All of Klevador's Comments + Replies

Be Happier

^ But, that can be said of too many things. I don't find it meaningful.

e.g. 'It's plausible that Harry Potter has not been written in the best possible way.'

Of course it's plausible, but the consideration of its plausibility does not contribute to making better-informed decisions. It contributes no useful information!

3John_Maxwell10yRight. The real question is how much the post could improve given an hour's effort; in other words, how much improvement could you buy for an hour of labor. And I'm suggesting that you could get a pretty good deal.
Be Happier

Something that distorts my assessment of the images is the female's dowdy clothing, unflattering on the female figure except in the pride image. She looks like a shapeless flour sack in the other three pics.

On the male, the shirt seems 'alright', neutral.

0[anonymous]10yhttp://lesswrong.com/lw/yp/pretending_to_be_wise/ [http://lesswrong.com/lw/yp/pretending_to_be_wise/]
Be Happier

I don't know... you don't have to take it in all at once. You can read just one section at a time, after all. Each section has a link to it in the summary. What is the added advantage in splitting it up?

0John_Maxwell10yLet's think in consequentialist terms here. You obviously put forth a lot of useful effort, thanks for that! But realistically, it seems plausible that the material is not being presented in a way that is maximally accessible, and your post could potentially be even more awesome than it already is! I'm not suggesting you change anything at this point, just pointing stuff out.
2Randaly10yI think the length works as is. (I did spread my reading out over 2 days, though.)
Be Happier

Good catch! Here is their definition (will update the main post later). Bolding mine:

Vallerand and his colleagues [...] have recently proposed a Dualistic Model of Passion in which passion is defined as a strong inclina-tion or desire toward a self-defining activity that one likes (or even loves), finds important (high valuation), and in which one invests time and energy.

The Dualistic Model of Passion further proposes that there exist two types of passion. The first type of passion is harmonious passion. A harmonious passion produces a strong desire to

... (read more)
Be Happier

Does this mean that outline-summaries in posts like this are a bad idea, given that people can be very impatient?

(BTW, before tl;dr-ing, try breathing deeply first. It may make you feel less impatient :p )

No no, outline summaries are a great idea! Just keep in mind that may be all someone reads ;-)

7wedrifid10yNo. I read the outline summary. I wouldn't have read just a wall of text. I may have scrolled through and read the section headings - but that gives me essentially the outline summary.
2Danfly10ySorry. I probably should have linked happy [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_number] and sexy [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexy_prime]. I was saying that the "happy" component fit well with the topic. Sexy was just an added bonus. To summarize: If you take a number, sum the squares of its digits to make a new number, then do the same with the next number and it eventually reaches one through that process, it is a "happy" number. "Happy prime" just refers to those prime numbers which are happy. Demonstration: 3^2+1^2=10 and 1^2+0^2=1 a sexy prime differs from another prime by 6 (in this case; 37).
Be Happier

Good question. Unfortunately I tried to focus entirely on 'how to become happier' in researching for this post, although a possible answer to your query is that happiness promotes prosocial behavior and that happiness can be infectious up to three degrees of separation, thereby making everyone more likely to engage in prosocial behavior.

Be Happier

‘positional goods’ which, by definition, cannot be augmented, because they rely solely on not being available to others.

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... the production of positional goods in the form of luxuries, such as exceedingly expensive watches or yachts, is a waste of productive resources, as overall happiness is thereby decreased rather than increased.

^ This is specific to wealth and cannot (necessarily) be said of other forms of status, such as fitness.

Be Happier

You seem to be saying that the rules of the game of wealth-as-status are the same as those for fitness-as-status, to take one of your examples. But this is not at all clear to me. Wealth can be stolen and given away. Wealth can be amassed. Fitness is accessible to most people in a way that wealth is not.

That seems like an unbiased reading of that study.

I'd say that it is an overgeneralization of the findings.

1Jayson_Virissimo10yIn what way is fitness accessible to most people but wealth is not?
Be Happier

I believe it's more mundane than that. From what I've read, eudaimonic well-being (aka life satisfaction) is measured by self-report tests (eg. "How satisfied are you with your life?")

Be Happier

Still, I argue that you should read the bulk of the post. Reading just the summary may be like just reading the synopsis of a movie (if I may be so hubristic! :) instead of watching it. You 'get' the idea but you don't appreciate it as much, and it doesn't stick with you as much as if you watched it. Less mental associations.

And to be more specific, you will miss, among other things, the supporting argument (aside from the obvious) for why you should make a point of avoiding bad experiences. Perhaps I should have included it in the summary.

Be Happier

The term "conspicuous consumption" is commonly applied to displays of (financial) wealth; the recommendation to avoid conspicuous consumption does not imply that you should avoid all forms of conspicuous superiority. I'm not sure that fitness-as-status is so closely analogous to wealth-as-status.

3hvass10yFor heterosexual men, one reason to exhibit conspicuous consumption is the dating game. :-) And for everyone else, I think the Halo Effect is quite a good reason as well especially for clothes. But focus on experiences of course, just don't go into a complete extreme.
1NancyLebovitz10yThe interesting question might be whether the usual way of signalling health (muscle bulk and low fat-- more bulk for men than women) is as closely connected to actual health (longevity, energy, enjoyment of life, disease resistance, fun, probably more....) as the culture assumes. What's a optimal pursuit of looking healthy?
3b1shop10yIt's the same reasoning as the "avoid conspicuous consumption" lemma, and it could also be applied to education-as-status, lawncare-as-status, fashion-as-status, art-as-status or karma-as-status. Maybe the lesson could be rewritten as "Conspicuous Consumption has Costs on Others"? That seems like an unbiased reading of that study. But I'm not even sure if I agree with that. If conspicuous consumption encourages others to become productive members of society out of envy, then it has its societal benefits.
Be Happier

As for your second paragraph — I'm not certain, but I think it's rational to treat happiness as a maximand. Is your objection not addressed by the sections "Optimal Happification" and "Happiness Interventions Work!" ?

3Will_Newsome10yTo a significant extent it seems to me to be a question of moral philosophy. But there are also practical objections—for example, I might have missed it, but I don't see "regularly smoke opium" as one of the listed recommendations. As far as increasing happiness goes I hear it's hard to beat heroin. Nonetheless most people who strive for happiness don't go the heroin/painkiller route. I think this says something about the desirability of experienced happiness by itself.
Be Happier

Re Equivocation: Good point. The important distinction seems to be between hedonic well-being and eudaimonic well-being.

Found on the web:

Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning. These two views have given rise to different research foci

... (read more)
5Will_Newsome10y(For the "meaning and self-realization" side of things one should check out transpersonal psychology [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpersonal_psychology] . Here [http://www.btinternet.com/~glynhughes/squashed/james.htm]'s an abridged version of William James' "The Varieties of Religious Experience".)
Be Happier

Fixed and fixed! How do you have such sharp eyes.

I thought the meat of the post added a lot to the (already completely awesome!) summary.

Yes, and I don't learn well from outline-summaries only. I imagine that I would not gain much if I had read only the summary up top. The just-acquired lessons would quickly dissipate without the examples and explanations to reinforce them.

2Randaly10yThanks- I'm just following whatever extracts I find particularly interesting back to the original papers. (I found the bit about spare time leading to happiness particularly interesting, which is how I found the Aaker reference.) One more thing: In the sentence "Aside from making them happier, you will also improve your relationship with them via the Benjamin Franklin effect, which — unintuitively — makes people like you more if you ask them for favors.", the link to the wikipedia article on the Ben Franklin Effect links to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin_Effect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin_Effect] Instead of to the article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Franklin_effect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Franklin_effect]
Be Happier

1 karma point to go :)

eta: I have 19 karma at the moment.

0SusanBrennan10yI upvoted your post to a nice round 20. It's a much nicer number than 19 anyway.
3Barry_Cotter10yShit. When I was reading through I suspected you were one of the remote literature researchers because this has the makings of a good literature review article I think.

Oh, wow. Welcome to lesswrong in that case! Best introductory post I recall seeing!

Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences)

The ability to anticipate experiences is one of our maximands because we have goals that are optimally achieved with this ability. To believe that beliefs should allow us to anticipate experiences is grounded in the desire to achieve our goals.

Rationality Quotes April 2012

"The material world," continued Dupin, "abounds with very strict analogies to the immaterial; and thus some color of truth has been given to the rhetorical dogma, that metaphor, or simile, may be made to strengthen an argument, as well as to embellish a description. The principle of the vis inertiae, for example, seems to be identical in physics and metaphysics. It is not more true in the former, that a large body is with more difficulty set in motion than a smaller one, and that its subsequent momentum is commensurate with this difficulty,

... (read more)
Rationality Quotes April 2012

Tom: "Diana, have you ever confronted a moral dilemma?"

Diana: "I have spent my life confronting real dilemmas. I have always found moral dilemmas to be the indulgence of the well-fed middle class."

— Waiting for God (TV Series)

8tut10yIs there a point to this quote, besides that this diana character doesn't understand the term 'moral dilemma'?
Rationality Quotes April 2012

Any collocation of persons, no matter how numerous, how scant, how even their homogeneity, how firmly they profess common doctrine, will presently reveal themselves to consist of smaller groups espousing variant versions of the common creed; and these sub-groups will manifest sub-sub-groups, and so to the final limit of the single individual, and even in this single person conflicting tendencies will express themselves.

— Jack Vance, The Languages of Pao

9[anonymous]10yShorter version: -- Terence, Phormio