Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Exit Only

Last night I finished the book mentioned in the previous post. As I mentioned before, there's a lot of psychology in the book and only the very last chapter gives any hint at how to apply all that research for fun and profit. Allow me to recap:

We want to be happy in the future, but since we can't see the future directly, we imagine what it will be like and we imagine what will make us happy. Three things prevent us from having an accurate imagination. The first is the fact that we fail to imagine every detail of the future, some of which are critically important, such as how quickly the happiness of the acquisition of some thing fades. The second thing is our tendency to imagine the future based on how we feel today, the over-buying groceries on an empty stomach, for example. The third failure of our imagination is our under-reaction, in the future, to events we perceive as important today. For example, getting divorced was something I imagined much worse than it really was.

The final chapter gives us an alternative to our imagination: Asking someone else. Instead of imagining what it's like to go to Hawaii, we could read a travel book or talk to someone who has been there. The author points out, however, that our ego usually prevents us from taking this tactic. We tend to believe that our experiences are unique and that we're somehow different from everyone else, when the truth is that we (even strangers) have so much more in common. Thus, we usually revert back to imagining our future-selves wildly happy and we wind up puzzled that our current-selves aren't as happy as our past-selves imagined we'd be.

My own opinion is that the author is right, with one small exception: relationships with specific individuals. The author claims we should learn what will make us happy by talking to someone with first-hand knowledge of the thing we wish to experience. However, if my girlfriend talked to my ex-wife and ex-girlfriends, she's likely to learn all the things that make those girls my exes. That wouldn't make anyone happy.

In other news, I've started a new experimental (and likely to be temporary) blog based on the fact that my dick is so big that it has its own blog.

3 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Crystal said...

it is important to live in the present. that's why i never use condoms.

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger Brighton said...

Ok, I forgot all the psycho mumbo jumbo on the big dick comment...

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Inanna said...

I guess this guy isn't into creative visualization, huh? I can understand though the concept of everyone being inter-connected, yet, just because someone else when to Hawaii doesn't mean they'll stay at the same resort or see the same sights or have the same weather or maybe you'll sun poisoning and you won't.

My mom went to Hawaii and she hated it. She hated it because she hates sand, water, and got sun poisoning. The only thing she liked about it was the pineapple, but what if you don't like pineapple but you like water, sand, and sun? How can you compare someone else's experience to something you haven't done yet or haven't experienced?

I love X-Fest because I love rock, sweating, and wild crowds. Someone else may only like rock, so their experience of X-Fest will vary greatly from my own.

Although I believe in getting something from the horse's mouth, you also have to take into account personal bias and favortism.

Now, about that big dick...

 

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