Tuesday, April 08, 2008

B: programmed for conflict

I read some nerdy science magazines....And in those magazines it seems that there is a growing body of evidence that regardless of the source of stimulus (TV, video games, books, real life), the brain accepts the things that it processes to be true, even if we know they aren't. It actually takes the brain extra work to perceive something as not true and there appear to be physiological disincentives such as the experience of "distaste" when things are found to be not true. The end result of this that for all intensive purposes, parts of your brain believe everything that you experience, even if it is imaginary. And this imaginary stimulus may actually impart changes on the brain patterns and function.

This has me wondering about the arts such as literature, theater, and plain old TV and movies. We as a society immerse ourselves in dramatic conflict as an "escape" from the stresses of our lives. If we are escaping from our stress by immersing ourselves in fictional conflict, are we ultimately reprogramming ourselves to perceive conflict where there is none? Does drama result in people that feel the need to create conflict where there was none to feel comfortable within their surroundings? Does my escape to Hogwarts from my everyday life ultimately result in my feeling isolated and persecuted (or just pathetic and dorky)?

Are we as a society over stimulated with drama? Is our constant experience of fictional violence, anguish, and aggression resulting in people who expect that this is the immutable state of the world? Is there a narrative that can be told that is not rooted in conflict? Is there a narrative of joy that is not rooted in sorrow?

The more I learn, the more those laughing clubs, lame motivational posters, and fake happy people appear to actually have something going on. It now seems that immersion in fake laughter is no different than real laughter (hence the laugh track) and that eventually the fake laughter becomes real laughter as your brain accepts that is is okay to feel irrational joy. Doesn't that seem nicer than watching another murder on Law and Order?

just some thoughts...guess we need to get a TV cuz I am thinking too much.

oh yeah, this is supposed to be good too.

1 comment:

scotty said...

whoa whoa whoaaaa... wayyyy too many questions for someone who capitalizes "Hogwarts".

...and why bother with laughing clubs when you can just drive in Washington!! People here are retarded! That's worth a serious laugh!!

Ha HAaaa.. !