Recipe for leading the happiest possible life from ~300 BC.
Don't fear god,
Don't worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure
"Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear (ataraxia) as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia) through knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of our desires. The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form."
I would definitely rate this Erving Goffman book as one of the most influential non-fiction books I have read in my life.
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
The opposite is probably also true; engaging with good, honest & smart people should make you a better person. So find and follow these people online.
Part of a great series of short videos from Big Think.
"It is only in I960 that Lacan develops his classic opposition between jouissance and pleasure, an opposition which alludes to the Hegelian/Kojevian distinction between Genuβ (enjoyment) and Lust (pleasure) (cl. Kojève, 1947: 46). The pleausure principle functions as a limit to enjoyment; it is a law which commands the subject to ‘enjoy as little as possible’. At the same lime, the subject constantly attempts to transgress the prohibitions imposed on his enjoyment, to go ‘beyond the pleasure principle’. However, the result of transgressing the pleasure principle is not more pleasure, but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure that the subject can hear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain, and this ‘painful pleasure’ is what Lacan calls jouissance: 'jouissance is suffering' (S7. 184). The term jouissance thus nicely expresses the paradoxical satisfaction that the subject derives from his symptom, or, to put it another way, the suffering that he derives from his own satisfaction (Frend's ‘primary gain from illness’)." ~ Dylan Evans, An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis.
“The need to let suffering speak is a condition of all truth. For suffering is objectivity that weighs upon the subject..." ~ Theodor Adorno
"...we drifted from having a market economy to becoming a market society" ~ Professor Michael Sandel.
You can watch his full Harvard course on Justice here.
I have a serious intellectual crush on Slavoj Žižek so this Guardian article put a huge smile on my face.
Here's a video of him speaking in London last year.