Friday, February 15, 2008

Making progress on happiness: Practical ruminations

After thinking and reading so much about happiness, I still feel so stupid. Rather, utterly stupid.

Pretending scholar and intellectual I can. But that is useless. The respected idea is to have something useful. Practically useful oprogress is the *only* thing that count!

A. I need to first have some useful insights about how people can get happier.
B. Practically applicable ideas. "do meditation two hours a day" maybe a terrific idea. nobody going do it. Something that real people can realistically do and get their life better off.
C. "Sell" it. Making people aware of the ideas to the level that they will use them. Reach "clients". Convince them about it. And they have to use it in reality. Not just buy a book and tell everybody how smart it is......

This whole list feels almost unpenetrable..... but because it feels hard does not mean one has to look after low level cleaning jobs.

ps. do not take me saintly. I love status, and I run after it... I also run after girls in the street. I just do not find these activities extremely important.


i.c. said...


Yechezkel Zilber said...

again the idea that people are not well-suited for long-term decisions in our complex world.

Leonard Martin (Social psychologist) proposed that we are built for hunter-gatherer lifestyle, where no much planning and future stuff is happening. No much stress on the "self" (one does not have to press himself to succeed in an exam today to get a hob in decades). In such an environment, there was much moe free energy for now, and much more ability to employ heavy psychological processes (one can allow to get physically aroused in face of any kind of danger, because it danger does not lurk every mnute. Compare to nowadays where you always have an array of theoretical dangers present about whihc you can do something. You can always work to get some info about certain risks, and you are aware on much more kinds of risk, etc.)

This idea that we are not build for long-term planning, is a great explanation for why people do not manage their life to the extent that we think they can.

Can they manage it better? (that is, in reality). I hardly know. I hope tehre are better methods that ae applicable to the average person.

Anonymous said...

¿Què carrera serìa buena para mì?
Me gusta todo, pero no me gustarìa estar atado solo a una profesiòn ò carrera. Por ejemplo;

Me gusta investigar
La ciencia
El estudio del universo
Las matematicas
Las finanzas y economìa
Comprar y vender
El estudio de religiones
Filosofia y en especial Epistemologìa
Agricultura y ganaderia y su naturaleza al rededor.

Investigar e investigar en wikipedia y libros de todo pero nunca de los jamas estar atado a una sola profesiòn ò trabajo serìa mi prisiòn, que cometarios tienes de mì?

Anonymous said...

Try to answerme in english, i am better reading than writing so is that because i posted in spanish, i hope you know spanish or try to translate, greetings yecheskel-

Yechezkel Zilber said...

do not know spanish, but used google transloator.

It is not easy.

1) how much money do you need? the cheaper you can live the easier and more choices.

2) A "normal" job is not simple to make suitable for you and your pecuiliarities. Howeever, some jobs require a variety of abilities, and by chance you may find some of those. It means serching a lot.

3) Another direction is to do business or other kinds of tricks. Not simple. And there are mistakes in these things.

To the end, we play, try, and make our best to be smart etc. and........ pray for some luck.

Have luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Yechezkel Zilber and my last question on this matters, do you have a career? What formal studies do you have? Or just high school? i have high school but then everything has came from the books.

Yechezkel Zilber said...

no fromal education at all.
money making is a side thing in my life. kind of thing that I do for I need a living, and I try to make it at small as possible.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this was the answer that i was expecting from you, because i have read the comments of Nassim Taleb in his book "The blackswan" of you and it was very useful and i like the way you see the world because i have tried for long time searchinf for my profetion or career, and i never find it, in terms of happiness this botherme but not so much since now i have discovered people like you, you are so smart equal or better than graduates and people like you can show to the other people specialy academics that you can see and understand the world perfectly without formalism. I hope you understand my poor english, still i am trying to learn more and more, i am 31 years old, and i will keep my erudition because always is that i been done. Again thank you.

Yechezkel Zilber said...

Well done with the English. I did not knew a word Enblish nine years ago........