The Outer and the Inner Transformation of the Global Social Sphere through Technology: The State of Two Fields in Transition

Transitions in technology are shaping, defining and establishing the future of the globalized social sphere with increasing pace and impact. As seen from a systemic viewpoint, the overall process seems to consist of a two-fold movement, in which an outer process of transition is joined by an inner transformational drive. While new social media like Facebook, Twitter, webcams, smartphones and iPads change the outer dimension of how we perceive, interpret and handle our social lives, thus transforming our habits of cultural consumption, contemporary brain and consciousness research are changing the inner dimension of the contemporary social by dramatically re-shaping the self-perception and interpretation of the individual through the findings, cultural distribution and practical applications of neuroscience and neurotechnology, thus questioning the conceptual cornerstones of sociality as conceived by Western modernity. This two-fold argument examines both processes from the inside out and the outside in. As such, the primary task as at now may not be trying to “explain” the meaning(s) of the new developments, but rather to identify an array of crucial questions at the inter- and trans-disciplinary crossroads between the different societal fields, culturo-political trends and scientific disciplines.