Technology as Conduit for Extending Imagination


And imagination is a key ingredient of creativity. Imagination allows us to go beyond all previously imagined limits.

Jason Silva, quotes cognitive philosopher Andy Clark who says (I'm paraphrasing from the video) that technology is scaffolding that extends our thought, our reach, and our vision. Humans are adepts at dovetailing their intelligence and cognition to our tools — we distribute our intelligence.

Mind resides in the feedback loops between humans, tools, technologies, and the space in between.

Silva has been doing videos about extending this possibility. Spreading ourselves out into the universe.

The video he shows, however, The Mirroring Mind, is about the emerge of the self. The idea is that before we can design, explore, create the world, we have to come to be. According to Silva, this short representation is how we come to be.

Creativity thrives on connections

Whether your personal take mirrors Silva's or not, making novel connections is at the heart of creativity. Steve Jobs, in a famous quote talks about this very topic:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.

It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

What helps enormously is having enough dots to connect. To make more connections we need to seek new experiences, learn new bodies of knowledge, building those raw materials and instances we can then combine.

Speaking more than one language, for example, is an advantage — more connections. Language and identity produce the traits that together we call culture.     

The New York Times published an article that
discussed some relatively recent research that supports what many people who speak
more than one language have experienced to varying degrees.

SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical
benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years,
scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are
even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of
people.

Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound
effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to
language and even shielding against dementia in old age
.

More connections, more learning, greater creativity. Technology gives us the ability to expand what we can do as an extension of ourselves.

 

+++

Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.