Some people think technology cuts us off from each other. This guy says: Not a chance.

Your phone is a window.

Through that window, you can see — and stay connected to — nearly the entire world.



This girl's either texting her BFF or pondering the vastness of human connections. Image via Thinkstock.

Stay with me here and think about this for just a minute. Your phone doesn't just have to be a weight in your hand to distract you while you wait in line. It's a powerful tool through which you can learn anything and stay connected to the world.

What does that mean for us?

Meet Jason Silva — he's what you might call a performance philosopher.

Here's Silva, philosophizing. All remaining images by "Shots of Awe."

Jason's a filmmaker known for his series "Shots of Awe" — a set of bite-sized videos that encourage people to think, to ask questions, to dig deeper. He calls them "philosophical espresso shots."

And by the way, they're beautiful. Like, what was that, mesmerizing, amazing kind of beautiful.

In his installment "Captains of Spaceship Earth," created in collaboration with Leonardo Dalessandri, Jason discusses how rapidly the world's technology is advancing.

Technology, he says, isn't driving humanity apart.

Jason quotes a great line: "Empathy rarely extends beyond our line of sight." Because "out of sight, out of mind," right?

You might think the same applies to our smartphones and screens, but he says technology allows us to expand our empathy. "If anything," Jason explains, "these wireless communication technologies are radically extending our line of sight. ... We never had such tools to overcome all the limitations of our humanity."

"If anything, these wireless communication technologies are radically extending our line of sight."

"We are seeing the big picture, we are seeing that we are captains of spaceship Earth." — Jason Silva.

Tech connects us and allows us to reach out to each other more than ever before.

Technology is always advancing. We're always becoming increasingly connected with the rest of humanity. In this world, Jason suggests, our goal in life should be to positively affect as many people as possible.

"We need to extend our hands to one another. ... This should be our goal. This is our responsibility. Here's our chance."


How's that for your daily dose of philosophical pondering?

Don't take it from me, though — Jason's explanation is far better.

And quite an experience to watch:

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

How we talk about Black Lives Matter protests across America is often a reflection of how we personally feel about the fight for racial equality itself. We're all biased toward our own preferences and a fractured news media hasn't helped things by skewing facts, emphasizing preferred narratives and neglecting important stories, oftentimes out of fear that they might alienate their increasingly partisan and entrenched audiences.

This has been painfully clear in how we report on and talk about the protests themselves. Are they organized by Antifa and angry mobs of BLM renegades hell bent on the destruction of everything wholesome about America? Or, are they entirely peaceful demonstrations in which only the law enforcement officers are the bad actors? The uncomfortable truth is that both extreme narratives ignore key facts. The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.protests have been peaceful. The facts there are clear. And the police have also provoked acts of aggression against peaceful demonstrators, leading to injuries and unnecessary arrests. Yet, there have been glaring exceptions of vandalism, intimidation and violence in cities like Portland, Seattle, and most recently, Louisville. And while some go so far as to quite literally defend looting, that's a view far outside the mainstream of nearly all Americans across various age, racial and cultural demographics.

But what if we step away from the larger philosophical debate and narrow things down to one very important fact: the vast majority of those stirring division at protests are white.

And if you don't believe me, just listen to Durham, North Carolina's mayor and what he had to say about how white people are "hijacking" Breonna Taylor's legacy and transforming a movement that has suddenly split Americans after having near unanimous support just a few months ago.


Keep Reading Show less