Why our individualistic culture makes us less happy

(Vox)

A new book entitled The Happiness Fantasy by Carl Cederström, a business professor at Stockholm University, traces our current conception of happiness to its roots in modern psychiatry and the so-called Beat generation of the ‘50s and ‘60s. He argues that the values of the countercultural movement — liberation, freedom, and authenticity — were co-opted by corporations and advertisers, who used them to perpetuate a culture of consumption and production. And that hyper-individualistic culture actually makes us much less happy than we could be.

This has long been an apt criticism of the Human Potential Movement. But I would add it was not the intent of its founders who were interested​ in​ social reform.

Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul

(New York Times)
BIG SUR, Calif. — Silicon Valley, facing a crisis of the soul, has found a retreat center.

It has been a hard year for the tech industry. Prominent figures like Sean Parker and Justin Rosenstein, horrified by what technology has become, have begun to publicly denounce companies like Facebook that made them rich.

And so Silicon Valley has come to the Esalen Institute, a storied hippie hotel here on the Pacific coast south of Carmel, Calif. After storm damage in the spring and a skeleton crew in the summer, the institute was fully reopened in October with a new director and a new mission: It will be a home for technologists to reckon with what they have built.

 

Yes, Studying the Humanities Might Make You a Better Person

Slate
Researchers found that the higher the humanities exposure, the higher these students scored on measures of empathy, wisdom, tolerance of ambiguity, resourcefulness, and emotional intelligence, and the lower they scored in signs of burnout.

From personal experience, the people most in need of greater “empathy, wisdom, tolerance of ambiguity, resourcefulness, and emotional intelligence” are the last to ever think they are deficient in any way.  Additionally, they are also usually void of any interest in any aspect of the humanities.

 

 

 

Yale’s Psychology and the Good Life offered for free online

(New York Times)
NEW HAVEN — On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, Psychology and the Good Life, roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled.

The course, taught by Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and the head of one of Yale’s residential colleges, tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures.

“Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos said in an interview. “With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.”

BUT WAIT!! THERE”S MORE!!! What would you pay for a course of this quality?  500 Dollars!  1000 Dollars! 10,000 Dollars!  Well you can have this course for FREE!

Coursera’s rolling enrollment is here

Course Description:
“The Science of Well-Being” taught by Professor Laurie Santos overviews what psychological science says about happiness. The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice. The first part of the course reveals misconceptions we have about happiness and the annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do. The next part of the course focuses on activities that have been proven to increase happiness along with strategies to build better habits. The last part of the course gives learners time, tips, and social support to work on the final assignment which asks learners to apply one wellness activity aka “
Rewirement” into their lives for four weeks.