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Daniel Vineberg

TEDCRED 10+

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"I don't try to be right, I choose to be happy" ... wait, what?

With no disrespect intended to RIc or any readers with opposing views, I take issue with the quote I pinpointed. The pursuit of happiness is a great thing and all, but I don't think it should actually take precedence over being right.

Now I know there's a fine line between "being right" and "doing the right thing". After all someone who tries to "be right" on every minute issue can get very annoying fast ( -- ever met someone who insists on correcting grammar when it's clear what's being said? case in point).

But on larger issues I would like to suggest that proving that you are in fact right constitutes doing the right thing.
eg. Galileo would've been a lot happier if he just agreed the earth was flat and stopped insisting he was right -- but aren't we happy he was stubborn?

more recent eg. Fighting tolerance / discrimination. Though intrinsically rewarding, most of us can live an easier, happier life by turning a cold shoulder. But who would argue that this is good advice?

I don't mean to pick apart Ric's quote and use it out of context. All I would like to show is that what may help you live on a micro level may actually promote apathy on a macro level. I'm only twenty though, so I'm still at the idealistic age where I think some hard work can save the world. But isn't that what TED's all about? :)

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  • Apr 26 2011: Ignorance is bliss, while i do believe in this sometimes, some examples (like you mentioned) do escape that grasp. but knowing everything would be horrible as well, the goal of life, as i see it, is to learn and understand our world around us.

    If i say a hot dog is made of rainbows and happiness i would be wrong, but i would be much happier then knowing the truth. Being right is just as selective as being happy. choices and choices, some smart and depressing and some wrong and enjoyable.
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      Apr 28 2011: I say: Ignorance is bliss, to the ignorant.
      • May 4 2011: Why do you say that? I never said intelligence isn't bliss, but ignorance is just the easier of the two. when faced with the choice of finding the truth or going with what your told, lazy people will choose to sit and accept it and those who want the truth will take the initiative and find it.
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          May 4 2011: I did not say it in disagreement with your comment. What I meant was that one mans ignorance can be bliss to him, at the same time as that same ignorance is hurtful to someone else. If I don't bother to think about how my actions affect others, I can feel good about myself at the same time as I hurt someone else. In that case the ignorance would be a bliss to myself only.

          It was a twist on words that was intended to show that just because there is a catchy frase, it doesn't make it universaly applicable. In some questions "ignorance is bliss", in others "ignoarance is bliss, to the ignorant". I think we agree there.
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          May 4 2011: Kristopher@ I did not say that in disagreement

          love this quote from your comment.. a real gem Thank You

          If I don't bother to think about how my actions affect others, I can feel good about myself at the same time as I hurt someone else. In that case the ignorance would be a bliss to myself only.

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