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This link recently saved by monkeymagic on September 06, 2009
If humans are seeking machines, we've now created the perfect machines to allow us to seek endlessly. This perhaps should make us cautious. In Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin writes of driving two indoor cats crazy by flicking a laser pointer around the room. They wouldn't stop stalking and pouncing on this ungraspable dot of light—their dopamine system pumping. She writes that no wild cat would indulge in such useless behavior: "A cat wants to catch the mouse, not chase it in circles forever." She says "mindless chasing" makes an animal less likely to meet its real needs "because it short-circuits intelligent stalking behavior." As we chase after flickering bits of information, it's a salutary warning.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on July 13, 2008
The most powerful form is variable-interval reinforcement. The reward doesn't happen every time, and you end up working harder to get it .. as if you're trying to figure out the pattern to get the reward to come more often. It's why email is addictive.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on March 23, 2008
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on May 01, 2007