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Optimizing Life For Happiness Doesn't Make Sense

Related: Happiness

There is a common biohackers' seeking happiness pathway.

When you decide to optimize life for happiness, you are likely to end up researching neurobiology and biochemistry on an amateur level and figure out that there is a certain number of Hormones & Neurotransmitters that affect happiness.

Your research will lead you to an exploration of Dopamine, [[Serotonin]], and [[Oxytocin]] levels and behaviors that trigger their release. In that way, you eventually get a list of buttons that you can push to increase your happiness.

If the initial goal is happiness optimization, the only thing left is to start pushing those buttons. Unfortunately, it won't work by design. Because it's how the brain is functioning.

  • Brain adjusts quickly and takes any new "happiness level" as a new starting point.
  • If the rewarding effect of pushing those buttons is predictable it's likely to deplete quickly.
  • If the effect is strong and random enough it's likely to form an addiction. While the happiness itself will also deplete eventually.

By trying to optimize happiness you are actually carrying out a Wireheading experiment on yourself.

Also worth mentioning: Resourceful State Optimization vs Happiness Optimization . There is an opinion that happiness optimization is faulty and it makes more sense to optimize for a resourceful state.