How did it come to be so? Why do we feel what we feel? Why do we have the desires, likes and dislikes that we do?
The average man is too busy, lost in a world of unfulfilled fantasies to question why he has those dreams in the first place. Only after experiencing genuine heartache do we even pay lip service to these most important ideas. (Location 139)
Tags: busy, life
Biohacking - the principle that the human body is like a machine, and that if we can figure out how it works, we can improve the way it functions. Happiness is not some nebulous ether, but a biophysical state that operates on the principle of cause and effect. (Location 151)
Note: The human body is like a machine, and by understanding how it works we can improve it.
Just as our physical health will decline from the sedentary lifestyle we have adopted in the modern world, our mental health is in equal peril from this unnatural environment we find ourselves in.
Stress, depression and anxiety are the emotional equivalents of diabetes, stroke and hypertension. Hunter-gatherers do not get any of these modern diseases, mental or physical. (Location 233)
Tags: mental health, depression, stress
Note: Our sedementary life leads to stress,depression and anxiety
By learning about the environment in which our Paleolithic ancestors evolved, and how our genetics are still wired to that way of life, we can begin to organize the external conditions (the diet we need to eat, the exercise we need to do, the sunlight we need to get, and the social relationships we need to build and maintain) that will give us the best chance to flourish, both physically and mentally. (Location 287)
Tags: evolution, hunter gatherers, genetics
Note: .genetics Knowing what conditions we lived in and that shaped our evolution will help us to adapt our lives now
I. THE MEANING OF LIFE
Pain is a punishment for doing something that hinders our evolutionary fitness. (Location 370)
Tags: evolution, pain
While a negative emotion is an adaptive response to a perceived threat, positive emotions are fitness-enhancing responses to perceived opportunities. (Location 424)
According to the famed evolutionary psychologist David Buss, we evolved an emotion needed to solve the problem of commitment. How can I be certain my partner will ignore all these other suitors and stick around long enough to get pregnant and have children? How do I know she won’t just dump me the next time someone slightly more appealing rolls around? Enter romantic love, the biological drug meant to intoxicate you in the presence of another person.
When you are in love, you spend your days obsessing over the other person. Constantly intruding daydreams make work, social obligations, or just about anything else all but impossible. You idolize her, you think every little thing she does is perfection itself. It makes it hard to concentrate on paperwork. (Location 445)
For the ethical hedonist, the goal of life should be to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. (Location 477)
What gives value to anything in life is the effect it has on the quality of experience of conscious creatures. Nothing else really matters. Nothing else has intrinsic value. And since we prefer pleasurable experiences to painful ones, we might as well devote ourselves to maximizing the feelings we enjoy versus the feelings we don’t, not just in ourselves, but in the world around us. If everyone had this goal, the world would be a pretty great place to live. (Location 512)
They were peaceful and happy. He thought about using some of the more deceitful missionary tactics that had been deployed in other parts of the world where tribal people lived happily.
To get people to accept the Gospel, you first had to destroy their culture by introducing capitalism. Create a desire in them for material goods, and tribal people would go from being content with what they had to seeing themselves as poor and stranded at the bottom of the totem pole. It’s when people suffer that they are most open to being saved. (Location 973)
Note: People are most open to being saved when they are suffering
A devil doesn’t need to make alliances, build community morale, or care for others. Its emotional needs are to hunt, fight and copulate, three reasons these marsupials are so notoriously irascible. Without any need for the help of others to survive past infancy, a devil has little use for empathy, compassion, joy or love. (Location 1046)
The hunter-gatherer lifestyle, in the past or today, is not utopian. But it is their happiness in spite of all the dangers they face that is most remarkable. If they lived in a utopian paradise, their serenity could easily be explained. Instead, HG’s are a testament to how naturally strong and resilient human beings are supposed to be. (Location 1105)
Tags: hunter gatherers, resiliance
Note: Hunter gatherers were happy despite the conditions
III. THE WHY OF HAPPINESS
The problem for people living in developed societies is that we have traded in the acute stressors of ancestral times for the chronic stress of modernity, and our bodies are not designed to deal with chronic stress. (Location 1159)
Tags: modern society, stress
Note: .stress hg stress was infrequent and short lived. The modern world has sustained stress
Studies of modern people show that interpersonal relationships are the single most important behavioral factor influencing well-being. (Location 1213)
Tags: happiness, relationship
Note: .relationship .happiness
The rise of infectious diseases was another unexpected consequence of the development of agriculture. The incidence of malaria, perhaps the deadliest killer of all time, rose significantly after the agrarian revolution in Africa. Mosquitoes, the carriers of the parasitic protozoan that causes malaria, found more bodies to infect in the increasingly dense and populated cultures that sprang up when people abandoned their nomadic ways to settle down and grow their food.
To compound the problem, early agrarian cultures built or lived near numerous small water sources, the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. (Location 1330)
Tags: disease, agricultural revolution
Note: .desease diseases spread easier when humans settled and left the nomadic lifestyle
Obesity-related illnesses kill over 8,000 people every single day. (Location 1428)