Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Root of All Unhappiness

There seems to be a common perception these days that unhappiness is born of difficulty; that if we just make everyone's lives easier, the world will be a happier, more productive place.

This is bullshit. Unhappiness is not born of difficulty, of effort, of exertion. Instead, discontent is wrought of confusion, uncertainty, and unpredictability. Humans receive endorphins from being able to correctly predict the future, even if those predictions are negative. When humans make an incorrect prediction, those endorphins are denied, thus breeding discontent. To illustrate this, simply observe that the black comedy genre exists, and that movies like Dr. Strangelove are widely beloved classics. If unhappiness were born of difficulty or misfortune, these movies would not at all be considered comedies, since the protagonists are presented with extremely difficult scenarios. Instead, they're hilarious, because in every case, the hardships and difficulties presented in them are readily predictable by the audience, such as the case where General Ripper, who is crazy, realizes that the contingency plan created for the event of the destruction of the upper echelons of the chain of command gives him the ability to make a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union, goading them into war, or when the Russians' Doomsday Device plan is obviously flawed, since an accidental nuclear detonation would doom the world to destruction.

Consider also whenever you get frustrated with a task, is it because the task is merely hard, or because it is more difficult than your expectations or because you cannot figure out how to complete it?

I'm sure my astute readers can figure out where I'm going with this.


  1. I'm sure my astute readers can figure out where I'm going with this.

    I haven't read your blog before, so I'm not familiar with your politics, but *I* would take your observations in this direction:

    Instead, discontent is wrought of confusion, uncertainty, and unpredictability.

    Definitely, and this is why "diversity" is a bad thing, and cultural/racial homogeneity is a good thing.

  2. Why hello, samsonsjawbone. I read you occasionally. Welcome to UE.

    Yes, I'm going toward the idea that you want to design a society or country to be a frictionless as possible, which means a clear, certain government is better than an uncertain government, and that homogeneous populations will gel better than dissimilar ones.

    Generally, I take my cues from Mencius Moldbug, with some exceptions (for instance, he has, at least in some instances advocated a society held in place by Mutually Assured Destruction between roughly Germany-sized nations, and I don't approve of this for the dual reasons that I think that makes poor use of Earth's resources, and that I don't think MAD works at all.)

  3. My friend, neutrino_cannon notes that there may be something else going on, since gambling addiction and thriller films exist. I admit, I hadn't factored those into my theory (here at UE, we try very hard to be precise, not axiomatic. Just because something sounds wise does not mean we post it, and we're not afraid to revise our theories as new information becomes available). My preliminary thoughts suggest that in small doses, uncertainty-born stress may be pleasurable, but not in large doses (this would explain why most Shakespeare dramas have a comedic interlude), but more work is to be done for this theory to truly solidify.