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bocconi happiness

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digital humanities: media ecology and information

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bocconi happiness

  1. 1. Digital Humanities - Bocconi 2016 - Luca De Biase Happiness “Research is clear: Money doesn’t buy happiness”. John Robbins
  2. 2. Why do we want to innovate?
  3. 3. Why do we want to innovate? ❖ to get rich ❖ to stay competitive in a changing world ❖ to make a better world
  4. 4. –Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990 “Twenty-three hundred years ago Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness”.
  5. 5. We now know that…: ❖ There is no correlation between consumption and happiness ❖ There is no correlation between growth in GDP and happiness ❖ There are goods that make us dependent and other goods that make us happy (or unhappy)
  6. 6. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_economics_of_happiness http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/feb/16/daniel-kahneman-thinking-fast-and- slow-tributes http://www.economist.com/blogs/feastandfamine/2012/04/happiness? zid=318&ah=ac379c09c1c3fb67e0e8fd1964d5247f Easterlin paradox
  7. 7. Data show how high material standards of living are not related to much happiness “It is a remarkable paradox that, at the pinnacle of human material and technical achievement we find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, worried about how others see us, unsure of our friendships, driven to consume and with little or no community life. Lacking the relaxed sociale contact and emotional satisfaction we all need, we seek comfort in over-eating, obsessive shopping and spending, or become prey to excessive alcohol, psychoactive medicines and illegal drugs”. The book is based on thirty years’ research: it shows that unequal societies make everybody unhappy
  8. 8. Too little choice is unrewarding Too much choice make us feel unsafe Consumption si not happiness A test at Amazon showed that 24 choices drove more traffic to the page with them than 6 choices, but those made less sales
  9. 9. Great value, no price ❖ relational goods ❖ environmental goods ❖ cultural heritage
  10. 10. Is the info-sphere good for happiness?
  11. 11. Is the info-sphere good for happiness? ❖ It generates more relations: of what kind? ❖ It makes us more informed: are we sure? ❖ It is fun: but what exactly is funny in here?
  12. 12. Television vs. Wikipedia ❖ Wikipedia was made in 100 million hours of human effort (2010) ❖ Americans watch 200 billion hours of tv every year ❖ Americans spend 100 million hours every weekend just watching commercials in tv
  13. 13. Television vs. Wikipedia ❖ Luigino Bruni and Luca Stanca, “Watching alone”, paper in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2010): television viewing plays a key role in crowding-out social activities with solitary ones ❖ Marco Gui and Luca Stanca, working paper (2009) Television Viewing, Satisfaction and Happiness: “television can play a significant role in raising people’s materialism and material aspirations, thus leading individuals to underestimate the relative importance of interpersonal relations for their life satisfaction and, as consequence, to over invest in income-producing activities and under-invest in relational activities”
  14. 14. Remix vs. Consumption ❖ Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture, How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity ❖ piracy, copyright, public domain, fair use…
  15. 15. Alone together ❖ Sherry Turkle, Insieme ma soli, Perché ci aspettiamo sempre più dalla tecnologia e sempre meno dagli altri, Codice. (2011) ❖ Maybe it is a projection of human feelings into the machine?
  16. 16. Reclaiming Conversation ❖ Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation, The power of talk in a Digital Age, 2015 ❖ Solitude, self-reflection ❖ Family, friendship, romance ❖ Education, work ❖ The public square
  17. 17. Public space can be designed for happiness ❖ Jan Gehl is making cities more walkable ❖ he studies how people live, where they go, how they use public space ❖ an architect working with anthropologists and data scientists ❖ he remade Times Square, by the way
  18. 18. To be happy in the info-sphere we need to be actors and not audience
  19. 19. –Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990 “Happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command”.
  20. 20. –Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990 “The optimal state is one in which there is order in consciousness. This happens when psychic energy - or attention - is invested in realistic goals, and when skills match the opportunities for action”.
  21. 21. challenge skill boredom anxiety flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  22. 22. –Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990 “The last step: how people manage to join all experience into a meaningful pattern”.
  23. 23. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow Another way to see the flow
  24. 24. Narratives and happiness ❖ We feel in the flow if we live in a story that makes us feel compelled and able to achieve our goals ❖ Narratives are (sort of) the story in which we live and have an influence on our goals ❖ As we innovate in a way that is adopted we may experience the flow
  25. 25. Service design, community design ❖ Ezio Manzini, Design, when everybody designs. An introduction to design for social innovation. “We define social innovations as new ideas (products, service and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations”
  26. 26. To be happy we need meaning

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