Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would

Hey! My second pencast is up! View it, or read below. Whatever rocks your world!

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As talked about in earlier posts, life entails transaction costs. This naturally means that doing good deeds also carries transaction costs. Logically for you to pay for something that carries a cost you either must have saved up or burrow. This is not to talk about which is the best strategy, but it is to give you some idea about how I think you can get some surplus to invest in good deeds.

If we assume that surplus to be a good person comes from being in a good place yourself let us examine the following graph.

Everybody’s life is a series of highs and lows. It simply must be, because the alternative – a flat line – would make it impossible for us to tell happiness from sadness, joy from anger and so on. The interval between highs and lows might vary, and so can the slope, but generally this graph is your life human. But that is not entirely true, because we can in fact alter the direction of our life in either positive or a negative spiral as illustrated below.

By doing this we can make our highs higher or our lows lower. You might jump to the easy conclusion that this is a material matter only. But I beg to differ; I would say it is the least important aspect. Obviously if you are eating gold for breakfast it might be easier for you to get happy, but the graph testifies that happiness and surplus is relative. If you already played Half-life Episode 2 you will only be happy when Episode 3 hits your console, but before you played Episode 2, playing that made you happy. So I will claim it is simply a matter of attitude. If you view the world, even adversity, in a positive light, you will prevail, be happier and have the surplus to be a good person. Life’s surroundings are objectively important, but your subjective attitude decides how you approach these facts.

So Mike Ness is right when he sings: “Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would” on the new Social Distortion record: “Hard Times and Nurserry rhymes”, and you can use that fact to always invest transactions costs in doing good.

I want to look like that some day!

PS: SocialD is playing in Copenhagen! I got my ticket hope you got yours.

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.

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3 Comments on “Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would”

  1. […] Life gets hard and then it gets good… Like I always knew it would […]

  2. Let me comment your effort to construct an economical model of happiness. While at the same time doing what every good friend would do – challenge it. So as I understand it so fare, you are only focusing on the transaction cost of doing good. And as you have mentioned in a earlier post, the transaction cost describes the cost of transferees of the good from one person to another, in this case the transferees of happiness. I see two problems with that. First of all that would implies that there is only a finite amount of happiness in the world. And secondly that you are neglecting the cost carried to accruing the happiness in the first place. I wonder how you would address the issue of the amount of happiness in the world, and if in doing good does a person loose some of the happiness that they have acquired previously to doing good?

    Ohh yes, if there isn’t a finite amount of happiness in the world, can we in fact then use the term of transfer? In that case wouldn’t it be more correct to talk about replication cost?

    • stefanecho says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I like your thoughts. I think whether there is infinte amount of happiness is worth considering further. I guess my preliminary conlusion is that happiness is created. Hence it is created instead of something else, so the infinity amounts to the fact that you cannot be both happy and angry at the same time, right?

      As for your second question, I believe that happiness is created by the individual’s surplus attitude. Sharing this surplus to create surplus in others cost something, but I do not believe the transaction as such diminish the amount of happiness significantly. That is why I use transaction costs to describe it.

      Thanks for the hint about replication costs. I will look into that in a future post.


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