“The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.”
Almost every “free” app or service you use depends on this surreptitious process of unconsciously turning your eyeballs into dollars, and they have built sophisticated methods of reliably doing it.
One of the threads of Tobias’ piece is how perceived threats have become “realities”. But the actual threat has actually diminished.
For most of our species’ history, available information tended to be really helpful for our survival. If you heard a lot of stories about wild dog attacks, you learned to be vigilant about wild dogs.
The availability heuristic
has been hijacked and we have democratized propaganda for profit. This isn’t going to go away on its own. We have to fight the good fight.
I look forward to his next post detailing some proposed solutions to this phenomenon that is “undermining our greatest strength — our unique ability to cooperate and share the careful and important burdens of being human.”