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What stole happiness away from Chinese people?

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What stole happiness away from Chinese people?

Postby momopi » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:09 pm

http://www.chinahush.com/2010/09/13/wha ... se-people/

Original article (in Chinese) posted at:
http://g.tugus.com/bbs_content:88319


What stole happiness away from Chinese people?
September 13th, 2010 by Key | Posted in Opinion | 8 Comments »

(From Tugus) Chinese people, why are you unhappy? What stole happiness away from Chinese people? Author Hei Jian visited 40 countries to seek happiness.

A few years ago, University of Leicester social psychologist White visited over 80,000 people from 178 countries and regions and drew the world’s first “World Map of Happinessâ€￾. Surprisingly, the top county was Denmark. Denmark is a country of ice and snow, the southernmost latitude is still north of Heilongjiang Province of China (China’s northernmost province). And Denmark is also a high-tax country with 50%-70% of income tax. So why are Danish people so much happier than people of other countries and regions?

He believes that in Denmark, although with a high rate of taxes, the Danish government is able to use the taxes on the people. The government is responsible for all citizens’ health care and education, and cares for children and the elderly in every possible way. It is ranked first in the world for average money spent per person. Therefore in Denmark, a person who picks up trash for living can be neighbor of people of middle class, and can live equally and proudly. Jan Dion picks up trash for living, he said he does not mind his way of life, because he only needs to work 5 hours a day and spends the rest of time with his family. No one judges his job. He enjoys life because he has many friends. Whenever his children wave at him or his wife hands over a cup of hot coffee, he feels extremely happy.

When we talk about Singapore, the first thought is that this country has strict and harsh laws. Singapore has very detailed legal provisions. Chewing gum or having long hair may be penalized. If you have committed a felony, you may also be tied up and whipped by bamboo whips. But unexpectedly, Singapore is actually the happiest place in Asia. The survey also showed that people living in the slums of Calcutta, India are happier than residents of California. Californians may have more food and better shelters, but the homeless in India have each other.

In Denmark, happiness comes from equality; in Singapore, happiness comes from the rule of law; in the slums of Calcutta, India, happiness comes from the hearts of people that depends on each other.

It is not difficult to see, whether a person is happy or not, largely depends on two aspects. One is external, that is the social environment we live in; the other is internal, that is our personal attitude to life. Today, we (Chinese people) are not happy, also can be analyzed in several aspects.

1. Lack of faith (beliefs)

Most people do not know what the expectations are in one’s whole life, simply put it, you do not know what you want. Confucius ate coarse rice, drank water, didn’t even have pillows when sleeping and used his arms as pillows, but Confucius said, “Happiness is withinâ€￾; He said, “A basket of cooked rice, a ladle of water, living in the ghetto alleyâ€￾, others might think this is an unbearable life, but Confucius was able to “keep his happinessâ€￾. Why? Because he knew what he is pursuing in this life.

2. Always comparing

Western saying goes, Whether a person is fortunate or not, happy or not, does not depend on how big of accomplishment he/she has achieved, but from the way how the neighbors look at them. When what we are pursuing is not happiness, but to be happier than others, then happiness will be even further away from us.

3. Living in happiness without realizing it

If a light has been constantly lit, you will not pay attention to it, but if it is brighter and darker at times, or if it is on and off at times, you will notice. Similarly, sometimes we are envied by others, but we hardly notice it. Only if one day we loss that, then we will realize.

4. Not moved by beautiful things

“The spring wind is so selfless, not asking for anything in return but blossomed millions of flowers.â€￾ We may not have the ability to create beauty, but have we been appreciating the beauty of nature, or the beautiful things created by others? We often ignore and unaware of the natural beauty, artistic beauty, spiritual beauty and many beautiful things in life around us.

5. Do not know how to give

Zhang Shangying from Song dynasty said, “Nothing is happier than being happy of doing good deedsâ€￾, only a person who knows how to give rather than just take can be truly happy. Charity is not a privilege of the rich. Donating millions to disaster relief is charity, give a stranger a smile is also charity.

6. Not being content

How much does a person need to be satisfied? Never enough!

When you are not happy because you don’t have shoes, have you noticed those who do not have feet? Contentment brings happiness.

Harold Albert is the academic director of the University of California. Once he walked on the street full of dissatisfaction and confusion because he had already lost his job and was looking for new work. He walked in the road like a depressed person, completely lost confidence and courage.

Just then, a man with no legs came, sitting on a small wooden platform which was attached with wheels from old skates. He carried 2 pieces of wood and wheeled himself across the street.

When Harold saw him, he had just crossed the street, trying to raise himself a few inches to get on the pavement. Harold’s eyes met his, the disabled man said happily, “Good morning! Sr. Nice morning weather, is not it?â€￾ At the time Harold felt a strange sense of satisfaction. He thought, I have 2 legs, he has no legs, but he is so happy, what reason do I have to be upset? So Harold became more confident, and went on happily.

7. Anxiety is everywhere

Anxiety of safety, wealth, health and anxiety of children’s education and employment… Only a person who is carefree can be happy.

8. Too much pressure/stress

Political pressure, pressure from work, family, emotional stress, financial stress, interpersonal pressure, psychological pressure and physical pressure

9. Standards are too high

Using person’s own standard to demand others “If I can, why can’t you?â€￾

Using other’s standard to demand oneself, “If he can, why can’t I?â€￾

10. Not being oneself

A person who becomes a good son, a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good partner… but if a person cannot become someone that himself/herself desires, always fighting with oneself, then this person has no balance, and naturally, it is difficult for him/her to be truly happy.

Tags: Confucius, Happiness, Happy, Philosophy

This entry was posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010 at 3:53 am and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Last edited by momopi on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby momopi » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:17 pm

http://g.tugus.com/bbs_content:88566

社会学家与社会主义

九月

布迪厄说社会学总在“找麻烦â€￾,把隐藏在华丽表面之下的不怎么“体面â€￾的东西给揭露出来,因而和当权者之间的关系就不容易处好。这个批判在西方通常指向比较明确,就是无孔不入地控制着人的资本主义,所以有政治倾向的社会学家往往会同情社会主义(加上定语是因为西方有大批没有政治倾向的社会学家)。可是在东方呢?社会学家和社会主义之间的关系似乎也不怎么甜蜜。(心里小声说,我们真是一群四处都不讨好的人。)苏联和东欧应该是一个很好的研究范本,虽然据我所知那些地方在解体之前基本上也没有给社会学留太多活路。我对那里的社会学家是怎样的存在,了解并不多。不过前些日子看到Piotr Sztompka的自传体文章,心想这个用来研究社会学家和社会主义运动之间的关系倒是挺好的。

我们国家在上世纪五十年代高校院系调整的时候把全国大大小小二十多个社会学系都给撤了,虽然据说费孝通曾经当面向毛谏言,苦苦哀求他给社会学留点种子,不过当时那么大的一场教育改组运动,区区一个社会学能算得了什么,我也不是很清楚当时做决定的人怎么想的,或者他们根本就没有把社会学该不该留下当成一个需要考虑的问题,反正社会学在将近三十年的时间里在中国就算断子绝孙了。

似乎又在应证社会学家和当权者之间不会有好关系,但是仔细想想这个说法,会发现实在是简化得太厉害。什么样的社会学?什么样的当权者?今天无意中翻到费孝通当年写的两篇文章,最好玩的要数发表在《文汇报》上的《关于社会学,说几句话》。看看明天是不是有空,给贴上来。如果社会学真像布迪厄或者其他很多社会学家所期望的那样就是批判资本主义的话,一个社会主义的政权就起码应该在表面上拥护它,然而实际上并没有。什么原因呢?因为它是资本主义社会里的学问,上层建筑的一部分,所作所为无非是为了维护资本主义体系的运行。那个时候的费孝通先是大体上承认了这一点,然后分别分析了法国和美国的社会学发展,他认为法国的社会学不科学,空想社会主义;美国的社会学就是社工,为了避免资本主义矛盾激化而发展起来的学科,修正主义。但尽管如此,社会学在美国仍然是个边缘的学科,不如经济学政治学和法学来得堂皇,因为后者那些都是意识形态的重要组成部分,而前者只是应对麻烦的权宜之计,社工的活计不过是资本主义的仆人做的事情罢了。另一方面,虽然社会学不是最革命的,但是它批判资本主义还是很给力的,正因为它批判,所以会边缘;正因为它边缘,它就把马克思主义这样的宝贝给夹带出来了。所以它虽然是资本主义社会的学科,但对于社会主义还是有用的。

我觉得以当时的情况来看,这辩解做得还真算不错了。我到美国以后有时候会跟我的同学聊起来那段历史,当我说到当权者因为社会学是资本主义社会的学问就把它撤销的事情,他们都纷纷表示不能理解——怎么会啊,明明一直在批判资本主义的嘛!你看,他们这样的态度放到当时说不定就得遭殃,只会喊冤哪成啊。

布迪厄认为现在有很多研究社会科学的人其实都是在做政府和商业机构的技术工作人员,他们做调查研究是为了更好地给政府决策提出指导性意见,而同时当权者也需要科学的研究来为自己出台政策的合理性提供证明,布迪厄认为在这方面政治科学尤甚。但其实很多社会学家,尤其是研究人口的社会学家,做的事情也是差不多的。那么社会学到底是在批判资本主义,还是在修正资本主义,或者是通过批判资本主义从而达到修正资本主义的目的?我觉得很难说。有意思的是费孝通在79年的时候写的另一篇叫作《再为社会学说几句话》的文章,就全然变了个调调。他对社会学对资本主义的批判精神只字不提,倒转而说起社会学的各种应用性研究,比如人口啊婚姻啊育儿啊,等等。说不管什么社会总是会有矛盾和问题的,实事求是,没有调查没有发言权,马克思主义理论,科学地研究和解决问题,为社会主义事业的发展做贡献。

后来中国的社会学就真的恢复了,而且它的底,大概就是一个“政策社会学â€￾的底。社会学能回来,我觉得还是因为为政者开始认同,有些问题是需要从技术层面来解决的,维护资本主义体系运行的技术也许也可以拿来维护社会主义体系的运行。其实这和主义没什么关系,只要是个社会就会有矛盾,有矛盾就需要来解决,解决问题从来都离不开技术手段,要上技术手段就必须先把问题分离出来当成一个“客观â€￾的东西来看。一旦想到这一层,社会学就必须回来了。

没什么再比费孝通的这两篇文章能够更好地说明社会学两边折腾的性质,既是解决问题的手段(通常被认为没有经济学、管理学、心理学、政治科学来得好用),又是对于目的的反思和批判(通常被认为没有人文学科传统深厚)。只是最近还是想不清楚批判的问题。西方学者批判资本主义成习惯了,所以即使位置边缘也安之若素,甚至自得其乐,因为那就是他们应该在的地方。没解体的苏联要批判的是极权政治,这点好像也很清楚。那当今中国的社会学家应该把批判的矛头指向谁呢?有很多人说,应该指向资本主义&极权政治,因为当今中国似乎正在集这两大罪恶于一身且登峰造极。我承认在很多时候这说法听起来确实有吸引力,只是,“集两大罪恶于一身且登峰造极â€￾,有人能明确告诉我这是个啥吗?

我不明白在一个严重缺乏共识的社会里做一些“你们现在相信的常识全都是假的â€￾这样的工作意义何在。我甚至都不知道大家现在究竟在相信点啥。西方的社会学家反思科学,反思民主,中国人又不爱科学,不爱民主。我们干什么呢?回乡种地算了。所以看到下面布迪厄和别人之间的问答,心有戚戚焉。他似乎并不害怕把人家弄得不高兴。而我却常常做些相反的事情,告诉那些自以为弄明白了真相并因此闷闷不乐的人,事情其实并没有你们想象的那样糟糕——啊起码,没你们想象的那样简单。我说我想写点东西,给人以希望感和行动力,我是认真的。

布迪厄说社会学就是关于“戳穿â€￾的学问,唯有这样才能让一切形式的prophetic discourse都变得困难。我理解他的说法,很大程度上也在践行这一点。只是我常觉得西方学院里的知识分子会简化这“戳穿â€￾的学问,并且低估它在技术上的复杂性。Patrick算得三天两头去田野的知识分子了,说起所谓的“国际公民社会â€￾和“国际人权组织â€￾仍然是一脸陶醉,好像凭这些人就能实现他的那个哈贝马斯的伟大理想。我有时候只能自我安慰地说,既然我要“戳穿â€￾的东西有那么多人都不理解,那恐怕就说明我真的是在做“戳穿â€￾的活计——隐藏得比较深?

Question: From the stand point of science, I can see very clearly what you are doing. But the result is that you devalued people’s “lived experienceâ€￾. In the name of science, you are liable to take away people’s reasons for living. What gives you the right (if I can put it in that way) to deprive them of their illusions?

Answer: I too sometimes wonder if the completely transparent and disenchanted social universe that would be produced by a social science (and widely diffused, if that could ever be the case) would not be possible to live in. I think, all the same, that social relations would be much less unhappy if people at least understood the mechanisms that lead them to contribute to their deprivation. But perhaps the only function of sociology is to reveal, as much by its visible lacuna as through its achievements, the limits of knowledge of the social world and so to make difficult for all forms of prophetic discourse, starting, of course, with the propheticism that claims to be scientific.
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Postby globetrotter » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:32 pm

I see happy people every minute of every day.
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Postby globetrotter » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:40 pm

momopi wrote:Question: From the stand point of science, I can see very clearly what you are doing. But the result is that you devalued people’s “lived experienceâ€￾. In the name of science, you are liable to take away people’s reasons for living. What gives you the right (if I can put it in that way) to deprive them of their illusions?

Answer: I too sometimes wonder if the completely transparent and disenchanted social universe that would be produced by a social science (and widely diffused, if that could ever be the case) would not be possible to live in. I think, all the same, that social relations would be much less unhappy if people at least understood the mechanisms that lead them to contribute to their deprivation. But perhaps the only function of sociology is to reveal, as much by its visible lacuna as through its achievements, the limits of knowledge of the social world and so to make difficult for all forms of prophetic discourse, starting, of course, with the propheticism that claims to be scientific.


Most people are stupid and they have finite brain resources. There is only so much time, money and brain power available to teach people subjects. This is why, for example, there must be one major L2 language for international business. People have lives and most cannot or will not learn 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 languages. They have other things to do.
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Postby momopi » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:51 pm

globetrotter wrote:I see happy people every minute of every day.


People who write articles like that on Chinese BBS are probably unhappy people to begin with. If they were happy and out having fun, they wouldn't be holed up at home (or net cafe) in front of a computer.
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Postby Marcus Aurelius » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:36 pm

That is a good article. As someone who studies the ascetics, monastics, world religions and philosophy, I think much of the reason why people are not happy is because they live life at such a hurried pace, as though shot from a cannon. In simplest terms, stopping to smell the roses really applies here....because we never stop. Industrialized nations are very guilty of this. Working people to death in banal jobs with a week of vacation or so. The Chinese are definetly guilty of this, as if we want to make people mindless worker drones and provide technology and false material comforts and call this 'happiness.'
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Postby Winston » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:39 pm

I can't speak for China, but the Chinese people I see everywhere else, especially in Taiwan, are VERY miserable deep down, even into their subconscious. It's in their vibe, voice, face, subconscious behavior, attitude, etc. It could not be more obvious.

I am surprised that Momopi would post this since I thought he was very pro-Chinese.

Ladislav noticed the same about the Japanese after being around them for a few years. Then you notice what they are really like deep down. It's not something you're supposed to talk about though, but it's true.

The Travel Channel and mainstream travel guides teach you to only say positive things about every culture, and that everyone is wonderful and friendly everywhere. So, that's the reality that is programmed into common people, and as we all know, our beliefs edit the reality we perceive. So most people only see what their beliefs tell them is there, not what's really there.

The misery is not just general unhappiness. It's in the subconscious behavior as well. For example, whenever I tell my parents a piece of good news, their first reaction is to try to downplay it or put a pessimistic spin or warn you not to get your hopes up.

People like that are party poopers. But that's very common among the Chinese. It's in their nature to bring you down and KEEP you down, especially if you are Asian. If you are white, they wear the fake mask around you longer. But if you are Asian, their true nature comes out.

They constantly keep you in FEAR, GUILT, REPRESSION, etc. and constantly CONTRACT you rather than EXPAND you. When I argue with Chinese, I am constantly trying to expand their minds, and they are trying to contract mine. I notice this struggle all the time.

This is why I am so Anti-Asian, cause I experience what they do to each other, even if they don't realize it.

Everything I've read from David Icke applies to Chinese people to the extreme, even more than to Anglos. They are totally fear based, guilt based, and locked in left brain consciousness of the five sense body computer, as Icke would say.

They are also completely dehumanized. If they never see you again, they never feel any emotion or longing. It's like they are robots without passion.

But again, all this is taboo to say and we are programmed with beliefs that EDIT our reality, and keep us politically correct. It makes me sick that there is psychological pressure against me to not tell the truth. That causes a backlash in me that wants to explode with the truth.
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Postby globetrotter » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:59 pm

"If you are white, they wear the fake mask around you longer. But if you are Asian, their true nature comes out."

I see mothers and fathers playing with their children, kids smiling riding on the back of a bike as dad drives through traffic and the kids talks into Dad's ear, grandparents playing with children. This is not a show for my benefit. I stand in the shadows and watch. And high school kids are a joy to be around. Young people in general...

Chinese people in rural areas are quite capable of smiling, laughing and being happy. You should see the sidewalk chess games. 30 old guys gather around and talk and murmur and laugh. A hoot.
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Postby momopi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Unhappy people look for unhappiness to point their fingers at. Even if they change their situation, they're still bitter about their past experiences.

Ancient philosophers such as Confucius and Epicurus taught people how to be content and happy. They were the "self help" books of their time. Their teachings became popular because there was a market demand for it, and the market demand existed because there were many unhappy people looking for self-help books 2,300 years ago.


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... 046&live=1

September 6, 2010

Last year, a book called China Is Unhappy topped the best-seller lists in the Middle Kingdom. It was a nationalistic screed arguing that China should stop debasing itself and stand up to its critics. But is China really unhappy? And how can it become happier?

That's a question that a number of psychologists — as well as an entire Chinese town — are struggling to answer.

Survey results on happiness in China seem to be entirely contradictory. The most recent Pew Global Attitudes survey found that 87 percent of Chinese people surveyed were satisfied with the way things were going in their country, making it the most satisfied country by far out of all they surveyed.

But a European Union survey ranked China 128th out of 150 countries in terms of happiness. And one recent survey of 50,000 college students showed a surprising level of gloom.

Kai-Ping Peng of the University of California, Berkeley, worked on the survey of college students.

"Sixty percent of people are not very happy about life, and sources of unhappiness include mistrust in government," he says.

Inequality and environmental issues were other major sources of unhappiness, as well as the lack of channels for expressing dissatisfaction, Peng says. These are object lessons in how quickly psychology in China tips over into the delicate topics of governance and dissent.

"This society emphasizes stability. This society emphasizes too much harmony, so the way they do that is by heavy-handed control — they try to put everything down and sweep it under the rug without solving problems. People in China need channels to openly express dissatisfaction," Peng says.

Among the things that Jiangyin officials believe make for a happier population are health care and employment. Here, residents at the Jiangyin Sunset Retirement Village play table tennis.

In Search Of Key(s) To Happiness

In recent months, China has seen a shocking outlet to that dissatisfaction: a series of six stabbings in schools this year, leaving 20 people — mostly children — dead and more than 80 injured. While this is clearly a mental health issue, the Chinese press is also labeling it "social terrorism."

Zhang Jianxin, the deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Psychology, outlines the profile of a social terrorist.

"It's someone who can't resolve their problems, who receives no sympathy or help from society, and who might start thinking of revenge. And the simplest way of taking revenge on society is to target the weakest members of society: children," Zhang says.

At China's first conference on positive psychology, held at Beijing's Tsinghua University in August, psychologists tried to address the problem of how to lessen that social and political alienation, and build a happier China.

One answer is that in China, it appears that money can buy happiness. According to research, for those Chinese earning less than $450 a month, every extra cent increases their happiness.


Beyond that, it becomes more complex. Psychologists say the foundations for happiness include political and social participation and good governance. And one city is trying — in true Chinese, top-down fashion — to make its citizens happy.

An Experiment In Happiness

"Happy Jiangyin" is the name of this award-winning experiment that won the China Local Government Innovation Award. Instead of just aiming for economic growth, for the past four years this wealthy city in Jiangsu province has come up with a list of magic ingredients it believes add up to happiness.

Besides health care and employment, it has such diverse targets as how much people should donate to charity (more than $7.35 per capita each year) and how many doctors there should be (26 per 1,000 people.)

In a speech at the conference, Jiangyin's Communist Party committee's head of propaganda, Xu Dongqing, even announced "democracy is good." However, Xu wasn't referring to Western multiparty democracy as it's generally understood.

"The Communist Party is the ruling party, and other parties offer advice and suggestions," he tells NPR. "Under this system, we are trying to further use people's wisdom and suggestions to help the government do better."

In political terms, Jiangyin is aiming for more political participation, without changing the fundamental system, though its indicators do reflect a move away from what some have criticized as China's obsession with economic growth.

If the official statistics are accurate, there have been some achievements: salary growth of 48 percent for urban residents in just four years and a 2 percent drop in rural unemployment to just 2.9 percent.

A Potemkin Village Or Glimpse Of Future?

However, it's worth mentioning that Jiangyin is one of the richest places in China. Last year, its average urban disposable income was more than $11,000: four times higher than the national average. But observers such as sociologist Robb Willer are still ambivalent.

"We saw a lot of things that are unambiguously positive: the construction of civic centers, senior centers, reduction of levels of economic inequality," says Willer, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and has visited Jiangyin.

"But we were left with some questions that we'd be curious about, like how hard is it to become a member of this? What are the barriers to membership that might guardian these numbers that are reported [and] keep them very high?" he asks.

It's difficult to know if Jiangyin is a Potemkin village for show — or if this high-profile project may provide a glimpse of what China might look like in the future. And as for knowing whether China really is happy, the psychologists say that even defining happiness in a Chinese context is challenging, let alone measuring happiness there.
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Postby momopi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:17 pm

For comparison:

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/fe ... 45539.html

Happiness linked to income

Forget everything your therapist told you and focus on your CV: A new study says that paycheck rules your state of mind.
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2010 17:12 GMT
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Best things in life, such as happiness and well-being, are far from free. They start at $75,000 if you are in the US [AFP]

The secret to a happy life is about as elusive as a solid definition of happiness itself. As with US Justice Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity ("I'll know it when I see it.") happiness is probably best understood when experienced.

A paper published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences does not bother with the ephemeral nature of things such as patience, meditation and having a good relationship with your family.

Happiness, and its more holistic cousin, well-being, can be understood in numbers.

For example, one previous study indicated that those with long daily commutes are less satisfied with their lives (of course they are -- they're spending most of it in traffic).

Another study on happiness carries bad news for men shorter than 1.78 meters or a female shorter than 1.62 meters. Yes, your taller friends are happier than you.

But the AP news agency reports that the new study says that it is all about cash -- roughly $75,000 annually, to be precise. Although earning more never hurts.

Those who earn less suffer from a decreased sense of well-being and happiness.

Angus Deaton, an economist at the Center for Healfth and Wellbeing at Princeton University told that AP that a salary of less than $75,000 means that, "Stuff is so in your face it's hard to be happy. It interferes with your enjoyment.''

Deaton, who co-authored the paper on height, and Daniel Kahneman reviewed surveys of 450,000 Americans conducted in 2008 and 2009 for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that included questions on people's day-to-day happiness and their overall life satisfaction.

Of course, it should be made clear that this is a US study, and that in many countries, a far lower sum would bring an equal measure of financial security.

Happiness got better as income rose but the effect levelled out at $75,000, Deaton said. On the other hand, their overall sense of success or well-being continued to rise as their earnings grew beyond that point.

You might want to make sure your boss does not read what Deaton says next.

"Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood...but it is going to make them feel they have a better life" said Deaton.

Not surprisingly, someone who moves from a $100,000-a-year job to one paying $200,000 realises an improved sense of success. That does not necessarily mean they are happier day to day, Deaton said. Hopefully, that pay raise won't come with a longer commute.

The results were similar for other measures. For example, you probably will not be surprised to learn that researchers found that people were really happier on weekends, but that their deeper sense of well-being did not change.

Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning psychologist, and Deaton undertook the study to learn more about economic growth and policy.

Some have questioned the value of growth to individuals, and Deaton said they were far from definitively resolving that question. But he added, "Working on this paper has brought me a lot of emotional well-being. As an economist I tend to think money is good for you, and am pleased to find some evidence for that.''

Overall, the researchers said, "as in other studies of well-being, we found that most people were quite happy and satisfied with their lives."
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Postby momopi » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:09 pm

Winston wrote:I can't speak for China, but the Chinese people I see everywhere else, especially in Taiwan, are VERY miserable
deep down, even into their subconscious. It's in their vibe, voice, face, subconscious behavior, attitude, etc. It could not be more obvious.

I am surprised that Momopi would post this since I thought he was very pro-Chinese.


What you see above is only a small fraction of what's avail on Chinese language web sites. Here's some additional articles of interest:
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI4_b.html
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI5_b.html
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI6_b.html
http://blog.ifeng.com/article/5664445.html
http://bigtigeryan.blog.163.com/blog/st ... 112357351/
http://bigtigeryan.blog.163.com/blog/st ... 584020430/


I'll do quick and dirty translation on this section for you: (author is prolly a tree hugger)

http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI7_b.html

(一) 中国人,法国人,印度人,我们挂在世界的同一棵树上

Chinese, French, Indian, we all hang from the same tree in this world

从进到圣保罗的那一刻,形形色色的人种,白种人、黄种人、黑种人,以及各式各样的混血儿便出现在我的视野中,在那里,我也深刻体会到,
什么样的人叫牛奶加咖啡。

In a "San Paulo" moment, all kinds of epople, white, yellow, black, and all kinds of mixed blood (mixed race) people appear in my sight. From there, I deeply felt what kind of people is "milk with coffee added".


如果将全世界各个民族的人的快乐指数画一个曲线的话,我们中国人的快乐指数既不是在峰顶,也不是在低谷,
我们是处于水平线上方一点的位置。 有很多国家的人比中国人过得快乐,也有很多的国家和民族比中国人的快乐指数更低。

If we ranked all the world's races by happiness, the Chinese is not on top, nor at the bottom. We're just at a point on the line. Many country's people are above us on the happiness scale, and many are below us.

一般来说,越是严谨和拘束的民族,快乐指数越低。当然,民族的快乐指数也只是现实生活的一个方面,人们是否快乐既跟民族特征有关,
也跟每个国家不同的经济条件、发展水平、教育、养老等福利制度的完善有关。

Typically, the more cautious and conservative the people, the lower the happiness scale. A race/ethnicity's happiness index is only one facet of life today. People's happiness is affected by the ethnicity's characteristics, and each individual country's economic conditions, evelopment level, education, elderly care and other social service's quality.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:50 am

I thought momopi was anti-Chinese and pro taiwanese... ;)

Anyway, I agree with Globetrotter. Seems like there's a party in the street every single night where I live. People dancing, singing, cooking and having a good ol' time. I doubt they started that because I showed up.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
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Postby momopi » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:15 pm

The largest amount of written critique on Asian culture, are written by Asians, in Asian languages only. A tiny % of that gets translated and published in the West. The article below shows opinions expressed by Chinese military analysts, published in the Liberation Army Daily. The significance here is that the Army is a pro-Chinese and nationalistic institution. But technology marches forward and those who are left behind, will become shrimps.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67E07020100815

China paper warns military thinking outmoded
Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee
BEIJING | Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:12am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military thinking is outmoded and should learn from others, especially the United States, when it comes to modernizing its vast armed forces, a leading armed forces newspaper said on Sunday.

A commentary in the Liberation Army Daily said modernizing China's military was central to reforms which have seen heavy investment in high-tech weapons like advanced fighter jets.

China has been slimming down its military, the world's largest by number, for the past few years, trying to build a more effective force to face U.S.-supplied Taiwan and Japan, as well as the United States itself.

But this needs creativity and more open thinking, the newspaper said, which could be a problem.

"As there is a rather large influence of conservative thinking in traditional Chinese culture, the task of renewing the culture and thinking of our military will be extremely arduous," it wrote.

China had to "audaciously learn from the experience of the information cultures of foreign militaries," it said.

"History and reality have shown again and again that a country which does not have a world view is a backward one. A military which lacks global vision is one without hope."

The United States was a good example to follow in two regards, it added.

The U.S. military buys technology already available on the open market when it can, such as global positioning systems used in the Gulf War, a cheaper and more practical method than trying to develop such equipment itself, the commentary said.

And the United States pays a lot of attention to training, "enlisting large numbers of able men and boldly using them."

The Chinese military looked on with horror during the first Gulf War in 1990-1991, when U.S. guided missiles and precision bombs easily took out Iraqi equipment such as tanks, much of it similar to what China was using at the time.

Since then the People's Liberation Army has come on in leaps and bounds, though analysts say poor training and coordination among different branches of the military remain serious challenges.

During last year's national day parade, China showed off its Dongfeng 21C missile, which could force U.S. aircraft carriers to keep a greater distance if it is successfully developed into an anti-ship ballistic missile.

That would make it harder for the United States to come to Taiwan's aid in the event of a conflict. China claims the self-ruled, democratic island as its own.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)
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Postby globetrotter » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:26 am

"BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military thinking is outmoded and should learn from others, especially the United States, when it comes to modernizing its vast armed forces, a leading armed forces newspaper said on Sunday. "

Here is the major Asian or Chinese flaw.

In 1830 the USA did not say to itself:

"We are going to follow the lead of the British Empire."

No, they said:

"We are going to be the greatest nation on earth. Period."

Limiting themselves by setting someone else as the asymptote to approach is the wrong attitude. Of course, God Help the West when/if China stops following and starts doing things just to be the best in an abstract way.

Even now as it stands, China has an active manned space program and the USA is mothballing theirs; China's TGV CRH obliterates anything the USA has in any planning stage.

The time for the USA to get it together is fast running out. I warn my conservative financial buddies; most just jackboot a reply and step on to the soapbox of American Superiority.

This is not going to end well for America.
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Postby momopi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:01 pm

China actually had a manned space program back in 1960's (Project 714). Had it proceeded on schedule, China would've sent their first manned space mission in the 1970's. However, the country was a complete mess from the cultural revolution, and Mao decided to cancel the program after Lin Bao's attempted coup. Mao could afford to let Lin Bao leave the country, but could not splurge funds on expensive space programs at home.

Space programs are very expensive. The US has the luxury of working with wealthy allies on the ISS and split the costs, plus exclude China politically from the project. The ISS is sponsored by 15 countries, versus China has do it alone (Project 921). Even if China is able to convince members of the SCO to join, they're mostly poor-er countries and the only valuable gain is from left-over space program technology from the USSR era.

If you look at the size and scope of Project 921, it's roughly comparable to the Russian Salyut missions in the 1970s. Like it or not, China has a 40-year gap to catch up to, and the US is trying very hard to prevent China from catching up by excluding China from international joint missions, technology sharring, and satellite launch business.

On the other hand, catching up in the 40-year gap with 2010 technology, is far easier than 1970. While US and China may be more interested in the technology to shoot down each other's satellites, the EU will be joining China in project DRAGONESS:

http://dragoness.nersc.no/?q=node/1
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