Infovore

Thank God they’ve found a name for it. Knowing the problem exists is a big part in taking steps……… NOT. For the past few years my wife has been, shall we say, concerned about my little problem. Frankly, at times, I’ve been a little worried myself. I couldn’t put my finger on the time when I noticed that my life had changed, and, like so many others, whatever it was, it came slowly, silently, until the realization dawned that I was different from the way I had been.

Let somebody else explain it……

When he hooked up volunteers to a brain-scanning machine, the preferred pictures were shown to generate much more brain activity than the unpreferred shots. While researchers don’t yet know what exactly these brain scans signify, a likely possibility involves increased production of the brain’s pleasure-enhancing neurotransmitters called opioids.

In other words, coming across what 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.

…. technology is playing a trick on us. We are programmed for scarcity and can’t dial back when something is abundant.

There, we can say it. I’m addicted to information. I need another hit of that opioid……

Thanks, Wall Street Journal

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2 thoughts on “Infovore

  1. Jeff

    This is so me too. More opioid please. Great post, Agricola. Of course this addiction only leads to my other problem: information overload. I think the hard drive in my brain freezes up from time to time.

    Reply
  2. Agricola

    I don’t know whether I am beginning to suffer from ADHD b/c I can’t focus, or b/c my hard drive can’t access the info fast enough or my file system is breaking down……..all I know for sure is I’d rather have too much info that too little….

    Reply

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