The fear that our devices are somehow altering our brains might seem exclusively modern. But in 1931, Technology Review published “Machine-Made Minds: The Psychological Effects of Modern Technology,” in which John Bakeless explored how machines had transformed the very nature of human thought. Here’s what he had to say:
For more than a decade, synthetic biologists have promised to revolutionize the way we produce fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. It turns out, however, that programming new life forms is not so easy. Now some of these same scientists are turning back to nature for inspiration.