Another explanation can be made, based on two correlations that I think are likely: having multiple sexual partners is negatively correlated with having at least one stable romantic partner, and having at least one stable romantic partner is positively correlated with happiness. Given those two correlations, it is easy to see why having multiple sexual partners might be negatively correlated with happiness. The people who sleep around a lot are doing it because they have not found a girlfriend/boyfriend, so they are lonely. Thus, they are unhappy.
If this explanation for the study's results is true, then sex with more partners will not make you unhappy, per se. It just means that you should make sure you have a romantic companion first (hopefully one who is agreeable to your seeking multiple partners). After you have a partner, it is possible that indulging your instincts by seeking even more partners would indeed make you happier.
How many friends do you sleep in the same room with, wake up to, go to work with, and have fun with? None, right? The thing is, that situation was the norm for most of humanity. It's not a surprise that so many people are neurotic. It's not a surprise that it makes us a bit happier to have that situation partially fulfilled.
I'd like to see a study comparing the happiness of close-knit, tribal, polygamous communities with close-knit, tribal, monogamous communities.
Just to nit-pick - I'm not sure how that study would help you in making your decisions. After all, you are not living in a close-knit tribal community, but in a vast and complex global community. What works in the context of life fifty thousand years ago may very well be disastrous in today's radically different world.
So, what you really need is a study comparing the happiness levels of polygamists and monogamists in today's society, controlling for factors like how deliberate the choice is (as pointed out in the parent comment, some polygamists are so because they can't get a long-term relationship, rather than by choice). I.e. the study referred to in this article - but done properly.
It could also be that those who are happy are more likely to end up in a relationship.
The below quotation gives a flavour of what it's like for the Irish non working class, living in or applying for social housing. From what I've read of the book Promises I Can Keep and Charles Murray's Coming Apart it's pretty close to the situation in the US non working class, with the no college working class trending that way.
I don’t care if you break up with your significant other, spouse, or what it was, or who was at fault, but if I get one more file like the soap opera I have just been handed this week (you may wish to take notes)…
…wherein Household A comprised of B, C and child D and Household Q comprised of R, S and children T and U have both had applications in for a couple of years for social housing.
(i) Household A’s application failed because the parties B and C were not in communication with us as to whether they wanted to proceed. B did not answer our letter, C did; they’ve since split up and are at different addresses. More letters on our part to the new addresses. B doesn’t answer but C does, he still wants to apply for a house because now he’s with a new partner and they have a new baby. Fine, that’s what we’re here for.
(ii) Household Q’s application has been approved. Except that R and S have also since split up, but they never bothered to tell us, and I only discovered this because
(iii) C and S are now cohabiting. And have a new (third) application in for social housing. All of which means:
(iv) We don’t know where B is; we presume she took child D with her wherever she is now. Maybe she will or maybe she won’t apply for social housing on her own behalf. R’s application which has been approved now has to be nullified or something of the like because the circumstances have changed. R may be cohabiting with a new partner and with a new baby of their own; we don’t know and will have to find out.
Meanwhile, C and S and her children T and U and their new baby W are all in a fourth new address, have a new application in as Household Y, and will have to be processed as soon as we disentangle Household A’s application, deal with terminating Household Q’s application, and enter Household Y’s application with the two persons from A and Q that the computer system – which was not designed to deal with the game of “musical chairs” when it comes to swapping your partners – won’t let us assign C and S to a new application because they’re already on the system with their prior applications.
And that means delay, which means C and S (and possibly R and/or B) will be on the phone yelling at us about being on the housing list with years and why the delay when they’re qualified they’re going to the local paper, their local councillor, their local representative about this!
You can see why I’m all NO CANOODLING UNTIL YOU SORT YOURSELVES OUT AND GIVE US ALL AND I DO MEAN ALL THE PERTINENT DETAILS IN A TIMELY MANNER, I trust?
That's all that happened. It's only "complicated" in the writer's mind because the two families had put in applications in the same apparently-awful social housing computer system.
The complaint about needing this info "in a timely manner" is a bit ironic... the original two applications have apparently been pending for "a couple of years" before the story even begins.
Not a study, but National Geographic did an in-depth piece on the Hadza people in 2009 that you may find interesting. It's available on their web site in full. If I remember correctly, the journalist described them as 'serial monogamists', having many monogamous relationships throughout their lifetime.
I do not like the idea of sleeping in the same room as other people on a regular basis and in general being around them most of the time. I need some privacy or else I get cranky.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
It should also be taken with a grain of salt that the conclusion they draw just so happens to fit into several powerful institutions decreed standards of morality.
However only survivors after tens or hundreds of thousands of years are able to log in and comment on HN about it. Some of the abhorrent ancient "wisdoms" are well, ...abhorrent. Others maybe the reason we are still here (as opposed some other people being here, or, no human species at all).
Also, it is probably reasonable to assume the same "morals" the kept a group of hunter gatherers together are today responsible to racism and hate between groups.
To really even begin to look at cause you'd at least want a situation where two very similar groups differed only in one aspect you are trying to measure and then observe how both groups evolved.
Good point. It's important to remember that evolution (including of the cultural variety) ultimately selects for survival. If group A is super happy and peaceful, and group B is unhappy and violent, if group B uses its capacity for violence to conquer group A then ultimately it will be group B's genetic/cultural traits that survive into the future.
It is an abhorrent moral compass.
Your hypothesis is very interesting but from what I've seen of others, this doesn't work well in the long run. There are spikes of more-than-normal happiness but eventually, someone is jealous, someone gets cuckolded (as hard as it is in such an arrangement!) and you crash hard. Not everyone is so far evolved to avoid these problems.
As a guy, I know I am at my happiest when I have one primary woman and side women that the primary does not know about explicitly. Oddly enough, the vagueness of her not really knowing makes her more attracted. But I still have to treat my primary as if she is the only one. This is the only stable configuration I've found.
Doesn't sound very stable if your "primary" finds out about your secondary.
Because most people would, whether they realize it or not, and that is why they agree to commit to a relationship in the first place---because they expect the same from their partner.
Also, your "primary" will know at some point. Is a configuration really stable if it sets the stage for collapse?
No, I wouldn't be OK with it if it was flipped.
"I may do injury to others, but they may not to me."
From observation, many women are NOT OK with it. They may be not explicitly not OK with it (which of course is wrong too).
A few other thoughts:
Causing injury is fine as long as the recipient, and "most of the world," is unaware? The onus is on the rest of the world not to "cause a problem," and for the recipient to point out that injury is being done, and not on the afflicter not to do injury in the first place? A woman should just be happy to be with you "as long as you give her what she needs," which apparently doesn't include fidelity?
I would be less sure.
2) You sound very controlling.
A woman is free to be who she wants to be when she is with me, with the understanding that her fidelity is part of that. Most women want to be monogamous, or at least are serially monogamous. Men are perpetually non-monogamous. I think Dave Chappelle had a bit on this.
2) Also nope! Sorry if I seem a bit amused now. Controlling implies "You have to do such-and-such and be dominated by me, and I don't have to do such-and-such and be dominated by you." My philosophy is that what I expect from my partner, I follow all the way through myself. There is no power issue, because both contribute equally to the relationship.
I will again point out the seeming contradiction between "I don't need to be faithful; my partner[s] do," or if you don't like that, "Men don't need to be faithful; women do." Perhaps that's not what you intend, but it sure sounds that way.
In terms of "controlling," if you expect fidelity from your partners but not yourself, and if you say that expecting fidelity sounds controlling, that would logically imply you are controlling.
Incidentally, I hope you recognize nothing I've said should be taken as ad hominem attacks. Again, I'm just pointing out how many people might take your points.
You use too much passive aggressive language for me to seriously consider your points.
My points are straightforward, so perhaps you're reading more deeply than you need.
I understand why you would say their language is passive aggressive though.
It's been an interesting discussion at any rate. Best of luck!
The number of arguments for 'sexual liberation' in western society has increased over the years, but my limited life experience has shown me that this only encourages a mindset that leads to behaviors that lead to emotional anguish because people begin chasing their next sexual dopamine rush instead of spending time establishing means to care for their longer term needs.
A monogamous long term partner offers benefits that cannot be achieved any other way, and a lot of it revolves around the physiological validation of value that comes with intercourse. Sex, in a manner of speaking, is the acceptance of a person by another that they are viewed as successful enough to contribute in passing on DNA. You could say it is the pinnacle of biological success. This is where most arguments stop with the conclusion that: Sex = Good so More Sex = Better. By doing so they are failing to see the whole picture.
The above conclusion works for many animals; humans are psychologically far more complex than animals.
Humanity has to balance many other concerns including:
- The well being of other people (primarily their mate)
- their desires to progress a career
- social standing among peers
- emotional distress caused by 'loneliness'
- the rearing of children and fulfillment of personal instinct to see them succeed
All of these are areas that benefit from a monogamous relationship because the physiological and psychological needs for co-validation can be met which then frees up mental energy to focus on other things that bring more lasting value to life than the intense yet fleeting moments of an orgasm.
* work really hard so you can cash out (greed)
* build influence however you can (fame)
* ...ultimately, become somebody so you can fill that hole
The poor motives (which I've parenthesized) probably account for much of the fact that the New Boss is no different than the Old Boss that came before. Think about the love of cultural homogeny, or working your ass off (being exploited), or worship of youth, or proving yourself to capital (whether by OSS, influence, or profitable side projects).
Were you born so rich that you can spend all day hanging out with your friends, without worrying about money? Most of us were not.
Many people here (myself included) claim that they are working really hard so that they can get enough money to be able to do whatever they want for the rest of their lives.
For me, at least, the idea of working really hard for a short period of time is way more appealing than some 9-5 job where I show up every day for the rest of my life, regardless of how hard (or not) that I am expected to work.
You aren't getting around the fact that you need money; until you solve the problem of food, housing and medical care for the rest of your life, earning money is going to be a problem that will take time away from finding whatever it is that makes you happy.
Even if working makes you happy, having enough money that you don't need to work gives you a huge amount of leverage and freedom that will allow you to turn down work that isn't conducive to your happiness.
pg, actually, has talked a whole lot about this, and about how maybe we should try to change things so that founders can take out more money early on because of this.
"My second suggestion will seem shocking to VCs: let founders cash out partially in the Series A round. At the moment, when VCs invest in a startup, all the stock they get is newly issued and all the money goes to the company. They could buy some stock directly from the founders as well.
In fact, letting the founders sell a little stock early would generally be better for the company, because it would cause the founders' attitudes toward risk to be aligned with the VCs'. As things currently work, their attitudes toward risk tend to be diametrically opposed: the founders, who have nothing, would prefer a 100% chance of $1 million to a 20% chance of $10 million, while the VCs can afford to be "rational" and prefer the latter."
That's a false dichotomy. It's easy to have a job in technology that more than pays the bills but doesn't require the same sacrifices as working towards an exit or fame. You can be comfortable without being materialistic.
A goal to retire early doesn't address the "people" side of the "people vs. pleasure" idea. All the luck to you if you never want to work again, but the parent comment's points still stand.
> Even if working makes you happy, having enough money that you don't need to work gives you a huge amount of leverage and freedom that will allow you to turn down work that isn't conducive to your happiness.
Here it just seems like you're trying to scare people who have different values than you into having your values.
So for me it comes down to having the ability to spend lots of time with the people I love (which is always my first priority when forced to compromise), without having to sacrifice the fulfillment I get from my personal/intellectual/whatever pursuits.
I realize that this just means I "want it all," and people might reasonably think that's a harmful attitude to have. But it still seems quite different than "materialism," and I imagine that any negative personal consequences would be different, too.
My point is that if you are spending 40 hours a week working and 5 or 10 hours a week commuting, you don't have nearly as much time for your friends as you would have with a little more financial independence.
It should also be noted that the odds of startup success (to an extent where you literally never have to work again) is quite unlikely. You can spend time with your friends and family now - perhaps not all of your time, and not completely at your leisure and control, but if the alternative is sacrificing the people you care about for a tiny chance at spending all your time with them... I don't think that's a rational tradeoff.
Eh, I mostly agree, if you mean the typical "swing for the fences" kind of startup. But, I think there is awareness of this, for example, the PG essay I linked to a couple messages back mentioned that a 100% chance of a million bucks, to someone without money, is worth a heck of a lot more than a 20% chance at ten million bucks. (obviously, the latter is worth rather more to people who have enough money to amortize out the chances.)
The thing is, you don't need to do a swing for the fences kind of startup if you don't want to. Before this latest investment craze, HN was very big on bootstrapping. I've been running my own bootstrapped company for the last decade or so, and while I am right now attempting to recover from some very bad choices, and thus am doing poorly, for a while, it was pretty nice. I had a very flexible life. I have been able to hire nearly all of my siblings, at one point in time or another; as far as spending time with friends and family goes, my company has been quite successful. I was able to work as much as I wanted, or scale back to very little.
Being your own business, even if that business is, say, contracting, is one way to get a lot more flexibility out of your life. When my income was mostly selling my own labor, I'd sometimes work for other people one year on/one year off. (Timed so I worked 6 months out of each tax year)
Now, I mostly worked on my own stuff on the years off, but the strategy would work just as well if I wanted to work a tax-minimizing half-time schedule. As far as I can tell, it's way easier to get a good-paying part-time job as a contractor than as a full-time W2.
I have a reasonable amount of free time, but spend it on recovering from work (unfortunately, I need time off for that; so probably I'm an introvert), on time with my partner, on household activities, on learning. The actual time I have for friends is not that much. Admittedly, most of my friends seem to have even less time (mostly because they work longer hours), but others seem to have their life divided only between work and hangout time, so they're available pretty much always.
tl;dr if I had more free time, I'd have just enough time to hangout more with friends, as part of my free time is devoted to other things.
Nice time to play armchair psychoanalyst: some people who wish to retire early may be motivated by a desire to be friends with the (time and money) rich.
Lets think about that for a minute. Unless you're already filthy rich, getting enough money to not work requires a particular skillset. Lets say you're only moderately lucky and are exceedingly good, and that it takes you 5 years to get your fat stacks out of a company you put blood sweat and tears into. Disregarding that you statistically have a relatively small chance of that happening, you come out of the tunnel in 5 years, and what do you do with the rest of your life now? Well, all of your skillset is based around your business. You probably don't have a ton of things that give your fulfillment outside of that business. So what do you do, start at square one? Learn how to play the bongos or just go out and search for the real meaning of life? Or do what you've trained your whole life to do, what has given you the most meaning so far? I say you'll more likely become addicted to that feeling of mastery, and more than likely you'll be on the board of another startup or whatever you like, because you felt a lot more fulfilled when you were disrupting the world than being a person who's bad at playing bongos.
Spending time with family/starting one? Other hobbies besides bongos? Why are you being so dismissive towards music skills anyway? Developing OSS at your own pace? This is some kind of odd tunnel vision.
>because you felt a lot more fulfilled when you were disrupting the world than being a person who's bad at playing bongos.
Realistically very few of these startups "disrupt" anything. Are there that many people who can only be satisfied slaving away at startups?
What if that skill is only useful/usable in a 9-5 environment in a soul-less corporate environment? Do you recommend I continue to sit in that environment just to use it, since I have been using it for last 15 years and it would be a waste to throw that experience away? Let me be the judge of that, its my life after all.
I bet when we were not working, all of us enjoyed a bunch of things, right? Just because those things got sidelined in pursuit of this skill, which probably was acquired in pursuit of money, doesn't mean that when we finally have that money, we continue to sideline those things. We actually started working so that we had the luxury to enjoy those things, remember?
I truely enjoy working with computers and I probably will continue to do that even when I'm done working. But that'll be at my terms and those days when I feel like spending the morning reading the newspaper and sipping tea instead, I can do exactly that. Thats the point.
I used to be one of those people until I realized that if I had financial freedom I wouldn't know what I want to do with my life. I was a freelance developer for 7 years and never had to worry about money. I could work on average about 4 hours a day and spend the rest of my time on my own projects or whatever else struck my fancy. It was fun for a time - 7 years to be exact - but I eventually got lonely. I hadn't developed very many meaningful relationships with people I didn't know for 10 years already and I felt isolated. I would rail on the refresh button on various social media websites in search of some kind of human connection.
So I took a full time job and I based the company I chose to work for solely on the people I met there. It's been over 7 months and I've already built friendships with tons of new people and I feel more connected to the world than I have in years. I get to work on fairly interesting stuff without the stress of having to keep my pipeline filled and when I go home I don't take my work with me, which was a big problem I had when freelancing; keeping my work and personal lives separate.
That's why this article resonates with me, anyways. I made more money as a freelancer but past a certain point I didn't know what to spend it on and having the money didn't really make me happy. What makes me happy is building relationships with people and sharing in their struggles and triumphs. I really don't think I'll mind doing this for another couple decades.
The full time job simply put you in a situation where you got to interact with people without making any effort (except going to office which you would be doing anyway for any full time job).
Freelancing wasn't the reason for your earlier dissatisfaction and a full time job isn't the solution for anybody who is dissatisfied due to lack of human interaction.
But that's where you're wrong. I went to meetups regularly, participated in events like Rails Rumble, worked at co-location spaces, etc. I got plenty of human interaction but it simply wasn't the same as what I get now at my full time job. I liken it to home schooled kids. Sure, they can setup play dates and events with other home schooled kids or participate in out-of-school programs with public school kids, but they will never truly get the same level of social interaction public/private school kids get because they aren't going through exactly the same trials in exactly the same way.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the freedom I had when I was a freelancer and I will likely go back to that lifestyle some day but I would be lying if I didn't admit that there was a certain sense of disconnectedness I felt after all those years being on my own. I'm happy as a full time employee now and that's all that matters.
I think that having enough money that you can choose a job based on joy rather than monetary remuneration helps a lot with that. Having money also makes it a lot easier and less scary to leave jobs when the working environment turns bad.
Let us go in to this further. Yes, most of the technical people I know have pretty good working conditions.
However. Most of the technical people I know work for companies that either make weapons or sell advertising.
The vast majority of the available high-paying technical jobs actively contribute to making the world a worse place.
Now, I am not claiming to have clean hands either; I'm not trying to shame anyone else. I'm just saying that most of us would feel better if, you know, we could move away from killing people and/or making them spend money on garbage they don't need, and on to creating something that actually improves humanity.
The thing is, having a positive impact is difficult on it's own. When you've got rent to pay, the easy job solving interesting problems that ultimately make banzi buddy slightly more effective starts looking pretty good.
Clearly, that is the goal.
If you are claiming that having a safety net to fall back on doesn't put you in a better position to chose work you enjoy (or rather, avoid work you find unpleasant) - I don't think you are being honest.
If you can keep your expenses to $1,000 per week, and get your billable rate to $200 per hour, then you only need to work 5 hours a week to break even. If you work 80 hours a week for a year at this rate, that's $800,000 - which means you could then spend the next 800 weeks, or 15 years, doing whatever you wanted.
How you get to $200/hr is something of a question, but it has a much more direct path than being a founder, which you could spend 80 hours a week on and still be broke after 3, 5 or even 10 years.
Now, there are reasons to stick the cash under your mattress (or in an index fund) - that's not the choice I made, though; I chose to buy some means of production and manage those means of production myself. Not real-estate;servers. I had a few pretty good years; it really has yet to be seen if I'm a fool or not.
I do think it has been interesting; I've gotten to experience being a boss. I've hired family, I've hired friends. I've hired people who weren't friends, who became friends after they left. It has been an experience. It's really yet to be seen if this experience has been profitable or not. Estimating the value of a small company is difficult, and one could reasonably value my company at a level where I have done okay (not never work again okay, but at least buy a nicer condo okay) - you could also reasonably value the company at the 'buy a compact car' level. The only solid offers I've gotten were earn-outs that were heavily dependent on me sticking around for years, so it's unclear how much of that is the company and how much of that is, you know, me.
But yeah; the other option would have been to just contract half-time and spend the rest of that time hanging out in social situations. That would also have been a really interesting experience. Maybe it would have been better than what I did? I don't know.
Now, I'm not chasing investors or anything; That is a very different game. But it is a mistake to equate the hacker news crowd with funded startups. Yes, that's what everyone wants to be now - but that's only because of the amount of money available. Go back three years and it was all about bootstrapping.
The same could be said of start-up founders, which was the point.
But you can re-do the math at 40 hours a week if you like:
40 hours * 50 weeks * $200/hr = $400,000 / 52 weeks @ $1,000 per week = 7.69 years to do what you want.
And again, we're only talking about a year. Spend a year killing yourself, and then spend the next 5 on the beach or climbing Everest or writing a novel.
A lot can happen in a year not to just you but your family and friends that you could miss out on. Look forward to the future but don't rely on it because it might not come.
True, if you don't pay taxes.
Spreading out the income across tax years can make a fairly dramatic difference in the number of hours you need to work.
For a while I was trying to time my working for other people so I had one year on/one year off, and was attempting to time that I had 6 months of income to report in each tax year.
There are also more options to spread out income across tax years when you are consulting through a company that does business other than consulting (but it gets complex fast. You need a competent tax adviser if you go that route.)
I think that making money or fame have to be incidental goals to the things you care about.
* work really hard so you can cash out
* work really hard so you can build something really cool
Same method, different goals. SV attracts both types, though many people I know believe the balance has strongly shifted from the latter to the former. It certainly does seem like the discussion about post-exit has shifted from "How to found another, even better startup" (e.g. Elon Musk) to "How to retire at 23".
If your primary goal is happiness (both maximisation of, and minimisation of unhappiness), I would lay a fair bet that a start-up is one of the most unlikely to succeed, even in the long term.
For me, startups are all about having control and building something with my own two hands. Of course I want to achieve success in that, but I don't see that as an end. Getting the payout is about being able to fund whatever I want to do next (even if it's not a big money winner), and getting "famous" for me is just about meeting interesting people to work with and growing in my craft.
When I promised myself that I would never subject myself to corporate political cutthroat contentious BS ever again, this was what I was left with. It's definitely not monetarily optimal for me.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” -- Albert Einstein
The author considers "deep enduring relationships" as an intrinsic goal. People are extrinsic too. They can be fickle, move away, die etc. I think intrinsic goals would mean a heavy focus on self improvement. Like developing temperance, patience, forgiveness. Improving self awareness, delaying gratification, having empathy for others, having a desire to contribute and have an impact on society etc.
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Is there something I'm missing?
What is his message to us?
"when money becomes an end in itself, it can bring misery"..."People who rate materialistic goals like wealth as top personal priorities are significantly likelier to be more anxious, more depressed"..."the moral snares of materialism"..."it requires a deep skepticism of our own basic desires"
The majority shareholders of the companies bankrolling his institute own the lion's share of this country's stocks, bonds and other assets, and are continually at war with the workers in the company's they own so that a larger lion's share of money coming in goes to profits and not wages.
So of course in this zero-sum game, the parasitical side is going to tell the workers, the wealth creating side, that they should not be too concerned with money, that wealth isn't everything, that uneasy lay the head that wears the crown, and all this other nonsense. They used to have priests and reverends dress up these ideas with superstitious mumbo-jumbo, but nowadays more people are smart enough to see through that BS ( although he does talk about "Saint" Paul, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, the Love of God ).
This crook is so full of hubris, he wants to lecture me on how to live a better life - that being that I should ask for a smaller piece of the pie that I work to create, and perhaps instead dwell on "the strength to love others - [...] God", the thoughts of "Saint" Paul and other nonsense.
Why doesn't he tell his contributors to stop employing psychologists and Madison Avenue to try to figure out how best to create conspicuous consumption so that people will buy the commodities they're pumping out. The advertising business is one of the biggest forces out there trying to tell people life is more enjoyable if certain commodities are purchased, and he is at the center of that world. He likes quoting the bible? Try Matthew 7:
"Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Since I have seen much of the advice in this article help me live a happier life the conclusion I draw is that the author, and likely many of the CEOs running these companies are likely unhappy and un-fullfilled and that they are missing any wisdom in this piece as much as their employees may be.
#Though that is debatable. You don't have to be a conservative or a liberal to come to your own conclusion that leading a life where you try to temper your immediate desires and seek stability (see: monogamy mentioned in the article) for yourself. Political affiliation is only about what you tell others to do. But this is an opinion article where the author is explicitly promoting a specific way of life, so it might be politically motivated.
There is no argument to address. He is not someone with an AEI hat on talking about monetary policy or trade agreements or so forth, he is jabbering on about how I should live my life, what my values should be, dressed up with a lot of superstitious hokum.
"Most of us, when looking at the four noble truths, don't realize that they're all about desire. We're taught that the Buddha gave only one role to desire — as the cause of suffering. Because he says to abandon the cause of suffering, it sounds like he's denying any positive role to desire and its constructive companions: creativity, imagination, and hope. This perception, though, misses two important points. The first is that all four truths speak to the basic dynamic of desire on its own terms: perception of lack and limitation, the imagination of a solution, and a strategy for attaining it. The first truth teaches the basic lack and limitation in our lives — the clinging that constitutes suffering — while the second truth points to the types of desires that lead to clinging: desires for sensuality, becoming, and annihilation. The third truth expands our imagination to encompass the possibility that clinging can be totally overcome. The fourth truth, the path to the end of suffering, shows how to strategize so as to overcome clinging by abandoning its cause."
I find the article is too shallow. Loving people can make you really unhappy, or happy, that depends a lot on you and on the people. Sex with just 1 person can be exactly what you want, but if you are really interested in sex then 1 person might just not be enough.
So no, we don't know how to be happy. Citing statistics and applying them blindly to yourself is a sure recipe for unhappiness. Better to explore yourself and find out what makes you happy. You can then use statistics to execute.
I think the general idea that the article was trying to communicate is a good and thoughtful idea.
The ideal is to make enough money to not have to deal with people, other than a very select few.
You are probably just addicted to the internet and it has caused you to not be able learn the right social skills to enjoy the people around you so you just attach to some idea that you are some "misanthrope". It's like alcoholics that believe they just naturally depressed people when its really just the alcohol.
Like I said, I mean this in the best way possible, but you probably have an internet addiction that is stunting your social growth. You might want to try something like take 1 month and never go online. Get a flip phone and cancel your internet for a month just to find out. And if what I just said about going without a smartphone and internet at home for a month sounds impossible, then that's probably the proof you have an addiction.
That said, there are tons of people living like that. And claim to be happy with their lives. So either they are lying or your assertion that "everybody works like this" is wrong and some people just doesn't want to be around other people.
Like I said, I mean this in the best way possible, but you probably have an air addiction that is stunting your social growth. You might want to try something like take 1 month and never breathe. Stop breathing for a month just to find out. And if what I just said about going without air at home for a month sounds impossible, then that's probably the proof you have an addiction.
Most people I meet don't have the same interests as I do, and many are also very shallow that I really don't want to hang out with them.
Call me misantrophic, or just experienced ;-) The more people I get to know, the more I think "what's the point?"
Travelling didn't help at all. Yes, nots of friendly people, but also lots of aggravating tourist assholes (interestingly, I find American travelers to be very nice, but many Australian or English travelers seem to be assholes, maybe just the ones I met?). Also, too many rugged, handsome, self-absorbed, sunburnt surfer types who play the guitar, are full of themselves, and generally very opportunistic and shallow in how they deal with people. Just can't take them seriously, as they don't seem to take anybody seriously.
If you think life is about you, you are guaranteed to find it difficult and unrewarding.