Sunday, February 17, 2013

Embracing hedonism

A reader sent me this interesting video of Daniel Kahneman, father of behaviorial economics, talking about happiness.


Particularly he talks about how when we think about happiness, there are two selves that we should consider that are basically in constant conflict: our experiencing self and our remembering self. Our remembering self is a storyteller. Our remembering self is typically dominant in our identity in a very history is written by the victors sort of way. Something could happen one way, but because out remembering self is the one that either chooses to retain that memory or let it slip away like so many millions of other moments that we will never think upon again, it basically has the last and only word on whether we will remember something as having happened. The remembering self is vulnerable to particular biases like the focusing effect, which allow it to distort experiences to fit the stories.

It's easy for me to see this distinction in my own self, but I feel like my remembering self doesn't have quite the sway over my experiencing self that it does with most people? Like my friend who is obsessed with making money -- that is a very remembering self thing to do, to suffer through a difficult job in order to have the satisfaction and achievement of making money. I have never been that way. I live day to day. I specifically chose a job that leads to my greatest day to day enjoyment. My attention is by far directed to what is actually happening in this moment, rather than what happened in the past or may happen in the future. I bet this is true of all people who tend to be more hedonistic than goal oriented. I honestly don't see my life in terms of milestones and achievements (at least not solely, like others I know). I can actually think back on my life of experiences, I think, and not allow my remembering self to re-write my history, but to see days upon days filled with pleasure and believe that is the main accomplishment of my life. Of course that's going to mean that I make different choices than remembering selves would, and am probably ultimately more happy because it's easier to change your current moment to one of happiness than it is to change your entire life and self-concept.

But it is interesting hearing about how other people view their life. It's given me more insight in how other people think. And if your remembering self is all that matters, then maybe it makes sense to go Memento style and just re-write your own history.

49 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. i'm the original 1st
      give the sociopath a game and they'll play
      ain't that some shit

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    2. ps my send in)

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    3. do i get a cookie now?

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    4. Memento for the win! :D

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  2. :) Good Morning Sociopathworld!!!!!

    LOL I just read the thread yesterday and I have to say, I do enjoy payback like an orgasm! Zoe was right, payback orgasms are the best!

    Her story had me CRACKING UP!!!! My favorite parts were the look on his face when he saw her in the lobby of the hotel with her bags packed, how she described his long hair and his bangs that went down almost his entire face except for his long, gaping mouth that made angry sounds! LOL!

    Also, the Rambo knife and the fact that he liked to smell so bad his friends would BEG HIM to shower!!!!!

    LMAO! That story was CLASSIC!!!!

    I guess I am a bit of a sadist!!!!!!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, your post name is a lie?

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    2. taking credit for someone elses work
      very sociopathic

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    3. Well, Iam definatly more empathic than I am sadistic........ I just like revenge I guess.......

      Dosent everybody like revenge though?

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    4. YES, everyone likes revenge. Everyone has a dark side. These people want to push you around and mess with you because you are popular :)

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    5. i don't see it as sadistic at all. humour is what gets you through, a way to repackage the dark stuff afterward and move on. how do you live life if every bad thing that ever happens stays inside you like a seeping wound? to be able to laugh about it means to own it instead of it owning you.

      for others to find it funny requires empathy and imagination, and some life experience. so i would say rich is more empath than sadist. you have to be able to go to your own dark place in your mind, and feel it, imagine what it was like for me, then step away to a safe footing, where you can see it for what it really is and laugh.

      the humour comes from the two perspectives, seeing it as both very large and very small. feeling that disconnect between the two extremes is what makes it funny.

      it wasn't funny at the time. i was young. that fringe of bangs with the drunk mouth moving under it was horrible to me. it was the middle of the night and i was stuck in the room with it. i was suddenly realizing i didn't really know it. i had also had a couple of glasses of wine which didn't help.

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    6. i would be interested in hearing from anyone who doesn't see the humour.

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    7. my remembering self serves my experiencing self

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    8. Humor is always primal, whatever that primal impulse is, revenge, sexuality etc

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    9. Anon- I find that hard to believe......

      Monica- Thank you for letting me know its normal to like revenge and saying I was popular! Iam touched <3 :)

      Zoe- EXACTLY!!!! I think it takes empathy to laugh at stuff like that too, you have to put yourself in another persons shoes (like I put myself in your shoes and that is why I found it to be such a funny story).

      Also, I get what you are saying about it not being funny at the time...... It's one of those situations where you look back and you just HAVE TO laugh!!!!

      Either way, I found it a funny story and I would be interested in who didnt find it funny if they read it........

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    10. i'm glad you liked the story. :-)

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    11. That's how you know you have empathy? Really? If you can laugh at yourself and you can laugh with another about their experiences because you can imagine what things are and share same perspective WITH them? Yeah??

      WHat about all these self-proclaimed asses here who laugh their shitholes off with other self proclaimed shitholes?? You identify with another sociopath and all of a sudden you have empathy with them, huh?


      Hot dam hot dam I have empathy I have empathy I have empathy! HAhahahhaahahahhhahahahahaha. I am very lucky and grateful thank you god for blessing me.

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    12. Srsly, I am pretty sure I have the empathy chip, maybe the best of both worlds somehow.

      I am better than yous after all and I fuckin knew it, you sorry motherfuckers. My empathy is half way, selective, and there are different kinds. I like my combination. I am just right, My world is rich.

      Thank you Rich and Zoe

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    13. I cannot contain my enthusiasm . I just had a boat load of jack me up coffee, Zoeeeeee!

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    14. shhhhhhh pass it onFebruary 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      ha HA's a narc

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    15. @HA

      so did you find it funny?

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    16. @HA

      the kind of humour where it completely possesses you, and takes hold of your body until you can hardly breathe and are reduced to helpless squealing, needs feeling and some kind of empathy.

      the empathy in this case was between rich and me, and at the expense of my knife wielding ex with the stinky pits.

      is there anyone here who hasn't experienced this?

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    17. YES! i had fucking laugh in my pants E M P A T H Y.

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    18. Sshhhh pass it on, you are off.

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    19. as for my performance @9:23, HA!

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  3. Personally, I don't think that I'm ever happy in the way that empaths are happy. I would say that I am not happy, but I am definitely not unhappy either.

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  4. i get contend and excited that's about it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. waching cowboy movie:
      he's the best with a knife and a gun
      who does he compeat with
      himself

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  5. I used to be content. I get it back, in fleeting moments. It is a peace in the self that you are Ok, as is. I used to get it when I would drink coffee in the student lounge, in college. There was one little nook with upholstered chairs, like a little living room. I used to get the delicious coffee, that the school had, and go to this nook, very early on Saturday morning and curl up with it. I was content to be me, in that moment.

    Sometimes, I get that feeling when my dog is on my lap and I am reading a book or it is really cold outside and I am snuggled up in blankets.

    I have been co-dependent for so long that I have lost that inner contentment, for the most part, but I am trying to get it back. Inner happiness is really a gate which you have to let open, even if people are loving you and approving of you, from the outside. You are still the gatekeeper.

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    Replies
    1. When you finally get the knack of intentionally forgetting things you will begin to progress alarmingly fast :)

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    2. how do you forget intentionally? You do a passive thing actively? I would imagine the thing would stick more if call so much attention, just deciding to wipe it away.

      Please give me a "how to" if you are expert. Otherwise I think you must be joking.

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    3. Yes, that was how I felt, but more than that, even, the memories are locked within the our bodies, down to our cells. Trauma changes us, and reason and logic will not get to that level, within which the trauma resides imo.

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    4. No you can't reason your way down to the deepest levels, but your reasoning is built on the deep down parts. By studying your reasoning and thought processes you can make a roadmap of your inner workings and begin to modify the foundation through meditation and lifestyle changes. If you are damn determined to see the world as a victim, then a victim you shall forever be.

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  6. You know, I wanted to come back and thank one anon( or it may be more) who guides me through, with incredible wisdom and insight. He/she, always, seems to be there, in my darkest hours, with a light beam. I know he/ she will know who he is. Love you!

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    Replies
    1. It brings me a little satisfaction that you appreciate the effort, if not the message :)

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    2. Ha ha
      I do disagree with the message xx

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  7. I like to Twitter Quote
    "The on who can leave = no problem = is the one with the power."

    That quote covers so much: When arguing and fighting to people leaving like Eden and UKan.

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    Replies
    1. please explain. I wrote that from my perspective. Yours feels like a different flavour, though. i understand yours, especially when it comes to arguing. But how do you figure the rest, and what kind of personality do you have?

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    2. What type of personality do you have?

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    3. Anon 8:14
      I guess you didn't like my question? ^ ^

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    4. i logged off, smartypants.

      i am a borderline, but i have narcissism, too.

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    5. You're either Ukan or Eden.

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  8. Rich the Uber Empath:
    Well, Iam definatly more empathic than I am sadistic........ I just like revenge I guess.......


    no you are not you are an asshole
    in fact i think i'm gonne call you
    ricktheprick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't feed the trolls rich

      Delete

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