Nature -vs- Technology (Round 1)
A moment of reflection…
A thought approaching…
A new direction…
Driving through the Yosemite high country I relaxed my mind to find that I love connecting with nature. The lakes trees, the mountaintops all cry out for more exploration. Journeying from the high country seeing Tuoulomne Meadows and Tenaya Lake and then down into the valley at Mariposa Grove, back up to Glacier Point, and down again to Yosemite Falls was a whirlwind 24-hour journey of captivating sites and tranquil sounds.
Fast forward back home in PA a week later and I’m working in front of my laptop, checking my phone, typing notes on my iPad, watching some TV at night. Technology can grab a hold of you. It’s shiny. It’s colorful. It’s fun! Technology makes us more productive, provides music for the soul, and saves lives. Technology makes us fat, lazy, and brain-dead. We rely on it so much that it’s our primary source of entertainment. Relying on technology for entertainment can jeopardize the frequency of having the most fun, interactive moments in our lives – entertaining each other in person. Technology functions as our working brain, the place for our greatest ideas, insight, and creations to live and grow. That can both help us build the finest art and most valuable creations and hurt us. Relying on a calculator for simple math may lead to brain atrophy.
I read a book over vacation called The Primal Blueprint. The author relayed some research indicating that humans reached their evolutionary prime approximately 10,000 years ago. As a species we had the highest average musculature, bone density, and brain size at that time. Why was that our zenith? There are several reasons, but a major factor was our complete control over our environment with much more primitive technology like basic tools, weapons, fire, and shelter. That combined with the need to fight for your food and survival daily meant we needed really big brains & strong physiques.
I know there’s plenty of debate over whether a bigger brain means you’re more intelligent, but it seems logical that more tissue and more neurons would give a greater intellectual capacity in the areas of the brain that are larger. I say this knowing full well that my brother has the biggest head in my family, both figuratively and literally, and this will only add to his case for being “the smartest person I know”.
How can we get back to that zenith? How can we combine the evolutionary superiority of the post-Ice Age human with the incredible advances in medical technology allowing us to extend life when previously you’d have met your end from a virus, poisonous plant, or the dreaded grizzly bear?
I think the solution is going back to the future. We need to swing the ball in Newton’s cradle back a little bit towards the Ice Age. Get out in the fresh air. Take a hike. Walk outside at work. Meditate under a tree.
There’s a lot more we need to do than just connecting with nature. The Primal Blueprint shared 10 Laws for going a bit more caveman or cavewoman in your life. A recap is worth a week’s writing. I feel fantastic after implementing just a few changes in my life, so I’m excited to share what I’ve learned. Next time.