September 25, 2012
The hallucinogenic drug LSD works by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin keeps neurons from becoming overactive when too much information comes in too fast. In other words, serotonin filters out unwanted noise, but LSD—much like the Internet—allows unfiltered information to flow no matter if it is real or unreal (you suspect those tiny gnomes swarming up your arms aren’t real, but look at their eyes!). The Internet, too, floods us with misinformation because it bypasses traditional filters such as professional editors. What emerges is a confusing blend of accurate facts, inaccurate spin, hoax websites and a general overabundance of information.
But is the Internet the sole cause of the increase in uncertainty about what is real or not? People have always sought information that supports their existing views; repeated exposure to false statements has always increased their acceptance; and the inability to filter noise has always hindered the decision process. What’s so different about now? We think the social mood trend has a lot to do with it. Click here to read more about uncertainty – but only if you’re sure you want to.
If you look closely, you can see patterns in social mood that help you predict social trends. Learn more with the Socionomics Premier Membership.