the unquantifiable self

Your Brain on Clickbait

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In this video by Epipheo, Nicholas Carr, author of the excellent ‘The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember’, argues that if we’re not careful about how we use it, the internet can render us more superficial thinkers.

From an evolutionary perspective, our brains are hard-wired to gather information, triggering a dopamine release to reward us for doing so. But with the near-infinite information available online, this response can work against us by leading to compulsive behavior. (Who among us hasn’t followed a chain of mindless links to find a chunk of time just vanished?)

According to Carr, this perpetual distraction hinders contemplative thinking states and the memory consolidation necessary for learning. The internet contains a treasure trove of information—some of it very useful, of course. But in order to create or innovate we need to learn to manage distractions and cultivate sustained attention.

I really believe that if you look at the great monuments of culture, they come from people who are able to pay attention…

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