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What is behavioral? A blog of recent updates to behavioral economics

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The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now

Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas about addiction are built atop a deeper fallacy—the idea of normalcy—the notion that there is an unadulterated state of consciousness, a “normal” state where our interpretation of reality is accurate. There are a number of huge problems with this idea. First, we know that ‘consciousness’ is a vast reduction in information. No one is exactly sure how vast. Estimates for how much information the senses gather on a moment–to-moment basis range from 11 million bits all the way up to 400 billion bits. This is a huge amount of data. ….[READ]

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