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'[OT] Economics of Happiness'
2010\05\24@154723 by Vitaliy

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I am not a fan of Bernanke, and disagree with him on most things, but found
this speech that he delivered at the University of South Carolina
Commencement Ceremony worth reading:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bernanke20100508a.htm

This snippet echoes what many have said in regards to the recent "Job
satisfaction" thread:

"Another factor in happiness, perhaps less obvious, is based on the concept
of "flow."12 When you are working, studying, or pursuing a hobby, do you
sometimes become so engrossed in what you are doing that you totally lose
track of time? That feeling is called flow. If you never have that feeling,
you should find some new activities--whether work or hobbies."

He also told this cute anecdote:

"I am reminded of a story about Abraham Lincoln. According to the story,
Lincoln was riding with a friend in a carriage on a rainy evening. As they
rode, Lincoln told the friend that he believed in what economists would call
the utility-maximizing theory of behavior, that people always act so as to
maximize their own happiness, and for no other reason. Just then, the
carriage crossed a bridge, and Lincoln saw a pig stuck in the muddy
riverbank. Telling the carriage driver to stop, Lincoln struggled through
the rain and mud, picked up the pig, and carried it to safety. When the
muddy Lincoln returned to the carriage, his friend naturally pointed out
that he had just disproved his own hypothesis by putting himself to great
trouble and discomfort to save a pig. "Not at all," said Lincoln. "What I
did is perfectly consistent with my theory. If I hadn't saved that pig, I
would have felt terrible." "

2010\05\24@161516 by John Gardner

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Aw shucks - I thought the punch line was gonna involve BBQ ...

Very good.

Jack

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