On happiness

There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.

Wise words from Charles Kenny on why we probably shouldn’t make happiness a direct goal in itself (by adding it to the MDGs):

As I suggest in this CGD Essay, for a society to maximize average happiness poll answers, its most effective course would probably be to put everyone on an antidepressant-ecstasy cocktail and (given the strong genetic component of happiness poll answers) add in chemical sterilization for the naturally unhappy.  Is that really what we want out of a new round of Millennium Development Goals?

Similarly, if we wanted to maximize the Happy Planet Index, we should do the same as above, while also reverting to a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

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