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So my question to you is....what does this all mean?Are we special or do we have certain plans for us?
Humans are evolved pattern-spotting machines, often finding trends where none exist, which makes us terrible at producing and recognizing randomness. And research shows that those with stronger beliefs in the paranormal are even less prone to acknowledge randomness in, say, a truly unbiased series of coin tosses--independent of any other deficits in probabilistic reasoning
In my next post, I'll list a few examples of seeing too much life in the ones and zeroes.
For a while there were conspiracy theories about how random the iPod shuffle function is; users noticed weird patterns and Steven Levy had to ask Apple engineers to assure him it was really random.
We all see patterns where they don't exist, and we're also programmed to detect intentional agents--we anthropomorphize inanimate objects that merely hint at being alive. So we may perpetually overestimate the capabilities of artificial intelligences we come across. And a new study reported in the February issue of Psychological Science (pdf) says that the lonelier you are, the more that will happen. In the study, people who felt more more socially isolated attributed higher levels of free will, consciousness, and emotions to gadgets like "'Clocky' (a wheeled alarm clock that 'runs away' so that you must get up to turn it off)". Uh oh. Psychologists reported a decade ago that loneliness increases with Internet use. That means: more geeking out, more loneliness, more reliance on technology for companionship, and the cycle repeats.
Originally posted by Amaterasu
I think we here at ATS tend to be brighter than the average bear. Some may have mental issues, but by and large, we are merely more insightful.
Originally posted by Duality
What I'm getting at is, what we may call being highly intelligent or being 'awakened', others may call being paranoid and irrational. I don't feel that we are any better or should be any less susceptible to criticism and calls for evidence than anyone else just because we're alread communicating over an alternative medium.
It is not surprising therefore, that delusions have been reported in the psychiatric
literature in which the internet has featured as a central theme (see Table 1). Broad
sociocultural influences on delusional beliefs are well known and previous research has
shown an influence on the presentation of delusions depending on country ,
gender and social class  and social environment . Considering that the DSM-IV
diagnostic criteria for a belief to be considered delusional are culturally relative (one of
the criterion being that the belief “is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of
the person's culture or subculture” ) it is perhaps unsurprising that cultural factors
might cause differences in the prevalence of certain themes between localised
It is notable that the role of the internet in
such delusional beliefs is largely restricted to two major themes. The first is the use of
the internet as an explanatory tool to account for unusual experiences, such as
experiences of control, voice hearing or having one’s thoughts read.
However, it has been noted  that people who are likely to be psychotic may use the
internet to form online communities based around their delusional beliefs, and archive a
large corpus of online information to support their conjectures. Research on the social
psychology of the internet has suggested that people who strongly identify with a group
identity or cause are more likely to have their attitudes influenced to polar extremes if
they are not in the same physical location . Combined with the increasing
availability of domestic internet access and the fact that “on the internet, people who
share your interest and lean in the same direction as you are just a few keystrokes away,
regardless of the issue’s obscurity, social desirability, or bizarreness” , people
undergoing the initial stages of psychosis may have delusional beliefs primed,
strengthened or deepened by using the internet, where previously they might have
encountered very few people (if any) who would agree with their interpretations.
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HOW I BECAME AN ATS MEMBER