Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? Why do patients remember long medical procedures as less painful than short ones? Why do home sellers demand prices they wouldn't dream of paying if they were home buyers? Why does the line at the grocery store always slow down when we join it? In this book, Harvard psychologist Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Using the latest research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what we have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there, and why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.--From publisher description.… (more)
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune and fame.
Will Cather, "Le Lavandou," 1902
For Oli, under the apple tree
Priests vow to remain celibate, physicians vow to do no harm, and letter carriers vow to swiftly complete their appointed rounds despite snow, sleet, and split infinitives.
Alas, we think of ourselves as unique entities—minds unlike any others—and thus we often reject the lessons that the emotional experience of others has to teach us.