Saturday, May 23, 2009

In defense of distraction: Twitter, Adderall, lifehacking, mindful jogging, YouTube, Facebook, endless email, and the subtle benefits of overstimulation...

something that forwarded me to:

The Internet is basically a Skinner box engineered to tap right into our deepest mechanisms of addiction. As B. F. Skinner's army of lever-pressing rats and pigeons taught us, the most irresistible reward schedule is not, counterintuitively, the one in which we're rewarded constantly but something called "variable ratio schedule," in which the rewards arrive at random. And that randomness is practically the Internet's defining feature: It dispenses its never-ending little shots of positivity—a life-changing e-mail here, a funny YouTube video there—in gloriously unpredictable cycles [more]

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