Today's post, Superstimuli and the Collapse of Western Civilization, was originally published on 16 March 2007. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):
As a side effect of evolution, super-stimuli exist, and as a result of economics, are getting and should continue to get worse.
At least 3 people have died by playing online games non-stop. How is it that a game is so enticing that after 57 straight hours playing, a person would rather spend the next hour playing the game over sleeping or eating? A candy bar is superstimulus, it corresponds overwhelmingly well to the EEA healthy food characteristics of sugar and fat. If people enjoy these things, the market will respond to provide as much of it as possible, even if other considerations make it undesirable.
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This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was Blue or Green on Regulation?, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.
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