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Old 27th-October-2016, 11:49 PM   #1
Tannhauser
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Default Why does the Internet make you dumb?

On my way home from work, even though I am supposedly tired and hungry, I can still feel the cogwheels turn inside my head. I get all kinds of ideas that I want to implement once I get home.

But when I get home and go on the Internet and start clicking around, I can feel myself getting bored and dumb. The motivation to do anything productive disappears.

Why is that
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Old 27th-October-2016, 11:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

The modern world in general does that to me. It is not confined to the Internet.

I would suggest that the essence of the problem can be explained using the tyranny of choice and the paralysis of options, in which too many things happening around you makes you lose focus, thereby dispersing your drive.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 04:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

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I would suggest that the essence of the problem can be explained using the tyranny of choice and the paralysis of options, in which too many things happening around you makes you lose focus, thereby dispersing your drive.
Yes exactly. My generation straddled this phenomenon. When we grew up it was like previous generations. We had little money, few consumer goods, basically the radio, TV and libraries. I remember wanting a book on an intense interest of mine. I had to find a bookstore that could order it, and it took months to come in. Now everything you could want is either on the internet or Amazon.

Both circumstances have issues. In the previous era (up until 2000) meaning was easier to have than now because everybody had less. So what we did have meant more (e.g. BYTE magazine was a prize). But we were resource constrained and accomplished far less - e.g. getting a undergraduate degree gave you expertise (it's really just a bunch of survey courses).

Now, things seem to have less intensity and meaning, but conversely we have far more freedom, choice and are able to do more. Distracting and stultifying? That's a danger, but it's better than not having the choice at all I think.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 04:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

It kills your momentum. You'd find the same thing happens if you sat down and read a book I bet.

The internet is particularly bad for it because it's so general you can replace any external motivator with something on the internet. Feel guilty about your health? Look up diet tips. Feel like your room is too messy? Look up some organisational tips.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 05:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

I'd tell you but you would have to wait until you get off the internet to understand it and I am too impatient to wait that long.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 06:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

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Why is that
So, not sure about the specific mechanics, but I think there are two processes involving dopamine to investigate. The first is the effect of caloric restriction:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26084913

The second is whatever happens when you're actively focusing, which you really aren't while traveling. Is internet use functioning like a drug?
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Old 28th-October-2016, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Instant gratification

Though I found back before I got ill, I always had a lot of drive and energy to do other things than sitting on forums. So I'd listen to lectures online and take notes about various topics I wanted to learn. I started math and economy a while back but quit because my energy faded as I got sicker. Point is, for me things like internet has never been a hindrance (if I decided to not read and just waste away online for a few hours instead that was always my choice and not because I felt I had to), so I'm biased to think other factors will interfere if you know you have a inner curiosity or want to do something. Like being bummed out, maybe even depressed, having a bad diet could interfere with hings like brainfog and sluggishness. Lots of more things could impact motivation and drive.

I guess it could also just be I figured out how to get into a state of mind where doing things are easier. I guess I do tend to visualize me doing something hours ahead which seems to make the threshold for doing it lower. Like if I wake up and imagine myself going hiking that day and repeat that visualization every now and then, then there will be like a restlessness in me that doesn't go away until I do it.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 03:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

I wasted my time last night watching this:


Along with Kitchen Nightmares, Black Jeopardy, and a couple little videos about Hitler's living relatives, who keep quiet for their lives while living in the United States.
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Old 28th-October-2016, 11:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

It seems that the general thread – with which I fully agree – is that the Internet provides a fast and cheap stimulus. Of course, if we would trust or own brain, we would assume that it can discount the future reward correctly. Say, the cumulative reward of browsing the Internet compared to the future reward of having read a book. But that's obviously not true. There is something about the Internet, along with many things of modernity, as Tberg pointed out, which is designed to fool you – to capture your attention in a malicious way.

I see no other solution than to take active steps to avoid these toxic stimuli.
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Old 29th-October-2016, 01:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Be more honest with yourself.

Is visiting this forum a waste of time? I remember not so recently how you declared your departure from our gathering of infants, this thread seems like a direct continuation of your problems from then.

If you are to work towards delayed gratification, you must first realise what goals are worth obtaining the discipline and structure necessary to pull them off and they better not be something public approval or ego related, because it's another temporary lie. They should at least offer a sustainable amount of satisfaction and a sense of future direction.

It's not that internet makes you dumb, it's about what you make of the things you have access to that helps with your self-perception of being in the right or wrong place.

Rooting out bad habits takes a great deal of care, it can be dozens of conscious decisions to avoid something before you start seeing some progress and then it will only take a few unconscious repeats of your old routine and your brain has reset to its old ways and you are at the starting point again. Habits are usually things your body or mind choose following the path of least resistance, it takes conscious effort to steer it towards more preferable or uncomfortable patterns. Some people manage to fly on their autopilot and some need manual control most of the time.

The idea is to create new paths of least resistance that follow the routines you prefer and avoid the old ones. Ideally you want to make random browsing on the net seem like a boring, strenuous or agonising activity, such that there are countless others that you would rather be doing. If you manage to achieve that, your brain will take care of the rest.
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Old 29th-October-2016, 03:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

It's not too hard to manage though. I save YouTube for only when I'm on the exercise bike. It helps to have some entertainment on while sweating, so I watch whatever crap looks interesting (presently watching hickok45 talking about the latest in firearms.)

Otherwise, if you're trying to get something done it's not hard to just use the internet for your needs. I'm working on some AI stuff and using all internet resources for it. No problem getting distracted on that. I'm always trying to get something done, if I don't then I don't sleep at night and feel like shit generally.

Occasionally something bigger comes along like the election. I've spent too much time following along on this one, but I thought it was worth it because it's such an unusual one.
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Quote:
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I don't see emotions as something that need to be controlled, they're just information.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjots
Because I think the Singularity is much more interesting than the Rapture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSurfer
I don't really care to act against my nature anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywocky
Discovery channel is like introductory porn for INTPs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Minsky
I probably wouldn't go skydiving anyhow because my time is too valuable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8151147
Coding is fun, how the hell you can live without it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by E404
Sometimes the hardest part is knowing what I actually want and allowing myself to want it...
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Old 29th-October-2016, 04:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Instant vs. delayed gratification.
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Old 30th-October-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

beta wave manipulation. The technology was perfected with cable TV in the mid 90s. Your brain is being coaxed into lower frequencies so that you're more susceptible to dis-information.

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Old 31st-October-2016, 02:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

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beta wave manipulation. The technology was perfected with cable TV in the mid 90s. Your brain is being coaxed into lower frequencies so that you're more susceptible to dis-information.

https://youtu.be/Zc3wIAs3coU?t=62
OMG IT'S REAL


NEXT IS THE MATRIX
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Old 14th-November-2016, 06:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Partly it's because you're tired from working all day. When I was working full time as a signature gatherer, I never pretended I was going to be productive at night, after having been on my feet all day bellowing about ballot measures. Only time I could ever get real work done on computer programming stuff, was during the off seasons when there were no ballots to gather signatures for. I appreciated the seasonal nature of this occupation, as it wasn't my calling in life to be a signature gatherer. I was supposed to be a computer programmer, and that means making time for it.

Lotta truth to what Blaarun said, essentially about lack of personal discipline and goal setting.

Internet makes it really easy to slack off. But so does any other kind of low energy entertainment, like watching TV or playing video games. My personal poison is usually Freeciv. I've played it for years and years and years, almost always getting the same results. I'm intimately familiar with the experience curves it's providing me. Currently I've deleted it, which I do periodically for awhile.

Which means I'm back to online forums as the timewasters. I keep wondering how much INTPf is a timewaster, i.e. not actually meeting personal goals, just a placebo for unmet life needs. Or, it meets some life needs, but I do it more than it actually provides. For instance, I'm never going to get a date here. Ever. If I want that to happen, I need to either look for other things around town face-to-face (did actually look for meetings, didn't find any imminent this week), or branch out to other internet watering holes (haven't yet. Any day now.)

I've got computer language design stuff I could be working on. Past 2 days I haven't. My excuses are that I was traveling back to Asheville. Or my sleep quality wasn't so good. Sorta true but not really enough to explain my lack of movement on it. Truth is I'm on some fairly frustrating problems right now, not so easy to get past. One of those times where one is subconsciously questioning if the tunnel has an end, or if it's a sinkhole that goes straight down. But I'd have to work at it more to decide one way or another. Anyways the language design project is real work, it's not particularly fun right now.

So, internet makes avoidance easy. You have to be honest with yourself about why you're avoiding. And disciplined, if you intend to stop doing it and make progress on other life goals.

I have often found that grabbing the engineering design notebook, or the programming editor, first thing in the morning when I first wake up, is a good way to get past "sticking points". Something about being bleary and out of focus, makes it surprisingly easier to soldier through something hard. Maybe some of it is "cow milking energy." But I think a lot of it is, my mind is too discombobulated to object yet. I don't feel the mental pain of some things as strongly in the morning when I wake up.

Conversely, I'll be in maximum mental anguish at 10 PM. Everything mentally whiny and difficult seems like a draaaaaaaag. Going to bed, and actually doing something in the morning, would be a good strategy if I was really determined to maximize my output. Which I have been, at certain times of my life, for my seeming survival. Except that I didn't meet the ultimate programming goal anyways, and a few years down the road went bankrupt....

I didn't do it this morning, because I didn't sleep entirely well, going back to my car again instead of the nice soft bed at my Mom's house. Woke up at 10:45 AM. Had a meeting to go to at 11 AM, completely taking any of that potential "cow milking" concentration from me.

I can try again tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll crack "the assignment problem".

One of my excuses is I'm adapting to new weather rhythms. Like, it's cold at night now, and in the early morning. Some things need to get done in the mid afternoon when it's still warm, like walking the dog. Not gonna cook at night anymore. All of these changes are things that a Perceiver can handle, but it is a change in routine.

Right now at midnight, I sit around inside a grocery store doing massive amounts of internet, buying food, because it's warm in here! Ha ha ha. Lifestyles of the rich and famous. Couldn't figure out anywhere worth having a beer and carousing or something like that. It is Sunday night after all. I've never really known what to do with myself Friday through Monday night in this town. Need to figure it out. One of those social goals that doesn't involve the internet.
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Old 15th-November-2016, 12:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

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I can try again tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll crack "the assignment problem".
I 'succeeded', in the sense that I woke up, cracked the notebook, and scribbled some things. Pushed the ball forwards. To a point where more problems are identified with what I already had, questioning the very exercise.

But I did put a little discipline into it. Quitting INTPf is partly to get more work done.
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Old 20th-December-2016, 01:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Internet is a paradox. It rewards information gathering as a proxy for the freedom to choose (both psychological and literal in terms of ad dollars). Conversely, content is often shallow (unlike linear/book mediums) that you either expend more of your action points to crawl the web for depth while resisting other options, or else fall into a constant exploration phase. The result is that you ego deplete yourself before obtaining sufficient information to take action.
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 11:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

It's the root cause of procrastination.

We want to be productive naturally. Achieving goals makes us feel really good about ourselves. Consider this part a self-validation mechanism. We see our impact in the world matters.

Most of the goals we actually want are long term. We want them but we don't naturally see a path to them because it's so ambiguous and complicated. The mind doesn't quite shut down the idea. It just prefers to chew on something it can understand in the moment.

So we defer to something we understand or something much less ambiguous / complicated. This is because our minds need to process something and the low hanging fruit is a quick fix for our validation. It's easier to hop on the internet, read a forum thread, make a reply and all that than it is to build a cabinet you intended to do 6 months ago.

Path of least resistance in other words. It's incredibly addictive and you need to actively police yourself in this regard.
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Old 23rd-December-2016, 06:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why does the Internet make you dumb?

Addictive behaviors seem to dissipate or be controlled very easily when one "steps out of" the pattern, rather than remaining fixed within it, and viewing it from "above" and allowing room for other sub-activities to push forward (which the body is always communicating).

If one does not allow internal conditions to be expressed that would naturally compete with the addictive pattern (via non-repressive, space-giving inactivity), then, the only option is to force an addiction out - in other words, to become further dominated by an addiction.

When one is stuck in a pattern of behavior, that is, fixated, there won't be any growth (which occurs outside of fixation, or, within dynamism), rather, there will be stagnation. Furthermore, the utility that pattern would have had deteriorates over time.
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