For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.
The juice that fuels the seeking system is the neurotransmitter dopamine. The dopamine circuits "promote states of eagerness and directed purpose," Panksepp writes. It's a state humans love to be in. So good does it feel that we seek out activities, or substances, that keep this system aroused—cocaine and amphetamines, drugs of stimulation, are particularly effective at stirring it.
Ever find yourself sitting down at the computer just for a second to find out what other movie you saw that actress in, only to look up and realize the search has led to an hour of Googling? Thank dopamine. Our internal sense of time is believed to be controlled by the dopamine system. People with hyperactivity disorder have a shortage of dopamine in their brains, which a recent study suggests may be at the root of the problem. For them even small stretches of time seem to drag. An article by Nicholas Carr in the Atlantic last year, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" speculates that our constant Internet scrolling is remodeling our brains to make it nearly impossible for us to give sustained attention to a long piece of writing. Like the lab rats, we keep hitting "enter" to get our next fix.
- Did a significantly worse job filtering out the irrelevant information.
- Took longer than non-multitaskers to switch among tasks.
- Less efficient at juggling problems.
- Tended to search for new information rather than accept a reward for putting older, more valuable information to work.
- Process visual and auditory input less efficiently.
- Become reliant on more a more simplistic, and often inferior, thought process, and can thus fall prey to perceptual decoys.
Maybe multitasking gives the illusion of productivity without achieving higher volume...
The number one killer of young Americans is the automobile.
However, the Secular Humanists dominating our schools refuse to acknowledge that the only safe driving is abstinence from driving. Instead, they advocate courses in “Driver Education,” in which teenagers are taught “Safe Driving,” and no attention is given to traditional values.
They are even taught the use of “Seat Belts” (and some classes even give explicit demonstrations of the proper method of applying these belts!) with, at best, a passing mention that the protection provided by these belts is only partial.
Clearly, this sends a mixed message to our young people: it appears to condone driving, and the more inquisitive will surely feel encouraged to experiment with driving.
Because sharing music is 14.5x more damaging than catastrophic, lifestyle-killing oil spills?
Independent estimates have the final cost of the BP spill at between 3 billion and 12 billion dollars. If Limewire has to pay, why doesn't BP?
And why isn't the entire American public as powerful a lobby as RIAA?
The record labels have told a federal judge LimeWire is liable for possibly “over a billion dollars” — the latest sign that the industry is seeking to annihilate the New York-based file sharing company.
The Recording Industry Association of America’s court filing Monday comes a week after the labels asked U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood to shutter LimeWire (.pdf). Weeks before, the New York judge ruled LimeWire’s users commit a “substantial amount of copyright infringement” (.pdf) and that the Lime Group, the company behind the application, “has not taken meaningful steps to mitigate infringement.”
“The amount of statutory damages awarded in this case easily could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars (if not over a billion dollars),” the RIAA wrote to Wood, in seeking a court order to freeze LimeWire’s assets (.pdf).
Facebook is wildly successful because its founder matched new social media technology to a deep Western cultural longing — the adolescent desire for connection to other adolescents in their own private space. There they can be free to design their personal identities without adult supervision. Think digital tree house. Generation Y accepted Facebook as a free gift and proceeded to connect, express, and visualize the embarrassing aspects of their young lives.
Then Gen Y grew up and their culture and needs changed. My senior students started looking for jobs and watched, horrified, as corporations went on their Facebook pages to check them out. What was once a private, gated community of trusted friends became an increasingly open, public commons of curious strangers. The few, original, loose tools of network control on Facebook no longer proved sufficient. The Gen Yers wanted better, more precise privacy controls that allowed them to secure their existing private social lives and separate them from their new public working lives.
Facebook's business model, however, demands the opposite. It is trying to transform the private into a public arena it can offer advertisers. In doing this, the company is breaking three cardinal cultural norms:
- It is taking back a free gift. In order to build profits, Facebook has been commercializing and monetizing friendship networks. What Facebook gave to Millenials, it is now trying to take away. Millennials are resisting the invasion to their privacy.
- Facebook is ignoring the aging of the Millennials and the subsequent change in their culture. Older Gen Yers want less sociability and more privacy as actors outside their trusted cohort enter the Facebook space in search of information and connection. These older Millennials want more privacy tools for control of their information and networks.
- Facebook is behaving as though it owned not only its proprietary technology platform but the friendship networks created on it. It doesn't. Millennials believe that ownership of their networks of friends belongs to them, not Facebook, and resist their commercialization.
Facebook, under intense pressure, is belatedly agreeing to streamline and strengthen its privacy tools. That will lower the anger of its audience but increase the anxiety of its advertisers. The brand value of Facebook has already taken a hit and competing social media platforms that promise privacy are beginning to appear.
I chose to leave the Peas in Las Vegas, as they kicked off their recent U.S. leg of the tour. I felt like a lumberjack in the Redwood Forests—-great money, but you’re getting paid to decimate an irreplaceable resource. In my case, it was the higher cortical functioning of every youthful brain behind the barricade. Where the lumberjack gazes out over fields of enormous tree-stumps, I saw arenas packed to the nosebleeds with dancing brain stems. So I retreated as a conscientious objector. This has provided a modicum of inner peace.
We’re not living in an Orwellian Police state; it’s all just a conspiracy theory. However, that’s not what Pennsylvania’s government is telling their citizens. In what can only be described as a mafia-style intimidation tactic, the Pennsylvanian government is telling citizens there that they “know who you are”. The video shows a satellite image zooming in on and individual’s home while a computerized voice informs him that they know who he is and that he owes $4,212 in back taxes. The voice then proceeds to tell him that they can make it easy for him if he pays quickly. The ad then closes with a threatening message: “FIND US BEFORE WE FIND YOU”.
What is more disturbing than the ad itself is that governments are now finding it suitable to announce to us that we are living in an Orwellian police state and that we are all being monitored. “Pay up, or we will find you. We know where you live. We are watching you.” This commercial is a chilling confirmation that we are living in an Orwellian nightmare.
I actively avoid the "conspiracy theory" rhetoric of this site, but unless this TV commercial is supposed to be humor, it's hard to argue that it's benign.
- define loyalty by what’s challenging and interesting, rather than job security.
- expect reward and recognition on a regular basis.
- believe they are all “above average.”
“What can I tell ya, kid? Your parents loved you, and they did their best. But they created a false reality. Everyone isn’t above average in all they do. And in real life, only the winner gets the trophy.”
I hadn’t decided one day, as a rational adult, that hot water was something I should have. It was a custom that I had been born into, a belief I had inherited, an indoctrination. And my temperament was suspicious of those. If hot water was indeed a necessity I would find out for myself. I would catch pneumonia, or get sick from eating off of dishes washed in cold water. But when instead I found that hot water was not a necessity, that it was a luxury, I overcame my conditioning and dealt a satisfying blow to the status quo. I felt myself standing apart from the sheep-like masses who had been led to confuse their wants and needs.