Jonah Lehrer, mentioned here in previous posts, moved his website The Frontal Cortex to Wired. Its always a pleasure to read some intelligent and imaginative connections between culture and science, and Lehrer almost always does them. For example, you can read here his new post about money and happiness, an insightful sketch that supports some of Aristotle's, Schopenhauer's and Nietzsche's reflexions on happiness. Here the main argument:
What does experience-stretching have to do with money and happiness? The Liege psychologists propose that, because money allows us to enjoy the best things in life – we can stay at expensive hotels and eat exquisite sushi and buy the nicest gadgets – we actually decrease our ability to enjoy the mundane joys of everyday life. (Their list of such pleasures includes ”sunny days, cold beers, and chocolate bars”.) And since most of our joys are mundane – we can’t sleep at the Ritz every night – our ability to splurge actually backfires. We try to treat ourselves, but we end up spoiling ourselves.
This makes stronger my conviction about the paradoxical fortune of my involuntary poverty. Or, perhaps, it only excuses it.