Nov 24 2008

“Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy”

Published by at 2:46 am under Humor

Comedian Louis CK puts things into perspective for us in these hard economic times. As he says, “Everything is amazing right now, yet nobody’s happy.”

Louis CK “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy”

Much of what Louis jokes about here refers to technologies that members of my generation hardly remember and that my students had never seen. This video did make me think… with all the talk today of the Great Depression, a new period of prolonged economic hardship in America and the world, it is easy to forget just how amazing our innovative economy really is. The impact of technology on our lives is astounding, and the pace of change humans have witnessed in the last 50 years is unprecedented in human history.

Hat tip to Tim Schilling at MV=PQ Blog for the link!


About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

8 responses so far

8 Responses to ““Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy””

  1. Mike Wilkeson 03 Dec 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I feel the same when people complain about faults in technology. It is truly an amazing thing how much it has evolved over the last 50 years. When you are born with this kind of advanced technology and it becomes a normal, everyday thing, it is typical to complain when there are faults. But people like Louis CK was around when there was not as much at our disposal. His generation can truly appreciate the advances that have been made since 50 years ago. Things like computers, laptops, wireless internet, transportation, mobile phones, etc. While most younger people would complain about a bad signal, they don't realize that mobile phones are new to a lot of people. People who used to have no phones at all, or house phones. It truly depends on previous experiences in life.

  2. Mish Aleisaon 03 Dec 2008 at 8:30 pm

    This is very true, Mike. But there are more factors that play a role in appreciation of modern technology, such as wealth, income and age. A poor child would be ecstatic about receiving a new XBOX, while an upper class child might complain that its not an XBOX 360. Some families have one cellphone for the entire family, while in others, each person has at least one.

  3. Ross Hutchisonon 17 Dec 2008 at 6:35 am

    Again may I point SOMEONE to my post on the fundamental error on the part of IB economics:

    What does it mean to be happy? That is another question in itself. This society of constant borrowing and spending is leading not to greater happiness but to fueling an increase of a bigger possible gap of happiness that needs to be fulfilled. As our capitalist corporations scale their technologies and goods, improve and always producing, we are less and less able to be satisfied with what we previously had, and we suffer from diminishing returns on the happiness factor gained from receiving these "new and improved" goods.

  4. Ross Hutchisonon 17 Dec 2008 at 6:35 am

    Here is the link I forgot to add:

    http://welkerswikinomics.com/students/?p=379

  5. Gorka Zubieteon 17 Dec 2008 at 7:26 am

    Ross, I enjoyed reading your post and agree with you. As the increase in technology occurs we indeed are less satisfied and require more to be satisfied. I admit, that whenever my computer freezes I swear loudly and call it a piece of %@#!. However, this is partly due to what Ross has that we require more to be more happy.

  6. CELINEon 17 Dec 2008 at 6:44 pm

    ok I see how zou people can say we are less satisfied..

    But seriously, what the comedian says is that no one looks back and appretiataes what has happened to out world.. that might be true. i believe it might be a mistake to JUST look back and not forward.. i mean we came so far why stop?

    we have to keep pushing ouselfs so that in the next 500 year we look back at 100 year of inovation..

    as the comedian says.. we sould no be so synical and say thanks that we have it… well isent the best "thank you" to just use the item and be critical about it so it can be modified into something even better?

  7. Sean Isaacson 17 Dec 2008 at 6:47 pm

    I see what Ross and Gorka are saying, I agree but I think it needs to be specified that this is not relative happiness with a specific good just in today's world, as if you had say, an unsophisticated tool from the stone age, you wouldn't be too pleased with that good now, but in the stone age you would have been very pleased with the function it served.

    So the relative happiness cannot apply to identical goods, but rather equivalent goods, say a stone age sharp rock for cutting things and a modern steel knife – the satisfaction a person from the stone age would get from the stone would be equivalent to the satisfaction a modern person would get from using the more advanced knife.

  8. Chris Hoferon 21 Jan 2009 at 1:25 am

    The advancements in technology have been incredible. If we reflect on the past and how our society has progressed, we should all feel privileged to have access to such technology as the computers we use on a daily basis. I agree in part with both Mish and Sean. Relative happiness can apply to both identical and equivalent goods. Some of the goods that we feel are inferior would make a less fortunate individual very happy. Also a typewriter was very beneficial to people back when it was initially created, as is a modern day computer beneficial to us.