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  1. #51
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Nobody else can tell you what mix will make you happy.
    I know this is heading off into the nether somewhere, but... I have to say it.

    Even the individual doesn't know what will make them happy (Ted - Video). Nor can "things" make us happy... it's heavily biological (Wikipedia - Affective Forecasting)...

    The fundamental rule for optimizing your happiness is very straightforward. Minimize negative events (long term conditions). That's about it. That's hard enough, mind you, but... there is virtually no control over happiness...

  2. #52
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    What is the price of a life? Your life? How much do I have to offer you before you sell your life to me?

    There is none. Money is meaningless without life.
    This is why I emphasized things.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  3. #53
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Well, I meant to highlight that trade is a matter of individual value... I agree with you, for sure, in principle. The question, however, is a matter of what each person really desires and can achieve. "Take your dreams" is nice to say, but there are real practical limits programmed into us. Sometimes we are locked in - we'd have to abandon our kids for our dreams, for example. The cost is... complex.



    Granted... if money is the only thing that demonstrate value, consider risk taking. If you drive, or bike to work, or do anything for money, you are putting your life at risk for money. Therefore, money has a tangible value over human life (I believe it's somewhere around 10 million in the US - used by the EPA and what not).



    That's because money only has value if you are alive. Take a situation where those factors change and money does have value. If, for example, I knew I was going to die tomorrow anyway, then I'd easily take 2 million for my life now. I value the 2 million I could leave my wife more than one more day with her.

    Or, tell me that I'll die in exactly a decade but you are willing to give me the discounted 10 million (say, about 5 million)... I would have to consider it, if it would let me do all things I plan to do in my life anyway, like travel/etc. (I might not actually take this deal because I assign a small probability to immortality at this point.)

    The same can apply for causes. If someone was going to donate hundreds of millions and save thousands of lives, giving up one life could be seen, even though money would never come to you.

    It's only absolute when the person who would be dead would not see any benefit in having the money (because they are dead, heh.)
    QFT. Great explanation and a good cutting through to the chase!
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  4. #54
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Both a la Aristotle's Ethics
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

  5. #55
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    Both a la Aristotle's Ethics
    Eudaimonia?
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  6. #56
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I know this is heading off into the nether somewhere, but... I have to say it.

    Even the individual doesn't know what will make them happy (Ted - Video). Nor can "things" make us happy... it's heavily biological (Wikipedia - Affective Forecasting)...

    The fundamental rule for optimizing your happiness is very straightforward. Minimize negative events (long term conditions). That's about it. That's hard enough, mind you, but... there is virtually no control over happiness...
    I love TED presentations.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, studies have shown that external events cannot affect our happiness. What we're talking about here is about internally derived change though. It's not about the job you choose, rather it's about the fact that you've made a choice. This is different from a random event that happened in which you had no control over, like suddenly winning the lottery. I'm not aware of any studies that addressed happiness relating to self-directed change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    This is why I emphasized things.
    Not all jobs relates to "things"... there's also the service industry. You choose to work for a non-profit organization for the mentally retarded. There is value, but not much monetary gain.

  7. #57
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, studies have shown that external events cannot affect our happiness. What we're talking about here is about internally derived change though. It's not about the job you choose, rather it's about the fact that you've made a choice. This is different from a random event that happened in which you had no control over, like suddenly winning the lottery. I'm not aware of any studies that addressed happiness relating to self-directed change.
    No, you are correct. It's how our choices are made that seems to have the largest influence. The semi-choice is dangerous because it kinds of leaves other choices open, both in the future and in the past.

    The problem with self-directed change is that "change" implies "options". It's a total lack of options that works. Yes, we can control this, but "self directed change" for happiness means that Grayscale should literally give everything up, take up his job, burn his bridges and never ever think about the alternatives.

    Not many people think that way, and it's tough to say that's what people mean when they say "self directed change". However, people can do other things to help themselves. They can fully invest themselves in what they do. Identify with it. This causes less options to be available.

    The only problem here is if this is really under our control. It may be as simple as people who do this are happy, but they need to be pre-programmed to be "happy" (via being programmed to not consider alternatives.)

    Most common examples:

    * Going through brochures of vacations makes you less happy with the choice of vacation you take. Yet, some people would realise this and do it, then complain that they could of gotten a better vacation if they had shopped around. It's not cut and dry - both statements can be true, if the biological influence is the root cause.

    * Meeting with "other potential mates" (exes, etc) makes you less happy with your current mate - maybe. Again, depends on the perspective of "options". On the flip side, being forced into a marriage (ie: arranged) or just getting married removes choice (for most - those that it doesn't aren't as happy... which way does the causation train run?) makes you happier with the marriage. Yet some people will always regret getting married because it cuts off their possibilities. Can someone really just resign themselves and create happiness? Those that resign themselves can, but maybe that is biological too.



    So I'm inbetween. I agree, and yet... I don't see much evidence that it is under our control. The mechanisms describe what we do, but the general level of happiness still remains unchanged almost all the time. That is, from the TED presentation, just because we like the one we own more, doesn't mean we are happier with our marriage. Perhaps someone can show that applying the principles everywhere will truly make us happier - affect our brain chemistry sufficiently to make us content with everything we have - but... I have my doubts.

  8. #58
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Not many people think that way, and it's tough to say that's what people mean when they say "self directed change". However, people can do other things to help themselves. They can fully invest themselves in what they do. Identify with it. This causes less options to be available.

    The only problem here is if this is really under our control. It may be as simple as people who do this are happy, but they need to be pre-programmed to be "happy" (via being programmed to not consider alternatives.)

    ...

    So I'm inbetween. I agree, and yet... I don't see much evidence that it is under our control. The mechanisms describe what we do, but the general level of happiness still remains unchanged almost all the time. That is, from the TED presentation, just because we like the one we own more, doesn't mean we are happier with our marriage. Perhaps someone can show that applying the principles everywhere will truly make us happier - affect our brain chemistry sufficiently to make us content with everything we have - but... I have my doubts.
    I see what you're saying. On the whole, there're too many factors involved for us to nail down whether we truly have control over our happiness or not. The way I approach this is from the perception of having control. I see self satisfaction as being higher if I believe that I'm the ones making the difference rather than it being a component of heredity in which I have zero control over. Perhaps it's illusionary, but it helps make my decision a little easier.

    I can choose a direction that might make me happy as oppose to I don't know how happy I'll be either way so let's not do anything about it.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Eudaimonia?
    Indeed.
    I may be bested in battle, but I shall never be defeated.

  10. #60
    ThatGirl
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    Society condems sucess to a double edged sword. We are simutaniously applauded and condemed for what we choose to achieve. To me passion involves having the resources to persue my desires in whole, not just in thought alone.

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