[2017-11-15] Fascinating

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Expand view Topic review: [2017-11-15] Fascinating

Re: [2017-11-15] Fascinating

Post by Tony » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:07 pm

Thanks for bringing up Harari's excellent Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (if anyone out there hasn't yet acquired Sapiens and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, please do so now). I was referring specifically to the perception that life in another era would be more fulfilling since the present is, as Gil Pender finally observed, "a little unsatisfying, because life's a little unsatisfying."

Re: [2017-11-15] Fascinating

Post by GollyRojer » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:36 pm

Yuval Harari's Sapiens discusses this at length in the chapter, "And They All Lived Happily Ever After":

"...happiness does not really depend on objective conditions of either wealth, health or even community. Rather, it depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations. If you want a bullock-cart and get a bullock-cart, you are content. If you want a brand-new Ferrari and get only a second-hand Fiat you feel deprived. ...Prophets, poets and philosophers realised thousands of years ago that being satisfied with what you already have is far more important than getting more of what you want."

[2017-11-15] Fascinating

Post by Tony » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:12 pm


The character Gil Pender (played by Owen Wilson) in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris made the observation that there are people in every era who romanticize other eras. Gil romanticized Hemingway's and the Fitzgeralds' Paris of the 1920s, only to find that they romanticized La Belle Époque, and that artists of that period romanticized the Renaissance. Gil finally realizes that total satisfaction has never characterized the human experience, and decides to return to the present and participate fully in it.

Fun fact: Did you know that the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas? If it had been anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush.