On addictions

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1. Consider what motivates the people that generate the content. Is it communicating an idea or emotion? Or is it making money/fame, which may translate in them optimizing the amount of consumption from you. Consider also the medium. You don’t become addictive to a single movie, or a single book. But you might become addictive to a TV show (say, Friends.) Note the producer of the movie has less motivation to do something addictive.

Very few things from nature are addictive. Also, most things aren’t naturally addictive. They need someone to refine them to become addictive. And this only happens if the person has as a goal to make them addictive. This doesn’t seem to be a goal for its own sake, but a by-product of another ulterior goal. You reader, what do you think that goal could be? It has to be a goal that benefits from addiction from the users. And this ulterior goal should be common in many people, because many people have addictions and we are proposing this as an explanation of those addictions. Possible answers for me: “Making money” and “Making history.”

Note a difference between the producer of addictive things and the consumer. The producer needs to be smart or charismatic or very good at something, it’s generally a difficult problem to make something addictive. But there is not a required skill to consume.

2. Having an addiction implies being out of your nature. But being addiction-free is not enough, you also need ethics.

3. We have more defenses to addictions in the beginning. Someone coughing when first drinking alcohol or smoking.