Sunday, 1 January 2017

Reflection Is For Life Not Just For Christmas

Christmas and the end of year is like an alternative reality - we put trees in our homes, eat parsnips and think about, talk about and do things we don't normally do.

Christmas and the end of year is full of reviews of the year and predictions for the year ahead it's fun and also a sort of annual catharsis - its just a pity we don't do this more often.

"How are you" ... busy is the socially acceptable response but what does this mean. Busy these days is all about objective personal productivity and behaviour - its as if we have internalised the workplace in our everyday life.

Thinking, let alone reflecting, isn't seen as being busy - we can't see it and we can't measure it - its not seen as productive behaviour, completed tasks are what count. In everyday life we are too "busy" to think .... personal productivity and busy behaviour is what matters - its like a cognitive heat sink "dissipating thinking that might otherwise have built up and caused society to overheat."

Thinking and reflection are crucial in learning but I'm not talking any form of SMART planning and analysis and ticking off goals and achievements in the way many institutions corrupted and appropriated reflective practice in appraisals as another means to control and oppress employees. I'm not talking about reflection for intelligence through objective behaviourist analysis of data to turn ourselves into robots - that's artificial and machines are better at this anyway. I'm not talking about reflection as a technical report technologised by devices and data to objectify, quantify and consume ourselves.

I am talking about reflection for sentience "the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively" through self-reflection "the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence." I'm talking about reflection in the mind's eye "to see things with the mind", to let the mind wander and listen to your internal dialogue, emotional and mental life. I'm talking about reflection to enrich our lives through subjective self awareness by looking inside to find ourselves.

The information age is only just beginning - developments in artificial intelligence will raise great philosophical and even existential questions about what it means to be human. We share intelligence with machines but sentience makes us human and we should be human every day .... reflection is for life not just for christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment