Dopamine Dialogues: Getting the Ball Rolling

December 9, 2013

From:    Chris
Date:    Mon, Dec 9, 2013 7:13 am
To:    Charles@DopamineProject.org

I am absolutely convinced that understanding what makes us tick, learning to accept and confront it will help us all, as a civilization, rise above our current monkeys-with-AK47s status.

I feel that your ideas, given that they survive scientific scrutiny, might shed some light onto the issues and, potentially, serve as a basis for a solution.

Say, have you tried to contact some local universities directly? I think that finding an ambitious young scientist and infecting him or her with the idea would be a great way to get the ball rolling.

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From:    Charles@DopamineProject.org
Date:    Mon, Dec 9, 2013 9:32 pm
To:    Chris

Chris,

I wish there were more people, and especially researchers, capable of understanding how all behavior can be explained in terms of protecting and triggering dopamine flow.

The need to protect and trigger dopamine flow is so overpowering that Homo sapiens might never be more than monkeys with AK47s. Dopamine is so powerful that sincere do-gooders aren’t interested helping their causes if the solutions threaten their dopamine flow.

As far as my ideas surviving scientific scrutiny, it’s a question of time. Like heliocentrism, neurocentrism is based on impossible to disprove observations that start out as too abstract for all but a few to grasp, then turn into too threatening to dopamine flow to consider.

I’m not saying anything original. Instead, I’m extending what is currently known about the links between dopamine and food addictions to all of Maslow’s deficiency needs. Scientists have already established that the dopaminergic system is so delicate that it can be corrupted by junk foods. If the system is that vulnerable, why aren’t researchers looking into the possibility that it’s being corrupted by our species’ obsessions with safety/power, acceptance/approval/attention, and esteem/status.

Re: finding an ambitious young scientist…to get the ball rolling.

That’s the reason for this site.

I’ve contacted scores of scientists to ask if they knew about any researchers looking into the links between dopamine and all of Maslow’s deficiency needs. To my surprise, most responded and their replies were fairly consistent. “Great question! Sorry I don’t know anyone looking into what you’re asking. Good luck.”

If you know anyone who might be interested, please let him or her know. Or let me know and I’ll contact them.

I have reservations about young scientists’ ability to help. In three years I’ve come across one researcher who’s written about dopamine and power addiction. Check out Does It Matter If Politicians, Like Baboons, Are Literally Addicted to Power?

My post explains how a respected scientist’s mind-blowing article was essentially ignored. Why? It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to understand that accepting the possibility that politicians are addicted to power comes with the risk of exposing everyone’s addiction to power. That’s a can of worms few are interested in opening.

I suspect that Carl Sagan would have understood neurocentrism but I’m not sure if he could have explained it without jeopardizing his reputation.

Again, that’s because everything comes down to dopamine appeal and repel. Sugar, fats, salt, heroin, slot machines, lies, sports, social media, video games, and celebrities are dopamine appealing. Pain, vomit, worms, neurocentrism, and any other information that threatens safety, approval, or esteem are dopamine repellent.

I realize the above sounds incredibly simplistic but the ancestors who got us into this mess were simple minded primitives. Countless generations later we’re all born into webs of deceptions fabricated to protect and trigger dopamine flow. Nothing else matters.

Thanks for the questions. Let me know if I’ve answered them to your satisfaction.

Charles

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