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European Visions for the Knowledge Age

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European Visions for the Knowledge Age

A Quest for New Horizons in the Information Society

Paul T Kidd (Ed)
ISBN 978-1-901864-08-3 (Paperback)
Price: See buy on-line link



Chapter 18
Creating Meaning: The Future of Human Happiness
Liselotte Lyngsø and Anne Skare Nielsen
Working as a futurist and innovator involves talking to those who are in the business of changing peoples' lives. Managers who want employees to work in different ways, civil servants who want citizens to change behaviour, marketing people who want to change the buying patterns of customers, and so on. One thing most of these people have in common is that they approach change in a very rational way. They try to inform people and to persuade them with good arguments. They provide more possibilities, more information, and more technology and think that this in itself drives people to change. But come to think of it, technology and rational thinking does not change anything. It is only when meaning is created, that something happens. And this is a very irrational process. The world is not changed by technology, but by the pursuit of happiness, of laziness, of life quality, and wellbeing.
This chapter addresses the nature of the future of human happiness, and how information technology can help create happiness. Happiness is something that is attainable, but it is subjective since no-one can define the happiness of someone else. Happiness is rarely individual, but usually social. Thus, happiness is not just technology, for example, talking a pill, or doing what individuals want to do, alone in a computerised version of reality. Happiness is difficult to achieve, but is it not the case that happiness is what life is all about?

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