Gretchen Rubin, whose "The Happiness Project" is both a bestselling book and a popular blog, concedes that the title may be something of a misnomer. "Happiness," she says, has a way of turning into a mythical destination that taunts us with our inability to reach it. Better to make "happier" the goal, and to improve your life through a series of manageable, concrete steps. Like...making your bed?
OK, so there's a bit more to it than that, as Rubin acknowledges in her Big Think interview. There's a "transcendent" aspect to true bliss that ultimately can't be ignored. Still, starting out a personal quest for happiness with ambitious, yet vague resolutions is often a recipe for failure. So is taking the tack once recommended by John Stuart Mill: dismissing all doubts as to whether you are, in fact, happy. The American emphasis on chasing personal happiness, Rubin believes, is overall a healthy and natural thing.
So what makes Rubin herself happy? Well, many of the usual things: family, fulfilling career, and so on. But in the end, it's about refusing to be anything less than yourself)—which, in her case, means owning up to a continuing obsession with "Anne of Green Gables."
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.