Tag Archives: happiness

To live is to lie

Fiction is lying.

The fabrication of a make-believe story, perhaps without a shred of substantiation in the real world, is, in all meaningful ways, a lie. Some archeologists believe that the ability to lie, to tell stories, may be what set Homo Sapiens Sapiens apart. The imagining of an untrue event or situation is effectively self-deception. You lie to yourself envisioning the story and then lie to others in telling it.

Everyone lies. If you can create an imaginary world, if you can daydream of some future possibility or rework some past debacle or failure in some better light, you’re effectively inventing a temporary lie.

Stories which depict truthful characters, virtuous and pure champions are boring. As we all lie, creating a character who does not, conflicts with all of our natural understanding of human behavior.

Therefore, in writing fiction, lie. Lie with the telling and then have every one of your characters fib in some way, small or large. Double speak builds intrigue. Deceit is delicious. Layering speculation upon a character’s actions and speech seasons the reader’s mind with savory questions. The more ‘why’s you have, the more conflict you can drive into your story.

Secrets are lies, one could say. Given the opportunity to divulge a notion and failing to do so? Why? Is the information contained within that secret a form of leverage? Power? Did your character lie when they said they didn’t know of an underground passage out of the castle? So they could use it themselves? Why allude to an unloaded gun when simply by hefting it I can tell it’s got at least five rounds in it. Why whisper to me of your upcoming betrayal? To implicate me as well? To persuade me to lie upon your behalf when confronted?

To live is to lie. Our stories should be no different.


Would you rather…

Would you rather:

  1. Have your vision expanded to see in infrared or ultraviolet?
  2. At any time, once a day, be able to levitate one foot high and float at will for one hour, or fly as high as you like for one minute?
  3. For one day of the year, be given Harry Potter magic or Cassandra prophetic vision?
  4. Be President of the 2000’s United States for a year, or King/Queen of 1600’s England for a year?
  5. Die in poor health at 150 or die in perfect health of the most tumultuous orgasm any human has ever had at age 50?
  6. Play poker with Albert Einstein or Richard Feynman?
  7. Wake up in a pool of blood surrounded by dead baby goats, or dead baby deer.
  8. Have lunch with Judy Garland or Audrey Hepburn?
  9. Lose an arm-wrestling match with Arnold Schwarzenegger or The Hulk?
  10. Fall asleep reading about the zombie apocalypse or watching The Simpsons?
  11. Be 10% happier or live 10% longer?

Taxes = Happiness

Name the happiest people in the world.
Name the highest taxes paid by people and corporations in the world.

Guess what? They (tend) to be the same people.

This is a simple plot (R code below) of 108 countries plotted by their “happiness quotient” in relation to their combined personal and highest corporate tax rate.

happytax

That line means that, in general, the higher the tax rate, the happier people reported to be (see cite below). This has been documented before. And a new report is due soon that will further elucidate this relationship.

The bottom line? If you take the recent US Republican tax bill that passed (Dec 2017), then what these fools have done is slid the United States BACKWARDS on that line. By reducing taxes (they say) across the board, they effectively want the Citizens of the United States to be more miserable than they are now.

Happy Holidaze!

[R Code]

lmod <- lm(happiness ~ taxrate, data = happytax)
plot(happiness ~ taxrate, data = happytax, pch = 19, 
 main = "happiness vs. taxrate", 
 xlab = "taxrate",
 ylab = "happiness")
abline(lmod)

[Cite:]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates
https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/personal-income-tax-rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report