Monday, November 10, 2008

Is Trutherism Biological?

One of the books I am currently reading is The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, on the subject of probability and the human tendency to attach meanings to things which are are entirely random. I found this little bit on page 67 interesting:

In addition to the story of the left-brain interpreter, we have more physiological evidence of our ingrained pattern seeking, thanks to our growing knowledge of the role of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that are assumed to transport signals between different parts of the brain. It appears that pattern perception increases along with the concentration in the brain of the chemical dopamine. Dopamine also regulates moods and supplies an internal reward system in the brain (not surprisingly, it is found in slightly higher concentrations in the left side of the brains of right-handed persons than on the right side). A higher concentration of dopamine appears to lower skepticism and result in greater vulnerability to pattern detection; an injection of L-dopa, a substance used to treat patients with Parkinson's disease, seems to increase such activity and lowers one's suspension of belief. The person becomes vulnerable to all manner of fads, such as astrology, superstitions, economics and tarot-card reading.

That's it. I want Jon Gold tested.

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