The Neuroscience of Happiness
Posted by News Fetcher on October 24 '13 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-you're-happy-and-you-know-it department
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Julie Beck has an interesting read in the Atlantic about how our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative because evolution has optimized our brains for survival, but not necessarily happiness, which means that we feel stressed and unhappy even though there are a lot of positive things in our lives. 'The problem is that the brain is very good at building brain structure from negative experiences,' says neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson. 'We learn immediately from pain—you know, "once burned, twice shy." As our ancestors evolved, they needed to pass on their genes. And day-to-day threats like predators or natural hazards had more urgency and impact for survival. On the other hand, positive experiences like food, shelter, or mating opportunities, those are good, but if you fail to have one of those good experiences today, as an animal, you would have a chance at one tomorrow. But the brain is relatively poor at turning positive experiences into emotional learning neural structure. 'Positive thinking by definition is conceptual and generally verbal and most conceptual or verbal material doesn't have a lot of impact on how we actually feel or function over the course of the day. A lot of people have this kind of positive, look on the bright side yappity yap, but deep down they're very frightened, angry, sad, disappointed, hurt, or lonely.' Dr. Hanson proposes several ideas for helping 're-wire' our brains for happiness. One of them is that we need to learn how to move positive experiences from short-term buffers to long-term storage. 'But to move from a short-term buffer to long-term storage, an experience needs to be held in that short-term buffer long enough for it to transfer to long-term storage,' says Hanson. 'When people are having positive thinking or even most positive experiences, the person is not taking the extra 10, 20 seconds to heighten the installation into neural structure. So it's not just positive thinking that's wasted on the brain; it's most positive experiences that are wasted on the brain.'"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's whose-izon-you? department
An anonymous reader writes "With recent action by the FTC against TRENDnet, the 'Internet of Things' has taken a sharp turn in the eyes of the public and government with regard to security. This week, Duo Security employee Mark Stanislav presented security research he did on the IZON IP camera from Stem Innovation. Through his testing, Mark found hardcoded credentials for Linux accounts (accessible by Telnet; Yes, — really), an undocumented web interface allowing for viewing a camera's stream (also with hardcoded credentials, user/user), and a variety of other failings including a lack of cryptography in most of the camera's functionality, including when uploading videos to Amazon Web Services's S3 storage."
According to the above-linked article, "Contacted by The Security Ledger, Stem Innovation CTO Matt McBeth said that the IZON firmware, server system and iOS applications tested by Stanislav have since been updated, and that the research contains “inaccurate and misleading information.” Stem did not provide specific information about any inaccuracies."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's arise-workers-and-throw-off-your-ah-what-the-hell department
Nerval's Lobster writes "In Boston, a number of UberX drivers reportedly planned to strike yesterday afternoon in response to a rate cut. (UberX is a low-cost program from Uber, which is attempting to "disrupt" the traditional cab industry via a mobile app that connects ordinary drivers in need of cash with passengers who want to go somewhere.) Uber tried to preempt the strike with a blog posting explaining that the rate cut actually translated into more customers and thus more revenue to drivers, but it needn't have bothered: according to local media (the same media that reported a strike was in the making) a strike failed to materialize. Many of the biggest firms of the so-called 'sharing economy,' such as Uber and Airbnb, are locked in battle with some combination of deeply entrenched industries and government regulators. But if the 'labor' that drives the sharing economy becomes more agitated about its compensation, it could create yet another interesting wrinkle. The Boston strike may have fizzled, but that doesn't mean another one, in a different city, won't enjoy more success."
Free (or freer) entry makes occupation-based roadblocks harder to enforce, though, so Uber and other crowd-sourcing matchmakers are tougher to pin down and disrupt in the way that more tightly controlled enterprises
are. (Not that city councils and other bodies aren't trying to corral crowd-sourced undertakings
into their regulatory purviews, putting a damper on some of that freewheeling disintermediation.)Read Replies (0)