Luke Melia


February 3, 2002

2/3/02, 3:08 pm

In an interview in today’s New York Times, DNA-structure discoverer James Watson shares his theory of happiness: “…I have an odd theory on happiness, and it bothers people. My general theory is that happiness is a reward for an animal doing what it should be doing. So if a horse runs, it feels happy. Or if you are too thin you can’t be happy, because evolution wants you to be tense and anxious, trying to wake up in the morning looking for food. So I was just saying that happiness comes only when you are doing things that are good for you.”

Hmm… I’m not sure if I’d accept that as the whole story, but there;s nothing about it that’s contrary to my experience. I think you’d have to add something about contribution to other human beings. This would fit fairly well with Watson’s interpretation if you accept that cooperation among humans has become an evolutionary feature of our species.

Ah well. Anyway, I’m off to watch the Super Bowl at James’ tonight. I wonder if it will bring me happiness?!?!

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