2006/07/04

Continual Change on NEW NET

My ideal for regularly scheduled gatherings of people are ones where people show up because they want to (as opposed to it being required) and all those who show up participate in the gathering in some way and leave feeling like it was a good use of their time, having learned something new and having shared something with others in the group. The challenge for NEW NET is to continually try new things to connect Wisconsin tech enthusiasts in ways that effectively work toward the above ideal.

One new thing I'm trying out for NEW NET is putting the weekly NEW NET issues list on this website. The current/interesting tech topics will be posted each day on the site, and weekly list will be accumulated and carried forward between meetings. If you have any suggestions for other ways to communicate the weekly issues list, or to make the NEW NET meetings more interesting and worthwhile, please contact me.

Discussion Topic - July 11 NEW NET

Best Technology For Keeping Brain Young or Increasing Its Capacity

Would you buy a Nintendo DS Lite to keep your mind young and maybe even improve your thinking skills? The DS Lite and its Brain Age game will cost you $135 - $160. Most people would gladly pay much more than $160 to significantly improve their brain’s capacity or to keep it sharp and ‘young’. The real question is, does ‘playing’ Brain Age have a noticeable positive effect, and is the game engaging enough to induce you to keep playing it.

Reviews I read for Brain Age w/ Nintendo DS were mixed. Some people thought it was great and others severely downgraded the game due to technical glitches (voice recognition has problems with the word ‘blue’, some handwriting recognition issues), narration that’s unnecessary after the first few times you play the game, and the contention that your brain isn’t being beneficially exercised but is rather being trained how to do the exercises in Brain Age. The Sodoku puzzles in Brain Age were highly appealing to some and completely worthless in the opinion of others.

Likely the best way to keep your brain young and to increase its capacity is by including lots of critical thinking activities in your daily life, both vocational and avocational. What ways do you use or do others you know use to keep their brain young?

Links related to brain-building tech: http://www.sciammind.com/article.cfm?articleID=00016C9D-2761-1477-9D3383414B7F0000&pageNumber=1 http://www.brainage.com/launch/what.jsp

In The News for July 11 NEW NET:


NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology issues), in the words of Andy, is a group of like-minded tech enthusiasts. It is an informal weekly gathering of people interested in getting together to talk, share and learn about a wide ranging variety of topics related to technology and the local economy. Anyone who think that sounds like a good time is welcome to show up regularly or periodically -- no dues and no formal meeting program. If interested, check this website for the place and time of the next NEW NET convocation (July 11, 7 pm, Mister Churro, 207 N. Richmond St., Appleton).

NEW NET was started because several of us had a strong desire to connect with other tech enthusiasts around northeast Wisconsin. The utopian ideal would be to have small tech enthusiast groups that meet weekly or monthly in many communities around the region (state?) which periodically (semi-annually, annually?) all get together in one location. If interested in working with us on this goal, please contact me by leaving a comment with your email address.

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