Slow therapy, Addiction & Brains or algorithms rule science?
“The mind is a very strange place.” Said everyone who ever sat still to witness.
This week I was reading about addiction and things about mental health and addiction, and stumbled on these.
— Alex, a 28-year-old paramedic, finds himself drinking more than he used to after long days at work. He’s recently had a hard time coping with his feelings. He is irritable most days and brings his frustration home to his girlfriend. Like many people, he has blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for his increase in alcohol use and overall bad mood. His drinking is just a way to unwind, he thinks. Is that true, or is it possible that he has an addiction?
— A schism is emerging in the scientific enterprise. On the one side is the human mind, the source of every story, theory and explanation that our species holds dear. On the other stand the machines, whose algorithms possess astonishing predictive power but whose inner workings remain radically opaque to human observers. As we humans strive to understand the fundamental nature of the world, our machines churn out measurable, practical predictions that seem to extend beyond the limits of thought. While understanding might satisfy our curiosity, with its narratives about cause and effect, prediction satisfies our desires, mapping these mechanisms on to reality. We now face a choice about which kind of knowledge matters more – as well as the question of whether one stands in the way of scientific progress.