I am relieved to say that my most active area of reading has turned away from biological weapons and towards the question of what makes humans happy. Toward that end, I am reading Yale psychologist Paul Bloom’s new book: How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. He taught the psychology course that I discussed at length earlier, and which included some discussion of happiness.
Just a few pages into the book, there is a nice nugget from Steven Pinker, who explains that humans are happiest when “healthy, well-fed, comfortable, safe, prosperous, knowledgeable, respected, non-celibate, and loved.” In addition to providing some interesting intellectual insights, I am hoping the book will provide some additional practical advice and insight into how humans operate. In particular, it is always useful and intriguing to learn what people generally misunderstand about themselves.