August 7, 2009
When “natural” happiness withers under the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, it’s nice to know we can just make some more.
Making happiness may not be as easy as whipping up a batch of double chocolate brownies, but psychologist Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, says that we humans have the capacity to manufacture happiness, and that “synthetic” happiness is indistinguishable from “natural” happiness.
June 10, 2009
Illustration credit: Caitlin Kuhwald
Small talk gets no respect. Flip through the stacks and stacks (literal or virtual) of books and articles on the topic, and you’ll see that it’s cast as manipulative or mercenary: it’s what you do to get the girl, get the sale, or get the job. It’s called the “grease” or the “glue” of social interaction; neither of those metaphors is particularly appealing, unless you’re a counter cook or a collage artist.