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Why Dogs Are Happier

 

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More IKEA humor – The Less Successful Trojan Horse

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Humor – Buying a Book From IKEA

Cyclic Numbers, Interesting Math Fun

Not really a joke … just a tiny bit of math fun.

142857 is a cyclic number – its digits always appear in the same order but will rotate around when multiplied by any number from 1 to 6:

142857 x 1 = 142857
142857 x 2 = 285714
142857 x 3 = 428571
142857 x 4 = 571428
142857 x 5 = 714285
142857 x 6 = 857142

Pretty cool, huh? Now multiply 142857 by 7. (Spoiler below.)

142857 x 7 = 999999

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Prehistoric Googling

What Are The Top 10 Things You Should Be Informed Of In Life

Again, these are not my answers, but are an interesting read on people.  It will offend some, but God is number one for me.  The rest of the lists below should offend someone or many.

1. Human psychology. It’s a young field, and no one has all the answers yet. But you can get a better understanding of why other people do what they do — and how to thread your way through life’s complexities — by studying at least a little of this field.

2. The basics of accounting. This will greatly reduce your chances of being swindled in life. It also will make it much easier for you to do some systematic planning, while keeping track of how you’re doing vis a vis your plans.

3. Music. It will calm you. It will inspire you. It will build bridges to a more interesting set of friends.

4. Your own family’s story. Where did your parents grow up, and how did that shape who they are? What are the formal or informal communities that help define your identity? (“We are athletes … we are Irish … we are restless spirits who move from city to city.”) Having an enduring sense of identity that goes beyond the ups and downs of your own life will be a source of comfort and motivation all your life.

5. The way your government really works. Find out why some laws are tightly enforced and others aren’t. Learn the best ways of influencing your government — whether it’s on matters of national significance or something as personal as winning a zoning variance for the cafe you run. Finally, gain some non-bitter insights about why society doesn’t always work the way you’d like.

6. Good nutrition and how to incorporate it into your life. Mike Leary is right.  In a poor society, this is the difference between life and death. In a rich society, it’s — surprise! — the difference between a long, robust future and chronic illness that can turn deadly far too soon.

7. Different cultural values. If you’re going to be effective outside a small cluster of people like you, you’ll need to understand and appreciate how other tribes work, too.

8. How to communicate your ideas to the wider world. Justin Freeman is right. Learn how to speak clearly and persuasively. Or to write well. Or to create useful and appealing computer code, video, music, etc. Pick the medium that works best for you, and make sure you don’t go through life being mute.

9. Effective parenting. Just because your parents didn’t quite get it right (no one ever does!) doesn’t mean that you can’t do better. Find your own style, stick with what works … but keep refining your approach as you learn from others. You owe it to the species.

10. Quora. It’s one-stop shopping for biased crap! Be aware of what’s on Quora, and you’ll know what not to believe.

Here’s another:

  1. Realize that nobody cares, and if they do, you shouldn’t care that they care. Got a new car? Nobody cares. You’ll get some gawkers for a couple of weeks—they don’t care. They’re curious. Three weeks in it’ll be just another shiny blob among all the thousands of others crawling down the freeway and sitting in garages and driveways up and down your street. People will care about your car just as much as you care about all of those. Got a new gewgaw? New wardrobe? Went to a swanky restaurant? Exotic vacation? Nobody cares. Don’t base your happiness on people caring, because they won’t. And if they do, they either want your stuff or hate you for it.
  2. Some rule breakers will break rule number one. Occasionally, people in your life will defy the odds and actually care about you. Still not your stuff, sorry. But if they value you, they’ll value that you value it, and they’ll listen. When you talk about all of those things that nobody else cares about, they will look into your eyes and consume your words, and in that moment you will know that every part of them is there with you.
  3. Spend your life with rule breakers. Marry them. Befriend them. Work with them. Spend weekends with them. No matter how much power you become possessed of, you’ll never be able to make someone care—so gather close the caring.
  4. Money is cheap. I mean, there’s a lot of it—about forty thousand billion dollars floating around the world, largely made up of cash whose value is made up and ascribed to it, anyway. Don’t engineer your life around getting a slightly less tiny portion of this pile, and make your spirit of generosity reflect this principle. I knew a man who became driven by the desire to amass six figures in savings, so he worked and scrimped and sacrificed to get there. And he did… right before he died of cancer. I’m sure his wife’s new husband appreciated his diligence.
  5. Money is expensive. I mean, it’s difficult to get your hands on sometimes—and you never know when someone’s going to pull the floorboards out from under you—so don’t be stupid with it. Avoid debt on depreciating assets, and never incur debt in order to assuage your vanity (see rule number one). Debt has become normative, but don’t blithely accept it as a rite of passage into adulthood—debt represents imbalance and, in some sense, often a resignation of control. Student loan debt isn’t always unavoidable, but it isn’t a given—my wife and I completed a combined ten years of college with zero debt between us. If you can’t avoid it, though, make sure that your degree is an investment rather than a liability—I mourn a bit for all of the people going tens of thousands of dollars in debt in pursuit of vague liberal arts degrees with no idea of what they want out of life. If you’re just dropping tuition dollars for lack of a better idea at the moment, just withdraw and go wander around Europe for a few weeks—I guarantee you’ll spend less and learn more in the process.
  6. Learn the ancient art of rhetoric. The elements of rhetoric, in all of their forms, are what make the world go around—because they are what prompt the decisions people make. If you develop an understanding of how they work, while everyone else is frightened by flames and booming voices, you will be able to see behind veils of communication and see what levers little men are pulling. Not only will you develop immunity from all manner of commercials, marketing, hucksters and salesmen, to the beautiful speeches of liars and thieves, you’ll also find yourself able to craft your speech in ways that influence people. When you know how to speak in order to change someone’s mind, to instill confidence in someone, to quiet the fears of a child, then you will know this power firsthand. However, bear in mind as you use it that your opponent in any debate is not the other person, but ignorance.
  7. You are responsible to everyone, but you’re responsible for yourself. I believe we’re responsible to everyone for something, even if it’s something as basic as an affirmation of their humanity. However, it should most often go far beyond that and manifest itself in service to others, to being a voice for the voiceless. If you’re reading this, there are those around you who toil under burdens larger than yours, who stand in need of touch and respect and chances. Conversely, though, you’re responsible for yourself. Nobody else is going to find success for you, and nobody else is going to instill happiness into you from the outside. That’s on you.
  8. Learn to see reality in terms of systems. When you understand the world around you as a massive web of interconnected, largely interdependent systems, things get much less mystifying—and the less we either ascribe to magic or allow to exist behind a fog, the less susceptible we’ll be to all manner of being taken advantage of. However:
  9. Account for the threat of black swan events. Sometimes chaos consumes the most meticulous of plans, and if you live life with no margins in a financial, emotional, or any other sense, you will be subject to its whims. Take risks, but backstop them with something—I strongly suspect these people who say having a Plan B is a sign of weak commitment aren’t living hand to mouth. Do what you need to in order to keep your footing.
  10. You both need and don’t need other people. You need others in a sense that you need to be part of a community—there’s a reason we reflexively pity hermits. Regardless of your theory of anthropogenesis, it’s hard to deny that we are built for community, and that ‘we’ is always more than ‘me.’ However, you don’t need another person in order for your life to have meaning—this idea that Disney has shoved through our eyeballs, that there’s someone out there for all of us if we’ll just believe hard enough and never stop searching, is hokum… because of arithmetic, if nothing else. Establish your own life—then, if there’s a particular person that you can’t help but integrate, believe me, you’ll know.
  11. Always give more than is required of you.

Go to the link above, there is more.

Add more in comments if you have a better suggestion than these.

Are High IQ People Better Off With Fewer Friends?

So says an article published by the Washington Post.

Having discussed high IQ people including those with a perceived higher intelligence a number of times (this one with the highest Google ranking), I like to ponder on these things.

The first in this article tends to reference dwelling among all people as it relates to happiness:

They use what they call “the savanna theory of happiness” to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28.

First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. “The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy” the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

Why would high population density cause a person to be less happy? There’s a whole body of sociological research addressing this question. But for the most visceral demonstration of the effect, simply take a 45-minute ride on a crowded rush-hour Red Line train and tell me how you feel afterward.

One would tend to think that if you weren’t in such a densely populated area, that it might lead to greater happiness.  No wonder New York, Chicago and other highly populated cities have such low rankings in this category.

THE NEED TO BE ALONE

I can’t prove it, but there is a tendency for “Smart People” to be either introverted or have a need to spend time alone to gather their thoughts when making contributions to inventions, theorem’s, calculations and other notable achievements. (Note: the link above describes things introverts won’t tell you, but you should know).

Being an author, I know that I prefer quiet to gather my thoughts and increase the powers of concentration on what I am trying to write.  It’s hard to clear your mind when there is a bombardment of distractions either from people, social media or other causes.

The article does state the obvious, long commutes, traffic, waiting in line and crowds are tedious, monotonous, and can grate on anyone over time. The infrastructure is usually older (see the lead in the water in Flint, Mich.)  I’ve often wondered why anyone would want to live in a place like that if they really had a choice.  Maybe that is why there is such a large population outflow to Florida upon retirement.

Kanazawa and Li’s second finding is a little more interesting. It’s no surprise that friend and family connections are generally seen as a foundational component of happiness and well-being. But why would this relationship get turned on its head for really smart people?

I posed this question to Carol Graham, a Brookings Institution researcher who studies the economics of happiness. “The findings in here suggest (and it is no surprise) that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it … are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective,” she said.

Think of the really smart people you know. They may include a doctor trying to cure cancer or a writer working on the great American novel or a human rights lawyer working to protect the most vulnerable people in society. To the extent that frequent social interaction detracts from the pursuit of these goals, it may negatively affect their overall satisfaction with life.

The article and researchers discuss a “Savannah theory of happiness” which is a bit of a reach since there weren’t iPhones for cavemen, although an ability to deal with new challenges seems obvious.

FEAR OF MISSING OUT OF SOMETHING FOR SOME, LOATHING PEOPLE FOR OTHERS

There is a need for many in the general population to gain happiness from their social interactions.  I have relatives who suffer from FoMo syndrome, generally indicating that they derive their happiness and/or satisfaction from others or the perception of others.

When drilling down and specifically targeting high IQ people, there is a distinct difference from the last sentence in the above quote:

Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed.

“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”

Let me repeat that last one: When smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy.

Again, an observation from the high IQ group and personal introspection, there seems to be less of a need to find your happiness in others or what others think of you in this space.  It might be in the above stated pursuit of goals:

Hell might actually be other people — at least if you’re really smart.

That’s the implication of fascinating new research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University dig in to the question of what makes a life well-lived. While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question.

There’s a twist, though, at least as Kanazawa and Li see it. Smarter people may be better equipped to deal with the new (at least from an evolutionary perspective) challenges present-day life throws at us. “More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations,” they write.

It appears that the high IQ might actually have another less socially accepted skill that is less politically correct as defined by the masses.  They may just have thought out that they are able to be happier or more satisfied while being alone rather than by having to try and satisfy others definition of their happiness.

Conversely, they might find being around other people annoying, especially the chatty or needy.

Once you are able to happy alone, the ability to be happy with others is icing on the cake, but shouldn’t be the definition of the cake.