“Brain Hacking”

Is technology as great as everyone thinks it is? What benefits has it brought humankind? It seems as though with each advent of new technology there are myriad disadvantages that keep appearing over time.

  • Motorized vehicles transported us where we needed to go faster, but now we know the synthesis of oil, and the burning of fuel, contributes to air pollution.
  • Electricity provided brighter light quickly, but now we know that massive amounts of energy are needed in order to produce electricity, which typically is produced by burning coal, and we know that bright lights at night negatively effect our circadian rhythms.
  • The internet delivers information to our fingertips and has the potential to connect humankind in ways we have not been able to before, but now we see that it tends to alienate people and contributes to our children’s inability to focus.

So, I am conflicted. On one hand I appreciate technology and its benefits. On the other hand, I am not convinced that its benefits outweigh its disadvantages. I do have to comment that in our western society, where people are no longer living in small village-like communities, where they help and support each other, technology has provided relief for the individual household (e.g. food processors, running water, washers and dryers). However, what I notice more and more is that something that was developed to make life easier gets twisted over time to where it becomes a money maker for companies at the expense of our sovereignty, our health, the land, and other beings.

Here is a video of how technology is being used to “hack” our brains – getting us to think and feel a certain way so that we behave in a certain way (providing more money for the company). This is not surprising to me, but it is upsetting nonetheless. I have always been made to feel bad because I do not respond quickly to text messages or I do not call back as soon as the other person thinks I should. I have only recently begun to accept that part of me and even embrace it as a healthier lifestyle. If you need that extra push to stop feeling guilty, watch this; then show it to your family and friends.

To watch the full “60 Minutes” episode click here.

“Brain Hacking”

Sana Sana

“Sana sana, colita de rana, un besito para ti y tu nana.”

That’s the phrase I knew growing up, although from a quick online search I see that there are many versions. It is a Mexican idiom that mothers say to their children when they are injured or distressed. It basically means, “Heal, heal, little tail of a frog, a little kiss for you and your grandma.”

I have always liked the phrase and it has been calming, even as an adult, so perhaps there is something magical about it. I use “Sana Sana” for this blog to imply that what I write will facilitate healing. It is difficult to argue that the direction in which our society is heading is not catastrophic.

We pollute the air with our industrial gasses and emissions; we pollute the land with herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers; we pollute the water with chlorine, fluoride, industrial run-off, and antibiotics; and we pollute our bodies with chemicals in our beauty, hygienic, and medical products.

There isn’t much that we don’t pollute.

Image of the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. The left side was cleared of muskeg and earth, revealing the tar sands underneath. Just one example of the devastation our modern-day industrial practices are causing.

Photo credit Todd Korol/Reuters
Photo retreived from https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/09/the-alberta-tar-sands/100820/

How do we heal the wounds we have created? Can we reverse the damage? Are there enough people who care about these issues to effect change? Do we need a cataclysmic event to force humans to start over? Does it even matter if we do start over? Will it just bring us to the same predicament we are in today?

I don’t have answers. I do know that I want to live in a way that respects all beings, even inanimate ones, and inspires others, at the very least, to think about how their actions and the action of others directly affects our world (and not only the world we live in today, but the world of future generations) and, hopefully, helps others embrace change in their own lives.

It’s not easy to change and almost always less convenient than what is conventional, but the simplicity of this kind of life is rewarding in and of itself, not to mention how thinking beyond oneself puts quite a spin on the self-centered perspective that is valued in our society.

I invite you to join me on this journey and keep an open mind to these topics, because change is bound to happen, and it is hopefully within our ability to decide which direction it will go.

Sana Sana