It is such an ever-present part of our modern existence that we often overlook how technology actually changes us, for better or worse.
Now, before we address the problems of technology, let us first make it clear that recognizing negative impacts of technology doesn’t automatically make one a luddite. You are, after all, reading this either on your computer or, more likely, your phone. Technology has advanced to a point that we are utterly dependent upon it to live, communicate, work, and, sometimes, even play. That isn’t all good.
Joost Meerloo published The Rape of the Mind in 1956. It’s a fascinating book on modern brainwashing, indoctrination, and totalitarian states. But it also deals with the issue of technology and how it impacts our thinking, even the free societies of the West.
Since most of us aren’t facing the likelihood of being brainwashed by our North Korean captors any time soon, it’s probably worth focusing on technology and our minds. As Meerloo states:
“The world of tomorrow will witness a tremendous battle between technology and psychology. It will be a fight of technology versus nature, of systematic conditioning versus creative spontaneity.”
Naturally, there is a lot to consider in Meerloo’s writings, below are four sections to get the juices going.
On “the creeping coercion of technology”:
On technology causing mental and physical atrophy:
On the corrupting influence of mass media: