Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

If a Time Traveller Saw a Smartphone

Among the many books I bought or received in the past month is a copy of Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to start it (I’m still working on Why We Build). I’m very much looking forward to starting it, though, for the reasons Tim Wu touches on in the New Yorker:

Our time-travelling friend proves that, though the human-augmentation project has been a success, we cannot deny that it has come at some cost. The idea of biological atrophy is alarming, and there is always a nagging sense that our auxiliary brains don’t quite count as “us.” But make no mistake: we are now different creatures than we once were, evolving technologically rather than biologically, in directions we must hope are for the best.

We are at once more and less capable than ever before, but perhaps we are more capable more often. One hopes.