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Russell_Wallace comments on Dunbar's Function - Less Wrong

27 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 December 2008 02:26AM

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Comment author: Russell_Wallace 31 December 2008 02:17:40PM 6 points [-]

"But the media relentlessly bombards you with stories about the interesting people who are much richer than you or much more attractive, as if they actually constituted a large fraction of the world."

This seems to be at least part of the explanation why television is the most important lifestyle factor. Studies of factors influencing both happiness and evolutionary fitness have found television is the one thing that really stands out above the noise -- the less of it you watch, the better off you are in every way.

The Internet is a much better way to interact with the world, both because it lets you choose a community of reasonable size to be involved with, and because it's active rather than passive -- you can do something to improve your status on a mailing list, whereas you can't do anything to improve your status relative to Angelina Jolie (the learned helplessness affect again).