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posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 05:24 PM
Are Our Minds Going The Way Of Our Waists?

...The trouble is, like a syrupy muffin, connecting socially online may be like eating empty calories. The circuitry activated when you connect online is the 'seeking' circuitry of dopamine. Yet when we connect with people online, we don't tend to get the oxytocin or seratonin calming reward that happens when we bond with someone in real time, when our circuits resonate with real-time shared emotions and experiences. As a result, you want more and more social connections. On Twitter, you rarely get to feel satisfied and 'full' the way you might if you chatted in person with 50 people at a conference (after which you'd want nothing more to do with people for a while as your circuits recovered.) This problem was further explained in a story in Slate magazine. In summary, there's a circuitry for 'seeking' and a circuitry for 'liking'. The 'liking' response settles down the excitement of the 'seeking' circuitry. Without the 'liking' response, we end up looking like the rat that keeps pressing the level over and over to get a little dopamine hit, forgetting all about food and rest. To the brain, simply receiving new information tends to activate the reward circuitry: information itself can be rewarding, which prompted neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer to coin the term 'information craving.' Thus people can easily become addicted to getting information quickly and often. The social circuitry does the same thing, only sometimes more intensely. One new study, (still under review) showed that a computer saying 'good job' in an experiment activated people's reward circuitry more intensely than financial rewards....

Pretty interesting stuff! Funny how the more advanced we get technologically, we are still so defined, and limited, by our own make/model. I think we will either kill ourselves with our 'advances,' or, we will be alive long enough that the exponential growth in technological advancement will reach a point to upgrade the human machine with which it works. Maybe the singularity is near??!!


posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 10:52 PM
I wrote a reply earlier but had some network problems before I could post it - so here I am again in an attempt to recall the gest of it.

Great information, seems a valid hypothesis to me! The article is somewhat of a "sequitur" in that it follows that if there is an information seeking circuit, then it will get activated by reading the article.

Also, interesting point about singularity; indeed it seems logical that if we rely more and more on technology we make in order to extend our lives in all fields, that we are becoming more integrated with that technology. In fact, one could argue we are actively eliminating the human factor out of as much of our lives as possible, to be replaced by a crossover between human culture and .. well.. technological culture. As in, the way Youtube is programmed which videos to display on the front page influences all that choose to watch one of those video's - suggestions in social networks (ie "Is this a friend?" automatic suggestions) influence our social life to some degree - medical diagnosis software might influence the treatment one gets for any ailment. All of this seems to be in accordance to this "information seeking" behaviour, in the sense that we're using technology and science to reduce human errors, and thus maximize the chance of gaining correct information. We are the singularity - just not in the final form yet.

P.S. Maybe you should change the thread title - I felt a definite hesitation before clicking on it, just because it sounds somewhat like the subject of a typical spam mail. 't would be a shame if this thread didn't get the attention it deserves! Thou hath been flagged.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 11:17 PM
That's cool makes me want to go out even though it's almost 12 here

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 11:55 PM
Where's my stuff man?

I need me a hit of that internet.

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