Natasha Vita-More on Personal Identity

We’re asking each of the participants in The World Transformed to give us their thoughts on one major coming transformation. Here are Natasha Vita-More’s answers

If you were to pick just one current or coming transformation that you would advise people to focus on, which one would that be?

A stronger engagement with one’s personal identity – his/her sense of “self” and its complexities. This would require a heuristic model for one’s personal engagement in emerging and speculative technologies as a integrative, melioristic use of technology

What should we be doing about it?

Develop better social apps that allow us to be focused on moment-to-moment needs, but that does not deprive us from engaging with our outer environment.  (e.g., texting, cell phones, TV couch potatoes, etc. are mesmerized by the moment-to-moment interrelation with the technology at the expense of a world outside that umbilical cord to a media fix.)

What’s in it for us if we get it right?

A more conscientious society of humans that could lead to a more informed society at large.

What are the risks if we don’t?

“Psyche Risk”. Rather than our worrying about “existential risks” —  or the better term “extinction risk” — we ought to be alerted to the fact that our psyche is at risk.   Psyche, which etymology is that of Greek and the term “psuche”, means “life”, but ultimately it means “self or the “conscious personality.  This can be interpreted to related directly to “personal identity”, which is the continuation of a unique person over time (i.e., the uniqueness of each person).