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Stupid People Aren't a Problem. Oblivious People Are a Problem.

When I was a bit younger, I used to think stupid people were a problem.

I don't know how I'd define stupid exactly, but you know roughly what I mean. I thought, "Stupid people cause problems."

Now I'm starting to change my mind.

However you define "stupid," I don't think it's stupid people causing problems. There's lots of things I'm unskilled, uneducated, or unsophisticated about, but I tend to know I'm unskilled, uneducated, and unsophisticated about it. If I got into a metalworking shop, I'd quickly ask someone there what I'm supposed to do to stay safe, and then I'd stay the hell out of the way.

You see, I'm stupid about metalworking and metalworking safety, but that's okay. I'm rarely in a metalworking shop, I'd ask for guidance/instructions if I was, and I'd be careful and stay out of the way.

Happiness and Satisfaction

On Tynan

Seven years ago, I wrote a post called "How to Be Happy. Always." It's pretty poorly written, but starts off with an important concept-- we live in a society where happiness is the number one priority. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No one really questions that, but maybe we should. Is happiness really the best goal we can come up with?

In the time that's elapsed between when I wrote that post and now, I've thought a lot about happiness, and I still think that maximizing it is a bad idea. But before I get into that, let's talk a little bit about what happiness is.

Happiness is an good state of mind. It allows you to be optimistic, to see the good in people, and to be productive. On the other end of the spectrum, when you're very unhappy, you have a lot of barriers between things like productivity and socialization. Clearly, being happy is much better than being unhappy. It's important to be happy. Is there such a thing as being too happy? I don't think so. I've never seen someone make a mistake because he was just too happy.

So what's my problem with maximizing happiness, then? Well, it's the method, mostly.

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