What’s wrong with that picture?
Happiness does not follow prosperity. Otherwise kazillionaires would not be drinking and self-medicating themselves to death. Or jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
In America (and also in other countries), an impressive postwar rise in material well-being has had zero effect on personal well-being. The divergence between economic growth and subjective satisfaction began decades ago. Real per capita income has more than tripled since the late 1950s, but the percentage of people saying they are very happy has, if anything, slightly declined.
Ordinary people’s well-being depends mainly on their immediate surroundings. If you are an autoworker who loses your job in Massena, N.Y., when G.M. closes its local plant (moving some jobs to Mexico) and who spends years out of work and who watches as schools shut down and shops go dark and young people flee — for you, the fact that America’s big coastal cities are doing great, or that more than half a billion Chinese have been lifted out of extreme poverty, merely rubs salt in your wounds.
Second, all happiness is relative. Although moral philosophers may wish Homo sapiens were wired more rationally, we humans are walking, talking status meters, constantly judging our worth and social standing by comparing ourselves with others today and with our own prior selves.
Read More at the NY Times (paywall)
Tourism’s carbon impact three times larger than estimated – BBC
Mom’s prefer experiences over gifts on Mother’s Day – Globe and Mail
Vanilla ice cream is under threat. A huge spike in pure vanilla extract prices is making some bakeries and ice cream makers think twice about whether to keep making it. We might be stuck with chocolate to help cool down – CBC
South Korea is cracking down on texting while walking with an app that locks devices after detecting users have been walking for more than five steps while using their phones. – Yonhap News Agency
On Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a thinly veiled rebut to the U.S. President’s backing out of the Iran nuclear weapons deal and stressed Canada remains aligned with most countries in supporting the deal – Globe and Mail This was a rare and complex deal that involved many countries. Not unlike what we are going through with North Korea, the issues on the table are pretty complex. Lets hope the rest of the world can take the lead where the US breaks promises and signed agreements, because the U.S. President is dropping the ball with his America First/America Alone policy and the world is a more dangerous place because of it.
Dr. Dre lost a trademark court battle with a gynecologist. The raper argued that Dr. Drai, the real doctor, would cause confusion among fans. – Chicago Tribune
1994: Nelson Mandela was sworn into office as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. This was a day to celebrate a historic victory over a racist regime. “Let freedom reign,” Mandela said in his inauguration speech.
Susan Kamenar, writing in National Geographic:
There is no magical formula for hygge, it is more about the quality of time spent than where or how you spend it, so wherever you are, slow down, get cozy, and savor the moment with close family and friends.