Rick Rosner is a friend. We discuss a broad range of topics. One of interest is evolutionary theory and the implications for mating behavior. We aren’t experts but are having a fun conversation between friends, and so decided to conduct some recorded sessions about this in a series on mating strategies. Here is session 3, just for you.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: There is a psychology of failure to adapt to these rapid changes with older men followed by younger men. It is the psychologizing it, or providing new diagnoses of it, with things like “Arousal Addictions.” Have you heard of this?
Rick Rosner: No, but go ahead.
Jacobsen: It is not developing a tolerance and need more of the same substance, as with cocaine, for example, but need more of different varieties of a thing, and so arousal addictions. It would be something like “Pornography: Variations on a Theme, of Addiction.”
What happens is you get a shot of dopamine in the reward system in the brain, in particular, the nucleus accumbens, it feels good.
Typically, what happens as you grow up is the prefrontal cortex, which is the house of executive function, allows you to plan, be conscientious, be moral, delay gratification, and so on, from which then once you accomplish these plans and delay this gratification, and succeed for the thing that was a later gratification, and so on, you get that shot of dopamine from the nucleus accumbens.
So, you have a system: planning ahead, delaying gratification from the prefrontal cortex for executive function, getting a reward – the nucleus accumbens activates and you feel good, so you value real-world context. You get the context. But with pornography and video games, you get the reward and no context.
Rosner: All of this stuff spreads across other parts of life. Trolls feel as though they won’t get laid, but also a lot of them also feel as if there’s no path to good employment. They feel as if there is no achievement path for sex, for work, and so that increases the alienation and the hostility.
Also, there are more paths to pretty high levels of easy gratification than there were 40 years ago. Entertainment is more entertaining, food tastes better now, I’ve said this before. In the 70s, many more things sucked and sex was definitely one of the best things to aspire to.
Now, there were so many other awesome things, more entertaining stuff in the world compared to the 70s. Sex doesn’t have to be the main thing you aspire to – so that is, even more, the reason for trolls not to aspire.
Video game culture is about achieving gratification via entertainment rather than building a path to the future. I don’t know whether gamers, if you survey them, view what they do as temporary, followed by grudgingly attempting to fit into the traditional adult world.
I mean, if you survey Guidos, I assume they’ll say Guidoing is a temporary thing they’re doing while they can and eventually they’ll settle down and get married. The people on Jersey Shore have settled down, have married and had kids. Snooki has written three books so far, maybe more, including one on parenting. Fucking Snooki, who used to pass out while pissing next to dumpsters, has written a bunch of books. So has her friend J-Woww, also a dumpster pisser.
Jacobsen: I do not have experience with dumpster pissing.
Rosner: When I wrote for late-night TV, I had to watch a lot of Jersey Shore. There’s a lot of pissing by dumpsters because you’re drunk and can’t be bothered to go back inside the club.
I don’t know whether trolls or what percent of them, consider trolling a temporary phase and then they’ll take on some kind of adult role – will try to grow up.
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