Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Happiness as Science

Life really is, according to this guy, what you make it.

It's a long article and worth the read. One line synopsis: author/psychologist says that happiness is not equal to pleasure; we live (relative to other generations) charmed lives and it is a failure of something that we self-report increasing unhappiness in spite of that; critics claim he is a dangerous lunatic.

But this is something I've been cogitating on for a while now. I realized/observed that happiness doesn't come from any outside place, thing or person. One specific example was the seemingly endless search for the right bar to go to Friday night. The endless arguments weighing each individual's perceptions against their preference against their mood. Everyone wants the same thing, to drink beer and talk to our friends and maybe meet new people. Any environment that impedes that is bad, anything extra is a bonus. But trading necessity/preference for bonus is a bad value, happiness wise. "This car has no wheels!" "But it's got Bluetooth!"


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