Human Brains Are Bad at Internet

It’s clear to me that our raised-on-the-savannah brains are not made to respond well to an advertiser-soaked Internet interested in buzzing us algorithmically to generate clicks.

Since that form of the Internet isn’t going away for a while, what can we do meanwhile to strengthen our brains against these kinds of attacks?

The proportionality bias is a tendency to believe that causes are proportional to effects in magnitude. Extreme events with momentous consequences have extreme, momentous causes. Mundane events have mundane causes. …Why then are there no conspiracy theories about the assassinations of Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy?

from The Skeptic’s Dictionary (http://skepdic.com/proportionalitybias.html)

Generalized social networks like Twitter and Facebook seem especially programmed to take advantage of this in a particularly nasty way and I’ve rejected them at this point. At least Reddit segments into self-assigned interest groups that (nominally) stay on topic.

I think algorithmic moderation is, generally, a failure and doesn’t serve those who most need it.