Book Review: The Compass of Pleasure by David J Linden

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So GoodThe Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good by David J. Linden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very good book. It made me rethink about the pleasures of life in terms of chemicals, and its properties on the human brain. Everything we 'enjoy' is like a positive signal to a particular area in the brain called VTA where Neuron's release dopamine to make us feel the pleasure.

Various experiments that humans have done, such as chemicals we eat (the taste factor in food), drink, inhale, and physiological activities such as running, exercise, sex, and brain activities like deep-thinking, understanding, associative thinking, are all related and trigger those VTA neurons to give pleasure.

The process of pleasures are understandable, and once we understand this, we have better control over things around it, like society norms, and optimizing for our desired outcome.

The book also touched upon the topic of addiction, which is commonly associated with pleasure, but in reality, it is not. The perspective shared in the book about addiction, was it should be treated as a disease, like having a fever/cold/cough, and instead of feeling sorry or ashamed, actions should involve just as we take actions to come out of fever/cold and cough.

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