“To learn what we fear is to learn who we are.”
— Guillermo del Toro
…in addition to slowing you [mentally] down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.
That strikes me as correct. But I view this with a healthy dose of skepticism:
Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.
Orwell realized that Hitler understood something about man’s psyche that most are unwilling to admit:
Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all Western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” though, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working hours, hygiene, birth control, and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty parades…
Something to think about with respect to the rise of ISIS as well.
H/t: The National Review.
There are three levels of satire. The first is simple sarcasm, which is saying something outrageous that you don’t believe, in such an obvious manner, that everybody knows you’re kidding. The next higher level of satire is to say something outrageous you don’t mean, in a serious enough manner, that people think you might actually believe it. But the highest level of satire, and the most difficult one to produce, is to say something outrageous, in such a clever way, that people nod their heads in agreement with the outrageous thing.
Discovering you’ve been taken in by great satire produces a momentary but unique emotion — equal parts embarrassment and delight, which even the Germans probably don’t have a word for. Facebook would take away that moment.
Brain scans taken from rats while they were learning to run mazes during the day were identical to scans of their brains while dreaming. (Similar results for birds learning to sing.)