Daniel Kahneman: Moving to California Won't Make You Happy
With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases, and developed prospect theory. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in prospect theory.
Currently, he is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. Kahneman is a founding partner of The Greatest Good, a business and philanthropy consulting company.
Daniel Kahneman: If we talk about subjective well-being, there are two really different ways of looking at it, and one is to look at people’s mood or state of mind as they live their life, and the other is to measure their satisfaction or their emotional reaction when they think about their life. We know now that these two are really quite different, and they are sensitive to different factors. So the things that make you satisfied do not necessarily make you happy.
People have very little idea of how their tastes will change. They are susceptible, first of all, to what we call a focusing illusion, and that makes it virtually impossible to think straight about your own life. Nothing is quite as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it, so the mere act of thinking about something makes it more important than it’s going to be. So you’re thinking, "How much happier would I be living in California?" And you think you’d be a lot happier. Well no, you won’t be a lot happier. "How much happier would I be if my income increased by 30%," you think a lot. No, it wouldn’t. So just about everything that people think about, they exaggerate its importance.
If you look at life satisfaction and what makes people satisfied with their lives, most of which, we know, it has a lot to do with people’s goals. When we ask people how important money is to them when they are 18 and we look at their income at age 45, we find that the people that said at age 18 that money didn’t matter to them very much, at age 45 money doesn’t matter to them very much. So the correlation between their income and their satisfaction with life is really very low. The people who said that money is very important to them, those who made a lot of money are really quite satisfied with their lives and those who didn’t make a lot of money are really quite miserable. So goals are very important to life satisfaction.
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
In some crucial areas of human cognition, we don’t know and we can’t fully trust ourselves. On the bright side, Daniel Kahneman’s work shows that the kinds of errors we tend to make are extremely predictable.
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 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.