Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A scientific explanation for trolling?

From today's Newsweek:

Is technology changing our brains? A new study by UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small adds to a growing body of research that says it is. And according to Small's new book, "iBRAIN: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind," a dramatic shift in how we gather information and communicate with one another has touched off an era of rapid evolution that may ultimately change the human brain as we know it. "Perhaps not since early man first discovered how to use a tool has the human brain been affected so quickly and so dramatically," he writes. "As the brain evolves and shifts its focus towards new technological skills, it drifts away from fundamental social skills."

So I read this and got into a discussion, and although I hate to say it the trolls might be more evolved than the rest of us: jettisoning archaic social skills and acquiring valuable technological abilities.

4 comments:

xav said...

Bearing in mind that these fundamental social skills have more to do with actual relationships across anything other than a Cat-5 ;-)

agk said...

This truly adds a new dimension to whether we should "feed the trolls."

Adam said...

Evolution doesn't work that way. There has to be some sort of selective pressure that affects reproduction. Unless he means social evolution, which is a metaphorical description of cultural change.

Durova said...

Right you are. Looks like the writer has fallen into the acquired characteristics trap. I certainly hope there isn't a selective reproductive advantage to trolling.