Monday, July 31, 2006

From the Happiness and Public Policy blog

In the same vein as David’s fascinating post below, here is a refreshingly accurate article on the relationship between wealth and self-reported happiness around the world from the New Scientist titled “Wealthy Nations Hold the Keys to Happiness.” The occasion of the article is the publication of a world map by Adrian White, a Ph.D. psychology student at the University of Leicester, that vividly pictures self-reported life satisfaction around the world. The relationship between wealth and the percentage of people who say they are happy leaps out pretty clearly.

“There is a belief that capitalism leads to unhappy people,” he says. “However, when people are asked if they are happy with their lives, people in countries with good healthcare, a higher [earnings] per capita, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy.”

“In the west we have the tendency to be the ‘worried well’,” White says. Too true.

... emphasize that self-reported subjective life satisfaction is a far cry from objective well-being, which includes non-subjective factors like health, longevity, the development of basic human capacities, and more. Complaining about the misery of life under capitalism is a sport for privileged people who, thanks to capitalism, are doing so objectively well that they can spend their days doing things like, say, getting a Ph.D. in American Studies from Berkeley and writing books about how Zombie movies reflect the horror of capitalism.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

I had a bit of Deja vu just the other day . . .

BBC NEWS | Health | Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory': "Scientists believe they have found a way to probe the mysterious phenomenon of feeling you have witnessed something before - deja vu.

Leeds Memory Group researchers say they have gone some way to recreating the sensation in the lab using hypnosis."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Document View

Document View: "NASA is launching its own venture fund to reach out to entrepreneurs and investors who can create technologies to advance the agency's mission of space exploration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced in February its venture, called Red Planet Capital Fund, and posted online a request for information to find someone to take charge of the vehicle.

The fund will start by making investments totaling $11 million in 2006 and grow to $20 million annually thereafter, with NASA providing strategic direction. The government agency said the fund will operate much like In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, and OnPoint Funds, the investment vehicle of the U.S. Army. Proceeds from the exits of any portfolio companies will be put back into the fund to support future investments.

NASA says it intends to make investments as part of a syndicate, alongside private-sector investors or other VC funds. Though the name Red Planet is inspired by the agency's ongoing exploration of Mars, investment areas will include human-machine interaction; water recycling, re-use and reduction; technology to fix things in space; environmental monitoring; and biomedical support for exploration missions. Lisa Lockyer, acting deputy director for NASA's innovative partnerships program, says it's still too early to talk about the fund in detail, but she says the agency has talked to a number of established venture firms to operate the fund. She added that the aim of the fund is to get off the ground and begin making investments before the end of the year."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Happy? Let's Sum It Up - Los Angeles Times

Happy? Let's Sum It Up - Los Angeles Times: "Things are looking up these days for Easterlin, 80, and the small but increasingly visible network of researchers relying on the so-called dismal science of economics to find the keys to happiness.

If earning more money generally does surprisingly little or even nothing to make societies happier, they wonder, what works better? Good health? Marriage? Sex? By one reckoning, boosting the frequency of sex in a marriage from once a month to once a week brings as much happiness as an extra $50,000 a year."

Friday, July 14, 2006

About S-P

About S-P

I got an efficiency apartment for next year in Sidney Pacific, the newest grad dorm here. I'm psyched since a bunch of my friends live there and it's a nice building with shuttle service around campus. I may feel differently once I see how small the room is, but for now feel really lucky to get to live in a grad dorm here. I think it'll be great to get to live with a dorm full of grad students and have the whole social dorm experience again complete with commons rooms, floor kitchens, and the workout facility. SP is great about organizing a lot of activities also.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I'm going to be interviewed on Cambridge local television Weds. July 12 at 6pm by Joost Bonsen: "'High-Tech Fever' is the only regularly scheduled show on Boston-area television dedicated to invention, entrepreneurship, and the financing of technology start-ups. "

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Mike, Libby, and I

Chuck, Libby, and I, originally uploaded by Michael Sieburg.

Mike's got some great photos from the wedding as well.

Congrats Curt and Ashley

IMG_0946.JPG, originally uploaded by eesley.

I spent the weekend in Cincinnati, OH at Curt and Ashley's wedding. I had a great time. It was like a MHS reunion with Mike, Rick, Scott S., Trautner, Libby, Mike A., Susy, Michelle, Jessica, Joel, Adam R., and Kristine all there.

I have to say, it's a funny feeling having one of your good friends who you grew up with get married. I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Vanguard - Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund Overview

Vanguard - Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund Overview

This looks great. Well-diversified and simple. I'm all about the simplicity these days.

Monday, July 3, 2006

My guest

Dad's in town so I've been showing him around the city and learning a bit about Boston, it's history, and (thanks to dad) it's many very good ethnic and seafood restaurants!

Karim R. Lakhani's Infrequent Musings

Yes even Google is a user innovator: "The New York Times is running a breathless story about how
Google assembles the majority of the hardware it uses and deploys at such a large scale, that Google may be the world's fourth-largest maker of computer servers.

Users as innovators? Who would have thunk it? Actually Eric von Hippel, Karim Lakhani's thesis advisor, was the first scholar to point out that a majority of the functionally novel innovations arrive from users. His books "The Source of Innovation" and "Democratizing Innovation" (both available as free downloads) outline the basic thesis of users as innovators and and provide empirical data to show this effect.

NanoSummary: Users can be innovators because they directly experience the use environment with existing products and find them to be lacking in critical functionality. The decision then is to build or buy. Often times the buy option is simply not there because manufacturers do not experience the same use environment and it takes a long time for them to recognize the "need." Many advanced users cannot wait for the manufacturers to build something they do not understand or for marketing departments to agree that their need can serve the mass market. Thus they innovate. Its really that simple."