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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Happiness is Just Chemistry, and Its Absence

Happiness is Just Chemistry, and Its Absence

(like everything on my blog, my graphics are covered by Creative Commons licence)

What is it about us that we never seem to be happy, at least for long? What does it even mean to be happy?

There have been endless studies suggesting that, a year after winning a major lottery, people are no happier than they were before. And that a year after losing a limb, those who suffered that tragedy are just as happy, on average, as the lottery winners.

Robert Sapolsky has explained how our body chemistry drives us to always want more — to never really be happy with what we have. That’s probably part of it. But another part of it, I think, is that our human brains’ constant ruminations — second-guessing, worrying, regretting etc, leave us in a stage of constant low-level anxiety, never content with the present, and obsessed with the past and the future.

This is all, of course, just my theory, just my amateur opinion. But my conditioning is to try to make sense of everything, and to use this blog to help me do so, so here we go.

Based on years of living with, observing, and reading about, non-human creatures, my sense is that, unless they have been abused or constrained under situations of chronic stress, they live most of their lives in a state of what I call alert equanimity (box 1 in the chart above). These are, I am guessing, times when their feelings of natural contentment are not being disrupted by stressful situations and the chemical responses of their bodies to those situations…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Keynesian voodoo doesn’t work?

Why Keynesian voodoo doesn’t work?


Keynesian policy of manipulating economic “aggregates” through countercyclical macro-measures appeared to work when balance sheets was not stretched to the brink. As we wrote in “Goebbelnomics

“If collective exuberance and apathy is the sole cause of the business cycle, then it logically follows that human emotions need to be manipulated accordingly. Only by doing so can policymakers smooth out the ups and downs in economic activity. And what better way to do that then to change the money supplied to the general public.” 

While people called this the “most sickening article ever written” it is unfortunately what economics has come down to. Through fractional reserve banking and a central bank freed from the shackles of a barbarous relic, the money supply can be expanded without limit…or at least as long as the greater populace voluntarily will leverage up their balance sheet to buy stuff and simultaneously agree to their own servitude. Nothing more than collective manipulation on a scale that would make Goebbels himself envious.

The glaringly obvious result of such policies, gross capital consumption through malinvestments epitomized through a serial bubble economy, did not discourage our money masters. The best and brightest even suggest bubbles are the only remedy to what they believe is some sort of secular stagnation.

Just as drugs, the abuser must increase the dosage to feel the same high and spend accordingly.

However, as the first chart shows, the current recovery, albeit one of the longest on record, has also been the weakest.


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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