The origins of pleasure

Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists — that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.

One interesting thing is the same wine from a more expensive bottle improves the taste. In college, my first experiment was looking at which soft drink people liked best: Coke, Pepsi, or Sam’s Choice. In a lot of cases, people would say they thought the drink was either Coke or Pepsi and so it was the one they liked best. In many of those cases it was actually Sam’s Choice. None stated they liked the cheap Sam’s Choice best. So I can buy the perceived expensiveness of something does help me like it better.

Children of the Mind

Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #5)Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Plikt’s speech of Ender’s death reveals something about all of us.

That was Ender’s life, unpeeling onion of life. Only unlike most of us, he knew that there was no golden kernel inside. There were only the layers of illusion and misunderstanding. What mattered was to know all the errors, all the self-serving explanations, all the mistakes, all the twisted observations, and then, not to find, but to make a kernel of truth. To light a candle of truth where there was no truth to be found. That was Ender’s gift to us, to free us from the illusion that any one explanation will ever contain the final answer for all time, for all hearers. There is always, always more to learn.

We seek truth and find holding on to it like trying to grab water. Maybe it is not so much making truth as resonating with it.

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