Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
— Shakespeare's MacBeth
No Ted Talk has ever angered and disgusted me as much as Dan Gilbert's The Surprising Science of Happiness (video below). Gilbert's talk was recently featured on NPR's Ted Radio Hour. I will be quoting from the transcript below.
I was angered and disgusted by two things—
- Gilbert's Flatland interpretation of Flatland
- What the data Gilbert draws upon say about our benighted species
I will relate this to what I call "Flatland nihilism" below. This is one of the most important posts I have ever written. You might pay attention.