November 28, 2019
Think of neurotransmitters as primary colors in the light spectrum. Primary colors can be mixed in particular ways to create a color hue.
Neurotransmitters are combined in particular ways to create emotions.
In the limbic system, these emotions are tagged on information packets upon entry via our sensory systems. So, every information packet contains sensory information and emotional information. The tagged information package is then provide to the cerebral cortex for further processing.
“Most of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, but we are actually feeling creatures that think.”
Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight
July 2, 2019
• Low dopamine, lower serotonin, and almost non-existence oxytocin equals depression.
• Low dopamine, high serotonin, and low oxytocin equals happiness.
• High dopamine, high serotonin, and high oxytocin equals love.
• Higher dopamine compared to low serotonin, and low oxytocin equals anxiety.
July 4 2020,
I like this connection between Dopamine, tribalism, and social media by Dave Cohen:
“Social media is designed to create and reinforce tribal behaviors. Those designs keep people coming back for more feel-good stuff, for more dopamine hits, which is very good for business.”
This may also be a self reinforcing loop. SM is driving more dopamine like addictive behavior. As the behavior increases, so will tribalism and the desire for tribal connection via SM. Yikes! By the way, I consider tribalism and politics to be synonyms (or, at least, highly related)
Jordan Peterson has his twelve rules to live by, but here are thirteen rules you've got to live with
- in large, complex modern societies, there exist various sociopolitical groups, each with some associated belief system (ideology)
- politics is intra-group conflict — in-groups (Us) versus (Them) out-groups
- all such belief systems necessarily have some grounding in reality but are delusional when looked at as a whole (the belief systems are utopian in some way which conflicts with human nature)
- such belief systems form the scaffolding upon which the group coheres — it is therefore easy to spot who is and who is not in the group (virtue signaling, dog whistling)
- for bonafide members of sociopolitical groups, being in good standing and remaining that way within the group are always paramount concerns; otherwise one becomes a stigmatized outcast (a pariah)
- there is inevitably the flatland sincerity problem — these belief systems are always motivated, though not for the reasons given (the usual post-hoc rationalizations)
- the actual (unconscious) motivation for those who are or feel dispossessed is the attainment of reinstatement of social power & status; for those in power, the motivation is the maintenance of that power
- those in out-groups will be (on a scale) viewed unfavorably, stigmatized, despised or, in the most extreme case, dehumanized
- the straw man argument is common — out-group beliefs are invariably misrepresented by in-groups (those beliefs are distorted, simplified, taken out of context, etc.), with the perceived worst case of out-group moral depravity often taken to stand for the entire ideology
- there is always guilt by association — for in-groups, mere association with those in out-groups signals, fairly or not, membership in those out-groups or sympathy with them
- there is over-generalization and contagion — although ideologies necessarily have some grounding in reality to maintain the appearance of plausibility, in-groups reject all the beliefs of the out-group, and so the baby is often thrown out with the bathwater
- tribalism obliterates true individuality, nuance and complexity, case by case reasoning and practical solutions to real on-the-ground problems — overgeneralized black & white thinking is always the rule; (Jeff note - the dichotomy logical fallacy)
- anything contradicting in-group ideologies must be filtered (see the list of filtering modes in the 4th Flatland essay); concomitantly, in-groups seek out stories or events which reinforce favored narratives (confirmation bias)