ThoughtStorms Wiki

Shouldn't all wikis have a page dedicated to happiness?

I don't altogether believe in happiness.

The brain is an organ who's purpose is to notice problems and to try to solve them. Why should it expend energy (and the brain does expend energy when we think) on experiencing happiness. Equally, I don't see much reason why it should have evolved the capacity to just passively be happy.

However, realizing this doesn't make me unhappy. Because it's not, in itself, a problem to be solved or a source of dissatisfaction. And it may explain why the nearest thing we do have to happiness is :

  • being involved in trying to solve problems, and
  • this activity going well.

Understanding that that's the best condition to aspire too is probably the most felicitatious accomodation to the situation we can make.

WardCunningham [thinks http://www.artima.com/intv/simplest.html thinks]] problems are different from difficulties in that problems are enjoyable and difficulties not. He defines the difference in that problems occur when you perceive the effort required to solve them as being worthwhile, and difficulties occur when you perceive the effort as unnecessary (Saddly the HandicapPrinciple probably generates difficulties requiring unnecessary effort.) See also : GreatHackers

Of course, having a brain adapted to noticing problems means that we are always in a state of dissatisfaction. Something which is easily exploited by commercialism. (See also TheWantingWithoutAName)

Maybe music, which is a sequence of harmonic problems and resolutions, brings us close to happiness. When we are engaged in music, we are engaged in the natural dynamic of problem solving. Possibly even the narrative form of, say, TheThreeActPlay keys into this.

Anyway, see also MusicalStuff.

Happiness is contagious : (HatTip http://www.gnuband.org/2008/12/13/happinessasacontagiousviruspleasespread_it/ (HatTip ZbigniewLukasiak)

  • WhatShouldIdoWithMyLife