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The internet is (literally) crack

The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 12:58:36 AM
Quote
Panksepp has spent decades mapping the emotional systems of the brain he believes are shared by all mammals, and he says, "Seeking is the granddaddy of the systems." It is the mammalian motivational engine that each day gets us out of the bed, or den, or hole to venture forth into the world. It's why, as animal scientist Temple Grandin writes in Animals Make Us Human, experiments show that animals in captivity would prefer to have to search for their food than to have it delivered to them.

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.

http://www.slate.com/id/2224932/pagenum/all/

This explains so much of TV watching as well.

We get the sense of existential balance -- am looking for something, have purpose, etc -- from dicking around with google, forums, twatter, etc.

No wonder the internet resembles a crackhead zombie rape room.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 01:04:10 AM
With the TV, you can't control what you're watching, other than flipping through channels of pre programmed drivel.

With the Internet, at least one can find useful and thoughtful information (from sites like this).

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 01:47:49 AM
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a crackhead zombie rape room.

Does that site have some free galleries I can check out?

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 02:48:09 AM
It's like the fun of Easter Day egg hunting in the backyard. Hey, I found one: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111836041


Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 02:55:16 AM
It's like the biggest practical joke in the world.  If aliens understood us, they would be laughing their asses off.  We have a device that is able to give us just about all of man's knowledge at any time, with very minimal effort, but we completely waste it.  People have been dreaming of a thing like this for centuries: the master library.  It's just a master porn/game/celebraty news arena.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 03:08:20 AM
I think it's great that we're "addicted" to seeking information, learning, and adapting. It makes us great predators!

Of course, if we're just searching for new ring tones and Real World episodes, it makes us great morons.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 04:00:00 AM
Dopamine has a good role to play - it looks like drive or ambition on the surface - but it can also snare a formerly advancing species and push it toward decline. Accessorizing trinkets and novelty collecting are not a good sign, nor is an economy relying on this activity. The time and energy wasted were for nothing at all. Because of freedom, temperance or discipline combined with direction is missing. Or, freedom as the only goal robs us of all purpose by dissipating drive into 6.4 billion different directions.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 05:33:39 AM

We have a device that is able to give us just about all of man's knowledge at any time, with very minimal effort, but we completely waste it.  People have been dreaming of a thing like this for centuries: the master library.  It's just a master porn/game/celebraty news arena.


Excellent commentary, and that debunks the "education will save the world" myth. The truth is that you bring your capabilities everywhere you step on.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 05:48:10 AM
Except that those who are educated have demonstrably higher levels of capability than those who are not.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 02:54:03 PM
Except that those who are educated have demonstrably higher levels of capability than those who are not.

This is nothing short of a myth.  Intelligence is a tool on your journey, but things like direction and determination are what make people capable, which is why both morons and geniuses have been known to rule.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 14, 2009, 03:30:33 PM
Except that those who are educated have demonstrably higher levels of capability than those who are not.

By educated you mean educable?

Sure that capable minds fulfill their potentialities with education and currently with Internet. But look at the overwhelming rest, what's their excuse? Inaccessibility is not, as preached for ages.

The purpose of sites like this is to attract the very few capable minds from the herd. "Look at you, you're not a sheep, but a tiger".

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 15, 2009, 03:32:47 PM
Excellent commentary, and that debunks the "education will save the world" myth. The truth is that you bring your capabilities everywhere you step on.

Exactly.

Dumbass is as dumbass does.

And higher than that, things get interesting.

You cannot educate those who do not have the innate ability to understand what they're being taught, or you get dummies who repeat learning as dogma but cannot analyze it.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 17, 2009, 06:15:51 AM
Except that those who are educated have demonstrably higher levels of capability than those who are not.
Those who are shown how to use wheels, have demonstrably higher levels of using wheels - this doesn't make them any better. It's a description of their circumstance, not their character.

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 26, 2009, 04:30:37 AM
You cannot educate those who do not have the innate ability to understand what they're being taught, or you get dummies who repeat learning as dogma but cannot analyze it.

Very analogous to hypnopædia in Brave New World:

    "These early experimenters," the D.H.C. was saying, "were on the wrong track. They thought that hypnopædia could be made an instrument of intellectual education …"

    (A small boy asleep on his right side, the right arm stuck out, the right hand hanging limp over the edge of the bed. Through a round grating in the side of a box a voice speaks softly.

    "The Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second in length of all the rivers of the globe. Although falling short of the length of the Mississippi-Missouri, the Nile is at the head of all rivers as regards the length of its basin, which extends through 35 degrees of latitude …"

    At breakfast the next morning, "Tommy," some one says, "do you know which is the longest river in Africa?" A shaking of the head. "But don't you remember something that begins: The Nile is the …"

    "The - Nile - is - the - longest - river - in - Africa - and - the - second - in - length - of - all - the - rivers - of - the - globe …" The words come rushing out. "Although - falling - short - of …"

    "Well now, which is the longest river in Africa?"

    The eyes are blank. "I don't know."

    "But the Nile, Tommy."

    "The - Nile - is - the - longest - river - in - Africa - and - second …"

    "Then which river is the longest, Tommy?"

    Tommy burst into tears. "I don't know," he howls.)

    That howl, the Director made it plain, discouraged the earliest investigators. The experiments were abandoned. No further attempt was made to teach children the length of the Nile in their sleep. Quite rightly. You can't learn a science unless you know what it's all about.

    "Whereas, if they'd only started on moral education," said the Director, leading the way towards the door. The students followed him, desperately scribbling as they walked and all the way up in the lift. "Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational."

Re: The internet is (literally) crack
August 30, 2009, 09:06:06 PM
With the TV, you can't control what you're watching, other than flipping through channels of pre programmed drivel.

With the Internet, at least one can find useful and thoughtful information (from sites like this).
Which can be even worse, because then you have control over the information being broadcasted to you, so ideally you're always sure that you want to see what you're seeing which can keep you glued to the chair for hours. It's not like TV where you just get up and leave when "nothing is on".