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W. Ying
  • W. Ying
  • Rowland Heights, CA
  • United States

Happy validly author,

TEDCRED 20+

This conversation is closed.

I think there is much "invalid happiness", which just wastes our efforts and resources and leads us to human self-extinction.

(1) Happiness must be the short time feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping one's DNA alive. Or, there is no human in the world.

(2) To have happiness is easy if you quit the harmful "invalid happiness" that does not exist in our instincts. Over 90% of today's happiness is invalid. Invalid happiness leads us to doomsday!

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  • Aug 18 2012: [WY] "Happiness must be"...

    I have to disagree with any prescription for 'happiness'. Your own definition does not accord with mine and therein lies the central issue for me.

    You have an opinion about the subject and I can see from your expressed opinion that you define happiness fairly closely (a step better for keeping one's DNA alive) but overlook the fact that a dictator would love this particular definition of happiness and use it as the justification and excuse for wiping out all opposing DNA, just to subscribe to your notion of happiness. This cannot be what you intended to say.

    You go on to say that happiness (in your second example) is harmful and invalid if it does not exist in our instincts. This is a narrow look at the phenomenon of happiness. I don't share your pessimistic view about happiness and I don't believe that happiness can be valid or invalid, depending on whether our DNA are better kept alive by one form of happiness or another.

    To accord with your viewpoint, one could reasonably encourage men to rape and impregnate as many women as possible, just to better keep one's DNA alive and prevent human self-extinction. It would be valid happiness... would it not?

    Your premise underlines my own opinion that universally applicable prescriptions for our happiness, which purport to be good for all of humanity, are just as flawed as my prescriptions for my own happiness.
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      Aug 19 2012: Thank you very, very much for your interests in this topic!

      Please have the following:
      "...

      7. Friendship (Secondary Symbiosis)
      Generally speaking, people survive very difficultly without their friends ---- the secondary symbiotic members. That is why every person needs friends.
      a. Definition
      Friends, including village fellows, classmates, and etc., are the members of secondary symbiotic groups next only to the family members of primary symbiosis.
      They help one another to survive together and are necessarily important for humankind only next to the members of a family.
      b. Function
      The friends, the members of these secondary symbiotic groups, help one another in order to overcome difficulties easier for survival or keeping their DNA alive.
      The greater the symbiotic group, the stronger power of the group has, and the easier to overcome all kinds of difficulties to survive or keep their DNA alive.
      That is why making friends is one of human important instincts.
      Owing to the same reason, old friends, village fellows, classmates, and etc. make us happy according to the definition of happiness ---- the feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive.
      c. Properties
      Friendship is maintained instinctively by means of morality, ethics and justice, which are our ancestors’ successful experiences about 10,000 years ago saved in our DNA.
      Same as other instincts, they are not easy to change although can be very slowly by many times repetition or poly-repetition.
      Obviously, a person is good or bad depends on his or her relationship to his or her symbiotic groups of different sizes.
      Generally, people in a same secondary symbiotic group are friends; but people in different secondary symbiotic groups can be enemies.

      ....

      8. Morality, Ethics and Justice
       (Rules for Symbiosis)
      Morality, ethics, and justice are the rules kept in human DNA for all kinds...
      ..."

      ("Be Happy Validly!" p. 24-27)
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      Aug 19 2012: (Continued)

      "8. Morality, Ethics and Justice
       (Rules for Symbiosis)
      Morality, ethics, and justice are the rules kept in human DNA for all kinds of symbiosis in order to keep human behaviors in the right way for keeping their DNA alive.
      All of them are human instincts or our ancestors’ successful experiences formed about 10,000 years ago and saved in our DNA.
      Today, we have the problem of the validity of these instincts because we are in the present new conditions that are too much different from those in about 10,000 years ago.
      Especially, our happiness is invalid when it is out of the valid scope set about 10,000 years ago by our ancestors.
      For examples, there are the cases in the story of a railway switchman, the story of a surgeon with his six patients, and today’s global CO2 emission problem caused mainly by developed countries and so on.
      ..."

      Justice contains egality, democracy, and etc.

      Is that right?
      • Aug 19 2012: [WY] Justice contains egality, democracy, and etc. Is that right?

        [JC] I am having difficulty in understanding your proposals because you have quoted your own writing.

        Justice may contain elements of democracy but in an absolute monarchy, the justice is dispensed with no thought as to whether it is democratic. qv Saudi Arabia as an exemplar.

        Prescribing what is best for all humans is likely to fail except on the most basic of levels. e.g. Food and air are a prescription that will suit every person who lives and desires to keep on living.

        You mention rules being kept in human DNA. I don't understand this from a scientific viewpoint. What evidence can you provide that rules defining ethics, morality and justice are kept within human DNA?

        Happiness is frequently a transient emotion and applying a label of valid or invalid appears to be a nonsensical thing to do within this context unless your theory of happiness is accepted universally.

        Being content with life is probably more useful than being happy with life. The distinction for me is that contentment implies that the state cannot be altered by temporary blips whereas the state of happiness is subject to the whim of external influences.
  • Sep 9 2012: Happiness is a state of mind.I think the invalid happiness you mean here are more like the physical satisfaction or the way you purse happiness on purpose. The real happiness is not what you pursue but the feeling you with the process you pursue for something in your life.
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      Sep 10 2012: Yes.

      It physically-apparently makes us happy.
      It spiritually-intrinsically hurts our life goal.

      e. g. smoking, drinking, abusing drugs, ... making too much money.

      Thanks a lot!
      • Sep 13 2012: Intrinsic goals make anyone's life meaningful. They indefinably create valid happiness. .
  • Aug 30 2012: Electronics companies release new products quite frequently. Before each is released an advertising campaign is launched extolling the improvements of the new model. The thrust of the advert is that if you buy this new model you will be complete and your life will be much better on all fronts. The result is, of course, frustration which leads to more attempts to buy contentment. It,s as though they were telling you that you couldn't buy a new engine without buying the car it belongs in (non sequiter I know but I couldn't resist). The solution in my opinion is to find out who you really are and follow that person into Oz. Study yourself. Remember the environment, relationships, etc. when you began to feel bad and go the other way. Try it. If it doesn't work you can send me hate mail. And final note: sex is to love as happiness is to contentment.
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    Aug 23 2012: Hello W. Ying,
    Perhaps I am hung up on terms, as happens often when we talk about happiness/unhappiness because it is sometimes difficult to define, being a term and experience that means many different things to different people.

    Valid:
    "Well grounded, justifiable; relevant and meaningful; correctly derived from premises; appropriate to the end view..."
    I suggest that sometimes, people may feel their experience is valid, while someone observing them may judge it to be invalid.

    You tell us in your introduction what happiness "must be". Do you think that is realistic? I honestly do not understand how the feeling of happiness as you say it "must be" can keep our DNA alive. Can you help me understand that? How do you know that 90% of todays happiness is invalid?

    Here are a couple good videos, which tell us a little more about happiness:>)

    http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_experience_vs_memory.html

    http://www.ted.com/speakers/dan_gilbert.html
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      Sep 7 2012: Thank you very much for your interest in my conversation topic.
      I am sorry that I did not express myself clearly about the words of “valid” and “must be”.
      Now, let me try to make them clearer as follows:

      (1) “Valid”: --- I use the valid to express it is in the valid scope of our instincts.
      “Valid” happiness means the happiness meets the purpose of the feeling of happiness stipulated in our instincts.
      Such as, the happiness during having healthy food is valid.
      “Invalid” happiness means the happiness does not meet the purpose of the feeling of happiness stipulated in our instincts formed about 10,000 years ago.
      Such as, the happiness we have during having junk food, big house, much money, etc. too far above their optimal points respectively is mostly invalid.

      (2) “Must be”: --- I think I should replace it by “have to be”. I am sorry.

      (3) “Keeping DNA alive”: --- I mean keeping the DNA of a living organism living, active or working. I think that is the sole life goal of any kinds of organism.

      (4) “90% of today’s happiness is invalid”: --- I think to keep our DNA alive we need only about 1% of what we spend in rich countries today is enough.
      Such as, those people do in Vanuatu and other poor countries. There, the income per capita is about 1% of the rich countries. Hence, what we spend the far above 90% of the money in rich countries is for invalid happiness.

      I really appreciate your kind recommendation of the videos and I will study them carefully.

      I look forward to seeing your invaluable messages.
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      Sep 9 2012: RE; Kahneman's talk.

      I studied the talk carelffly. The following is what I think:

      .(1) The "remembering self" and "ending" predomination would be natural according to my supposed happiness definition of "the short time feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping one's DNA alive."

      It is because:

      (a) One has to compare the "ending" of a step with the future steps, and
      (b) Our capacity-limited brain has to save the small amount of most important remembering data rather than the large amount of less important experiencing ones for comparison with future steps.

      (2) If people's happiness contains more than 90% of "invalid happiness", then, the Gallup's number would be $6,000/year at most instead of $60,000/year.

      Right?
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      Sep 9 2012: RE: Gilbert's talk:

      I think that seeking happiness ( “a-step-better”) is our vital instincts. It is a must for keeping our DNA alive. And humans are constantly doing it.

      That is why:
      (1) Everybody can “synthesize” happiness.
      (2) The rich is difficult to find it because the “step” has to be great.
      (3) The unfortunate is easier to find it because the “step” may be very small.

      Wrong?
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      Sep 9 2012: RE: Gilbert's tak

      I think that seeking happiness ( “a-step-better”) is our vital instincts. It is a must for keeping our DNA alive. And humans are constantly doing it.

      That is why:

      (1) Everybody can “synthesize” happiness.
      (2) The rich is difficult to find it because the “step” has to be great.
      (3) The unfortunate is easier to find it because the “step” may be very small.

      Wrong?
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    Aug 22 2012: My father, who grew up during the Great Depression, used to say, "I once had no shoes and complained; then I met a man who had no feet."

    Happiness can be a relative phenomena that flows and ebbs and sometimes goes away for a time but it always creates a happy moment when it's around. Can a person be both happy and sad at the same time?
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      Aug 23 2012: John,
      Yes, in my humble perception and experience we can feel happy and sad at the same time. We are multi-sensory, multi-dimensional beings and are capable of feeling several different emotions at the same time when/if we are open to that possibility.

      An example may be the loss of a loved one. We feel sad at the loss, while maybe feeling happy about the experiences we shared with that person, or we may feel happy/content about the life, lived by that person?I've been to lots of funerals, when there is happiness and laughter in remembering the person who is gone.....sometimes, with tears in our eyes at the loss. Happy/sad at the same time.
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        Aug 23 2012: Grief is a process of emotional energy abating from one realization to another. Sometimes Grief can overwhelm us and we cannot displace it from our minds. I have met perpetual grievers when I worked at the SPC.
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          Aug 23 2012: I agree John, which is why I used it as an example. With the process of grief, we often experience all emotions possible, and it may feel overwhelming and/or exhausting.

          Sometimes people do not allow happiness/contentment to exist because they do not feel that they "should" be feeling happy after their loved one dies. I know someone who did not see friends, attend family gatherings, or allow himself to feel happy in any way, because he felt that he "should not" be feeling happy....even years after losing his partner of 30 years.

          I believe it is more healthy to go with the flow of emotions, realize that we can indeed feel several things at the same time, and different emotions will impact us very differently at different times.
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    Aug 22 2012: I can agree W. Ying.

    People do get put off by things that are more imaginary than real. My dog doesn't appear to think about such things or appear too unhappy. When I go outside he likes to tag along and sit on the deck, soaking up the sun. When I was a youngster, I don't think I had very many unhappy moments. Because I liked to surf a lot, it was mostly rainy days I got the blues.


    I'm a pretty happy chap most of the time but I enjoy the very simple things in life.
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    Aug 17 2012: The word invalid in English was also used for people with disabilities which can cause confusion.

    Your point is a good one for many of us. Substance abuse never leads to real happiness. I think the Opium Wars made those in the Asian nations extremely aware of this.
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      Aug 18 2012: Thanks! Yes, "invalid" causes confusion. Is the long word "ineffective" better? Or, any else? I prefer short words.

      I believe abusing of substance and energy will lead to humankind self-extinction soon, say about a century. It is invalid becuase it is out of the validity scope of our instincts (our ancestors' successful experiences saved in DNA).
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        Aug 18 2012: Excellent questions!
        Colloquially I use "Bogus" for this idea but it is hard to use if you are not a native speaker.Pseudo would also work for someone like me. Ineffective might work.
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    Aug 17 2012: ...

    Do book marketing attempts result in valid or invalid happiness? And for whom, and why?
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      Aug 17 2012: Thank you very much!
      I have deleted the book reference.
      You are right.
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        Aug 17 2012: Honestly, I don't think so. If what you said was the case you could have made your point clear without a reference to any external source. And because you did make this connection, your intention to me became nothing but marketing.
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          Aug 17 2012: I agree.
          Thank you again!
          Good luck!
  • Aug 17 2012: Happiness is happiness. What is the difference between "valid" and "invalid" happiness?
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      Aug 17 2012: I think:
      (1) Valid one makes you go a-step-better for keeping your own DNA alive. That is the goal of our life, otherwise, there is no humans in the world now.
      Such as, eating healthy food, livng in unpolluted air, propagating offspring, and etc.
      (2) Invalid one makes you very short time happy and then long time unhappy.
      Such as, eating junk food, smoking, abusing drug ... making too much money, and etc.

      Is that right?
      • Aug 17 2012: I have two different thoughts in this matter. Long-time happiness (1) is just an overall positive mood. Short-term happiness (2) is just a positive emotion. If the previous statement is false, then, I firmly believe that there is no such thing as "valid" or "invalid" happiness. In the terms of subjectivity, how the individual gains his or her happiness should not matter according to law one.
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          Aug 18 2012: Thank you very much!
          Please have the following:

          "...
          (2) Valid Happiness
          A. Definition
          Valid happiness is the feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive. No matter how large or small the size of the step may be.
          This feeling is valid only when it meets the conditions in which the instincts were formed about 10,000 years ago.
          B. Composition
          Any person will have valid happiness when he or she is doing the physical or spiritual things of the following:
           Eating,
           Drinking,
           Playing (learning/practicing),
          and etc.
           Symbiosizing (loving or helping
          others),
           Being conscience,
           Being moral,
           Doing justice,
           Upholding equality (including
          freedom, esteem, and etc.),
           Sensing Beauty,
           Sensing Curiosity,
           Competing,
           Creating,
           Being Courageous,
           And etc.
          All these actions mentioned above are a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive without exceptions in about 10,000 years ago. And thus all of them make us happy validly.
          C. Functions
          a. Confirmation
          ..."
          ("Be Happy Validly!" p. 4, CreateSpace, 2012)


          "Based on the well-proven daily common sense and the biology learned in junior high school, everybody can deduce easily the definition of invalid happiness as follows:
          The "invalid happiness" is the happiness that is out of the valid scope of our instinctive happiness saved in our DNA by our ancestors about 10,000 years ago.
          Almost all of the invalid happiness hurt us for our survival or keeping our DNA alive. So, it is biologically de-evolving all in all.
          Keeping the DNA alive is the goal of all kinds of life. Humankind must do the same way.
          ..."
          (ibid, 39)
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      Aug 18 2012: I think the point is that real happiness does not have any sort of 'hang over'.
      • Aug 21 2012: Yes, but that is still real happiness. What you are saying is ultimately subjective because different cultures process different ways of morally gaining happiness. I suppose you can say there is a thing such as irrational happiness, but that is a whole different matter all together.
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          Aug 22 2012: Pretty good point, Zared, I do reject it for myself and anyone who has such a hangover should be required to regain some semblance of happiness or health on their own BUT anyone who chooses this route might be happy- some one like me would not really know so I accept your assertion in this case.
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        Aug 23 2012: Thank you very much for your reply.
        However, I am layman without any knowledge of psychology; and I am sorry that I do not understand what do the "real happiness" and "hang over" mean here.
        Could you please explain them a little bit for me?
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          Aug 23 2012: The term 'hang over' denotes the sickness that comes from over indulging in alcohol or other substances. If I am not clear please tell me and I will be delighted to try again.
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        Aug 23 2012: Thanks a lot!

        But could it be right that my invalid happiness means human instinctively feels happy under the wrong conditions? That is, the conditons different from those when the instincts were formed by our ancestors in about 10,000 years ago.

        Such as, eating junk foods, smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, ... making too much money.
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          Aug 23 2012: Dear W. Ying, I do not have most of these 'instincts' so I cannot say. Some would say I am lucky, others that I am overly controlled but this is the life I know and live and I feel deep contentment and happiness most of the time. I eschew 'invalid happiness" too because in a long life, happiness is often challenged and derided and I can only hold on to it in the face of obstacles when it is 'valid' to me.
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      Sep 9 2012: Based on the well-proven daily common sense and the biology learned in junior high school, everybody can deduce easily the definition of invalid happiness as follows:
      The "invalid happiness" is the happiness that is out of the valid scope of our instinctive happiness saved in our DNA by our ancestors about 10,000 years ago.
      Almost all of the invalid happiness hurt us for our survival or keeping our DNA alive. So, it is biologically de-evolving all in all.
      Keeping the DNA alive is the goal of all kinds of life. Humankind must do the same way. Otherwise, there is no human survives in the world today.