On a frigid Saturday, pink and yellow Post-It notes scrawled with concerns about cybersecurity covered a wall of Eyebeam, a nonprofit art and technology center in Brooklyn. “Identity theft + surveillance = paranoia, plz help,” read one note. “How much of a threat do alt-right hackers pose on social media?” read another. “If you know your device has previously been accessed by NYPD, what can you do?”
Humans have a cognitive ability that no other animal seems to have. We can mentally time-travel. At will, we can think back to the past, reimagining our first day at college or eating a meal last week. Then, just as rapidly, we can switch to picturing the future, imagining our next holiday or drinking a cup of tea in an hour’s time.