Perhaps a stupid question, or, more accurately, not even a question - but I don't understand this attitude. If you enjoy going on the Internet, why would you want to stop? If you don't enjoy it, why would it tempt you?

Wanting is mediated by dopamine. Liking is mostly about opiods. The two features are (unfortunately) not always in sync.

It reminds me, and I mean no offence by this, like the attitude addicts have towards drugs. But it really stretches plausibility to say that the Internet could be something like a drug.

It really doesn't stretch plausibility. The key feature here is "has addictive potential". It doesn't matter to the brain whether the reward is endogenous dopamine released in response to a stimulus or something that came in a pill.

This is confusing to me. Intuitively, reward that is not wireheading is a good thing, and the Internet's rewarding-ness is in complex and meaningful information which is the exact opposite of wireheading. For the same reason, I'm confused about what tasty foods are not seen as a dangerous evil that needs to be escaped.

Open thread, August 12-18, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read12th Aug 2013125 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.