Dan Gilbert suggests that humans are unique because we have the ability to imagine, to predict and plan for the future thanks to our highly evolved brain. But the tool is flawed as the brain often jumps to conclusion and constructs unreliable memories by default. (Did I lock my car? I'm not sure. I think I did.)
By applying similar logic, Dan explains further how our perception of happiness is no different. We often don't want the things that make us happy - and the things that we want (more money, bigger house, fancier car, admiration from friends) never do make us happy.
We even "mispredict" how things that we have already experienced will feel when they happen again. The classic example here is childbirth, which women seem to misremember as not being all that bad. We "expect the next car, the next house or the next promotion to make us happy even though the last ones didn't and even though others keep telling us that the next ones won't."
In short, imagination (or projecting ourselves into the future) is the key to our happiness, yet the problem is that we are incapable to imagine correctly.
Despite being published two years ago, it was my best read of the year. If you enjoy the likes of freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell, give this book a go.
Ok, it's not entirely the nation's fault but what the hell is Microsoft and BK Japan thinking? How does this appeal to ANY target market? How would this ignite positive brand awareness on Windows 7, when they should've spent the money on spastic cross-promotions to fix this:
On an interesting note, at one stage the anchorwoman asked: "That's not the Chinese version, is it?" Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Nasty.
Did I buy this bag of Heinz peas purely because it has a minimal design with a nice font and semi witty uplifting copy? Yes I did. So suck this Today Tonight and A Current Affair, I don't care if the peas are made in Australia. The packaging is photoshop-free and I can see the actual peas.
The only reason I agreed to watch this movie is that I liked the poster design. The starting plot made my eyes roll: Sam Bell is an astronaut on the moon harvesting helium-3 energy capsule. His only friend is a talking computer(voiced by Kevin Spacey), his three year contract with Lunar Enterprise is ending in 2 weeks and he is starting to hallucinate. All so cliché plot line, I know, but the movie turned out to be surprisingly intelligent. I won't say original, but it kept me intrigued. There was a point when the projector got split screened, and tohm and I were just wondering if it was intended to be part of the experience. After this movie and Choke, I really like Sam Rockwell. Oh and he also did Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, didn't he?
You know, I gave my benefit of the doubt when spam hit facebook, I really did. I harnessed confidence for the team to fix it, for everyone else to be appreciative enough to tighten their security settings.
Some 3rd degree friend stalked and tried picking up my friend with awe-inspiring broken English, but I decided not to blame the game, I blamed the players.
Yet it was when I received an invitation to change the colour of my facebook page yesterday, to personalized my page, to 'design my own true self', that I realized facebook is now a cross dresser between myspace and friendster.
I get it. I do. With success comes money, with money comes a widened target market, and a broad target market means open source developing and that means anyone can hop on to this monster truck and we are all very familiar with people that would pay to watch 'Outback Thunda vs. The Undertrucker'.
I'm always skeptical when it comes to giving the power of design to the open public. I'm not saying there should be tyranny in design, but surely there has to be guide. If we can't judge subjectively on what's good, at least let us be objective on what's really shit?
Thanks to House and Vignelli, I lean towards the notion of comparing design to treating diseases. Bad design happens when clients read on the internet, they seek double second opinions, they treat doctors like shit, they want to have their own say even though they're the patient. And when the clean sophisticated social network gets polluted with spam, virus, open source ding bat, pink flower wallpapers, they panic and ask for help. That's when the options are limited to a) pull the plug b) not pull the plug.
You know that opening with the blast with the climatic soundtrack 'Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh DAH! Duh duh DAH!' I had one of those yesterday. I arrived at my friend's apartment lot for a moon cake festival dinner, but failed to remember the apartment number. I called my friend, who wasn't picking up so I guessed he left his phone somewhere inaudible. (Because why would you avoid someone you invited?) My bet was either 1804 or 1408. I rang both apartment, and no response from either. I called our common friends. Not one remembered the number. Some had never even been to the place. I then saw someone coming out, hence I managed to creep in, planning to try both 14th and 18th floor. Alas, it was one of those apartments which the elevators won't work unless you get buzzed in. So I was there, sweating profusely. It's been 20 minutes since I arrived and the lady who was waiting for her boyfriend at the foyer was giving me sympathy stare. Nothing was working except for the unusually strong 3G connection appearing on my phone. And then I had a stroke, of genius. I logged on to Facebook and accessed my friend's brother's info( I'm still baffled now why I went straight to the brother but not my friend himself). And sure enough, I found the address and managed to buzz the right apartment and had a non eventful steamboat dinner.
That was probably the brightest moment of the year for me. (The correct number was 1604)
A short film by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was part of the Chacun son cinéma, a commissioned anthology to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, where 36 directors each made a 3 minute short film. For some reason, the Coen brothers' didn't make it on DVD and is only available on YouTube.