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Author Topic: Pursuit of Happyness
Nitrozac

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Icon 2 posted March 26, 2007 08:14      Profile for Nitrozac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Snaggy and I watched it the other night. I have to say, I was disappointed. The movie had a blatant message: First comes getting rich, then comes happiness.

THe movie "The Secret" is about the law of attraction. That movie glorified consumerism/materialism. The big secret was, fantasize about getting stuff so you'll be happier.

I think those are pretty lame messages.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 08:31      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think Western (European/North American) culture is very obsessed with conspicuous consumption. Being rich/buying nicer things than everyone else is the major measure used here for happiness.

I agree that money certainly doesn't hurt, but it's not the whole enchilada. There's a line between starvation and billion dollar yachts [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 08:47      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Money just makes life easier. It won't necessarily bring you happiness.
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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 08:52      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"The Secret" makes science majors angry. It's a patent mis-application of specious pseudoscience by a bunch of foofoo New-Age quacks. (sorry in advance to any believers out there)

Also, I strongly disagree with any connection between material wealth and happiness. Beyong the first few significant acquisitions, we often find ourselves locked in a cycle on wishing to attain more. More leisure, more gadgets, more real-estate. Our perception of wealth is relative (ala "1984"). The more we have, the less significant each acquisition becomes. "Honey, why don't we have three houses? The Joneses have three houses!"

It's a load of BS. I'll be happy if I can get out of renting and move into a three-bedroom, one bath house with adjoinning greenhouse. Beyond that it's all gravy.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 09:24      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
"The Secret" makes science majors angry. It's a patent mis-application of specious pseudoscience by a bunch of foofoo New-Age quacks. (sorry in advance to any believers out there)

Also, I strongly disagree with any connection between material wealth and happiness. Beyong the first few significant acquisitions, we often find ourselves locked in a cycle on wishing to attain more. More leisure, more gadgets, more real-estate. Our perception of wealth is relative (ala "1984"). The more we have, the less significant each acquisition becomes. "Honey, why don't we have three houses? The Joneses have three houses!"

It's a load of BS. I'll be happy if I can get out of renting and move into a three-bedroom, one bath house with adjoinning greenhouse. Beyond that it's all gravy.

Speaking of relative, holy cow! Do you have any idea what that house would go for here in SoCal? That'd be 3-5 million, easy. I'm happy owning a tiny little 2 bedroom condo [Big Grin]

Just goes to show.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 09:47      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's no real standard of measure for happiness. :-) When it comes to material goods, would I be happier if I had the latest and greatest in home theatre equipment? Not really. However, there are those who feel that they need to have it. For now, I'm content to have my health, home and a job. [Smile]

Someone to share it with on the other hand... Well, that's another story! [Big Grin]

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 11:05      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not one to say that money doesn't HELP you be happy. because if i have to worry every day about where my next meal is going to come from then i would probally not be very happy. But exceptional wealth is probally not going to make my any happier. I'm perfectly fine being a regular person who has to work for his living in order to live the life he wants to.

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 12:10      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Speaking of relative, holy cow! Do you have any idea what that house would go for here in SoCal? That'd be 3-5 million, easy.
One bedroom for me, one for my gf, and one for my son when he comes back to live at home with his Dad during/after college. Greenhouses can be constructed cheaply and needn't figure into the cost of the structue, especially in SoCal- there, I'd just need a shadehouse.

Housing's a lot cheaper in Utah, I guess. You can get three bedrooms here for an easy $200,000, with a monster yard and a couple extra rooms, besides. (That's in a decent neighborhood.)

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 12:35      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
quote:
Speaking of relative, holy cow! Do you have any idea what that house would go for here in SoCal? That'd be 3-5 million, easy.
One bedroom for me, one for my gf, and one for my son when he comes back to live at home with his Dad during/after college. Greenhouses can be constructed cheaply and needn't figure into the cost of the structue, especially in SoCal- there, I'd just need a shadehouse.

Housing's a lot cheaper in Utah, I guess. You can get three bedrooms here for an easy $200,000, with a monster yard and a couple extra rooms, besides. (That's in a decent neighborhood.)

It just reinforces your point about it being relative though. People make do with what they have.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 12:41      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nitrozac ___________________ Happyness is relative, I am quite happy here on the hill top drawing my pension, I was also happy while working and paying into said pension. I do sometimes wish for more but the Mrs's and I are glad that winter has broke and we are out and about for our walks.

On one of the side roads we see many deer tracks and empty whiskey bottles now who is buying the deer whiskey, I'll bet, that is why they jump in front of cars.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2007 12:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
The more we have, the less significant each acquisition becomes. "Honey, why don't we have three houses? The Joneses have three houses!"

Economists call this 'The Law of Diminishing Utility' and it's an accepted part of mainstream economic dogma.

quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:
Speaking of relative, holy cow! Do you have any idea what that house would go for here in SoCal? That'd be 3-5 million, easy.

The house behind Casa Del Druid sold last weekend for just shy of $A 1,000,000. Ours is bigger, has a double garage, (the house that just sold had no off-street parking) and is on a bigger block.

Living in a million dollar home is giving me real self-image problems.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 01:30      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nitrozac:
Snaggy and I watched it the other night. I have to say, I was disappointed. The movie had a blatant message: First comes getting rich, then comes happiness.

I'm not sure that is the point that "the pursuit of happyness" is making. That's one possibility. Other feasible ones IMO are:

* (slight but important modification of your interpretation) First comes getting enough money to not have to live in poverty, then comes happiness

* happiness comes from pursuing your dream(s) tirelessly until you achieve them, regardless of what other people say


Would the movie have ended much differently if Will Smith's character had become a teacher, or an IT specialist, or a solicitor, or any field requiring a decent amount of learning/training to get into? I say not .. he decided he wanted to be a stockbroker, so he went for it .. but nearly anything is better than the haphazard income he was earning from what he was doing.

Of course, it was a fair point that he seemed to choose stockbroking because it paid well. But I don't think this was integral to the point of the movie...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 03:03      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The most enjoyable job I aver had was that of a delivery driver for a company that delivered food from basically any reastaurant in town to peoples front doors.

I cruised around town listening to music for 90% of my shift.

I only saw my boss once a week or so and if I didn't like his additude I could always turn off my radio.

I was on the bottom rung in the company, if something went wrong, I didn't care, it wasn't my problem.

I got to eat the food when people didn't pay.

It fit in with my college schedule.

and the job was easy, any idiot could do it.

This will probably be the most enjoyable job I will ever have. I will never be able to do this again though. The problem is I could barely make ends meet working this job. A family man could never work this job. I like my job now alot but it is stressful and requires alot more of me.

What made the Will Smith character happy was family, and that means providing for the family and sacrificing his personal entrepreneurial goals.


Plus, I think most of the companies that did this went bankrupt when the high gas prices hit. I sort of feel bad for how much gas I burned in my favorite job ever as I was doing this in my big old jeep.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 08:58      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Can we just start spelling happiness correctly? Please?
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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted March 27, 2007 09:11      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
newf: that is the way it's spelled in the movie. (It bugs the lead character too.) [Big Grin]
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 09:42      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I heard an NPR interview of the the guy that the movie is about.

As he said, at the time he was out of jail, homeless and not making ends meet. He saw a man of confidence and wealth. And wanted what that man had, and did his best to get it.

He mentioned he taught his son to set a goal and never let it fail because of the way he may be perceived.

While perhaps a stock broker is not considered an honorable profession like medicine or becoming a teacher. But it is a story of a person that was at the bottom rung of life that made it to the top.

I haven't seen the movie, but to listen to the man himself was honestly quite inspiring.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 10:02      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Acquisition of wealth has never been a high priority for me. My family always struggled to make ends meet, while some cousins of mine have done quite well financially (a few months back I visited the small mansion they recently bought in Southern California). The thing is, I've never really seen anything about them that made their lives seem any better than mine. I guess being wealthy sometimes seems much more attractive from a distance.

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David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 12:18      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I never saw "The Secret", but I got a very different message than you did from "Pursuit of Happyness". The message that I got was whatever your dreams are, don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it and fight for your dream, because to pursue your dream is to pursue happiness. That was explicitly stated by Will Smith's character in the basketball court scene, but was illustrated throughout the movie by his characters actions.

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David Rogers

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 13:39      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's scary how long The Secret the book and The Secret the movie have stayed on the bestsellers shelves at work. Also, regarding The Secret:

 -

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GameGod
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 16:02      Profile for GameGod     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To Nitrozac,

I too was disappointed by "Happyness", keep in mind, the real guy was paid $1000 a month for his internship. Although "artistically modified" for this film, I think that this fact alone makes the films message pointless. IE how "hard" he had to work etc.


The Secret used poor examples as visual aids, for example the kid with the bike. If I sit there and stare at it, my grandpa will buy me one. Right.

However, what the ""experts"" mention, and I speak of the term experts very lightly, is that basically your own version of happiness will come to you if you focus positive energy on attaining it.

I don't know if you're religious or not, but I believe the "Secret" is a matter of faith and belief. Logically the Secret could not be true, neither could God be, not even Love, but we need a little belief in our life. It makes life magical, it makes life seem a little more than a struggle of surviving. Or we can go the Emo route and say "fuck the world and its conformists, the nature of the world is miserable so I will be miserable" [Razz]

For those people who do believe in the Secret, there is some form of supernatural chance that their lives will be somewhat better for them, and with the positive energy that will spill over into the people surrounding the Secret-er.

Some people may not believe in things literally, ie religion, but rather take the messages behind them. What I got from the actual interviewees from the Secret was that if you hold a positive outlook on life, you're going to recieve it back. IE karma.

Personally I scoffed at the kid and the bike. If I stare at a $1500 big screen tv on ebay, someone will bid on it for me? Not a chance, logically. But when I looked at it another way, in terms of self fufillment (something I know you know a bit about), its not that ludicrous. The idea of glorifying consumerism/materialism was out of the poor visual aides and testimony, however there was mention of actually looking for *happiness* in ones self, with the people surrounding them and what they have.

P.S. I have a secret for you....


....


[Smile] party on!!

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Well...that was fun =)

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 16:58      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I haven't seen the movie but I'd like to point out that, depending on where you live, $1000/month isn't necessarily a windfall, especially if you have a family of any sort. That's what I was paid on some of my summer internships, and it was hard to stretch that over rent and food and living expenses and still try and save something back. And I was all by myself and living in pretty cheap places - no kids, no pets or anything depending on me.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 17:03      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, seriously. I've been places where a studio apt will run in excess of $800... and that's not a nice part of town.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 17:33      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, you'd either need roommates or you'd have to just rent a room in someone's basement. Or, if you're lucky, you can try and score an internship where they provide housing. I did that one summer, and it worked out really well, but those sorts of internships are kinda rare and competitive and I have no idea how I landed the one I did. The other two summers I rented rooms in private homes. I made ends meet, even managed to save a bit, but neither of those situations would have been at all appropriate if I had a pet or a kid.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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AgingAmigaoid
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 18:13      Profile for AgingAmigaoid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameGod:
keep in mind, the real guy was paid $1000 a month for his internship.

Since the events of the movie took place in 1981, $1000 a month is a significant amount of money to leave out of the movie's plot! That's like $2,400 dollars today! I'd say there are a few families in and around present-day San Francisco getting by on $2,400 a month.
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GameGod
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Icon 1 posted March 27, 2007 18:33      Profile for GameGod     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Touche AA [Smile]

Regardless of it being a low or high amount - he could have easily stayed in subsidized housing (which is available), found a roommate, and the list could go on, rather than sleeping in bathrooms, or fighting to get into a homeless shelter.

I didn't come to debate the fact that he was paid, I just thought it was an interesting note to put out in the open for those who may not know. He was being paid, none of this "I had $5 in my wallet and the shirt on my back" type story in the movie.

Seriously, it's not the main point of my post.

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Well...that was fun =)

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