Time shift

Jenny Odell explains why I kept scrolling through the bird site, like a laboratory pigeon hitting the lever to get a food pellet, even when every fifth pellet was an ad and most of the others were repeats.

Entrainment, a term that originated in biology and then spread to the social sciences, refers to the alignment of an organism’s physiology or behavior with a cycle; the most familiar example would be our circadian rhythm. The signal driving entrainment, in this case light and dark, is called a “zeitgeber” (German for “time giver”)….

Something like entrainment seems to be at work in our relationship to Twitter and other forms of social media. The rate of updates and notifications provides a powerful zeitgeber — one that can even override our circadian rhythm, as any nighttime scroller knows.

Sad but probably true

Kevin Roose on the Twitter acquisition:

… Musk seemed to intuitively grasp what Twitter actually was — a high-stakes popularity contest that, if won, could get you almost anything you wanted, from a higher stock price to a Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

I am weighing my options—considering taking a pause. The original reason I joined has long become moot, one of the purposes I put Twitter to is fading, and I can get news directly from the source.

My year in books, 2021

I’ll go ahead and link to my Goodreads list now, even though I’ll probably finish A Thousand Acres before the of the year. Top marks for