"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hijacking your reward circuits

Since 1992, as the technological miracles and wonders have propagated and the political economy has transformed, the world has become radically and profoundly new. (And then there’s the miraculous drop in violent crime in the United States, by half.) Here is what’s odd: during these same 20 years, the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past—the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s—looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.
Article in Vanity Fair.

Technology is changing, but fashion, weirdly, is not, and don't forget the drop in violent crime as former bad guys are riveted to their seats playing video games.

Maybe it's Internet Compulsion Disorder. Article in The Atlantic.

The right swipe on the touch screen in Angry Birds delivers an instant hit. The constant updating on Facebook pages with interesting tidbits from friends generates the warm feelings that come from close engagement with the "in" crowd. MeetMoi.com will link you up with "singles within a few miles from you who can meet you tonight" -- no need to go through eHarmony's tedious process of communicating with someone before a face-to-face meeting.

Yes, everything is getting faster and more addictive, and now even old-fashioned online dating sites are too slow! It's funny to think people are meeting in the same kinds of clothes, tho. Anything new since fleece? Should we all go back to wool sweaters? Tie dye? Big shoulder pads? Reading and writing books instead of quick online articles and blogs? Web surfing is fun, all those quick, little satisfying facts, such as that fashion has not changed very much lately.

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