I think that using IT –information technology, laptops, i-phones, satellite boxes and the like – is changing the way we think: changing the actual nuts and bolts of how we think – I think we are enhancing certain neural pathways in our brains and probably neglecting others, the old ways.
Some of us do this with greater ease than others.
For example, when humans detect incongruity in their world (a soldier knitting or a little old lady pumping iron) we tend to laugh[i], incongruity is the core of humor. When a train of thought leads us up a dead end, when the system of reasoning we are using doesn’t work, won’t extrapolate – we don’t bash on — we laugh and feel better and then we try another route. We don’t right click and we don’t get frustrated. Think of a joke, think why it is funny and you will probably see this. Laughing protects us and we like to do it so we don’t hang on to trails of logic that don’t hold good — we giggle, abandon that menu and look for a new one — right clicking isn’t so enjoyable.
Sometimes when I’ve been on the computer late at night I dream within the computer’s matrix – it is disturbing – last night I couldn’t get out of Google. We think in lots of matrices (superimposed restraints) – I’ve only just learned to think in Punctuation – for sixty years I did free thought.
Now, when I go to sleep, I can find myself dreaming in Word, with embedded commands out in the open, kicking my thoughts into shape, but not my shape, they direct the very narrative of my dream – it is weird and it is food for thought.
i] see the work of Marvin Minsky