Alas, the problem today is not consciousness, as many believe, but rather the psychological processes which precede awareness, as we build our identities while being shaped by our own tools. There is a widespread bias in today's social sciences called “social constructivism,” which holds that society can be “constructed” by humans to take whatever shape we would prefer. Not only is this obviously not possible, given endless failed attempts to do just that, but rather it is the reverse. We are “constructed” by the technologies we habitually use—starting at a very early age. What Piaget termed the “concrete operational” phase of development is particularly sensitive to this shaping—not determining, since formal cause is at work—as that is when humans are neurologically configured to deal with the particular world in which they live. Change the environment and you will change the resulting neural networks. When Frank Zappa sang about “Plastic People,” he was not kidding.
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