Posts Tagged ‘NetSmart’

Net Smart

June 21, 2012

Net Smart: How to Thrive Online is a most welcome book by Howard Rheingold. A common theme for many articles and books is on the dangers the internet and its accompanying technologies. They argue that it is causing us to lose our ability to focus and concentrate on tasks; that technology is causing widespread attention deficit disorder. It is causing us to be isolated, connected with technology rather than our fellow humans. What I resent about these publications is that they make us seem like helpless victims of technology. This is not to deny that there are dangers that can result from the misuse of technology, but we can use them to our advantage so that we leverage technology to our own benefit rather than become helpless victims. Howard Rheingold informs us how to use technology to our benefit. In the lingo of the Healthymemory Blog, this is transactive memory. Transactive memory encompasses our fellow humans as well as technology. So does Rheingold’s approach to thriving online.

The first chapter is titled “Attention: How to Control Your Mind’s Most Powerful Instrument.” Many Healthymemory Blog Posts have addressed this topic (try entering “Attention” into the search box.). The first step involves harnessing our own attentional processes and becoming more mindful.

Chapter 2 is titled “Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need to Know, and How to Decide if It’s True.” A major criticism of the web is how to determined the veracity of stuff posted on the web. Actually this problem is not unique to the web, as this skill is needed for evaluating texts, newscasts, and statements by friends and acquaintances. A less well-recognized problem involves finding this good information. Search is a skill in itself that needs to be learned to benefit fully from the offerings on the web.

Chapter 3 is titled “Participation Power.” It provides guidance on how to be an active participant on the web and explains the benefits of this participation.

Chapter 4 is titled “Social-Digital Know How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence.” This chapter explains how interactions with your fellow humans can produce collective intelligence that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Chapter 5 is titled “Social Has a Shape Why Networks Matter.” This chapter explains how networks function and why they are important.

Chapter 6 is titled “How (Using) the Web (Mindfully” Can Make Your Smarter.” This chapter echoes an ongoing theme of the Healthymemory Blog, that Transactive Memory can help you grow your intelligence and enhance your cognitive health.

I highly recommend Net Smart. Although some future posts will be based on this book, particularly those dealing with developing and enhancing your memory and cognition, there is no way I can come close to doing justice to Rheingold’s superb volume.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.