Thursday, June 07, 2012

“Few Desires; Happy Life”

Found at The View From North Central Idaho. In its entirety, E = I - R.

I heard that formula from Dennis Prager.  It’s the formula for determining happiness, or more specifically, unhappiness.  It stands for; Unhappiness equals the difference between Image and Reality.  To put it the other way around; the greater the correlation between your image (or expectations) of reality and reality itself, the more the happiness.  He’s been studying happiness for some time, and has determined that situation seems to have little to do with a person’s stated happiness, i.e. some people in horrible situations will self describe as fairly happy, while others in what we would think are beautiful situations may self describe as unhappy.

You could substitute image with expectations, or maybe a few other things, but the concept remains the same.  I think he’s on to something.  It’s right along the lines of a saying, which if I’m not mistaken comes from way back in Asia; “Few desires; happy life”.  They’re not identical, but similar.

That brings up the subject of drive (a form of desire, see) which can lead a person to do wonderful things, or horrible things, depending on one’s constitution.  Drive and image are very different.  You may be driven, or inspired, to do something, but if you have a realistic view of reality you have a better chance of accomplishing it and a better ability to deal with it if you don’t accomplish it.  Maybe “few desires; happy life” is an invitation to resignation (get the hope beaten out of you and you’re happy) but it need not be interpreted so.  I prefer U = I - R.

I’ve been on a bit of a departure from Joe’s blog subtitle, but all of this stuff applies very much to politics.  I might bring it around thusly; The angry left is angry (unhappy and blaming others for it) because of a rather serious disconnect from reality.  The next question is; why are the left’s images of reality so far off?  Where do these off-kilter images originate, what put them there and what are the main vectors of propagation?

A slightly simpler formula might be; U = C (unhappiness equals the level of your confusion).  Same thing.  The other would be; H = Ur (your level of happiness equals the degree to which you understand reality).

Hmm; so I guess reason is the path to happiness.  So then I guess we can fight over who has reason and who only thinks they do, and we can kill each other over the question of who is the happiest.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/07 at 12:38 PM
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Ayn Rand and “America the Philosophical”

Joe Maurone, who runs the blog Objectivish, notes that author Carlin Romano has published a new book, America the Philosophical, which includes some discussion of Ayn Rand and her ideas.  Joe has put up a post discussing the portion of Romano’s book which delves into Rand under the heading Ayn Rand sighting: AMERICA THE PHILOSOPHICAL, and finds Romano’s delvings into Rand superfluous.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/07 at 11:15 AM
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“Indignant Righteous Wrath”

Joan of Argghh! muses on the bond between mother and child, stray dogs, defending liberty, and wrath in a post titled Stray Dogs, which is well worth taking the time to read, and which Ed Rasimus describes as follows.

For those that “don’t get it” your story is a concise primer. The civilized person does not rise to such violence easily, but once aroused, the outcome is inevitable–the interloper loses.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/07 at 09:00 AM
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Moral Taste Buds and Voting

Interesting piece in The Guardian penned by Jonathan Haidt titled

Why working-class people vote conservative which attempts to answer this question.

Across the world, blue-collar voters ally themselves with the political right – even when it appears to be against their own interests. Is this because such parties often serve up a broader, more satisfying moral menu than the left?

A small sample for your taste buds, help youself to a larger serving if you so desire.

Here’s a more painful but ultimately constructive diagnosis, from the point of view of moral psychology: politics at the national level is more like religion than it is like shopping. It’s more about a moral vision that unifies a nation and calls it to greatness than it is about self-interest or specific policies.

Linked via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/07 at 08:40 AM
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Understanding the Law

Via Tam in a post which points to this post at Graybeard’s.

When you pass a law, you are effectively saying “This thing is of such momentous import that, if you do it (or don’t do it, whichever,) we will compel you with force, and will back that force with the guns of the state. This is something that is so important that compliance is worth, push come to shove, shooting people.”

Posted by John Venlet on 06/07 at 08:13 AM
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