No, I Don’t Want To Watch My Thoughts On TV


You can officially consider me an old man, and maybe even a luddite.

I’m not thrilled about this new technology that can supposedly turn your thoughts into video. (Of course, you’ll find out it doesn’t, if you read the article and not just the headline.)

Regardless, the problem is this: the majority of us are full-time spectators. We don’t need more things to watch on TV. Books and art weren’t good enough, because who wants to have to turn a page or walk to the next painting in the museum? And music wasn’t good enough, because who are we supposed to watch dancing while we’re listening to it?

So we’ve ended up with a culture that is addicted to automated visual stimulation. Reload, feed, AJAX, repost, stream, update, animate. Everything’s gotta wiggle. Thanks to computers, we’re losing not only our memory and attention span, but our capacity to imagine. To daydream. To have thoughts that are thoughts.

Aren’t dreams good enough — as they are? Do we really need to connect them to a computer, too?

We’ve achieved so little with what we were born with.

Some will make the TED-like claim that this changes everything. But it really doesn’t.

Like most technology, it will be used for generating more advertising revenue and bad entertainment.

So let’s first solve the problems that our greatest thinkers were addressing hundreds, even thousands of years ago. The problems that won’t go away until we discover a basic technology called self-control.

That would be a “historic experiment.”

One thought on “No, I Don’t Want To Watch My Thoughts On TV

  1. I did a keynote last week at CCD Expo – subject was the “future of media production.” One of my predictions was that by 2050-2070 we will have brain-machine interfaces that can interpret our musical thoughts – brain as musical instrument.

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