The analogy of information as sugar is not just rhetoric. A 2019 study by researchers at Berkeley found that information acts on the brain’s dopamine-producing reward system in the same way as food.

…But despite being “empty calories,” junk info still tastes delicious. Since your dopamine pathways can’t distinguish between useful and useless info, consuming junk info gives you the satisfaction of feeling like you’re learning—it offers you the sensation of mental nourishment—even though all you’re really doing is shoving virtual popcorn into your skull.

Gurwinder’s post is otherwise unobjectionable, if almost too obvious to need saying, but I’m afraid that I’ve developed a loathing for the word “dopamine.” The pleasure center of my brain does not “light up” when I encounter it. In fact, you might even say that it causes the pleasure center of my brain go as dark as a nighttime aerial view of North Korea, but only if you were an insipient midwit incapable of thinking outside the confines of jargon and cliché. Since you are not that, you would probably say something more like, “Man, it really pisses him off when people replace the vocabulary of intention and agency with empty neurojargon and pretend they’ve explained something!” And you would be right. Not only that, but with your colloquial and humanistic language, you would have done a more accurate and complete job of describing the situation, despite your failure to cite any recent studies in support of your claim.

On the bright side, this at least spurred me to get around to reading some of Raymond Tallis’s books.