My recent post on Decision-Making and Bias (The Bad, The Good & the Ironic) sparked some very intelligent exchanges. Just to keep going on the human mind angle for a sec, Kathy Sierra of Passionate has a truly fascinating post: Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain. If folks wonder why I make a point of stuff like posting good news and throwing in interesting items about the positive things our civilization does, well, science says it's a smart move. And Kathy explains the key mechanisms involved:
Robert Scoble, announced the unthinkable a few days ago: he will be moderating his comments. But what some people found far more disturbing was Robert's wish to make a change in his life that includes steering clear of "people who were deeply unhappy" and hanging around people who are happy. The harsh reaction he's gotten could be a lesson in scientific ingorance, because the neuroscience is behind him on this one.
Whether it's a good move is up to each person to decide, but I've done my best here to offer some facts. [Disclaimer: I'm not an authority on the brain! I have, however, spent the last 15 years doing research and applying it, both in my work and also because I have a serious brain disorder, and my brain knowledge could be a matter of life and death. Another disclaimer: I haven't spoken with Robert about this; I'm simply offering some science that supports the decision he may have made for entirely different reasons.]
Before we talk about applying any of this to debates, I'm going to ask everyone to suspend that reflex for a minute and go read it. It's very readable, very thought-provoking, and has stuff in it that could really change your experience of your life.