Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Happiness isn't blogging

Once upon a time, before political correctness and sobbing over black babies became the norm at the BBC, I had the pleasure to watch a documentary they produced about the state of happiness. The notes I made at the time, read as follows:

- Happiness within a community can be measured by the level of mutual trust;
- The sum is made up of what's known as social capital;
- Social capital is what binds people within a group and builds bridges between groups;
- What fosters happiness is: rights and responsibilities, codes of conduct and shared values;
- Impediments are: personal isolation and prolonged individual activities.

Francis Fukuyama in his book The Great Disruption. Human nature and the reconstruction of social order takes a short cut and says, mutual trust is a by-product of shared values and shared moral behavior.

What follows is that social activities like scouting, bingo and the right to do volunteer community work enhance happiness. As do good manners, team sports and assimilation.

What makes us unhappy is protracted queueing, watching television and doing yoga. As well as crime, playing tennis (always found it highly suspect) and joining the blegosphere.

I somehow knew it was a mistake.

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