Synthetic happiness

Submitted by freedom on
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I’m not sure that this wasn’t posted long ago:

I’ve been pondering how I relate to this and how it connects to the ideas here. There is a plausible connection to the Coolidge effect in that subject to the paradox of choice some relationships might be doomed independent of any overstimulation. The seemingly endless ability to choose to be in, out of, or swap relationships might make happiness or the synthetic variety unobtainable. That might go something like relationship choice leads to lower real/synthetic happiness leads to relationship dissatisfaction which in turn might feed choice. Of course, no choice doesn’t necessarily lead to real/synthetic happiness, which suggests some possible flaw in Gilbert’s model. Or perhaps I misunderstood a nuance.

I wonder if Gilbert has explored the more dynamic notion of thriving as opposed to the perhaps limited snapshot of happiness. I’m perhaps too good at limbo and dissonance. Luckily, I’m not convinced the western/US focus on happiness is best.

Karezza might in part by eliminate the need to decide if/when/how to escalate toward orgasm resulting in one of Gilbert's forms of happiness independent of outcome. 


Hi Freedom,

That was an interesting talk. His research is compelling. To me it shows the difference between seeing our happiness as being primarily caused by outer factors and understanding them as being caused by our inner attitude.

Sometimes I wonder if Karezza works because it destroys our obsessions with "winning" at a deep level. For men, winning is often associated with "getting the girl" and having sex with her. I often think that orgasm is seen as the ultimate "win". If, on the other hand, we were more concerned with peace, harmony, and Love, then winning isn't part of the picture at all. The inner aspects of relating become far more important.

Thanks for posting the link. It was good to watch.