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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default The discovery of luck

    I've just seen an intresting documentary going by the title of this thread. Since it was in german, I'ld like to translate the key thesis to you:

    I am choosing a very analytical approach here, detached from subjective human elements. I am only talking about brain chemistry, so there is definitly more to it than just that whats said here:

    The documentary talked about the 3 pillars of luck. And it named the methods and instruments that gives us a dopamine flash in the brain:

    1. pillar: Sports, they said that sports activate our body to go to its limits. They named a hormone that is activated when you do sports, I forgot its name but it wasnt adrenaline. That hormone makes you able to go to the limit and afterwards when you've done sports you'll feel happy.

    They said nature has encoded the will to take risks in us and those who have sucessfully taken a risk are rewarded with dopamine. It's a good theory I think.

    2. Creativity, they had an artist who worked 10 hours a day 7 days a week but was the happiest man on Earth. He build sculptures and loved his job and the long work hours didnt bother him. He said he's happy when his creation is done and the documentary said that nature has encoded the will to be creative in us, cause creative people are known to solve problems quicker and therefore can be just overall be better at their work.

    3. Community, tho evolution theory says that the natural evolution is an egoist, fact is that people become happy when they have community. There's no real scientific theory behind that, it's just a measureable fact that people for example have higher dopamine levels when working in a community in church or just meeting for the weekly book club.

    There are two more things they said, which do influence your dopamine level. 1st of course are drugs, everybody knows that and 2nd one is meditation. They figured the people in chinese monk schools are just definitly more chilled.

    I found that intresting, I thought to myself, when I was a young adult I was happy to go drinking with my pals every week. On mondays I was looking forward to going having a drink on thursday it was what motivated me to do all the other things in a week. Back then I had no real job, hobby or sport or whatsoever. Just went to University and had my drinking pals and the internet. Which all was no community to make me happy. So I found my luck via drugs, because I wanted to.

    Of course there is more to it, but just from a purly analytical approach the theory looks nice I think. Nowadays I have my hobby engineering projects where I power out all my creativity. I am pissed when I dont have enough money in a month to have some leftover for my hobbies, so this's basically my primary source of luck. I am part of a community, called typologycentral and I am starting to do some sports with my girlfriend.

    I think I had such an easy time to quit smoking nowadays aswell, because I've found alternative sources of luck for myself. Since smoking is nothing but giving yourself dopamine flashes, this makes some sense to me again.

    My girlfriend had a harder time to quit and I think its because she hasnt really built alternative sources of luck for herself so far. She always wants to go in to creative writing and write her book but her job is too taxing at the moment to leave her with power to do that. A real community or circle of friends she aint part of at the moment. She doesnt use the internet for foruming or things like that and she's not from the city we are living in atm so she doesnt know to much people and we havent done a sport so far. So I think at least the last thing could bring her a bit fun again and we are working on that.

    What do you think ? I think it's an intresting little theory

  2. #2
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    There's probably something to this. I've been wondering lately about how each of the emotions I've experienced in my life play out in various ways and how other people effect that and trying to develop a practical system of philosophy from that. Some way I can understand and optimize a best approach to living that involves other people as well in that and is optimal for them as well.

    Sex for example is really interesting. It produces similar effects to pain relieving drugs. If we had the effects of it all the time we probably wouldn't want to do anything, but at the same time when we have the desire to have sex, it is more of an irritation that we feel the need to act out and then we get a pain relieving effect in orgasm.

    The same thing is probably seen in relevance to your sports correlation. The activity somehow relieves us of some kind of irritation of our mental state. We feel energized and have more clarity when active in some cases and enjoy the activity. But of course it's not necessarily so easy to say that it's related strictly to a chemical or dopamine level since if we have other kinds of mental irritations then we won't enjoy those activities because something else will need to be taken care of.

    All of our emotions - joy, sorrow, frustration, love, being excited, laughter, etc. all have these interesting effects and relationships with our minds through the patterns of continuous experience we partake in.

    I've been considering the idea that our bodies are essentially inputs to our minds and that our consciousness is invaded with stimuli from these inputs that disrupts or triggers a reaction that we may like or not. Pain for example has different degrees of triggering in our minds and it basically disrupts the ability of our consciousness to function independently in the world. If you think about it, Buddhists that are able to burn themselves to death and not react essentially are able to do so because they learn to minimize the functioning of their consciousness, thus minimizing the effects of the body's inputs. It doesn't sound so great when I put it that way though, does it?

    There also is probably some kind of relation between a minimalistic degree of invasion of inputs and wanting to do different actions. In other words, if we take a pain killer (or have an orgasm for instance) then we would not act very much and perhaps starve to death like rats do when given as much opiates as they want in a controlled experiment.

    Sleep for example probably induces a pain or sedative relieving effect that allows us to shut our inputs off enough to let our consciousness minimize itself so that our neurons can repair the electrical insulation between them and make new connections. I wonder how deep sleep could be explained by this. A deep sleep might be the result of so much activity that we develop some form of temporary conscious through the repair that might stimulate us to wake up and activate the rest of our neural activity.

    So I guess I believe we have certain agitations (or inputs as you could call them) that cause us to react the more consciously aware we allow ourselves to be. For example, I might even roughly correlate this to some of the ideas used in MBTI to attempt to differentiate the different types. An INXP for instance has tertiary Si and that would manifest as having a lower tolerance for stimuli due to a quite aware consciousness that reacts to everything around them and ends up attempting to interpret or understand what is going on around them as best they can.

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