Hack Us Now for Humanity's sake

Design inner peace to better the world

Hello fellow humans. We’ve got all the ingredients here to do a lot better. This post proposes how we can start being more effective by designing apps to hack our brains into more altruistic states, both for individual and social wellbeing

We’re already programed by our device hooks, our content consumption. Let’s take control of the boobtube/feed/dialog/content & prompts to make the world a better place.  This is why we're making SmartSpark, what are you doing? 

If you create, design, fund, write on behavior…read on, think and add. I dare you to try. 

Recent neuroscience is conclusive; the individual brain idling in a sense of scarcity/fear/prejudice is more prone to hoard, prejudice, bomb…but the brain feeling safe and content is much more likely to act with tolerance, kindness and generosity.

Look at your feeds and they’re full of justified cries of anger, sadness, despair over the flaring up of pain all over the planet — wars, global warming, economic disparity and imminent disaster on far too many fronts. We unwittingly watch/read/’enjoy’ stuff that further makes the world seem really unsafe.

Yet, ironically, we need arm ourselves by consuming calm, hack into sense of safety in order to predispose ourselves to solve the problems that terrify us. Mindful. Fake it until we make it/walk a tightrope of optimism until it’s safe to look down. I’m not saying to ignore the news, just arm ourselves with ample ‘positive’ neural pathways so that you’re not put into a reactive deadened state where an innocent kid in a hoodie looks dangerous.

This isn’t creepy sci-fi. Creepy is that you’re unwittingly being manipulated by every great marketing ploy, game, and social media feed without your intentional direction. Did you get the warning that your SmartTVs maybe listening to you? Or that your facial expression can be read by software that sells it on to advertisers.  It's time to take up the reins.

We can hack ourselves into more altruistic states.

Take me to dwell in a sense of gratitude and plenty, visualize-me kind, useful, healthy, and see how I behave after. See how I respond to a cry for help after watching a violent TV show versus a story of remorse. What wires together, fires together. 

If we design the right apps/hacks, it actually feels good. Flip the news cycle upwards. Let’s addict ourselves to feeling good, building neural pathways that predispose us to act wiser/kinder.

Go to sleep tonight wondering, what experiences make you kinder? 

I leave you with this story...about how the narrative arc can help trigger empathy when cold facts can't.  

ariel mcnichol