Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-20T09:48:45.492Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

^ 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!

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-19T14:44:29.349Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-17T07:05:20.424Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-17T05:46:22.166Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

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?

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-17T05:41:42.992Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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 engage in the activity which remains under the person’s control. This type of passion results from an autonomous internalisation of the activity into the person’s identity (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Vallerand et al., 2003). An autonomous internalisation occurs when individuals have freely accepted the activity as important for them without any contingencies attached to it (Sheldon, 2002; Vallerand, 1997). In such a case, the activity occupies a significant but not overpowering space in the person’s identity and is in harmony with other aspects of the person’s life. An example of such a type of passion would be that with harmonious passion the person strongly loves and values basketball. However, this person also keeps control over the activity and can freely decide when to engage or not in basketball and when to stop engagement. Basketball would then be engaged in because of the pleasure that is drawn from the activity and not from other extrinsic sources (e.g. being popular because of basketball) and leads to a task-focus involvement that is conducive to positive outcomes (e.g. positive affect, flow, concentration).

The second type of passion identified by Vallerand and colleagues (2003) is obsessive passion. This type of passion entails the same strong desire to engage in the activity, as in harmonious passion. However, this desire of engagement is not under the person’s control. Rather, it is as if the activity controlled the person. Obsessive passion results from a controlled internalisation of the activity into one’s identity (Vallerand et al., 2003). Such an internalisation originates from intra and/or interpersonal pressure because certain contingencies are attached to the activity such as feelings of social acceptance, self-esteem, or performance. Thus, although individuals like the activity, they cannot help but engage in it due to a lack of control over these internal contingencies that come to control the person. It is proposed that individuals with an obsessive passion come to develop ego-invested structures (Hodgins & Knee, 2002) and eventually display rigid and conflicted forms of task engagement that preclude the experience of volition in activity engagement. An example of such a type of passion could be a person who strongly loves and values basketball, but because this activity fulfills a strong need for approval or performance which boosts momentarily one’s self- esteem, this person cannot help but engage in basketball, including at times when the activity should not be engaged in or should be stopped. This type of passion should not be confused with the concept of addiction for an activity. An addiction for a daily activity such as sports, gardening, or playing of a musical instrument usually constitutes a very rare pathology. In addition, addictions are often used to describe substance abuse, such as smoking, alcohol drinking, or drug abuse, which can hardly be conceptualised as an activity (gambling might be an exception). Finally, an important distinction between obsessive passion and addiction is that the addict person does not perceive his/her addictive activity as enjoyable anymore, while loving and valuing the activity are core criteria of obsessive passion. Addic- tive gamblers for instance do not like gambling anymore; they want to stop gambling and often seek therapies by themselves or self-exclude themselves from casinos.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T07:54:26.926Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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 )

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T07:41:43.455Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T07:36:33.484Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T07:13:27.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T07:10:09.476Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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


... 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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-16T06:55:39.366Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T13:18:57.995Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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?")

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T13:11:39.327Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T12:57:26.813Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T12:30:24.455Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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!" ?

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T12:22:26.004Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

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 and a body of knowledge that is in some areas divergent and in others complementary.

The thrust of this post is mostly for hedonic well-being (or 'experienced happiness').

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T11:49:43.111Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T07:44:01.846Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by klevador on Be Happier · 2012-04-15T06:59:51.956Z · score: 25 (27 votes) · LW · GW

1 karma point to go :)

eta: I have 19 karma at the moment.

Comment by klevador on Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences) · 2012-04-14T09:08:01.397Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by klevador on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-14T08:20:45.233Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"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, than it is, in the latter, that intellects of the vaster capacity, while more forcible, more constant, and more eventful in their movements than those of inferior grade, are yet the less readily moved, and more embarrassed and full of hesitation in the first few steps of their progress.

— Poe, The Purloined Letter

Comment by klevador on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-14T06:20:47.961Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

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)

Comment by klevador on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-14T04:48:48.730Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

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