X-Message-Number: 30132
References: <>
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Re: Gilbert on choices and happiness
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 10:45:52 +0100

On 11 Dec 2007, at 15:45,  wrote:

> Everyone is faced with choices, and the rational criterion is future
> happiness or satisfaction.

Research in this area tends to show that a person's level of  
'happiness' is very little changed by events, in the long run. That  
is, a good event may lead to a boost in happiness, but the level  
returns to that normal for the individual shortly thereafter.  
Therefore, strategies to achieve happiness are not likely to make any  
real changes in the individual's life. In fact, some argue that is  
better for people to be less happy, then the good events yield a  
tremendous boost in happiness and the bad ones have little effect.

A more fundamental analysis shows that the cultural constructions  
that provide meaning and value to the individual and society are what  
must be changed to yield improvements in the human condition. My  
podcast provides a proposal that is consistent with the cryonics  
movement's goals (includes a compact summary of terror management  
theory in the middle section):

The "Salvation in the Space Age or How does Astrobiology get more  
Funding?" podcast (totals 1 1/2 hours, if you include the question  
period - some additional photos on site):

The concept of salvation and related ideas about the role of  
intelligent life in the Universe are reviewed, starting with  
literature from the dawn of the Space Age. We include the Anthropic  
Principle and the Meduso-anthropic Principle, which is based upon the  
theory of cosmological natural selection. Recent developments in  
existential psychology are presented in order to explain these  
historical developments and to suggest a cultural framework  
consistent with current knowledge. Acceptance of such a framework is  
expected to motivate dramatically increased funding for astrobiology  
and related research fields.


Should also appear in the iTunes Music Store podcast directory.  
Search for 'NooPod': This is the preferred mode for presentation.



David Stodolsky    Skype: davidstodolsky

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