The Hacking of the American Mind

The Hacking of the American Mind

The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

Book - 2017
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While researching the toxic impact of sugar on our health, Robert Lustig made a discovery that reaches beyond the politics of food. Our seemingly innocent addictions are far from it--they are biochemical, and they are damaging our bodies and our brains. He reveals how these chemicals interact with one another to drive our behaviors, and how Big Business uses the science of addiction to keep us hooked--to our detriment, and for their profit. Dopamine is the 'reward' neurotransmitter that tells our brains 'This feels good, I want more.' Yet too much dopamine leads to addiction. Serotonin is the 'contentment' neurotransmitter that tells our brains 'This feels good, I have enough.' Yet too little serotonin leads to depression. Ideally, both should be in optimal supply. But too many of our simple pleasures have morphed into something else--a 6.5-ounce soda has become a Big Gulp; an afternoon with friends has been replaced by 1,000 friendings on Facebook. What we think we want, what we're told will bring us happiness, is just a clever marketing scheme to lead us to consume more and more. Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC., have gotten inside our heads, exploiting newly discovered brain physiology and chemistry to confuse and conflate pleasure with happiness. Our behaviors are not our own, because our minds have been hacked. But there are ways to reclaim our health and our lives. Using that same brain science, Lustig offers solutions to defend ourselves against Corporate America, and to reengage in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition.
Publisher: New York :, Avery,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781101982587
Branch Call Number: 152.42 LUS 2017
Characteristics: 344 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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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.

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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