The Futile Pursuit of Eudaimonia (Research)

I’m all for studies and research and anything in general that makes sense where there formerly was none, or tosses some long standing, ill-begotten misconception out of the window, but I find all this happiness research stuff kind of silly. Um, The World Database of Happiness…are you kidding me? Now I’m a big fan of the InterWebs, and the varied geekness you may find on said webs, including dorky databases, but I really hope they were being ironic with that name. I doubt it however, because the website is so horrifyingly 1996 that the author wouldn’t have- wait a minute….the whole thing is a great big giant ironical culture jam! Perhaps the Yes Men are behind it.

But seriously, isn’t it fucking obvious safe to assume that people will be relatively happier with more wealth, with more health, with more freedom, with more leisure time, but that these things in and of themselves do not guarantee “happiness?” Didn’t we learn this boring lesson over and over again in all those bad novels that we had to read in high school? What more is there to say? And I’m suspicious about these psychological polls because they are fallible and people are also fallible (and they lie, conscious or not!), so let’s stick to measuring things that make sense, like blood pressure. I know this: the smiley checkout lady at CVS will be happier than I will ever be, and good for her. But I don’t envy her line of work, or to be honest, even her smileyness. That’s right, I’m Scrooge, bitch!

Comments 2

  1. conchis wrote:

    “What more is there to say?”

    Well, maybe if you actually read some of the research you’d know. (And for what it’s worth, blood pressure correlates pretty well with the self-reports.)

    Posted 17 Apr 2007 at 5:25 pm
  2. ManUnderStress wrote:

    Perhaps. But what if not reading happiness research is what really makes me happy?

    Posted 17 Apr 2007 at 9:39 pm