luka

Well-known member
Staff member
What's interesting about the grinding Jack is talking about is that although you tell yourself the game is about being in the environment or whatever, once you've completed it you don't want to play. You've lost you're motivation. It's rudderless and depressing. You absolutely need to rewards. The golden gun or whatever
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Do you think one can steer/hijack this element of our wiring? Or do you think something about it is necessarily beyond the reach of conscious cognition?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Yeah - I was thinking of Red Dead Redemption too. I would ride miles and miles to go fishing for some rare fish. The rare sprite. And the sense of achievement lasts seconds. (Obviously this isn't a great example cos fishing isn't that hard on RDR2.)

It's human/animal nature not to be satisfied, though. If we were satisfied once we'd got what we wanted we would just sit there, satisfied, not spreading our seed. Perhaps once you've spread your seed you become satisfied? I don't think so, though. Nobody ever is. Except maybe Buddhist monks?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Do you think one can steer/hijack this element of our wiring? Or do you think something about it is necessarily beyond the reach of conscious cognition?
Surely that's the whole (financial) point of the internet? They HAVE tapped into this wiring, extremely successfully, and made us all addicted to apps. Same with video games.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
There was a mild controversy a number of years ago when it was revealed that Microsoft (I think?) had been privately conducting research into how addiction could be fostered in Xbox players. There was a report drawing on rat research, showing how you could keep people constantly playing for small, almost arbitrary rewards. And in fact you can charge them money for these immaterial rewards — e.g. an outfit for your avatar.

Can't find that story now, but there's a whole heap of articles online about how app developers use psychological research to make their apps addictive, e.g.:

 

mvuent

Void Dweller
He means the "likes".

They do work, don't they? I mean, for personal satisfaction. When I get one or two I feel acknowledged, respected, revered, a GOD.

When I don't, I feel like nowhere man, making all my nowhere posts for nobody.
ive come around to where i'd honestly rather see a bunch of posts that just say "good point" or "that's funny" than have a likes system. i mean i'll use them as long as they're standard practice. but since you can get that sort of validation anywhere else, maybe this should be the one place where you actually have to hold a conversation. go to twitter if you want likes.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Nice thread, life hacks - I like the model/image of the "self improvement/self flagellation see-saw". Not sure whether to continue here or there, but I do have points about gamification.

So we can neurochemically gamify/steer the lives of others-as-consumers, but how does that steering change when we attempt to do it to ourselves? As a consumer, we can experience being manipulated by, in effect, an outside influence. How would that experience change when we are being manipulated by an inside influence? At once the puppet and the puppetmaster - reclaiming the cockpit of our drives by expelling the silicon valley pirates.

As the effectiveness of the above "see-saw" can be attested to by some of you, what are the limits? Do you think one can get to the point where their self-manipulation is so fine and subtle that it doesn't even feel like they are tricking themselves - but rather it feels as if genuine meaning is being stumbled upon?

I'm inclined to believe it is possible, and it can be expressed in terms of gamification, seeing as we would be engineering, around ourselves, a system of meaning and achievement, however teleological.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
ive come around to where i'd honestly rather see a bunch of posts that just say "good point" or "that's funny" than have a likes system. i mean i'll use them as long as they're standard practice. but since you can get that sort of validation anywhere else, maybe this should be the one place where you actually have to hold a conversation. go to twitter if you want likes.
One good thing I see about the likes system is that it can enable genuine support of one another - but that support can also be a bit more manual, as you point out. Hypothetically, if removing the likes system is more trouble than it's worth, what could become of a boycott? Would that just give rise to different unsavory complications?

Also, in the absence of likes, the validation/boost could still be granted by the manual support of "good point" and whatnot, and this kind of support might be a bit more substantial, even.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It's a poser — can we use this mechanism to make things that are GOOD FOR US be as addictive as things that are bad for us?

The problem is often that the things that are good for us are hard to do, or involve discomfort. No pain no gain, as they say.

Again, I think exercise is an example of something that's good for you and can be made addictive. Take fitbits — people counting steps they've made seems to be a very powerful motivator for taking more steps. That might seem "pathetic", but if the end result is that you're walking more and you're healthier, does that matter? I guess there's an anti-gamification argument of us all being turned into stupid robots dancing to the corporate sheet music...

 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
It's odd isn't it. A lot of this stuff we have to force ourselves to do as a corrective for our modern way of life. You don't need a Fitbit when you're stalking a woolly mammoth across the tundra for 3 days and nights
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
You don't need a wholly artificial goal when you've got that very real one. Enough mammoth meat to feed the tribe all winter.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Walking to get an achievement trophy from an app is obviously very far from ideal. You want to walk to be outside and engaged with the environment around you. You want to walk and be aware of your surroundings and how they affect you. You want to walk and ruminate, chew over this or that idea. Simmer over some insult you've received.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Yeah that's totally true.

I'm sure I've talked about this before but I noticed a few years ago how so many adverts on the Tube are for mattresses and meditation apps. And then there are the ones for going on holiday where the pitch is basically "imagine not having to be stuck where you are right now for a few precious weeks".

It's all about generating and 'treating' the same neurosis.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
One good thing I see about the likes system is that it can enable genuine support of one another - but that support can also be a bit more manual, as you point out. Hypothetically, if removing the likes system is more trouble than it's worth, what could become of a boycott? Would that just give rise to different unsavory complications?

Also, in the absence of likes, the validation/boost could still be granted by the manual support of "good point" and whatnot, and this kind of support might be a bit more substantial, even.
yeah i totally agree that it often is a nice gesture of support.

personally though, if i really think about it, the supportive gestures that have genuinely meant something to me, that i remembered, have not been likes but articulated engagement and acknowledgement.

and yeah, there's no fundamental difference between liking someone's post and saying "good point". but i do think that if we had to do the latter, we might more frequently add another thought in--and would be less inclined to interpret the absence of such outright validation as rejection (though maybe that's just me and Corpsey lol), since people would probably say "good point" more selectively, not so much as a common courtesy.

so i don't know exactly what would come of a boycott, but i think after a while it might actually lead a better atmosphere: more fluent and populated conversations, and fewer (or less defined) assumptions of what other people think of what you're saying. always having you head in the right place. i could be wildly projecting tho
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Walking to get an achievement trophy from an app is obviously very far from ideal. You want to walk to be outside and engaged with the environment around you. You want to walk and be aware of your surroundings and how they affect you. You want to walk and ruminate, chew over this or that idea. Simmer over some insult you've received.
This is another good point that I missed — that a "walk" isn't just a means to burning calories/stimulating dopamine. It's the experience of walking, of thinking, of perceiving and maybe bumping into somebody, etc.

All stuff that can't be captured by data/machines.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
You want, ideally, to exit a 'should' frame of mind entirely. But that's easier said than done. This stuff is all resting on guilt and obligation and etc etc
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
That's a good way of phrasing it Corpsey. I had been phrasing it as: "How do you get yourself to not want what you don't want to want?" but using the term "addiction" as you did is much clearer, in my opinion. How do you steer your addictions away from what is bad for you toward what is good for you?

Also, your point from life hacks: "I guess what self discipline is about is being willing to do things that aren't enjoyable immediately to obtain some later gratification."

Could this kind of steering consist of dilating your temporal appreciation of satisfactory potential? In other words, if immediate satisfaction is felt (by default?) as more potent (a matter of perspective: two identically-sized objects appear to be of different sizes if one is farther from the observer?) than delayed/future satisfaction, would such a steering amount to the neutralization of this difference in ostensible potency? By becoming increasingly cognizant/appreciative of how later satisfaction could equal, or outweigh, immediate satisfaction, might it be easier to opt for, or invest in, longer term payoffs? Might that dethrone the immediate, and open up more of a dialogue between the immediate and the longer-term?
 
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