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tv   Worlds Apart  RT  July 7, 2019 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT

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we need additional new measure of progress and wellbeing happiness quality of life might be one of those now but government's main purpose by default is to make people's lives better the greatest good for the greatest number so if they're doing their work correctly they would be taking care of all this institutional factor so well being why do you want them to be engaged in the subject if personal aspect of happiness. policies do influence people's lives i think policies the way we shape societies the way we build our cities i think don't impact. well the quality of life and i think is also why we see some of the patterns we see for example in the world happiness report that looks at life satisfaction for people around the world we see things like healthy life expectancy we see things like the level of corruption we see things like freedom. social support or that does have an
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impact on both me and happiness so i think governments they have an ability to impact important aspects on our lives i heard you say in some of your previous entered his that interest institutional official interest in happiness was in part due to the realisation that while. convert into happiness in fact would argue that they may be an opposite correlation because in some developed countries you see the increase in the levels of depression south farm suicide do we really understand that these point a relationship that they can all make wellbeing and people's happiness or unhappiness or matter i don't think we fully understands it and there's a lot of complexity in there but on average we see as a group that's groups the richer countries are happier but there's a lot of variance with the in both the rich country group and the poor countries so i think in the beginning it makes a lot of sense for governments to focus on reducing poverty and lifting people out
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of poverty i think once we get to a certain income level i think it makes better sense to focus on our other areas and in addition we can also see that there are differences among countries to their ability to convert wealth into wellbeing so investing in the right things that brings quality of life in some people you mention that there is a variance between rich and poor countries but there's also a great deal of diversity when it comes to happen is right moment the developed world and countries like your own country denmark or your neighbor is finland norway the. consistently ranked higher than. other democratic western countries like for example the united states or south korea for that matter and this is where i think gets a little bit ideological what kind of an economic system what kind of a capitalist system is more conducive to. social wellbeing is there an answer to
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that a clear answer to that so what we can see in the world happened this report is that there is a group of countries that do consistently well when it comes to life satisfaction the nordic countries finland sweden norway iceland but also the netherlands switzerland canada new zealand australia are often doing quite well and you're right the us i think currently ranking nineteen's i think russia's place 68 so this seems to be something that is working with some of the nordic countries i've seen one of the areas is. investing in education investing in universal health care in the nordic countries. by no means perfect but i think they're doing some things right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives i know that in the latest world happiness report on mark was pushed. by finland do you have any sound so
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what allowed the fence to get ahead of you. i mean i'm not sure whether we've got a list happy happy. but i mean the top. of the 2nd decimal when we look at the absolute happiness numbers that sets those countries apart so i'm happy for them and. happy for the danes as well. and you know we can we can either try to become happy or we can try and make the finns less happy i would go with the 1st i mean whether it is. a combined population would be allowed the number of people living in the city in moscow or let's say in new york do you think it's a meaningful comparison to. try to see how let's say russia is doing compared to denmark because you know creating a good life for 5000000 people is very different from trying to do the same for
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several hundreds of thousands let alone 1300000000 as in china perhaps but i think it does make sense to compare because whether you are 5w1cw i think people who. all want social connection i think they want a healthy life expectancy that is long i think they want low levels of corruption i think they want a society that is generous i don't think that is different in a big country compared to a small but i mean within the smaller country it's easier to control for always variables than let's say in a country that has 11 time zones and when every region has its own regional and ethnic specific i think it is easier to. create those conditions for 500000000 definitely you will see a bigger level of both here in russia and also in the us in terms of where the
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population want the country to go so there are some advances in being a smaller country in that sense now you mention the united states in the latest world happiness where there is a chapter on of well being and political behavior which essentially says that we don't know enough about this relationship i wonder you don't know in a way how close that knowledge. and new case study when it comes to engaging or perhaps using be and happy people there's a lot of things to unpack there actually one of the conclusions also in that chapter was that the larger the share of people within the country that. the likelihood of people voting for the existing government so it actually makes sense for governments to focus on improving quality of life focusing on improving life satisfaction for the public if they want to be reelected there is an entire
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new area being sort of looked at now that he is focusing on inequality in wellbeing. usually the rankings up based on the national average but of course you have people above that average and you have people below that and what we see for example. a lot of countries there's a big inequality in terms of well being some people are very happy some people are very unhappy. so i think one of the key issues now for a lot of societies is an increase in polarized nation. and i think clearly the u.s. is also a case for about what i found interesting about that chapter and it goes into some specifics about the american case as well as the british case as well it's just that it's not only that sought to present himself as the champion of the deplorable and be downtrodden but it is also the case that he's a lecturer at. a lower on the subject if well be questionnaire and
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the question that i had is what do you think is more dangerous to try to keep these people away from politics or to allow them to change politics because their way people unhappy people express themselves in society and in politics is also very different from the way happy people. man it has themselves and many people would not like that shift i think everybody should of course take part in politics the countries that do really well in happiness rankings also have a large voter turnout and i see all voices represented in its. what is interesting about trump's voters. when they asked. how satisfied they are with life now but also how satisfied they were were with life. or whether life was better. i believe it's around 73 percent says that life was they were more satisfied previously. and if if if
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you have that perspective whether it's true or not or whether it's your subjective opinion that of course can create a foundation for you coming out with a political slogan that. let's make america great again whether that's the objective case or do you think it's a perm and then disposition when people are simply unhappy if or let's say political establishment is this something that could be changed by let's say trump himself is it easy to make those people who are currently dissatisfied and base them for is it easy and possible to make them happy again i think it's it's possible i don't think it's so we can see there's a lot of factors that impact how you and i would answer how happy we are how satisfied we are with life. everything from genetics and age to. the choices we make on a daily basis what we choose to do with the time and who we spend our time with to
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areas that governments can influence policies equality access to health care education and so on so it is possible but i think it takes a lot to move the needle for people that are happy or unhappy. so i think it's a long. bathroom so we improve quality of life i also heard you say that. was elected it was the end happiest day of 2016 1st of all. who suggested that how would you explain this showing because supposedly a lot of people unhappy people go out. at the ballot box so why should the majority of the population so this was a u.k. study so there's an excellent study called map. phones and people have downloaded the app and then there are 612 or 3 times a day how happy they are and then they can see where our people when they're happy
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they're happy when they're with their friends they're not so happy when they're at work they're happy on fridays they have. but they could also see over time which days they have in the. and they found in the happiest days christmas day when together with families we had a lot of food and wine and so on but then in 2016 they looked at one of the unhappiest days this year and the force on happy as they was quite surprising that the brits would be more unhappy about the election november as they didn't know that you know that this is out of their own political if any member of the majority of people in britain voted to leave so that thought they thought it was a good thing what the majority of people in the u.k. thought was. unhappy incident was getting elected so that sort of unified the brits well mike we have to take a very short break now but we will be back in just a few moments.
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so the temporary orders that i'm under before i go to final trial actually do allow me to address them as james and his male pronouns but i cannot do that in front of 3rd parties who know him as a girl so basically i can't go to a school i keep them away from any friends he might have at school that known as a girl and at my home he's known as james and i use male pronouns when i'm prohibited from doing right now is trying to convince him that he's actually a boy. joining me every thursday on the elec simon chill and i'll be speaking to get a little the politics school business i'm show business i'll see you then.
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welcome back to all the parts that mike viking feel. of the happiness research institute and bestselling author mike before the break we talked about the various institutional factors that happen is but they are not the only ones perhaps not even the most important ones people as you said before it can be very happy and very am happy under the same circumstances how much of a personal responsibility happened i think we should look at happiness the same way we look at health so how long you and i are going to live essentially depends on 3 categories it depends on our genetics we are predisposed to some diseases it depends on the countries we live in the cities we live in the quality of the health care you know the level of pollution in moscow in copenhagen and then thirdly it depends on the choices that you and i make on a daily basis do we exercise what is
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a diet we smoke do we drink and so on and i think it makes sense to look at happiness the same way so we also own more or less happy than the policies we live under the countries we live in also impact happiness levels we can see the happiness countries in the world on a scale from suits attend the average happiness level is around $7.00 in a country like syria you'll have a happiness level of around 3 and then the choices we make on a daily basis i'm more concerned not so much about the choice but let's say be it in mental discipline because for example we know where they exactly that some people are more prone to exaggerate than others women tend to be more anxious than men but it's also well established in psychology that you can achieve great progress if you take on a ship of your mental and emotional disposition is that the same with happiness if you want to be happy can you be happy i think there is something you can do but of
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course you are influenced by the conditions who live under and by your genetics there is something you and i can do to improve our wellbeing. mental health our happiness but there's also some boundaries we tend to go to syria and see that happiness is a choice right there and i know somebody who has been to syria many times i can actually tell you that happiness for many people is a choice because under very very horrible conditions these people manage to smile they manage ship appreciate the little conference of life i don't know if they have and idea of who get it but you can actually. write so i don't believe certainly life. is. necessarily for happiness i can be very happy without smiling i think smiling is a form of communication and what we see in the data is that people are really unhappy in syria so so i think there is something we can do and try and make the
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best of the situation we are in but i think there is always some limitations due to our environment and the country and even now in many of your lectures you mention several dimensions subjective wellbeing overall life satisfaction every day motions and what aristotle referred to as you do morning in the sense of prepress just sounds of striving for good how important is the latter so it's one of the areas we actually have most trying to understand so we know we know a lot in terms of life satisfaction overall happiness with life we know a lot of what drives that and we also know quite a bit of the emotions we experience on a daily basis both positive and negative ones and how that impact lives satisfaction we know less about the 3rd dimension there's also a discussion around how do we measure that level of purpose that level of meaning in life. we can see some things drive it like having kids have
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a wonderful positive impact on that sense of purpose. so when it comes to to life satisfaction we can see the best predictor of that from the other domains is actually experiencing positive emotions on a day. you also author of the bestselling book on the. concept of enjoying a little comforts of life and i think even more broadly it's kind of being able to be contented with the current moment without necessarily rushing into the future and as i was reading it i kept wondering how compatible with your demoniac can you be content and striving for good at the same time. definitely a happiness to be found in being content with what we have but i think it's also a happiness to be found in the pursuit of things so i'm less
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a fan of the pursuit of happiness i'm more fan of the happiness of pursuit i think having a goal that we're working towards is something that is good for our mood something that is good for our. satisfaction. so i think we can actually be both i mean. there is something i don't have that i would like to create in mind but at the same time i can also be content with what i have achieved so far by speaking about who get i wonder how. old or new this concept is because the sort of the type of work and balance that exists and then where it is to be honest with you unprecedented in in much of the developed world plot on developing it is it really be kind of did it precede denmark's economic success or is it the result of marx having a very balanced way to fly probably more the latter but it's been
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a concept that has his existed in danish language for 200 years. so it's not only a result of where the society is now but of course for some very good balance between work and life in a small people to. take it slow spend time with family and friends to spend 4 hours keep cooking a stew but i think the thing about the experience i've had since the book was published was that happens everywhere so i received letters from readers in russia u.s. and france and germany saying i've been having for you all my life i just didn't know there was a word for it so of course it happens here as well but what is uniquely danish is a word that describes that situation and perhaps also that danes c.d.'s pother off the national sort of cultural and identity and talk about it a lot i know that almost every interviewer asks you about tips on how to increase
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one's subjective wellbeing and you usually say that there is no magic bullet for all i wonder though what works for you personally are there any personal hacks into happiness i think there are different strategies and different perspectives i think . there's something we can do and should do to improve our mood here and now and i think there's a long term goal in terms of a long term perspective in terms of improving conditions for good lives i think here and now. we have a sort of mental health a.b.c. which is doing something x. and doing something meaningful and doing something together with other people seems to be a good universal recipe for improving here now how we feel of the same time i think we should look further down the line and consider how can we create a society that enables people to enable people to flourish and focusing on reducing
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corruption focusing on reducing the level of freedom focusing on lifting people out of poverty. goals that we should strive towards long term in addition to things that we have to strive towards i think there are also things that we should consider with. some of perhaps and then i know you spoke a lot about social media which supposedly were aimed to make us more connected but there is now a growing body of research showing that it is having and negative impact on many people there is there are some scientists for example paul dolan of the you who argue that in 10 years' time we will speak of social media in this same matter in the same way we speak about tobacco now is something that is pleasurable in the moment but highly toxic and addictive do you agree of of that i agree that we should be mindful of how we use social media and i agree with that it can
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have negative consequences for our wellbeing. so if we use social media to compare ourselves to everybody else that. leading these seemingly amazing lives on instagram and so on. then it can have a negative effect if we use social media. to actually be social then that might have a positive impact i think. we have to be a little more nuanced in how we look at social media or so if we say books you know books can be great and they can be horrible so i think it's the behavior is what we choose to do with either books or social media. that is the key . now i think one of the reasons why is social comparisons are so debilitating is
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low self-worth you know the failure to respect to be kind to yourself and i find it striking that we now have almost an epic in that mix of low self-worth in western countries most of which have based on this very idea of the intrinsic value of human life that's actually the basis of western civilization that human life individual live has an intrinsic meaning and intrinsic value why do you think. you know in this era of progress so many people find it so hard to accept themselves to accept their lives for what it is you're right that we are increasingly becoming exposed shoe. a wide spectrum of demands and we increasingly becoming exposed to standards that is impossible as a human to live up to beauty stand it's level of income level of success and i
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think the as we talked about before food that social comparison becoming more pronounced. i think also intend them with that we have the expectation that when we lift people out of poverty when we became richer then we would become happier and i think valley's what a lot of people are struggling with now they expected that once they reached a certain level of income then they would be happy. and yet we create new size we create new things we want and i think. sometimes we run out of explanations for why we feel unhappy because if we have that level of income if we have that job if we have that family and so on why do we still if you go on happy and then people internalize is it really all about income because if we take for example generations either the kids that are born in the turn of the century
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they're raised in for spirity if they have been more tempted to psychologically than any of the previous generations they tend to be more ethical they tend to gauge last in antisocial behavior is they do less drugs less alcohol they cooperate more they work for the society they're concerned about the society more and yet they happen to be the most happiest or the generation at the generation that's most exposed to risk off depression suicide self harm don't you think that perhaps the advice on happen is that you and others have been giving is being negated by these very generation because the parents who raised them they. did everything right everything that's been advice to them and the trans and mental health are really really depressed right so the different results. whether young people who are less or more happy depending on which country you look at.
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young people who are struggling a lot with high level of pressure. in the education we. see that especially. asian countries. there's a lot of pressure for them to excel academically. i think they're also struggling to a large extent. i was when i was. in university for instance with comparisons to social media. so so i think there are some things that have changed that. making it more difficult for people to achieve happiness but but i think it's also difficult to generalize across countries because we're also seeing some countries with the young. and the older one well mike it's been a great pleasure talking to you thank you very much for sharing your perspective thank you. to keep this conversation going in our social media.
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here and all the party.
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so what we've got to do is identify the threats that we have it's crazy confront cation let it be an arms race off and spearing dramatic development only personally i'm going to resist i don't see how that strategy will be successful very critical of time time to sit down and talk.
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with lawmakers manufacture consent to stick to public wealth. when the ruling classes protect themselves. with the financial merry go round be the one percent. we can all middle of the room sick. really. really really need to really. clear out that problem don't stay up front. this morning good to start. with you go. 7 6 to the polling and look at that right. there is your bio actually had to get.
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under the current. president trump warm spear on to be careful as a plans a further boost of its uranium enrichment program potentially breaking the 2015 nuclear deal for a 2nd time drawing condemnation from e.u. nations and the us. the reigning foreign minister blames europe for failing to secure the agreement or stop. washington's unilateral withdrawal. these are the stories that shape the week russia pays a tribute to the 14 sailors who were killed in a fire on a nuclear submarine in the barents sea on monday. and as tanks rolled through the streets of washington and fighter jets zoomed through the skies on july the 4th donald trump continues to come under fire for militarizing the u.s. .


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