Part of collection of opinions on the topic: If I Were President... which appeared in the Sunday Review section. What follows is the unedited version of what was published
That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.
A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.
When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.
One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
New York, Aug. 21, 2011
Handling Protected Information; Personal Conduct
While on duty conducting threat vulnerability assessments for the United States military in June 2004, Applicant lost a notebook containing sensitive information, which he surmises may have been taken by a Russian woman, with whom he engaged in sexual activities in his hotel room. Applicant did not report the loss of the notebook until after he was administered a polygraph examination in January 2009. His exercise of extremely poor judgment is not fully mitigated despite the passage of time. Clearance denied. CASE NO: 11-05079.h1
Which of these two types of spending do you think makes you happier, purchases that are made with the primary intention of acquiring a:
When thousands of Americans were asked this question, 57% said experiences make them happier and 34% said things make them happier (Carter & Gilovich, 2010). For once the majority is right.
You can check out the research in these two posts in which I discuss the studies which demonstrate:
Many of the reasons why are discussed in more detail in the articles above, but here's a summary with a couple of extras thrown in:
The boundary between experiences and things is far from clear-cut. For example houses are things but because we live in them, they are also partly experiences. Still, the general point holds that the more experiential something is, the happier it is likely to make us.
So if you want to cheer yourself up, make sure you spend cash on something more experiential than material. You might not be able to hold the result in your hand, but it will live longer in your mind.