[ExI] How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon May 30 21:08:05 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 1:35 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds


>>…If you want to maximize addictiveness, all tech designers need to do
is link a user’s action (like pulling a lever) with a variable reward….BillK


>…Well well, the resurrection of B F Skinner.  I do wonder if the schedule is a variable ratio or a variable interval one?  Difference:  the ratio one depends on the number of responses (which of course is variable).  The interval one depends on the passage of time (which is variable).  I am guessing Variable Ratio, or VR…Bill w



A variable-interval-variable-reward (VIVR) situation somehow hijacks the mammalian brain’s pattern recognition routines.  Perhaps some psychology hipster can educate me on it.  Why is it that human brains vary so much on that?  Why do some brains really like VIVR systems (commission sales?) and others do not (salary guys?) 


The variation is extreme in my own family: my father in law finds slot-machine style gambling so pleasurable as to be addictive if he allowed himself to do it (his religion strictly forbids all gambling.)  I find all forms of gambling in general unpleasant and anxiety-producing, even though my atheism cares not.  I will do it under duress, such as someone offers me 20 to 1 odds where I estimate about 5 to 1.  (Atheism is like that, so apathetic on so many things.)  My bride is indifferent to gambling, finding it causes no particular emotion, positive or negative.


Doesn’t that seem odd that VIVR situations would be irresistible to some, distasteful to others and neutral to the rest?  Who are the normal ones?






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