Lehtola.blog

Importance of novelty

October 07, 2020

This is part of a series

Your ancestor had to travel for hours, days and weeks to find novel things like new resources and land. You don’t.

Research into brain health and longevity suggests that regular experience of novelty is essential to a long, happy life. Imagine in a theoretical framework where everything around you works in the same loop, much like in film groundhog day. Your kids would do the same thing every day, your job is a series of the same functions, nothing would change. It would get boring so fast no matter how much you love those things. As humans we crave novelty. Each fresh experience gives us a rush of dopamine. This attraction to novelty has evolutionary advantage as it motivated our ancestors to explore and learn about new environments, which increased our chances of survival. Today we need novelty to thrive, it is what keeps us motivated to keep going in life, it’s necessary for creativity and innovation.

Learning as an exposure mechanism with help of the internet allows perpetual novelty on an unprecedented scale. Your ancestor had to travel for hours, days and weeks to find novel things like new resources and land. Now we can explore our surroundings with a single google search in a matter of seconds. Large number of combinations and permutations in the exposure process (e.g. via Wikipedia) leads to uncountable number of new possibilities. It is something that has not been possible in the past — and unfortunately not enough people utilize this enough today —

Perpetual novelty is the hallmark of evolution.

The more possibilities you are aware of, the more probable it is to thrive in life.