Technology is a swingset?

PSFK had a link to a Reuters article this morning about how the ubiquity of technology has caused most kids to not even acknowledge the innovations that package their lives and drive many of their social interactions.

The comparison of today's digital devices to the swingsets of my youth as a force in socialization was an interesting way to frame the perspective.

In addition, it brought to mind the virtually inseparable divide between religion and daily life in certain cultures. My family (and culture) saw life and religion as two separate things. My wife's family (and culture) can't distinguish between where faith starts and family begins.

Does anyone else know of any knowledge base highlighting the connection between culture and technology? Are there other non-technology comparisons that come to mind?


The Brain Amazes Me.

Last night I read an interview with Joseph LeDoux that shook me like a cheap snowglobe.

He is a neurologist at NYU who is interested in the formation of emotion and consciousness and how music may be the key to unlocking these things. In addition, the interview introduced me to the concept of "synaptic plasticity" and how our personalities may be formed by the malleability of our gray matter through both internal and external factors.

The "money" paragraph from the article as far as I'm concerned was:

The fact is that there are many different systems in the brain -- perceptual, emotional, motivational, cognitive and so on. And within each of these broad categories there are lots of divisions. All of these run in parallel. Neuroscience has learned a tremendous amount about how systems and brain areas work. But our self, our personality, is not just the sum total of our brain systems. Our self can be thought of as a particular configuration of functional activity occurring in many systems at once. These configurations are determined by our genetically based wiring and by the experiences we have as we go through life. When it comes to mental life and behavior, nature and nurture are not two different things but two ways of doing the same thing: wiring our synapses.

Go ahead. Call me a neophyte. I'm just getting into this planning role at my agency and soaking up everything I can like a sponge.

This is fascinating stuff that has a direct correlation to the notion of how a company's brand personality is developed in the market -- through a combination of internal factors and the external perceptions that consumers bring to the value transaction. In fact, I believe this is related to the notion of transmedia planning I've seen attributed to Faris Yakob -- where different messages to different consumers through different media assemble the mosaic of a brand's personality.

Is the development of our consciousness and personality in our brains an appropriate analogy? Am I just getting up to speed on thinking in the market?

Definitely worth a read.