Do we need luck to become happy? (5/52)

Illustration by Susanne Gold/ text by Ted Ganten

Human beeings that are well nurtured and healthy; humans that live in relative peace; humans with no existencial fears, will start hunting for purpose and happiness. In the rich countries of the northern hemisphere we can already see the very beginning  of the hunt. Currently things are evolving reluctantly and with a good deal of disorientation. Where will this trend go over the decades if one dares to extrapolate from the past?

Pharmaceuticals

The pursuit of happiness will – inter alia – lead to regular and high consumption of designer drugs and pharmaceuticals. The feeling of happiness is evolutionarily nonpermanent. This way the incentive to strive for happiness again and again is maintained and thereby life circumstances are contiously improved. Pharmaceuticals offer an easy way out of the evolutionary “trap”. Very tempting. A striving industry will develop and certainly promote the quick way to happiness.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulators can also make you feel happy at the push of a button. Increased performance and libido, all kinds of mood and even thought manipulation are already possible with electrical stimulation of the corresponding areas of the brain. Not possible? Yes, it is. In the meantime, brain manipulation can be performed at a level where cockroaches can be controlled to go left or right at the push of a button. At the University Hospital of Erlangen, a woman was cured who had been suffering for years from such a strong phobia of garbage that she could no longer leave her house. No therapies have responded. Eventually, they inserted Deep Brain Stimulators into her brain, while she was awake, and then varied the flow and direction of current until she no longer panicked at the sight of garbage. In Magdeburg, the university hospital in Germany has conducted a study to help extremely strong alcoholics by electrostimulating certain regions of the brain. Here, too, we are just getting started. And again, it is not a question of whether such manipulations are good or bad. They will come. They are already happening. That should be clear to anyone who can see realistically and far enough into the future. So, let’s focus on how to deal with them.

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