Be Baffled!

It’s a common topic in the news: the feel-good effect of dopamine. Facebook founders disclose how they have crafted algorithms to trigger a dopamine high every now and then, so they can keep your eyeballs on their timeline. Alcohol and tobacco, sugar and monosodium glutamate, along with other drugs and additives, have been documented as chemical triggers of your dopamine receptors. Social media is a behavioral trigger, sort of like gambling, or power (not that coming from the mains though) — political power — or extreme sports, or watching (and doing) porn, or various arts and crafts of more or less intense activity.

In popular culture and media dopamine is often seen as the main chemical of pleasure, but the current opinion in pharmacology is that dopamine instead mediates incentive salience which signals the value of a given reward to the organism and motivating action required for attainment. In other words, dopamine appears to mediate desire and motivation more than pleasure.

James Melaugh for the Observer
In an unprecedented attack of candour, Sean Parker, the 38-year-old founding president of Facebook, recently admitted that the social network was founded not to unite us, but to distract us. “The thought process was: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” he said at an event in Philadelphia in November. To achieve this goal, Facebook’s architects exploited a “vulnerability in human psychology”, explained Parker, who resigned from the company in 2005. Whenever someone likes or comments on a post or photograph, he said, “we… give you a little dopamine hit”. Facebook is an empire of empires, then, built upon a molecule.

Remember those headlines in science mags where the “scientists are baffled” about this or that discovery? Yes, they come in at a quite accelerated rate, even if at random. There are two aspects of this baffling issue.

One is the negative confusion, when the scientist remains perplex because he cannot run his pre-learned theory any longer, against a certain new reality that he, or she, can touch, measure, assess. This occurs in religious mindsets — there’s a religion of science, also known as settled science — where the dogma taught by the academia, the doctoral theme, the venerable discourse, has been falsified by a little molecule, or bacteria, or by a hundred ton heavy clear-cut block of granite.

My take on this one, wild guessing, is that it may be empty inside, like other so-called sarcophagi that were actually used as circuit elements in the wireless energy grid powered by the pyramids.

Of course that I could be completely wrong. What would happen then? The skies would fall? The earth would stop? One can be wrong, more often than not, without causing widespread calamities. It’s an exercise of the mind to deal with right and wrong. Common logic runs on true or false. It is also the scientific method of trial and error. The self-righteous masters of the universe fear that, if their ‘science’ is proven wrong, then the (their?) universe will burp out of existence. Who can tell?

Here’s a little experiment for you. Watch this short video and ask yourself if the skies should be considered as static, or clockwork systematic, for billions and billions of years (whatever the concept of a year on earth would signify up there).

Back to baffling. I was baffled when learning that state taught history is nothing more than a poor taste parody. I was baffled when learning that we all live on a big blue capacitor (planet Earth) yet we’ve gotta foot the electricity bills. I am still baffled at the polar configuration, at the thought that the closest exo-planet is the one we’re stepping on, and so on and so forth.

I love being baffled. Sort of like the dopamine hit, this baffling business.

If you love your comfort zone so much, then you’ve gotta hate being baffled. I can understand that. Sadly.

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
― Vincent van Gogh

Compartmentalizing works for the military, for soldiers trained to follow orders, for highly organized religions, for sheep.

But if you don’t like the compartments above, if you refuse to fix your eyeballs onto a square, then please oblige to take advantage of the big picture.

Be baffled!

Yours truly,
The Baffle Addict

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

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