Somewhere, in someone’s brain, the amount of dopamine is leveling off after eating the same food repeatedly over many days. The body cries for variety now. It seems that the British man got sick of eating the same brand of chicken for the past 2 months. It seems that the chicken stopped giving great rewards.
In the world of Twitter, someone is making a great point about GameStop stock. The stock leveled out and stopped giving for a few days, then jumped up and again leveled out and jumped back. The meme will die at some point, because the brain turns off repetitive stimulation. Even the high-order retards will get sick of the meme at some point, no repeated memes provide great and sustainable rewards.
A company starts a new fad of selling vegan toothpicks. It makes extraordinary profits, because it is the only company providing this obscure product. Quickly this opportunity starts signaling ‘money’ to a hungry CFO somewhere and thus follows a chain of other companies joining in this high signal event with even lower prices. It turned into zero-profits quickly. The toothpicks stopped giving extraordinary rewards.
The brain loves familiarity. It also loves novelty. Familiar keeps things speedy and safe, fuel efficient. I don’t need to stop and assess whether I’m going to get murdered by my dad on a visit there. Precious calories saved.
The brain loves novelty. Novel let’s us find new efficient solutions to our problems. It means new resources and ways to survive. It is the story of a damned caveman hunting for food vs me, a civilized and sophisticated young man ordering beef jerky with my mobile phone. Novel solutions for a novel man.
The race against diminishing rewards
Maybe Michelangelo had so many unfinished projects, because he stopped having faith in them, because his brain turned off repetitive stimulation, so now the value is distorted in his mind for the worse? It is a common syndrome for music producers who listen to the song they are working on repeatedly, thousand times per day for a sustained period of time. Brain turns off repetitive stimulation. The great rewards run out and they stop having faith. It is the story of the British man and his chicken not giving great rewards anymore.
So what is up with this race against these rewards running out? It’s like we have to pump up some novelty after a while, just so we can keep mining rewards? We work on the familiar thing for a while, but then spaced in time we need to find a new thing or a new angle to the old thing to keep things fresh? Weirdly, it reminds me of this one graph...