Moore’s Law wins.
In a recent twitter conversation Jeremiah Owyang asked the question, ” Did we break Dunbar’s Number of 150 members per social network? Or are tools more efficient?”
The reality is that we have been pushing Dunbar’s number since we first invented the little black book. By offloading much of the social context data into long term storage we can maintain much more meaningful social interactions with a larger number of people. We can also pick up stale relationships and rekindle them much easier.
So what does Moore’s Law have to do with any of this? Our mobile phone and Social Network contact lists are this generations black book. We may not quite be up to the level of Johnny Mnemonic, but the reality is that we are already augmenting ourselves. For now the interface is our eyes and keyboard/pad.
Some of us are already living in the future…
Over at Wired, Melinda Wenner writes about transcranial magnetic stimulation where with a few Transcranial Zaps they can possibly treat migraines, depression, help you sleep better and even make you smarter.
Inducing brain activity may be a good idea in some cases such as brain disorders as exemplified by the coma patient that recently responded to a Brain Pacemaker. At the same time I think we have to be wary of the fact that the brain is trainable.
I worry the each time you use this device that you are inadvertently re-enforcing some random or not so random set of pathways with unknown consequences. Beyond this, TMS is considered safe ( relative to electroconvulsive therapy ! ) and there is a slight risk of siezures.
I think for now I will wait for a few others to become guinea pigs before I exchange it for counting sheep.