Very often in life I am disappointed by the way some of my fellow humans behave. People can be very nasty, devious, scheming etc and I always feel like they are letting down the species. However, I am reminded of something comedian Rob Brydon said "Now, with any moral dilemma I always ask myself, 'What would Rod Stewart do?'". Well actually, it's not that similar, but it's a bit similar.. I have started to imagine that the bad behaviour is being done by monkeys - and miraculously it doesn't seem so bad.
Make Everybody Happy's blog
Just read an interesting article about how to cut crime - "Crime: Do we need more police?"
The politicians are all bellowing about putting more bobbies on the beat to cut crime figures, while criminologists are arguing that economic and social factors are more important. A line removed from a cabinet office document reads:
There's been a lot in the news recently about greedy bankers demanding huge bonuses. It looks obscene when the very rich vote themselves massive amounts of money and then try and justify it. One question that comes into my mind is "don't they already have enough stuff?". Will they ever get enough? It seems to be a tragedy of our times that we spend so long trying to get rich when actually being rich doesn't ever quite seem to be enough for anybody.
"Hello, I'm from the Happiness Party, can we count on your vote at the upcoming election?"
"Eh? The who?"
"The Happiness Party, we are a new political party devoted to making everybody happier. Our pledge is that we will only make changes which have a positive effect on the overall happiness of the population."
"Blimey, well, how are you going to do that?"
Well, here you go, the answer to all of our problems, the Happiness Hat:
So, all we need to do is to make the wearing of happiness hats compulsory and we will achieve our goal of "Making Everybody Happy"...
Compulsory happiness is not the goal, I don't think anybody would want to live in a world with happiness police. And I suspect that is one possible side effect of governments measuring happiness, with any kind of measurement there is the temptation to massage the figures, find an easy way to make the numbers better.
Artcile on the BBC:
Happiness revisited: Does money make us happy after all?
Looks like the people at Davos have been looking at the issue of happiness and welath - but not very closely as far as I can tell. Funnily enough, I have been planning an article about this very subject as it is absolutely fundamental to the whole issue.
Richard Layard talking about how happiness should be the main goal of society and individuals:
The alternative is to not take the happiness of the population into account, which sounds like the stance of a dictator!
We live in an age of celebrity. Our heros are seen as special people towering above the rest of us mere mortals and entitled to the lavish lifestyles we see paraded before us. These are people out for themselves, for what they can get. They are special after all, why shouldn't they have a guitar shaped swimming pool and an all red snooker room with a stuffed camel? Or German themed prison nights with expensive prostitutes, or their own private island or a multi million pound farmhouse for the weekends. Or all their expenses paid for by the taxpayer...