Miriam Meckel’s powerful book poses far-reaching questions about the new field of neuro-optimisation and its broader context: the current fashion for self-measurement and self-perfection, as well as the myriad apps and technological innovations that are driving this expansion.
Meckel’s participation in a brain stimulation experiment involving thirty-six hours without sleep prompts her to think deeply about the ideas currently being explored by technology companies. She reveals how various companies are working towards producing a chip that would improve the performance of the human brain. Meckel finds this notion abhorrent, arguing that the manipulation of brainpower amounts to a manipulation of personality – one of the key elements that makes us human. Own Your Mind sets out a philosophical and historical engagement with this notion, taking in centuries of thought on the human conception of the self, and delivers a panoramic view over the centuries.
Meckel’s contribution to this highly topical debate offers a counter to Kevin Kelly’s 2016 book The Inevitable, which argues that we should embrace forthcoming technological changes, including the move towards constant tracking. Own Your Mind is a clarion call for further discussion on this key subject.