How Hacking Dopamine Can Change Consciousness

By Jordan Michaelides
March 12, 2017


Image: Álvaro Domínguez/The Atlantic

The intelligence explosion, or ‘singularity’. Some of you may have heard of it, some of you may not.

Either way, it’s a huge technical issue amongst the tech and cogsci community. Most geeks have heralded that the utilisation of artificial intelligence is a product in and of itself, when in actual fact it’s a piece of technology.

The theory for an intelligence explosion or ‘singularity’ is through the mathematical certainty that computing power available for <$1000, shall be equal to a human brain in 2020, and consequently all humans in 2050.

When you start to pair the capabilities of AI methods, you have a perfect recipe for ‘superintelligence’.

This video was doing the rounds recently and eloquently shows what an intelligence explosion would look like . And if you feel like being freaked out, check out what rolling out general intelligence to the world could look like, in theory.


As ever, hit reply and let us know what you think of this week’s morsels.

How Hacking Dopamine can Change Consciousness

Tech companies are well advanced in hacking our pleasure centres, to ensure we’re always checking our phones. The “Magic of Maybe” as covered by Steven Kotler highlights this emphatically. Most would agree, particularly in our millennial generation, that the thought of “maybe there’s an update, an email, a message” happens often during the day. Some of you may even imagine the feeling of your phone vibrating, when it actually didn’t. This feeling of this ‘maybe’, this expectancy that comes from technology, is all just utilising our dopamine response.  

After you sit down and watch the 3-minute video you’re probably thinking - what can I do to change this? To get you started, try a few of these hacks:

  • Delete all social media and gaming apps off your phone

  • Log out of all social media on your laptop or computer

  • Put your phone into grayscale mode

  • Start having an “amazing hour” where you read for an hour every night before bed

  • Meditate once a day for 10 minutes

  • Don’t sit on your phone in bed in the morning, instead opting for exercise or meditation

If you do even two of these hacks, you’ll notice a significant difference in your own daily consciousness and concentration, and the results for stress and anxiety will be immeasurable

We’re hoping to line up an interview with a political and social blogger over the next month to discuss some of the ethics of technology -  a conversation I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Are you fixed or growing?

We’ve covered the fixed (goals) vs. growth (systems) mindset ad nauseum. But what we haven’t covered is a way to import it into your own life.
I cannot emphasise enough how useful this methodology has been in evaluating my progress in certain areas of my life each 6-12 months. The previous method of using specific goals was incredibly demoralising when not achieved, and then almost weightless when achieved.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has some fantastic analogies or practices to utilise the ‘systems’ mindset.

For me, it’s as simple as building a certain system around a certain topic in my 6 month goals - take for example, food. The goal - build a stronger connection to food and the land. This allows me to do all sorts of things; learning how to go mushroom picking, hunt and butcher an animal, understand how to grow vegetables... I could go on for ages. Right now, I’m trying to find a way to go on my first hunt to really understand what nose-to-tail eating is, as I’m becoming increasingly fed up with factory farming.

Try this system out yourself, and if you want examples of how to do 6 month goals, hit me up and I’d be happy to give advice.

Diffusing your infinite negative loop

This week was just one of those weeks. In between catching up on the podcast, and just life in general, I was slightly overwhelmed.

When you find yourself creating drama from nothing, use this chart - it’s an incredible way to diffuse your infinite negative loop.

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Happy reading,