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The Laser and the Cat

[W]hat Dr. Biederman calls new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom. It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr. Biederman. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us 'infovores.'

For most of human history, there was little chance of overdosing on information, because any one day in the Olduvai Gorge was a lot like any other. Today, though, we can find in the course of a few hours online more information than our ancient ancestors could in their whole lives. Just like the laser and the cat, technology is playing a trick on us. We are programmed for scarcity and can't dial back when something is abundant.

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120527756506928579-3wNdJRXhkpLqY4EDBt4j3ly1foo_20090312.html?mod=rss_free

grazing_on_endless_webdata.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/17 13:41 by 81.188.78.24