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Computer Model: Long Term Thinking Lead to Greater Happiness
Old 05-07-2016, 12:52 PM   #1
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Computer Model: Long Term Thinking Lead to Greater Happiness

Long term thinking is a common topic here, and often what it takes for many of us be financially secure, but a recent study shows it leads to being happier as well:

" "Being present" is great, but to increase your chances of surviving and being happy for a sustained period of time, new research finds it's important to take the longview.

Cornell researchers used a computer model that simulates evolution to see how groups that focus on short-term happiness and instant gratification do over the long haul, compared to simulated actors who had more of a positive outlook and attached more value to longer-term happiness. The group that had a broader perspective was more successful, even in times when food was scarce. The short-term focused group died off."

Source:
Forget 'Living in the Moment.' Research Finds Real Key to Happiness | Inc.com
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:37 PM   #2
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I guess I'm lucky in my choice of my life partner (or more appropriately, I'm lucky that my life partner chose me ) because DW and I balance each other out.

My brain is wired to be a long-term planner and I can't help but look towards the future and think of likely consequences of decisions and branches and sequels to those decisions. I find it very hard to live in the moment.

DW on the other hand perpetually lives in the moment and seizes the joy of living out of everything. She rarely worries about the future (my lane) and she naturally has the gift of "being present."

I think the combination is good because without her I would be focused on the destination with little awareness of the journey, and without me, DW would enjoy the journey with little awareness of how the journey might end. Together, we have a balance that has given us almost 25 years of happiness.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:28 AM   #3
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I think being present and short vs long term planning are very different things.

Being present means taking in what is happening right now and trying to enjoy it for what it is... which to me is very different than seeking out immediate gratification (I.e. eating all the cookies now because that's what I want...and then getting fat).

The example above is great. You plan out your trip... know where you are going... plan for emergencies, accidents problems, etc.

Then when you start going you try to enjoy each step of the way. When things go right and things go wrong you try to experience them fully. That's kind of how I interpret being present.

Of course nothing wrong with just jumping in the car and going where the road leads but you can do that and STILL not be present in the moment

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Old 05-08-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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The paper is here:
PLOS ONE: Between Pleasure and Contentment: Evolutionary Dynamics of Some Possible Parameters of Happiness
It seems to me this is just fun with computer models, similar to the ecological models we used to make ages ago. We could always get them to give the results we wanted, but they were completely meaningless.

Can anyone tell me why we should take this seriously?
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChainsBeGone View Post

I think the combination is good because without her I would be focused on the destination with little awareness of the journey, and without me, DW would enjoy the journey with little awareness of how the journey might end. Together, we have a balance that has given us almost 25 years of happiness.
+1 Well said
Now 58 years for us.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
The paper is here:
PLOS ONE: Between Pleasure and Contentment: Evolutionary Dynamics of Some Possible Parameters of Happiness
It seems to me this is just fun with computer models, similar to the ecological models we used to make ages ago. We could always get them to give the results we wanted, but they were completely meaningless.

Can anyone tell me why we should take this seriously?
I enjoyed it because it validated my pre-existing beliefs.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:05 PM   #7
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I have always thought long term. I was tracking my progress to RE since my 20's. For vacation trips, I often plan over a year out. For lodging in national parks, the space often fills up nearly a year out. Same for highly desirable frequent flyer seats, like to Hawaii.
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Old 05-16-2016, 03:53 PM   #8
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Was looking for a place to drop this off. A long term surmise that is outside the norm. An interview with Steve Keen... whom I would guess would be called a contrarian.
While this come across as a negative, I find it to be a theory to consider if not to accept. Hard to predict what might be on the other side of the fence, if you don't look.
Interview from last December. At the very least, it should be noted that Keen was one of the few economists who correctly predicted the 2008 financial crisis.
It posits a view of margin economics.
No solutions presented, so no recommendations. Simply one piece of the economic structure, that can be tracked to see the possibles of the future.
About a half hour...

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Old 05-17-2016, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
The paper is here:
PLOS ONE: Between Pleasure and Contentment: Evolutionary Dynamics of Some Possible Parameters of Happiness
It seems to me this is just fun with computer models, similar to the ecological models we used to make ages ago. We could always get them to give the results we wanted, but they were completely meaningless.

Can anyone tell me why we should take this seriously?
+1
It is Inc. magazine, after all, so take it for what it's worth. Note the use of the word "Possible" in the title. In journalism, they're known as "qualifiers" (or hedging) and you see these types of headlines, click bait and other GIGO in much of mainstream business media. (e.g., "Stocks Could Be Headed for a Fall")

Additionally, this book changed everything I've ever thought regarding new "studies" whenever they're published:

Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us--and how to know when not to trust them *Scientists, finance wizards, doctors, relationship gurus, celebrity CEOs, ... consultants, health officials and more: David H. Freedman: 9780316023788: Amazon.com: Books

Quote:
Our investments are devastated, obesity is epidemic, test scores are in decline, blue-chip companies circle the drain, and popular medications turn out to be ineffective and even dangerous. What happened? Didn't we listen to the scientists, economists and other experts who promised us that if we followed their advice all would be well?

Actually, those experts are a big reason we're in this mess. And, according to acclaimed business and science writer David H. Freedman, such expert counsel usually turns out to be wrong--often wildly so. Wrong reveals the dangerously distorted ways experts come up with their advice, and why the most heavily flawed conclusions end up getting the most attention-all the more so in the online era.
Emphasis added
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Options View Post
+1
It is Inc. magazine, after all, so take it for what it's worth.
That sounds like an interesting book. I may check that out of the library, but FYI according to the Amazon site the author is an editor at Inc.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
The paper is here:
PLOS ONE: Between Pleasure and Contentment: Evolutionary Dynamics of Some Possible Parameters of Happiness
It seems to me this is just fun with computer models, similar to the ecological models we used to make ages ago. We could always get them to give the results we wanted, but they were completely meaningless.

Can anyone tell me why we should take this seriously?
+1. Nevertheless it does fit my worldview.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
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This is the most valuable advice in the Inc. post:

Quote:
"Instead of relying blindly on advice from self-help authors about how to be happy, get to know yourself - what your brain/mind is like, how it works and how it interacts with the world - and you'll be in a better position to decide for yourself." Edelman said.
Here's my experience. Like most here (I'd wager), I was future focused before ER. It's what made ER possible. After ER, I shifted to a focus on the present. A future focus tends to go hand in hand with worry, so it was nice to let that go. Now when I plan, I don't get upset if things go differently. I also have a much more positive outlook.
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