The main idea behind Clay Johnson’s new book The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption is that we need to monitor the way we consume information in the same way we need to monitor what we eat and drink.
In today’s “information age,” we are constantly being bombarded with facts and opinions from television, radio, cellphones, and computers. In fact, according to Eric Schmidt, a software engineer and executive chairman at Google, every 48 hours there is more content being created on the internet than all the content that was created from the beginning of time to 2003.
That’s a lot of new information being created everyday! And this unprecedented growth of information has both its upsides and downsides.
We don’t always have to like someone for us to have love for them.
Sure – it may not be “friendship” love or “family” love or “romantic” love. However, we can have “compassionate” love for anyone, despite any differences or shortcomings that person may have.
Compassion is our ability to understand and sympathize with the suffering of others.
We all suffer in different ways, and we all just want to find happiness. Compassion is the acknowledgement that all humans, at a fundamental level, want the same thing.
In an interesting “1st Annual Love Competition” associated with The Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging, contestants had 5 minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone as hard as they could.
The brain regions involved in producing the neurochemical experience of love were measured, and the contestant who generated the greatest level of activity in those areas would be the winner.
Here is an excellent short film on the competition along with a background story behind each contestant (and what object of “love” they chose to focus on for the 5 minutes).
Don’t like the way you look in photographs? New research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology may have some good news for you.
In a recent study, psychologists showed participants faces in the form of photographs and videos. They then had participants rate how attractive each face was. What they found was that we are more likely to judge a face as more attractive when it is moving in a 2 second video instead of when our face is still in a photograph – even when it’s the exact same face. Leading researcher Robert Post calls this “the frozen face effect.”
Don’t underestimate the power of good intentions.
Recent studies published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science shows that good intentions can play a major role in our everyday experience of pleasure and pain.
In the first study, researchers had participants sit in an easy chair with an electronic massage pad. In one group, the machine was turned on by a computer; and in the other group, the machine was turned on by another human. Although the massages were exactly the same, researchers found that individuals consistently experienced more pleasure by the massage when a person flipped the switch.
As it turns out, the idea that another human being made a conscious effort to turn on the machine made the participants perceive the massage as more enjoyable.