The Hacking of the American Mind

The Hacking of the American Mind

The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

eBook - 2017
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While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover. Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape. With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.
Topical Term: Happiness
Pleasure
Contentment
Satisfaction
Nonfiction
Electronic books
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Penguin Publishing Group, 2017
ISBN: 9781101982594
Branch Call Number: eBOOK
BF575.H27 L83 2017
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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miketany
Oct 24, 2019

The Hacking of the American Mind provides deep insight on how the average american lives their lives. It focuses on how integrated industries are in our daily lives. After reading this, lots of things that I did in my life suddenly made much more sense and I could connect to what corporations are doing to take advantage. I think that this book is attacking the basis of our society, money. We think that if we have lots of money, we will be happy. This book compares and contrasts reward and content. The author argues that reward is short-term high, such as dopamine, but content is long term happiness, and money only brings us short-term highs. I think that society has made us this way, as we spend almost all of our lives pursuing money and not happiness. If we are to live our lives to the fullest, we must radically change the way society works. I think that we are too caught up in our own lives and earning money to actually do what we want to do. Working 9am-5pm five days a week doesn’t allow one to do anything creative with their minds.

I rated this book a 10/10 because of how well the author debunks the root issues in society and find how morally corrupt it is. I think that this is a must read for anyone looking for a change in their life, as it could provide details on why something may be happening to them and help encourage change in their lifestyle. This book was written with lots of purpose to inform people of what society demands from us in terms of taking away our pursuit of happiness,

JCLCherylMY Aug 11, 2018

Dr. Lustig has written an extremely interesting and controversial book on the topic of pleasure and happiness and how we process them differently in our brains. Pleasure hones in on instant gratification, never having enough, the need for more, more, and more. This need increases dopamine in our brains, thus producing the never ending wheel of dissatisfaction with what is. Advertisers play and prey on this need to constantly need more. Happiness focuses on accepting what is, nothing needing to change, looking outside of ourselves. To help aid us on cultivating happiness, Dr. Lustig coins the term "the 4C's": Connect with others; Contribute by helping others; Cope by sleeping well, practicing mindfulness, exercising; and Cook by eating real foods. All of these increase the serotonin level in our brains making us more peaceful and productive people. I also enjoyed his TED talk on this topic as well as his first one on the addictive properties of sugar (titled Sugar: the Bitter Truth). You may find his first book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, informative as well.

s
SueRichey
Mar 20, 2018

Note to would-be writers - try very hard not to allow current events into your serious writing. Because history changes as more comes to light, and you are left with a book full of dated, disproven, irrelevant commentary that had no place in the subject matter and will follow you forever. I find it an incredible irony that a person who has figured out that the "American Mind" has been hacked, and meticulously lays out his argument about how generations are suffering from this manipulation of our minds.....STILL....swallows the mainstream argument that the 2016 Presidential Election was a "debacle" orchestrated by a Russian hack and included it in his book! That means that he was hacked himself, because no one should still buy that propaganda. Whatever you feel about DJT - he filled auditoriums with people and captured their hearts, spirits, and accepted his promise to change things. That is why he won. Even people who hate him acknowledge that he won because he campaigned hard in the states he needed to.

I'm almost going to shut this book before the first chapter is completed because Dr Lustig's credibility may have been compromised. I study the mind, brain, health connection so I'll give it a whirl but he just made his first strike.

Strike 2 - He used the word "quackery". Is this book just a vent?

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