Happiness Lab logo with picture of Dr. Laurie Santos beside it
Listened to Episode 4: Mistakenly Seeking Solitude from The Happiness Lab

Technology allows us to bank, shop and dine without talking to another human, but what toll is this taking on our happiness? The inventor of the ATM and the Talking Heads singer David Byrne join Dr Laurie Santos to explore the ways in which talking to strangers can bring us all genuine joy.

This episode makes me think a bit about Mike Monteiro’s book Ruined by Design. 

I’ll have to read the MIT Technology Review article by David Byrne. The idea of designing humanity out of things is such a sad one, but there’s definitely a lot of evidence for it.

There is a great example in here of people not knowing what they really want or need or what is healthy for themselves. In particular, the story of the psychologist that did research on trains and came across their survey that they were creating a “solitude car” because that’s what people said they wanted in surveys. Sadly the research shows people will be happier if they’re interacting. When he asked the train company why they didn’t make an “interaction car”, they said they used to have that, but they discontinued it because it was so crowded. Maybe they should have added an extra car instead?

Published by

Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

One thought on “”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *