The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, May 12, 2006

Politics is the New Crack Cocaine 

Earlier this year, a group of scientists did a brain pattern study on people from both sides of the ideological divide, and found one thing they both have in common:

Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows.

And they get quite a rush from ignoring information that's contrary to their point of view.

Researchers asked staunch party members from both sides to evaluate information that threatened their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election. The subjects' brains were monitored while they pondered.

The results were announced today.

"We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," said Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory University. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts."
...
The test subjects on both sides of the political aisle reached totally biased conclusions by ignoring information that could not rationally be discounted, Westen and his colleagues say.

Then, with their minds made up, brain activity ceased in the areas that deal with negative emotions such as disgust. But activity spiked in the circuits involved in reward, a response similar to what addicts experience when they get a fix, Westen explained.

So there you have it... real scientific evidence that politics is like drugs and needs to be banned! Have you ever wondered why political bloggers who say they're going to give up blogging usually come back? That's right... it's because politics is addictive! Political bloggers get a rush of pleasure when they get a chance to agree with their guy out in public... the kind of rush that you can't get just nodding your head while you listen to Charlie Sykes on the radio in your car.

I see this every day as my politics dealer RSS reader delivers my daily fix latest news to me. I see bloggers every day grappling with this problem, struggling with their addiction, not even knowing they have one. Thankfully I'm one of the few who is immune to such things. But seeing the devastating toll this addiction takes on others is just heart breaking.

John McCain... when will you save us from this scourge with more stringent Campaign Finance Reform?

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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