Via Rodrik, it seems some people are claiming is happiness is not all it’s cracked up to be. Nothing new to me: as Darby O’Gill said “There is only one who is truly happy… the village idiot!”. There is unfortunately no mention of Theodore Dalrymple, whose relation to human misery may be analogized to that of a fish to water or a sculptor to clay (I think he gets a kick out of his most Hogarthian depictions).
This seems relevant in light of the recent discussion on anti-natalism, which was continued here at Marginal Revolution though my second post was blocked as spam. Perhaps I should put a damper on the rampant linking. Some, like Matthew Cromer, claimed anti-natalists were motivated by depression (I will now concede that Jim of the antinatalism blog is likely unhappy). It was countered that depression is no more likely to result in faulty reasoning that happiness, and in fact tends to debias people (except with regard to how long their depression will last). However, if the utilitarians are wrong about the utility (snort) of hedonic utility, that could also undermine the case for anti-natalism, at least of the David Benatar variety. I don’t know what “virtue ethics” has to say about anti-natalism, but some advocates are certainly fine with killing lots of people (Larison replies on the issue here). Even those who put exalt “revealed preference” above all (as I pretty much do) can get behind unhappiness, as some are apparently willing to spend time and money at “crying clubs“. UPDATE: The anti-natalist blog discusses the depression charge here.
There is a good roundup of blues videos here, so instead I’ll link to sludge and doom metal, which actually makes me laugh. Apparently there used to be a genre called “sadcore“, which seems even more removed from hardcore than “emocore” (Rites of Spring is succeeded by Fugazi, which also comes from Minor Threat) featuring appropriately named bands like Low.
Some music trivia: Low’s bass player joined a drummer and another bass-player to form a guitarless band called Enemymine. The other bassplayer was from the also guitarless band Godheadsilo (what’s with the smushing of multiple words together?). The two members of that band have since formed Smoke & Smoke with Spencer Moody of the Murder City Devils, but they still don’t have any instruments other than a bass guitar and drums. Previously the bass player (Mike Kunka) played with Moody and MCD’s guitarist & drummer in Dead Low Tide. That drummer formed another 2-man guitarless band called Big Business with a former member of Karp, both of whom joined the Melvins (who were without a bass player, but oddly enough not a drummer) for the album A Senile Animal. It’s rather unusual for a band to use two drummers at once, but it worked for King Crimson and it worked for the Melvins as well.
On an unrelated note, it appears I’ve been exceeding the appropriate limit of comments at UR.