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The Genetics of Happiness

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the double-helix-of-good-times dept.

Biotech 129

Hugh Pickens writes "Studies comparing identical twins with non-identical twins have helped to establish the heritability of many aspects of behavior. Recent work suggests that about one third of the variation in people's happiness is heritable. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve has taken the study a step further, picking a popular suspect — the gene that encodes the serotonin-transporter protein, a molecule that shuffles a brain messenger called serotonin through cell membranes — and examined how variants of the 5-HTT gene affect levels of happiness. The serotonin-transporter gene comes in two functional variants—long and short and people have two versions (known as alleles) of each gene, one from each parent. After examining genetic data from more than 2,500 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, De Neve found that people with one long allele were 8% more likely than those with none to describe themselves as very satisfied with life and those with two long alleles were 17% more likely of describing themselves as very satisfied. Interestingly enough, there is a notable variation across races with Asian Americans in the sample having on average 0.69 long genes, white Americans with 1.12, and black Americans with 1.47. 'It has long been suspected that this gene plays a role in mental health but this is the first study to show that it is instrumental in shaping our individual happiness levels (PDF),' writes De Neve. 'This finding helps to explain why we each have a unique baseline level of happiness and why some people tend to be naturally happier than others, and that's in no small part due to our individual genetic make-up.'"

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There is no hole! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748556)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2007, a little boy named Timothy was standing in the hallway inside of his house. He then turned towards the place where the hallway connects with his mom's bedroom and spotted a box of graham crackers. This made him realize that there was a new rule in his house: anyone who walks past the box of graham crackers must allow the large black man standing near it to screw their bootyass! Then, for some reason, he tried to run past the box of graham crackers and was grabbed by the large black man. The large black man looked at his bootyass naked bootyass and screamed, "There is no hole!" Timothy then escaped and ran into his mom's closet, and the black man followed. The black man then bumped into the cabbage patch kid in the closet and angered it. Timothy managed to escape outside while the black man's bootyass was turned into a rumblehouse. Then, Timothy noticed that a close friend of his had his car parked in front of his house and was signaling him to get inside. Timothy did so, and the car took off down the road while Timothy explained his situation to his friend.

While Timothy was celebrating the fact that he escaped, the car began slowing down; his friend then said, "Now, now, now's the time right now!"

Timothy asked him what he was doing. His friend grinned evilly and replied, "What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!" and turned into an old man wearing a butler's outfit.

The car continued to slow down, and the cabbage patch kid was catching up to them. Timothy then got out of the car (since he could run faster than it was moving) and began running. However, what seemed to be an invisible entity lifted him into the air and thrusted him ass-first around the world at a speed greater than the speed of light! Eventually, Timothy's bootyass naked bootyass crashed directly into the very same cabbage patch kid he was trying to escape from! The cabbage patch kid was then sucked into Timothy's bootyasscheekcrackhole as if his bootyass was a spaghetti noodle (just like grandma)! At that point, his bootyass became a bouncehouse for the cabbage patch kid, and major amounts of tickle was inflicted upon it!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the very same cabbage patch kid will get sucked right up your bootyass as if your bootyass is a spaghetti noodle, and major amounts of tickle will be inflicted upon it! To prevent this from happening, copy and paste this entire comment and then repost it as a comment three times.

I wanna go... you know where! (-1, Troll)

Opportunlst (2442008) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748562)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2005, a little boy named Tim was playing in his front yard. After a few minutes of playing, Tim noticed that a large toy clown had appeared and was floating in the middle of the front yard. It had white skin, a striped shirt with many colors present on it, large, goofy looking hands with white gloves on them, huge feet with large brown shoes, a big, red round nose, and poofy red hair.

The clown was grinning evilly at Tim, who was very noticeably frightened at this strange occurrence. Tim somehow managed to shake off his fear, slowly get up, and then run down the sidewalk to get away from the toy clown. However, Tim's efforts proved to be futile when the clown spread out the palms of both of his hands, placed them in front of his body with one hand behind the other, and then began shooting giant legos out of his hands. The legos homed in on Tim's bootyass, went right through his pants and underwear, and finally reached his bootyasscheekcrackhole! Afterwards, they began spinning around on Tim's bootyasscheekcrackhole, inflicting tremendous amounts of tickle upon his bootyass!

The legos then vanished, giving Tim a few moments of relief (still, after experiencing such a terrifying thing, he is only a shell of what he once was). However, the clown was not finished yet! After a few moments, the clown said, in an evil voice, "I wanna go... you know where!" and seemingly vanished. Tim, however, knew exactly where the clown was: between his bootyasscheek johnson ultimatum supremacies! The clown, facing Tim's bootyasscheekcrackhole, put both of his hands together (with his fingers between one another), and whammed Tim's bootyasscheekcrackhole three whole times! The previous tickle paled in comparison to this tickle!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the toy clown will shoot large amounts of his legos out of his hands and they will spin around on your bootyasscheekcrackhole, and major amounts of tickle will be inflicted upon it! To prevent this from happening, copy and paste this entire comment and then repost it as a comment three times.

Alim tsk tsk... (-1, Troll)

JesusUltimatum (2487744) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748580)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2002, a little boy named Jerry was walking down the sidewalk. Then, he spotted a large, spooky-looking house with a foggy graveyard in the backyard. He decided to climb over the fence and go into the graveyard.

However, this soon proved to be a mistake. Soon after he entered the graveyard, all of his clothes vanished and he could no longer move a single cheek! Suddenly, he was somehow looking at the back of himself as if he was looking through a security camera. He could see his bootyass from this position.

That's when Jerry noticed that his cheeks were covered in graveyard fog. They were completely white! Then, Jerry noticed that a lick mark appeared on his left cheek, accompanied by the following sound: "alim tsk tsk!" It sounded almost like a whisper. Then more of the lick marks started appearing! The invisible entity slurping his cheeks shifted between his left and right cheek and got closer to his bootyasscheekcrack with each slurp! Finally, the lick marks reached his bootyasscheekcrack, and he felt something fly into his bootyasscheekcrackhole.

That's when it happened. Jerry's bootyass became something else entirely. It became nothing more than a rumblehouse bootyass! Something began bouncing around inside of his bootyass and using his bootyass as a bouncehouse! It inflicted extreme amounts of tickle upon his bootyass!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the same invisible entity will aloomper your cheeks and then use your bootyass as a bouncehouse (thereby inflicting extreme amounts of tickle upon it)! To prevent this from happening, copy and paste this entire comment and then repost it as a comment three times.

Black people happier? (2)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748588)

So the summary implies that black people are expected to be happier. Is that what is observed in the wild?

Re:Black people happier? (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748660)

Baseline happiness can arguably be negatively correlated to competitiveness, drive and success. You are naturally happy, so you don't worry about making things better for yourself or your children, you just go with the flow because things are pretty good the way they are.

Check out the decisions of people before and after they go on an SSRI. The small sample of SSRI users I know tend to fall into a complacent, ultimately self destructive, state when they are on the pills for too long (6 months or more). It's not something I've seen widely published in the literature, just personal observation shared between myself and other non-SSRI users about SSRI users we know.

Re:Black people happier? (3, Interesting)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748710)

Baseline happiness can arguably be negatively correlated to competitiveness, drive and success. You are naturally happy, so you don't worry about making things better for yourself or your children, you just go with the flow because things are pretty good the way they are.

Check out the decisions of people before and after they go on an SSRI. The small sample of SSRI users I know tend to fall into a complacent, ultimately self destructive, state when they are on the pills for too long (6 months or more). It's not something I've seen widely published in the literature, just personal observation shared between myself and other non-SSRI users about SSRI users we know.

I somewhat agree, though without the "self-destructive" part of your statement. I have been on SSRI and have seen my own complacency reduce my drive.

Re:Black people happier? (2)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748746)

A friend, as well as myself, struggle with anxiety disorders. I considered going on SSRIs but he warned me against them. His experience was, yes it evens out your extremes, so no difficult periods of crippling anxiety. However, you are equally incapable of being very happy, the drug mainly working to, quite literally, level you. He said after months of use he felt like he was just going through the motions, everything was routine. He was not upset, sad or anxious, but he also never enjoyed anything. I decided against going on them. The alternative is to get a prescription for Valium or something like it, which has fewer such dramatic effects, though you will experience the onset of anxiety before you take them, so there is that, plus they are addictive so they must be taken with caution. I remain unmedicated, as I am trying to work it out without drugs for the time being.

Re:Black people happier? (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748942)

A few years after purchasing my convertible car, I read that driving fast with the top down in the sunshine can release a significant quantity of seratonin compared to driving a sedan, sedately, with the windows rolled up. I also read (in a completely unrelated article) that excess levels of seratonin can lead to involuntary clenching of the jaw muscles and grinding of the teeth. For myself, these two observations appear to work (blast home over the I-195 causeway with the top down, get a case of lock-jaw at the light on Biscayne Blvd, observed both before and after reading the articles.)

I imagine there are many things you can do, besides swallowing a pill, that have similarly profound effects on basic brain chemistry.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748996)

Sadly not an option for me at the moment :( This economy is not so kind to graduates.

Re:Black people happier? (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749120)

Sadly not an option for me at the moment :( This economy is not so kind to graduates.

My convertible is a 1991 Mazda Miata - decent ones go for about $1500 these days.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749354)

My convertible is a 1991 Mazda Miata - decent ones go for about $1500 these days.

Add another $1500-$2K to that and put on a turbo or supercharger..and you will REALLY start to feel better. Those little cars souped up can REALLY be screamers. You sure can surprise people in mustangs, or even the lower end vettes with a tweaked miata.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749510)

My convertible is a 1991 Mazda Miata - decent ones go for about $1500 these days.

Add another $1500-$2K to that and put on a turbo or supercharger..and you will REALLY start to feel better. Those little cars souped up can REALLY be screamers. You sure can surprise people in mustangs, or even the lower end vettes with a tweaked miata.

Careful there - I went down that road, $5K for a turbo+ECU with intercooler and free flow exhaust, another $5K for limited slip differential, brake upgrades, etc. I got plenty of lock-jaw before the turbo went on (though I get it much easier since...)

Re:Black people happier? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749640)

Nice...!!!

I went the route of getting one of the '05 Mazdaspeed miatas, already with factory turbo, suspension upgrades, anti-sway bars..etc.

I'm looking to drop about $1600 or so, to get rid of the factory air restriction...using the Flyin Miata [flyinmiata.com] upgrades...basically the little enchilada...to get to about 200HP true rear wheel horsepower...which will be pretty fun.

I'll likely keep it at that, and use this for my ragtop, and possibly get one of the new 580 HP ZL-1 Camaro [caranddriver.com] that should come out some time next year...to get my 'muscle car' jones taken car of.

Lots of good serotonin between those 8 wheels.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751510)

My turbo was an early FM unit, late 1996! I'm hoping I can afford the FM V8 treatment by the time this engine is used up.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749734)

Oh yeah those can be picked up for £500 here. But insurance is another £2000 a year, so that is a no-go. I spend most of my expendable income on monthly train passes anyway. Whoopee.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749868)

Miatas really are a pretty good deal, happiness/money wise. I'm on my second one. So far the only things that have needed to be replaced on the second one (2002) are tires, brakes, and oil.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750564)

Studies have shown that discussions about happiness tend to morph into miata threads.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749770)

I imagine there are many things you can do, besides swallowing a pill, that have similarly profound effects on basic brain chemistry.

Yeah....like exercise.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751546)

I imagine there are many things you can do, besides swallowing a pill, that have similarly profound effects on basic brain chemistry.

Yeah....like exercise.

Sacrilege! Next you'll say it can help you lose weight too.

Re:Black people happier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750692)

The people with the pills are (supposed to be) the ones who used to have similar experiences, but when they do them now, they feel nothing but the empty hole where their happiness used to be. Could you imagine doing your car thing in perfect conditions and not feeling anything similar to joy? If not, you're not quite empathizing with the person you're handing advice to.

It's like these two armless guys are chatting about the merits of differenet prostetics, and you walk up and give tell them that lifting things is easier when you lift with your legs. I mean, yes, that's true, but it's ignoring an underlying problem that they ain't got no hands to lift with.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749066)

My doc put me on SSRIs /because/ I had no highs and lows. No wonder I noticed no difference.

Re:Black people happier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750876)

I have no idea if this is sound advice, but I want to congradulate you on your choice to go clean. I have my own personal views on what it means to be alive and the thought of changing myself through chemistry to be someone else is similar to suicide and death. It's the easy way out. It's giving up on the self-improvement struggle. Now, if you absolutely need to have/be/do X, then you really don't have an option. You can't ignore the real world. If you need to hold down a job, and it ain't going to happen without the get-to-work pills, then you do what you have to. But if there's a chance for self improvement, that would be a better option. Real self improvement, not with a crutch.

Personally, I'm addicted to caffeine. With mountain dew being my poison of choice. As far as addictions go, this is pretty damn manageable. After a week, withdraw is only a moderate headache for a little while. Maybe some sleep issues. I know that I could be a better person if I kicked this habit, and I maybe kinda sorta tried to cut back once upon a time. And it was hard. There's little motivation and it was easy to go back.
So I keep this little vice as a reminder that if I ever got into something deeper I'd be royally screwed. The happy pill would be a one way road for me. It'd be giving up.

Re:Black people happier? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748990)

Baseline happiness can arguably be negatively correlated to competitiveness, drive and success.

Or not, because people who are depressed feel like it doesn't matter what they do, life's going to suck anyways. They may also respond to their constant unhappiness by looking for artificial mood boosters, which can lead to alcoholism or drug use. They frequently also fail to recognize the value of their accomplishments. By contrast, a happier person is more likely to trigger their brain's reward mechanisms when they do something productive, so they're likely to repeat the behavior.

And it's also worth noting that it's unclear to what degree "drive" and "competitiveness" has to do with "success": The best predictor of a person's level of educational attainment is their parents' educational attainment. The best predictor of athletic success is genetic advantages like height, eyesight, and weight. Artistic success has a fair amount to do with whether a kid's artistic efforts were encouraged or discouraged early on. Most of the really wealthy people in the US inherited a significant amount (Paul Allen is the exception on this front, not the rule).

Re:Black people happier? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749192)

Baseline happiness can arguably be negatively correlated to competitiveness, drive and success.

Or not, because people who are depressed feel like it doesn't matter what they do, life's going to suck anyways.

Like I said, arguably. The morbid joke around depression treatment circles is that ECT works because you forget that your life sucks, as soon as you remember (typically in 6 months or so), you're depressed again.

Swing too far in any direction and things usually don't go well, in a population of billions there are plenty of exceptions, but mostly, it's a bad idea to get really happy (like opium users), or really depressed.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749494)

Well obviously, this study is horribly racist!!

I mean, the nerve of these scientists trying to propose that possibly there are genetic differences between the races. We all know that this is not the case, that all races and people, of both sexes (and hermaphrodites) are completely and 100% equal on all bases.

I mean, what the hell? Haven't we progressed beyond this discriminatory scientific findings thing YET?!??!

Re:Black people happier? (1)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751110)

Due to anecdotal reasons I have to agree with the parent.

SSRIs make 'bad' situations seem 'fine' so there's no drive to get out of them. Whether that be a bad relationship, bad living arrangements, bad job, etc. Sadness and dissatisfaction can be powerful motivators to improve your life. Of course they can also become crippling when people are unable or unwilling to make changes and end up stuck in that unhappy place for too long. SSRIs make that unhappy place a normal place... so why change?

Kind of sad. But SSRIs are very useful for helping people out of depression... though proper support from friends and family would probably do the same thing if done properly.

Re:Black people happier? (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748720)

A possible factor here is that if they recruited test subjects from the student population (not uncommon for university studies), the black subjects would be more likely to be exceptionally motivated and happy people just to get into the school in the first place.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748806)

Drive and happiness seem pretty much opposed to me. Not depression obviously which tends to kill drive entirely. But if you are "happy" getting Bs you aren't going to work harder to get As. The idea of "baseline happiness" is that you are stuck with it too, I think anyway. So a better paying job or better results in school will make you happier but only temporarily and soon you'll revert back to the baseline. So those who are the most "naturally unhappy" will have a greater urge to increase their happiness which means continual improvement due to the reversion to baseline. They are also destined to die unhappy since at some point (for most people who don't die young anyway) you'll peak in all the metrics and it's downhill all the way after that...

Re:Black people happier? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749932)

But if you're 'happy' studying, you'll be happy studying more. Enjoying the process can lead to success, just as much as enjoying the results.

Americans - not Black (4, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748934)

2 points.

First - Yes - it has been obsered in the wild. That was the point of the study.

Second - and this is imporant - they were testing "Black Americans". African gene are the most heterogeneous - which is what one would expect from the cradle of mankind. "Black Americans" genes are much more homogeneous since they were drawn from a limited pool. So while we can say this is true for Black Americans but it does not say anything about Africans in general.

Re:Black people happier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37749134)

So the summary implies that black people are expected to be happier. Is that what is observed in the wild?

Yes, it is. Once you domesticate them, they're far less happy, and frequently break into blues music.

Re:Black people happier? (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749164)

Compare Southern Baptist services with Lutheran and you tell me.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749440)

I think it's finally safe to say it. Black Americans really do have longer alleles. And Asian Americans have tiny ones.

Re:Black people happier? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749526)

I think it's finally safe to say it. Black Americans really do have longer alleles. And Asian Americans have tiny ones.

Maybe it is another case of "growers vs showers"?

:)

If everyone was happy (2, Funny)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748604)

We wouldn't have a republican party

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748650)

Actually, we wouldn't have politics at all.

Re:If everyone was happy (3, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748698)

Interesting test (party affiliation vs allelle composition), doubt we could get government funding to run a publicly published study though. I bet there are private studies already in the works for the various "political think tanks."

Re:If everyone was happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748730)

You mean, we wouldn't have people who are so unhappy that they feel the need to take from the people who worked for what they have (and would like to keep it), and give it to the people who haven't/don't.

There... fixed that for you.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749104)

If you really think everyone "works" for what they have then you haven't been in the workforce long have you? Jesus.

Furthermore, if we are talking about the 1%: these guys aren't the risk takers, they aren't the job creators, they aren't the innovators. They are like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan since 1995. He's seen his overall compensation between 9 million and 30 million all the while returning what to shareholders? Nothing. JPM the stock, which joe worker might rely upon either as a single equity or as part of an index fund has remained absolutely flat returning a paltry dividend only.
No, the likes of the good ol' person networked CEO is that they are glorified, overpaid managers. They are not the people who have worked hard for what they have.

Any talk of raising taxes today in the US probably does not affect you. I can say this with reasonable assumption only because it's a small percentage who make that kind of money.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749726)

Furthermore, if we are talking about the 1%: these guys aren't the risk takers, they aren't the job creators, they aren't the innovators. They are like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan since 1995. He's seen his overall compensation between 9 million and 30 million all the while returning what to shareholders?

And my thought is..."SO WHAT?"

It shouldn't matter or you or I...or anyone else how much this guy makes for doing nothing...except the stockholders of JPM.

If they're idiots to pay a guy for doing nothing, well, then...that's their problem.

Hell, I know I'd jump at the chance to get a 'job' that required me to do very little in return for an astronomical salary. I don't know many people on the face of the earth that would turn down that opportunity.

If it means that much to you...try to buy some stock and organize the rest of the shareholders and either lower his salary or fire him.

Aside from that...who really has a reason to bitch about how much anyone makes?

Strangely, I don't see anyone standing in line to protest the ungodly amounts of money that professional sport persona are making these days in the NFL, NBA, baseball (whatever professional letters they have) or golfers.

Are those guys really worth multi-million dollars a year? What do they produce that is useful? Is playing a fucking GAME really contributing that much to our society and the common working man?

Re:If everyone was happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750314)

It shouldn't matter or you or I...or anyone else how much this guy makes for doing nothing...except the stockholders of JPM.

Except that I AM a stockholder. Or could be. I don't really know. I had about 6 options when it came to my 401k investments and I imagine they all invest in similar things, including indexes and mutual funds which spread out the risk. Which means with the interconnected web of the stock market, that the actions of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, has a real meaningful effect on my future well being.

So, since our society is all interconnected and when one market goes up or down it effectively helps or hurts everyone, it IS my problem.

Now, you could say that it was my option to invest in the stock market. Except that the 401k is the only non-retarded, non-full-time-job method of retirement investment for the average joe. Well, the average joe with a decent job. The pension is a thing of the past, and sticking it under the bed is generally considered a stupid thing to do.

Finally, I think professional sports are retarded. Not only for the salaries that go around, but for the massive distraction that they cause for universities. I saw a couple of people get really excited about getting a football scholarship... and then they just played football there. I mean, they picked up a degree like English or History, but their main focus was football. One of them was a real estate agent last I heard, and I don't know about the other. And I saw a lot more kids that DIDN'T get that scholarship.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750438)

I am definitely a JPM individual stockholder and very likely through one of the index funds in my 40x plan.

Being a common stockholder really holds no water. The networked board makes the decisions no matter what. I'm not saying I'm powerless, but, we are powerless.

Things like sports keep people interested in something else. Entertainment in general keeps people happy, it's a diversion. And I am one who rails against the high salaries of entertainers, kingly sums really. But I only rail so far because what's it get me? I'd rather enjoy life and so far things are good.

As a 10%er I'm concerned.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749862)

Furthermore, if we are talking about the 1%: these guys aren't the risk takers, they aren't the job creators, they aren't the innovators. They are like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan since 1995. He's seen his overall compensation between 9 million and 30 million all the while returning what to shareholders? Nothing. JPM the stock, which joe worker might rely upon either as a single equity or as part of an index fund has remained absolutely flat returning a paltry dividend only.

You have fully epitomized the problem with class warfare - you've decided that the wealthiest 1% are all like the wealthiest 0.00001%!

Here's a wake-up call for you. The vast majority of the "1% 'ers" you hate are hard workers, and provide a huge benefit to the economy. It's too bad they actually don't make the kind of money you think they do, because if they did then their income alone would put the GDP of the US at about $51 Trillion - almost 4 times the actual GDP.

So let's tax the hell out of the top 1% so the Federal government will be awash in cash. That would be good for all the poor and middle class, right? Balance things out, wouldn't it? Well, no. The ones that would actually benefit from that would be those 0.00001% like the JPM CEO, and the Goldman Sachs execs, (including the ones that now have powerful administrative positions in the Federal government), and all the others at the very top that you keep confusing with the actual working people that float in and out of the "top earner" category. Because it's not going to shift the power down, it would shift it even further upward.

This is how the US fascist system works. People really need to get a clue about this, because those 3.4 million people in the US working hard and succeeding are the only ones hampering the total control of the entire system that the 5,000 or so elitists at the very top would really like to have.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750334)

A. Wake up call? I NEVER said I "hated" them.
A1. Maybe there was some generalization there, but, I still support a 1%'er tax hike - period. Hard work yes, but those extreme compensation examples do not happen all by themselves. We pay for too much military, police and fire personnel with lifetime handsome livings, good highway systems, clean water, etc... Not a single 1%er did anything alone.
A2. I agree that fairly taxing 1%ers will not shift power down. Nothing will but it's a completely separate problem of lack of actual democracy. The irony of the US "democracy" persists. The actual sort of plutocracy/oligarchy persists.

B. You don't know fascism.

C. Economic feudalism is more like it. I come from a very humble background here in the US. I put myself through two degrees, served in the military, and have been fortunate. I am the only one in my family to go to college. I see many of my nieces/nephews awash and adrift in a place that doesn't really have a place for them.
Ca. As much as I want to shoot laser beams at Rick Perry, one thing he has proposed is the $10K degree. Now academics mumble that you get what you pay for, you can't get an education for this amount, blah blah blah. But what RP is kind of calling for is not a liberal arts education but a trade tract for individuals. You get a trade or occupation after a 10k investment. Period. It's a great idea to have thrown out there. Love it. We should acknowledge and help people find paths more and this would do it...

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751452)

Your post is full of nothing but Democratic talking points, so I'm not sure why I would even respond to it.

You say you "still support" a 1%'er tax hike, without any justification for why (envy?). Your statist talking points don't even address the fact that the 1% pay about 30% of the federal taxes while earning 18% of the income.

I'm not impressed by anybody's plan for better and more efficient slave factories.

The US is NOT a democracy - it's a democratic Republic. It actually works very well everywhere except at the Federal level, because the Federal government has entrenched (yes, FASCIST [mises.org] ) policies and far too much power both over its own people and in foreign relations. I can't support ANYTHING that will supply even MORE power to it.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750940)

Class warfare is already happening against the middle and poor class. The top 10% are mostly sheltered from this shitty economy the top 1% created out of greed, to make themselves richer. The top 10% are awash with hard workers, the top 1% are not. We are talking about people that have connections through Harvard or other institutions and already come from money, then make ridiculous salaries 500 times that of their hardest working employees. There are plenty of people in the lower 90% that could achieve a Harvard or other Ivy League degree, its just inaccessible for them unless they happen to suck the right cock for a scholarship.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37751226)

You've just perpetuated exactly the same false equivalency I pointed out in my post, without even addressing anything I said.

And if you think there are 34 million people in the US sheltered from the shitty economy, you're completely full of shit. Nor is there anywhere close to 3.4 million people making 500 times the amount of their workers, that's bullshit.

There are plenty of people in the lower 90% that could achieve a Harvard or other Ivy League degree, its just inaccessible for them unless they happen to suck the right cock for a scholarship.

I guess Obama sucked the right ones, then, he was certainly in the lower 90% during his college years. I guess he's still doing it, too.

Without you whiny demo-libtards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748854)

On the contrary... we'd be partying non-stop.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748950)

Why would you say that?
I have seen a lot of very happy republicans, especially when they are not around democrats, democrats like to put a downer on everything, Oh how many trees died so we can have are playing cards. Oh look the public access posting has a misspelling it is because we are not funding our schools. Oh no we wont go to that because we have to give money to a huge company... Really Democrats are really a downer, even when they are not with Republicans.

Republicans only seem to get pissed off when the democrats put a downer on them doing things they want to do.

The Core value of the Modern Republican is try to keep things the way they use to be. So in essence they are happy with the way thing were. Democrats want to change everything so they are unhappy with things.

Now I am not saying we should just follow the Republicans just because they are happier with the way thing are/were because they are ignoring a lot of serious problems. But in terms of happiness Republicans are happier on the average then Democrats.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749042)

The Core value of the Modern Republican is try to keep things the way they use to be.

What decade do you live in?

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749484)

The Core value of the Modern Republican is try to keep things the way they use to be. So in essence they are happy with the way thing were.

Man, they must have been suffering ever since the steam engine started to change things, and change has only been accelerating since then.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749604)

Now I am not saying we should just follow the Republicans just because they are happier with the way thing are/were because they are ignoring a lot of serious problems. But in terms of happiness Republicans are happier on the average then Democrats.

I saw a documentary about happiness a few weeks ago. In it, an American doctor confirmed exactly that: Republicans are far happier than Democrats, because they believe the world is good as it is and nothing is worth changing.

Re:If everyone was happy (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749892)

So we should call them the party of buzzkill?

Re:If everyone was happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37749458)

We wouldn't have a republican party

Correct.

You and other people like you would work very hard so that the government can tax the hell out of you, taking away more than half the fruits of your labor, and give it to folks like me while I sit on my ass surfing the web all day long, collecting welfare & unemployment because I don't want to work for any job at all unless it pays like a banker (with hours to match). Oh and by the way, keep up all your good hard work because I need a new iPhone 4S and my contract ain't up yet, and I'd also like to get some new leather furniture from the rent-to-own place and a new subwoofer amp for my car.

The opposite of that... (2)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749508)

Not that I put much store in such things, but studies and surveys show your statement is totally backwards--republicans (or, more specifically, conservatives) tend to be happier than democrats (liberals):

http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/04/23/conservatives-are-happier-than-liberals-discuss/ [freakonomics.com]

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=BABCDEA5-D180-499B-094168CBE5442468 [scientificamerican.com]

On a purely anecdotal level, I would say that I would categorize more of my conservative friends as "happy people" than I would my liberal friends. There are of course dozens of exceptions, and, like I said, I don't put much store in this stuff anyway (especially non-scientific anecdotal).

Re:The opposite of that... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750006)

Republicans have a higher proportion of married people and parents than democrats. That might contribute to their higher happiness levels.

Another might be the urban/rural split. Urban dwellers are more likely democrat, and also more likely miserable. I noted a while ago that democrats are more likely to launch into profanity on a bulletin board than republicans... I eventually decided that it has nothing to do with politics, but just a side effect of democrats being generally more urban and younger.

Re:The opposite of that... (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750560)

Republicans have a higher proportion of married people and parents than democrats. That might contribute to their higher happiness levels.

On slashdot I've previously been cited statistics that show parents are actually -- at all stages of life -- unhappier than non-parents. I'm a new parent (2-year-old) and that doesn't match my experience, but again, anecdotal...

Another might be the urban/rural split. Urban dwellers are more likely democrat, and also more likely miserable. I noted a while ago that democrats are more likely to launch into profanity on a bulletin board than republicans... I eventually decided that it has nothing to do with politics, but just a side effect of democrats being generally more urban and younger.

I've always thought city dwellers seem miserable, but apparently some people like the urban lifestyle. I would mostly agree about profanity / getting really upset on messageboards seems dominated by leftists, but have you noticed on news sites that now use facebook for comments? It's unbelievable how racist, classist, sexist, hateful, etc people will be -- on the record with their real name and picture! It definitely spans the political spectrum too. Unbelievable.

Re:If everyone was happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37749814)

I think it's the opposite. I know a lot of Republicans, and, while it's unfair to generalize, many of them can be described as unempathetic: they're happy and healthy and can't imagine that anyone else wouldn't be unless it's through a fault of their own. Of course, when they get sick or lose their job, it's the liberals or bad luck or whatever, whereas if someone else is on hard times (sometimes even if they were born into them), it's their fault and speaks badly of something about them (race, creed, attitude, etc.).

There was a TED talk pointing to a worldwide tendency along these and other lines, of liberals to be empathetic and conservatives to be unempathetic.

So, while we all respond differently to stress, and not everyone develops a sense of empathy out of their own hardships, I think if we were all happy all the time, fewer people would have a sense that others legitimately need help sometimes.

See also the relative rates of charitable giving between poor and rich (bearing in mind that most rich and poor people, even in the US, were born into it). Poor people understand how hard it can be not to have money, and how, even when you do your best to prepare for hardships, you are still vulnerable.

Re:If everyone was happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750072)

Really? The complainers and protesters are 99% of the time liberals.

So how long ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748618)

So how long until the protein the long allele encodes is produced and sold as happiness drug?

Re:So how long ... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748672)

So how long until the protein the long allele encodes is produced and sold as happiness drug?

A long, long time, they've got maintenance pills that do that - why would you spend money to develop a one time treatment when you can sell people daily pills for the rest of their lives instead?

Re:So how long ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748728)

How would that be a one time treatment? You would need gene therapy to make it permanent.

Re:So how long ... (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748760)

Sounds like you didn't understand. He wasn't talking about inserting the alleles into cells after the fact (something which isn't attainable with current technology, although some retroviruses show promise), but rather synthesizing the compounds which those cells with the aforementioned alleles would be producing to mimic the effect without the genetic machinery. That would in fact have to be a regular and recurring treatment, though I'm not sure that it would be all that different from existing treatments relating to seratonin production and management.

Re:So how long ... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749078)

Sounds like you didn't understand.

True. Probably due to my personal crusade history and lack of deep though this morning. I have, on occasion, advocated for development of the retroviral type treatments for much more limited / controlled treatments, and the most common reaction I got was "that's science fiction, we're at least 20 years out from even seeing that work reliably in mice" - this was in 2004ish. The treatment I was advocating (increase local neural photosensitivity to replace electrostimulation with photostimulation, increasing safety and possibly efficacy of implantable neurostimulators) is now well proven in animal models, and even developed to an on/off type switch controllable by the color of light used.

The problem with commercializing anything more complicated than a pill is the immensely profitable nature of pills. If the protein can be stabilized and delivered in a pill, then I bet somebody in some drug company is already studying the problem.

Re:So how long ... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748936)

Even if we assume that all drug developers are a cartel(rather than a set of entities competing with one another to produce blockbuster drugs; but in agreement that drugs really ought to be expensive), developing a one-time treatment makes total sense if it is sufficiently expensive vs. a maintenance drug.

The net present value of a patient on a maintenance drug is lowered by the fact that future sales to them are time discounted($50 today is better than a promise of $50 a year from now, though exact discount rates vary) and discounted due to uncertainty(the patient could die, recover, become too poor to remain a customer, switch drugs, etc. so, at a population level, the probability that a customer today implies a payout at a given point in the future becomes lower as time goes on). For those reasons, the net present value is substantially lower than $prescription profit/month*months of patient life.

There are also the transaction costs: it isn't free to have the doctor write the script every month or three, and to have the pharmacy stock the stuff and hand it out, and for the customer to drive over and pick it up, and remember to take it every day. All those costs either bite into the producer's profit, or the consumer's willingness to pay.

If you have a one-time cure, on the other hand, its net present value, per patient, is equal to the profit at which you sell it. No discounted future payments, no future uncertainty, cash-in-hand. Plus, the customer is willing to pay more because there is no more daily pill, no more pharmacy pickups, no more doctor to write the script every so often, no feeling like shit if you mess up the logistics and miss a dose.

Consider, by way of analogy, the way that laser eye surgery was not actually crushed by the Glasses Industrial Complex. It is a comparatively 'premium' priced product, compared to a basic pair of glasses every so often(based on breakage or prescription change) for life; but it offers good immediate-cash-in-hand profits for the producer and is valued by consumers for its great longterm convenience.

Re:So how long ... (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749100)

Consider, by way of analogy, the way that laser eye surgery was not actually crushed by the Glasses Industrial Complex. It is a comparatively 'premium' priced product, compared to a basic pair of glasses every so often(based on breakage or prescription change) for life; but it offers good immediate-cash-in-hand profits for the producer and is valued by consumers for its great longterm convenience.

Alcon, a major manufacturer of laser eye surgery machines and eyedrops, loses money on the machines, they make it all in the eyedrops.

Re:So how long ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748700)

You mean prozac? Allthough it doesn't produce any additional serotonin, just inhibits it's reuptake into the presynaptic cell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI

Re:So how long ... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748738)

Likely depends on whether the effect is continuous, or whether the major difference is made relatively early in development, by pushing the system onto a different trajectory than it otherwise would have followed.

We already have scads of SSRIs that tweak the seretonin system in what is supposed to be a positive direction. Those, as a class, manage to have clinically significant effects in a reasonable percentage of people with major depression; but (despite broad, fairly easy, availability) have attracted pretty much zero interest as recreational mood-enhancers among the population at large.

I assume that there will be some research interest in the long-variant transporter protein as a successor to, or supplement to, SSRIs; and it might end up being a hit in the antidepressant market(if it turns out that regulating membrane transport is an important part of, or better than, futzing with extracellular concentration); but it is hard to imagine it taking the world of either cheap, widely available, socially lubricating, soft drugs(booze, pot) or potentially quite hazardous; but really-grabs-you-right-by-the-pleasure-center hard drugs(amphetamines, coke, etc.) by storm.

Re:So how long ... (1)

RustyShackleford007 (2485098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748932)

Given past drug events; I wager a little over a year.

It's all about who has the money and paying who. It's not about the overall success rate.

--
Guns don't kill people, the pharmaceutical companies do. Slowly.

Re:So how long ... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748964)

Happiness drugs are illegal in the United States.

Re:So how long ... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750028)

Funny how all the people I know that take happy pills end up unhappy.

Re:So how long ... (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749650)

I doubt that the world would benefit from everybody being happy all the time. Happiness is in the path, not the destination. You should do things that make you happy, instead of just be happy and idle.

hrumpf (1, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748704)

I was told it isn't length that makes happy. It is width.

Re:hrumpf (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748822)

She lied. Oh and you aren't wide either...

If you're interested (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748708)

There is an excelent Stanford course in youtube [youtube.com] .

Happiness = (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748716)

Boobs.

Very male of me, I know, but c'mon. Men love them and women with the right personalities don't mind using them in jokes or in bed. Thus, everyone is happy.

delusional? (1)

nitefallz (221624) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748732)

Did the study differentiate between "Happy" people and delusional people?

Re:delusional? (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749166)

I have met these ... and those with pollyannaish tendencies (a different vector of delusion really). In the US, a lot of people tend to like folks such as these, take them on as subordinates, and promote them to their peter principle level. Not many adults enjoy the truth I've learned.

Will wonders never cease (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748736)

and that's in no small part due to our individual genetic make-up.

I know this is a semantically pedantic rant, but when I see comments like that, it just makes me want to face palm. Of course our genetic make-up determines who we are. Whether we're happy (as in this study), the color of our eyes, male/female/miscellaneous (Hindu! There are 700 million of us!), how tall we are or whatever, it is our genes that, almost without exception, determine who we are.

To say otherwise, or feign surprise, is just stupid.

Re:Will wonders never cease (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748820)

Given the observed sensitivity, especially but not exclusively neonatal, to environmental influences, and the whole field of epigenetic study, it is neither obvious, nor obviously true, that our genetic make-up determines who we are.

Thanks to twin studies and other convenient test populations, we've been able to determine that some things are extremely heritable; but that others are surprisingly minimally so. There are even a number of factors(mostly metabolic and neurological stuff that is laid down in utero) where the developing embryo takes enough chemical cues from mommy that a practically Lamarkian pattern of 'inheritance' is seen.

Hindu? (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748886)

They found a Hindu gene? Can you cite? And how close are they to fiinding the pentecostal gene yet?

Re:Hindu? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749014)

Research suggests that pentecostalism, or "Episodic Parham's Aphasia", is environmentally induced, rather than genetic...

Re:Will wonders never cease (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749142)

Except that there's a lot of question about the environmental factors in many areas of development. Behavior is definitely one area where it has at least some effect. If I'm born genetically predisposed to mild depression, but I have a great family who support me, live a relatively "good" life, and maybe take up some sort of meditation practice, it's less likely that I'll be regularly depressed. I'll still be more inclined to it than someone without the genetic predisposition, but chances are I'll be happier overall than someone with my similar predisposition born into more unfortunate circumstances. The question isn't "do genetics impact happiness", of course they do. The questions are "how much do genetics impact happiness in the normal range of people" and "how precisely do they do so." Other studies focus on the first question, this study seems to focus more on the second.

Re:Will wonders never cease (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749442)

It is well known that a lot of what you are is *not* genetic. For example even this study showed that happiness is 60% not heritable. Your genes don't code for all the connections in your brain for example, there is simply not enough genetic material for that. More plain examples are iris patterns and fingerprints. But the list goes on. General Health, exercise and eating habits matter for a lot of things like happiness.

The problem with its all genetics is that you are required to ignore a lot of data that just as many traits are not from your genes.

we haven't really seen the real drugs yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748742)

how long before we make sense of it all, and are able to influence endogenous levels of dmt (happiness drug)-which binds to these 5-HT receptors

heritable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748762)

There's a word you don't see every day. I wonder why they didn't just say hereditary? Perhaps they didn't think they could spell it?

You need both sides of the coin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37748768)

If everyone was happy it wouldn't mean anything, not having been contrasted with sadness.

Re:You need both sides of the coin. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749176)

That's the sort of tosh that sounds very poetic; but is really nonsense.

Moods don't "mean" things: they are physiological states, not symbols. Further, "happy" isn't something you infer by playing compare-and-contrast, it's the immediate introspective impression of a certain state(just as certain sensations on the skin are pleasant per se, not by contrast to being on fire.)

Our present knowledge of psycho-pharmacology and neurology is blunt enough that shooting for permanent happiness is not a particularly good move; but that's a technological problem, not some sort of issue in epistemology.

Re:You need both sides of the coin. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750092)

I think you're too quick to dismiss the importance of relative moods. Pain or pleasure is often relative to a normal baseline, and if somebody never experiences pain, they will be terribly hurt by a small trauma. Similarly, a small bit of happiness in a miserable life can be transforming.

I agree that all states aren't relative. I'd offer 'contentment' as an example. It's a wonderful feeling, and it doesn't really fade. You have it or you don't.

Re:You need both sides of the coin. (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750410)

"Happy" and "sad" are a bound pair - you can't have one without the other. If you were happy all the time, never experiencing sadness, the term "happy" would be meaningless. You would just "be."

Your tongue rattles around inside your mouth all the time. Plenty of contact sensations there, the vast majority of which are ignored because they are always there. Munching a strawberry is pleasant; munching your tongue is unpleasant. So your tongue-contact state space decomposes into "pleasant," "unpleasant," and "meh." Pleasant and Unpleasant are a duality pair - eliminate one and the other goes with it. You're just left with "meh" at that point.

scrambled eggs in the bleacher seats (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749230)

Mob psychology is the echo chamber of common sense. And that's the good outcome. Even worse is nature/nurture where there was never much common sense to begin with.

Yes, there are correlates on both sides despite one or more mixing rounds of bent functions.

How does one perform medical epidemiology on an encryption block your kid sister wrote? Let's say your kid sister is Judit Polgar and she's almost smart enough to get this right (having not actually majored in math or computer science), but then you truncate to two rounds, so it's more like scrambling eggs with a spatula rather than an egg beater. This is a good model for the human nature/nurture system.

Permute the keys bits holding the block bits constant. Permute the block bits holding the key bits constant. Throw this into a powerful statistics whizinart, then press "publish" to gasps and wows from the bleachers of humanity who are slow to grasp that their common sense on this matter is six feet under.

Yeah, you can probably partition into dozens of sub-regions of statistically significant linearity manipulating the input bits on either side. There's many discernible chunks of white and yolk in the spastic scramble.

Even if you take major features of culture (such as our universal 12 year educational system, which represents about a millisecond of our 80ka recent history) and correlate genes most amenable to this, there's a wide span of orbital radius as experienced by any particular member of the population.

If a trillion dollars worth of epidemiology tells you less about a person on a quick reading of their gene chart than you get from an astute five minute introductory conversation, what exactly has all this research accomplished?

What we will find eventually are a few genes or gene complexes which correlate strongly with the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of proposed interventions (such as reading assistance). The exact fractal coefficient on little peaks of signal exploitation is certainly a quantity of interest moving forward. I'm pretty sure it's bounded from above by log (panacea).

We'll all become a tiny bit better at playing to strength. And most of the rest of the signal will fall below the noise floor of messy human affairs.

Here's the surprise twist: astute assessment is thin on the ground (the sap to syrup problem) and nearly impossible to institutionalize. So unless our machines become astute ASAP (as some predict), we'll probably press forward with the institutional seal club of genomic aphorism.

Postmodernist philosophers went wild reading that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37749642)

I am certain dozens were nodding their heads in fervent agreement.

Re:scrambled eggs in the bleacher seats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37749894)

I think it's time for you to stop smoking whatever you were smoking when you wrote this.

Re:scrambled eggs in the bleacher seats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750414)

Wow, is this a joke?

Not a single thing you said made sense. I have never seen so many rambling disconnected ideas together at once. It's like looking the writings of a schizophrenic person.

Please tell me this is a joke or you have some kind of profound mental illness. It bothers me to think a regular person who thinks the way you do could really be out there amongst us.

Doesn't seem right. (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749554)

I have depression and have had it since I was 16. My parents don't. My brothers don't. No one in my family on either side suffers from it. And yet, SSRI's work for me, not NRI's, DRI's or MAOI's. I wouldn't associate it with genetics based purely on subjective observations.

Re:Doesn't seem right. (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37750056)

I've been told I'm "abnormally happy" by a few folks over the years, and it has made me wonder - my mother was bi-polar, my oldest sister is also bi-polar, my second oldest sister has schizophrenia, and the third oldest sister is chronically depressed. Is chronic happiness also a mental illness? I have occasionally bouts of sadness or anger, but they never last more than a few hours and I can usually sleep it off. I always thought I had just inherited my father's stoic personality, but sometimes I wonder if "chronic happiness" is as much of an inbalance as chronic depression. Even my husband doesn't understand why I'm so chilled out, even if there are things I should be worrying about.

So my genes aren't any good? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749678)

That's so depressing. :(

I'm Skeptical (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#37749906)

Here's the caveat in the actual paper:

We nd evidence of signicant association in both data sets,
suggesting that the SLC6A4 gene may play a role in explaining subjective
well-being. While we do not claim that SLC6A4 determines happiness, nor
do we exclude the possibility that several other genes may also play a role,
we do think that the results suggest at least one possible causal pathway
able to account for the inuence of genes on happiness

Here's a quote from The Economist describing the paper:

Recent work on both these fronts suggests that happiness is highly heritable . . . so, presumably, the tendency to be happy or miserable is, to some extent, passed on through DNA.

"Suggests" is a scientific weasel word that can be improperly read by morons as "concludes." Or intentionally misconstrued by journalists because a study that doesn't conclude anything and merely provides a data set that may be useful in the future isn't that interesting and they want clicks. Doing more studies may show a regression toward the mean. A more nuanced classification of the participants may suggest something else. Call me a skeptic - I'll take it as a compliment. Skepticism is logical. Drawing conclusions from this study is not.

Where have I heard this before...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37750540)

African Americans with the most long alleles, whites in the middle, and Asians with short alleles. I'm Asian and my alleles are just fine, thanks!

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  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>