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Comment Re:It's not sabotage (Score 1) 86

Yeah, I don't know that I 100% agree with that breakdown, but I do think it's something like that.

For one thing, I think "flow" is a little crammed in there. I think there's reason to connect the idea of "flow" (as I understand it) to a sense of contentment, but it's probably not really about achieving the state of flow itself. At least in my thinking, I'd sooner say that regularly achieving a state of flow implies that you're good at something that you derive some pleasure and satisfaction from, and it may be the pleasure and satisfaction that is providing the psychological benefits rather than the state of flow itself. I could be wrong-- maybe he's done some studies that show my thinking is backward, but it feels like it's artificially shoe-horned in there. I do think that some form of engagement is extremely important to a healthy mental state, so I wouldn't argue with him too strenuously about it.

Similarly, I think using the word "meaning" may be conflating a couple of different things that I would tend to separate. I think that there's a kind of happiness that comes from "doing what you're supposed to" or "living the life you think you should", but not necessarily because it's extremely meaningful in the sense most people would use the word "meaning". Instead, I think a big component is something like "an absence of extreme cognitive dissonance" paired with "not hating yourself". What I intend to point out here is that "meaning" might imply things like, "saving poor starving children in the 3rd world", but many people would skip over ideas like, "I think I spent my day in an appropriate way, and I have no conflicted feelings about that." You could call both of them "meaning", but the latter is not what most people would think of.

I guess my point here is just that I think there may be quite a lot of subtly different positive emotions and beneficial psychological states of being that we don't necessarily think of when we say the word "happiness". Seligman has chosen a few, and you could argue that the others can be somehow grouped in with the few that he's chosen. If it provides a workable theory that improves psychological treatment, I'm all in favor of that. Still, my sense is that he hasn't quite hit the bullseye.

For various reasons, I would tend to favor a model that at least contained separate ideas for pleasure, joy, satisfaction, alignment (that feeling of "I am unconflicted about the appropriateness of my actions"), and meaning. I'd be open to an alternate breakdown, but positive emotions, flow, and meaningfulness don't seem to capture the range of what I experience.

Comment Re:It's not sabotage (Score 4, Insightful) 86

Yes, my immediate thought when reading this:

Specifically, people were more likely to engage in mood-increasing activities (e.g., play sports) when they felt bad, and to engage in useful but mood-decreasing activities (e.g., housework) when they felt good.

is that it makes perfect sense if you think of happiness not as "something that must be maximized at every moment," but a resource that needs to be rationed or even grown when it's in short supply, but can be expended more freely when it's available. People engage in mood-expending activities when they have extra "mood" to expend.

However, I still think that this misses my point a bit when it says, "They may explain how humans overcome the allure of short-term gains in happiness to maximize long-term welfare." The implication there, it seems to me, is that maximizing hedonism is still the end-goal, but that it's a simple trade-off between short-term happiness and long-term. I don't want to take much time in arguing the point right now, but I suspect it's not that simple. After a lot of thought, I've ended up thinking of the emotion "happiness" as more of a expression of something deeper that we don't quite have a word for, and that deeper thing is what we're all really after.

To keep things simpler, I might instead say it this way: There are different kinds of happiness. One is simple pleasure-seeking and hedonism, another is a more deep-souled immediate sense of "joy" that goes beyond normal pleasure, and yet another is something more like a longer lasting "overall contentment and satisfaction". So anyway, what I suspect this research is really showing is that... well... Imagine you're playing a RPG, and the goal is to build a magic sword that lets you save the kingdom. You have a stamina bar, and when it runs out, you can't do very much. You can't run, you can't fight, you can't craft. The point of the game isn't to keep the stamina bar full, or even to keep it as high as possible as much as possible. It's just a means to an end.

So I would argue that what we normally call "happiness" as an immediate emotional state is like that stamina bar. When your mood is low, you're not very functional, so we find ways to boost it by pleasure seeking. When it's high, we make use of it. But what you're after is not maximizing that immediate emotional state of "happiness". That's just what you do when you don't have enough. I believe our willingness to expend that resource is not necessarily a sign that we are engaging in long-term planning to maximize happiness, but instead a sign that there is some other larger thing, the equivalent of "building a magic sword and saving the kingdom", that we are willing to expend that resource to gain.

I think I have an idea of what that thing is, but it's hard to describe succinctly in a Slashdot post.

Comment It's not sabotage (Score 4, Insightful) 86

It's a bit silly to say that people are sabotaging their own good mood. I think it instead suggests an alternate viewpoint: What we call "happiness" is not simply an end-goal, but also a resource. When we lack it, we conserve it and try to generate more. When we have enough, we expend the resource to accomplish other goals.

This in turn suggests some other ideas that some of us may have already suspected. Hedonists may be extremely unhappy people. Various behaviors that can be described as "addiction to pleasure-seeking" may be a response to suffering some kind of happiness deficiency. Depression may make people unproductive. People who are a mess may benefit from receiving some kind of help, rather than piling on various kinds of punishments.

Comment Re:A sign of things to come. (Score 5, Insightful) 400

I think this is simple a smart move. You don't really have Linux admins saying, "Man, I wish I had Powershell!" as much as you have Windows admins saying, "I spent all this time making Powershell scripts. I wish I could run the same scripts on Linux." They're servicing their own users, and providing extra value in learning to use Microsoft technology.

This is the sort of thing that I used to think Microsoft was stupid for not doing.

Comment Re:That's an easy one. (Score 1) 124

There are just way too many of them

And some of them are fake. There are a lot of ads and malware that mimic a security alert in some way, which only trains users to ignore them faster.

Also, not only do users not know how to evaluate the risk, they don't know how to fix the problem. If an alert pops up and says, "You may have a virus", the user can't tell if that's a scam, a false alarm, or a real problem. Regardless of whether it's real, false, or fraudulent, they don't have any idea what to do about it.

Comment Re:So it's a PC (Score 2) 264

Take that away and what exactly would differentiate Scorpio from a gaming PC?

Nothing. The XBox is already basically a custom-built gaming PC running Windows. Microsoft has already been doing more to blur the lines between a Windows gaming PC. I believe "XBox Play Anywhere" games allow you to buy the game and play it either on the XBox or a Windows 10 PC. Meanwhile, the XBox One can run some Windows applications (IIRC).

My guess is that, in a few years, there won't be a real distinction. In fact, Microsoft may take a page out of Steam's book and allow 3rd party "XBox" rigs running the XBox OS, which will mostly become Windows 10 with TV-optimized controls and navigation.

Comment Re:I can buy that (Score 2) 254

I've always said that to be a good IT pro, you have to be lazy in a particular way. Automation is a good example of it. Another is the tendency to come up with a permanent fix instead of constantly dealing with the fallout.

For example, I remember working one place where a particular server crashed in the middle of the night every week. When I came into the company, it had been happening for six months, and once a week, one of the IT guys had to come in early to make sure the server got started up before everyone else came in. They told me I'd be added to the rotation, and some weeks I'd have to come in early.

So my first thought was, I don't want to come in early. My second: One of these days, someone is going to come in to turn that server on, and it won't turn on. I don't want that to happen on my day. Instead, I spent a few hours researching and looking through logs. I don't remember what the fix was-- something like the VSS from the backup was causing a crash and the server needed a hotfix or... whatever. Doesn't matter. In a few hours, I fixed the problem, and the server stopped crashing.

It was an act of laziness-- I didn't want to keep fixing the problem over and over again, so instead I spent extra time to fix it properly the first time.

Comment "Look like"? (Score 1) 133

Something like an Apple Store? Microsoft Store? Something else?

So you're really just asking what it should *look* like? As in, what should the aesthetic design be?

Sure. Make it look like an Apple Store.

It seems like the bigger question should be, what should be in it? What should the exhibits be, and how should it work? Whatever the aesthetics, what are kids going to learn from the experience?

And I don't know what the goal is or what resources are available, but just to throw an idea out there, the first thing that popped into my head was (perhaps obviously) to have interactive exhibits showing the progress computers have made. As much as possible, have old computers or replicas so that kids can see what the actual physical machine looked like. Maybe show them a Babbage Difference Engine, and see if you can break down how it works. Maybe things like the early IBM PCs, an Apple II, and the first Mac. Let them have access to some emulators that show what the different old operating systems were like-- DOS, early versions of MacOS and Windows. Provide some sort of interactive method for illustrating how long it would take for operation would happen on a computer from 1985, 1995, 2005, and 2015. Maybe have an exhibit where they can play different video games from different eras.

Maybe it's just me, but that's what I think of if you say the words, "Children's Computer Museum"-- some collection of interactive exhibits arranged chronologically to show kids the development of computers, focusing on the development of personal computing (starting circa 1980), but with a couple of things early on to talk about how things developed from an abacus through mainframes, leading up to the PC.

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