Rethink Yourself – The New You

embodied cognition.001

Rethink Yourself – The New You

I’ve been thinking about the power of language and the metaphors we use to describe ourselves.

When Henry Ford coined the term “cogs” in the early 20th century to describe workers, he was describing the increased efficiency and cost reduction of industrialization. Little did he know that his metaphor would transition from describing components to data, from man-as-machine to man-as-computer, and unwittingly usher in an era of existential risk for humans unless we update the mental framework yet again.   

Peter Drucker’s optimized worker theories to Elon Musk’s Twitter musings on our being a part of a computer simulation kind-of worked to roughly describe the way our brains’ problem solve and make decisions — until they didn’t — because now the real machines have arrived and they are better than we ever were at being cogs.  

Where does that leave us humans?  

We better get good at being human because our old niche will soon be taken.  

Luckily, there’s an entire body of neuroscience called embodied and extended cognition where — put simply — your intelligence extends beyond your brain into your body, environment, network and tools. Embodied and extended cognition research documents the full range of human intelligences that we ignored in our race to industrialize. Further, technology has provided a new twist, the ability to confirm that our biology presents an underutilized resource. I believe the path to human thriving, counterintuitively, is more about using technology to rewild ourselves as quickly as we can than adding RAM to our brains.  

Backed by over thirty years of research that has been accelerating across the last decade, due in no small part to the advent of exponential technologies like AI, networking and sensors, wearables and more, updating our “Human-as-X” metaphor holds the key.

What do you think our new metaphor should be?



Comment (1)

  1. Terence Daniels

    You already said love, so I say human as “light”.

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