Currently Browsing: Happiness
Jul 19, 2011
Continuing the July series of publications, this post consists of an essay called “The Voluntary Simplicity Movement: Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture,’ which is soon to be published in the peer-reviewed, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. This essay, which is based on a collection of earlier posts on this website, is...
Jun 6, 2011
My essay, ‘Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For,’ is about to be published in the Concord Saunterer: The Journal of Thoreau Studies. I sent out a draft to some of you a few months ago but have been given generous permission to post the final version here (see link below).
The essay gives an account of the two years just past that I spent living in a small, self-constructed, inner...
May 1, 2011
Greetings all, several people have asked me to write a short ‘press release’ summarising the key findings of the recent Simplicity Institute Report. The aim is to make it easy for those people who wish to post a link to the study on their websites, etc. I hope the following statement is of some use. Please feel free to amend it as you see fit.
LESS CAN BE MORE, SIMPLICITY INSTITUTE REPORTS
Mar 2, 2011
Hedonism can be defined as a way of life which treats pleasure as the ultimate good. It can be distinguished from utilitarianism, which treats happiness as the ultimate good. Hedonists are not so much concerned with happiness, in the sense of overall wellbeing. They are more interested in the carnal, sensual, and immediate pleasures of food, intoxication, sex, leisure, nature, art, and the like. By...
Jan 27, 2011
Barry Schwartz is a sociology professor at Swarthmore College and author of The Paradox of Choice. In this talk, he explains how and why the abundance of consumer choice in modern society is actually making people miserable.
But far from being a litany of despair, his is ultimately a message of hope, and a message implicitly supportive of the Simplicity Movement. Don’t think buying stuff through...
Jan 6, 2011
There are also social or communitarian incentives for embracing a life of voluntary simplicity. For example, when an individual embraces voluntary simplicity by working less, this may well benefit the individual (e.g. by creating more leisure and reducing stress). But those individual benefits will often have flow on effects that benefit others too, such as creating more time and energy for family and...
Jan 2, 2011
Money provides power in the market – power to purchase and consume desired commodities, whether goods or services. Consumption, by satisfying market preferences, is supposed to lead to well-being. In essence, this is the economic foundation of consumer culture. Its fundamental prescription is that people should seek well-being in higher incomes and more consumption. The problem, however, as Juliet...
Dec 6, 2010
Here is a wonderful story that has been floating around in cyberspace.
In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a...