Wilson wrote:Personally I'd take happiness over truth or smarts without question. A happy stupid man is, well, happier than a smart sad man. I guess the issue is, how many IQ points would you give up to be 10% happier? Or would you give up 10% of happiness to be brilliant?
I'd go for the less smart BUT only on the condition that I wasn't aware that I'd lost the IQ points and there wasn't any chance that I could suddenly be aware. See, it's not about smarts per se, it's about being aware of what's happening around you.
Wilson wrote:Naturally that's not a bargain that's offered us. At least the devil has never contacted me with such a proposition (smarter but less happy). If he did, logically I'd turn him down; but extra brainpower would be awfully tempting, and besides, if I agreed to less happiness in exchange for more smarts, it would be because I thought that deep down I'd be happier if I were smarter.
Have you seen the movie a few years back called: Ghostrider? Talk about making a deal with the devil in exchange for happiness.
Wilson wrote: If you're totally happy and content, you aren't motivated to improve things for yourself and your group of family and friends. If you could sit around all day with a big smile on your face, not a care in the world, no ambition except to lie in the sun, you're not likely to use your imagination to make things better. They're already perfect!
Oh, you must know some of the young people who live down the street. Sure, they're happy because they don't know hard times. They live in mansions and take 3 vacations a year and their parents complain about them being lazy every chance they get. Yet, these people are often the most miserable people you could imagine. So clearly being 'smart' as it's defined by the majority is not a route to happiness necessarily.
Wilson wrote: So for the species it's better for us to be hard to please, impatient for things to be more exciting or comfortable. It's good for the species that we want to excel, that we want to be recognized by others as at least competent and at best exceptional. That drives innovation. I think that a certain degree of dissatisfaction, almost a smidgen of depression, is built into our DNA, on average.
Interesting topic for a study but how could you measure what constitutes a degree of dissatisfaction or depression?