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  2. Rehab is amazing. It reminds me of football camp. Kind of like the Washington Redskins camp I went to as a kid.
     


  3. Video games are built to exploit this part of our brain. Kill monster, get points. Complete level, get happy music. Win game, feel satisfied. It’s a very simple and primitive part of who we are. We react the same way to everything, from food to sex, in education and even in our relationship with our parents, who, if they are good parents, scold bad behaviour and reward good.
     

  4. Alcoholics are being organized to clean Amsterdam’s streets.  The city’s paying them—in beer.

    And it’s not such a bad idea, actually!

     

  5. nedhepburn:

    I did some actual journalism and wrote an article about internet addiction for The Week magazine, and interviewed the head of an Internet Addiction Rehab. Here’s an excerpt. 

    Researchers have noted a rise in something called Digital Attention Disorder — the addiction to social networks and computers in general. 

    How does it work? More than 50 years ago, psychologist B.F. Skinner was experimenting on rats and pigeons, and noticed that the unpredictability of reward was a major motivator for animals. If a reward arrives either predictably or too infrequently, the animal eventually loses interest. But when there was anticipation of a reward that comes with just enoughfrequency, the animals’ brains would consistently release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that (basically) regulates pleasure.

    What does this have to do with the internet? Some researchers believe that intermittent reinforcement — in the form of texts, tweets, and various other social media — may be working on our brains the same way rewards did on Skinner’s rats. 

    “Internet addiction is the same as any other addiction — excessive release of dopamine,” says Hilarie Cash, executive director of the reStart program for internet addiction and recovery, a Seattle-area rehab program that helps wean people off the internet. “Addiction is addiction. Whether it’s gambling, cocaine, alcohol, or Facebook.”

    And thus begins my contributions to The Week! 

    Welcome!

     


  6. In ancient history, eating was for survival. Food was tough to come by and we consumed what we needed. Food was a necessity. In today’s America, it is an addiction … To combat this epidemic, we may have to start with the brain, not the stomach.
    — From Bill Frist’s newest column: How to wean America from its dangerous food addiction