Links Roundup – Happiness, Sex, Incentives, and Regret

Amazing story about how women are willing to settle for whoever comes their way because of a discrepancy in college male:female ratios. Looks like women may be climbing up the corporate ladder and having professional success, but it’s lonely at the top. Furthermore, if men can get sex without much effort, why should they bother to try hard, in both life and dating?

Why are women so tightly clustered around the mean in terms of achievement while men have a much wider spread (but around the same mean)? It seems that women are less distracted and more easily able to focus in class. They also try harder to make their work thorough and pretty to please their teachers. This serves as a floor to their achievement. However, new research shows that bright girls believe more of their success is due to innate ability rather than hard work. This causes them to self-doubt when they run into adversity. Thus many drop out of math and science when the going gets a little difficult and they’re not achieving at the same level as before. This prevents the bright ones from achieving their potential.

Hmm… so one can’t simply will oneself to be happy. Moreover, focusing on one’s unhappy state will only tend to perpetuate it. Much better it is to focus on one’s life goals. Happiness will then take care of itself.

Bankers are looters. They can pay themselves rather well by taking a cut of all financial transactions. They also blackmail the federal government for bailouts and low interest rates. The high salaries mean that many smart people will be drawn to the area over more productive and innovative fields like basic research and engineering, both of which I think are underpaid and underappreciated. Think of Hong Kong and the artificial wealth it has created by siphoning off capital from the rest of the world. This has created the joke that Hong Kongers tend to be in 3 professions: law, banking, and crime. A nation falls into stagnation when its brightest citizens manage wealth instead of create it.

An easy way to make bank in one’s youth. Sure beats going into a productive profession, doesn’t it? Now all those chess nerds have a new place to channel energy into.

Portugal is asking for an EU bailout. Is it any surprise given that their education system is in shambles? Perhaps one of these days we’ll rename the language Brazilian. The onetime colony has overtaken the motherland in terms of economic power and prestige.

Women tend to regret love. I don’t know if that means missed opportunities, failed relationships, or their biologic clock.

Reviewing the saturation point for income and happiness. Stuff does not bring lasting happiness. Experiences, connections, and a sense of self-actualization is what creates durable happiness.