of disappointment, and never receiving what is most important in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Ways of Controlling Technology Addiction in Children

Shraddha Gupta,  freelance contributor

Due to the frequent use of technology young minds are becoming dull as well as unimaginative and creativity is becoming endangered. While many parents think that they are aiding their children by getting technological devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets etc.; they are only partially correct. Without the proper control and restriction on use of the internet, children can very easily become addicted to social media platforms. The boon of technology then, starts to become a bane.
But if the right controls and limits are set, parents can prevent this addiction and children can benefit more from the internet than they would lose. Following are the ways in which this addiction can be controlled or prevented:
1. Setting a Time Limit
giphy
Time limits for the usage of technology should be set for children and it should be made sure that they are adhered to. It might be troublesome for parents in the beginning, but they should remain firm. This will ensure that the child uses technology more for learning and reading. Children can be motivated to make this restriction, a habit by rewards and punishments.
2. Using the Token Economy Technique
giphy (1)
Token economy is a form of behaviour modification designed to increase desirable behaviour and decrease undesirable behaviour with the use of tokens that the children would receive after displaying desirable behaviour. The collected tokens can then be exchanged for whatever they want. Tokens can also be taken away on display of bad behaviour.
3. Self Control
giphy (9)
Children at a tender age try to imitate their parents to learn behaviour. This behaviour generally becomes permanent and doesn’t change very easily is learned. If children see their parents on screens most of the time, they will tend to do the same. Children will have a natural attitude of depending on technology if they see their parents doing the same.
4. Find Ways to make Technology Habits Productive
giphy (4)
A technology obsessed child may be trying to find a passion for him or herself. Try and channelize that into a positive path and enroll him/her in various classes like programming, sports, dancing, animation etc. for him/her to be sure of whether they want to pursue their life in this field as a career or if it is just a hobby.
5. Using the Technique of Aversive Conditioning
giphy (10)
Parents can instill the hazards of using technology excessively like obesity, weakening of eyesight, lowering of concentration span etc. to make their children more aware about why they want them to leave this addiction. This will also give the children an insight that their parents are caring and they just want the best for them always.
6. Motivational Interviewing
giphy (7)
This technique involves structured conversations that can help children increase their motivation to overcome technology addiction by, for example, helping them recognize the difference between how they are living at present that is, behind screens and how they wish to live in future while spending real time with parents and peers and see what they were missing out on.
7. Self-monitoring of Urges
giphy (3)
Another way to foster detachment from urges to check social media almost every 5-10 minutes, is to have teens use self monitoring procedures to keep track of the internal and external cues that stimulate the urge, their mood, how long the urge lasted, coping skills used to cope with the urge and how successful or unsuccessful these coping strategies were.
8. Urge Surfing
giphy (8)
In this technique, teens can be taught to label these internal sensations and cognitive preoccupations as an urge or craving that is beginning to develop and to foster an attitude of detachment and dis-identification regarding this wave of desire, initially through training and support from parents. If after practicing this for a while, it becomes easier for the teens to delay and distract this urge and eventually, their addiction diminishes.

giphy (11)