Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Happy holidays

May your season be brightened by a warm puppy (or your preferred equivalent). jpo

Image result for happiness is a warm puppy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Marijuana: the happiness drug? " Part 2

A factor of drug abuse is derived from psychoanalytic theory created by Sigmund Freud. This theory has three types of metal phenomenon: the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. Conscious is what a person is actively thinking about. The preconscious are thoughts and memories that are easy called into conscious. Lastly, the unconscious is repressed feelings and memories. The psychoanalytic theory explains drug use as a neurosis symptom that manifests during adolescence.  Also factors such as boredom, anxiety, and frustration along with friends have been studied for leading to drug abuse Anxiety has been theorized with unhappiness. 

 However, it is also key to realize that this is a theory for drug abuse and not drug use. Drug abuse is when a person becomes solely dependent on the drug. Drug abuse will lead to unhappiness for the individuals involved as well as for their loved ones. Drug use could be used to help manage some symptoms that lead to unhappiness, such as anxiety. However, if one becomes dependent on their drug of choice for happiness then it becomes detrimental. A drug could be used recreationally to help one loosen up and enjoy life but should not be taken to the extent of dependency on it for their own happiness. 

Like all drug use there is withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana withdrawal is similar to cigarette withdrawal.  THC is known to have a long half-life, which takes time working its way out of the body over days, and having severe withdrawal symptoms. In the 1970's marijuana withdrawal studies were conducted on human and animals. Marijuana withdrawal symptom is less severe than those of alcohol, heroin or cocaine.There is only a psychological dependence for marijuana. These symptoms include restlessness, loss of appetite, anger, irritability, and aggression. I1999 study iwas found that individuals who smoked daily marijuana for years, displayed more aggressive behavior after stopping. If the result of stopping marijuana use is anger, maybe it can be assumed that this drug will make you happier with moderate use.  
 It is important to know the difference between decriminalization and legalization. Decriminalization is the absence of laws punishing people for using the drug, but drug trafficking would still be a crime. Legalization is the absence of laws prohibiting commercial use of the drug, for example alcohol and tobacco. The restrictions with legalization are due to age and using under certain conditions, like driving. The following twenty-eight states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.  The following eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Washington.   

Medicinal purposes of marijuana are the main argument for why it should be legalized. As listed above more states have legalized marijuana for medicinal rather than recreational use. Some medical uses for marijuana include: relieving eye pressure for glaucoma patients, control muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis patients, and controlling the nausea and vomiting of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. If a person is no longer experiencing pain, they may be able to find happiness more easily.  

Marijuana in non-legalized states are costing the state's taxpayers. These costs are associated with jail time given for the marijuana charge. In states that have marijuana legalized, such as Colorado, revenue is generated from marijuana. In 2012, Colorado generated $129 million in tax revenue of one billion in marijuana sales. This industry has also created almost 18,000 jobs in Colorado. After the taxation and regulation of marijuana, the total number of arrests in Colorado decreased by half between 2012 to 2014.  Less arrests and more jobs would seem to be a perfect recipe for happiness in a struggling community.  

Overall, I think that recreational or medicinal use of marijuana could lead to happiness. These reasons being that for recreational it would help a person relax and take a break from a stressful work day and be able to enjoy the simple things in life. As well as, medicinally it would help because a person would be in less pain from their disease symptoms.  

Sources used: AbadinskyH.(2014) Drug Use And Abuse : A Comprehensive Introduction. Cengage Learning. 

Liam Quinn Second Installment

              In this subsequent and final installment, I will focus on providing more substance to the idea of training oneself or working toward the vague, opaque and even imposing (for those who do not possess it) concept of happiness. The considerably subjective and individualistic nature of happiness can impress upon one attempting to define it a sense of futility, which undoubtedly can cause frustration in light of the fact that, in this case, the purpose is to attain it or develop it. For now, and for the purposes of this discussion, it must be accepted that the ideal of happiness, which is to hopefully be achieved cannot be universally defined. Therefore, the following thoughts are dedicated to the philosophical thoughts and thinking processes that work toward the attainment of happiness rather than understand the essence of happiness, which may overall serve as better definition of happiness than a definition of happiness, itself.
                The following hyperlink will take you to a YouTube video of a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace that gained considerable popularity after his death.

David Foster Wallace: This Is Water

It is a somewhat lengthy video, but it provides great context to the discussion of working toward happiness. He makes a point early on in the video relevant to the ambiguity of happiness that states, “… important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” He reduces the profundity of this statement immediately afterward, citing it as being a “banal platitude” when stated in plain English language, and perhaps it is, but its significance is crucial, because happiness is a reality difficult to talk about without being cliché, but it is a reality, and it is potentially the most important value in life, if pursued and understood with consideration of others and one’s own health.
                Moreover, this speech touches on the importance of our education in the sense of working toward happiness, but in opposition to the idea that it is the knowledge we have forcibly ingested into our brains or the promise of material success after graduation that serves as a means to this happiness. Rather he posits that it is the training in how we think and what we think about that instills us with the tools or enhances the ability cultivated throughout our lives to think. How we think and what we choose to think about is paramount to our lives and our happiness.
                The application of the educated thinking that follows a liberal arts degree applies directly to the banal platitudes discovered when discussing the reality of adult life and the mundanities inherent within it. Wallace gives an anecdote regarding the necessity of going to the supermarket that applies to this in which one, on a good day, should try to view the grueling day to day responsibilities and obligatory actions of life in a positive light.

                I hope that this speech provides some solace in our soon to be post graduate lives as we embark on trying to find happiness and our place in the world. Also here is a link to a video with a nice little quip directed at those of you considering graduate school. Good luck everyone!

First Installment

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Second comment

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tanner Everett's 2nd Installment: "It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey"

It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey"
(Or perhaps just who you share the journey with...)
Here is a link to my first installment: 

Building off of the ideas that I presented in my previous installment, I want to continue to emphasize that though riding motorcycles is the context in which I am finding happiness, the bikes themselves play a surprisingly small role. Not only am I more interested in the company in which I find myself on these trips, I also find myself quite invested in the more visceral sensations that one experiences when traveling in this manner. There is certainly a more primal connection with nature when one is traversing the Smoky Mountains on a motorcycle. 
This is reminiscent of the talk of "flow" that we had earlier in the semester. When I'm on a motorcycle, I'm always in the zone; everything simply fades away.

There have been many occasions when I have been out riding, both solo and in a group, that there has either been no destination decided (intentionally), or someone just makes the decision to scrap the decided destination altogether because they realized that a different road looked a lot better. Or they were just "following their gut" as it were. In fact, our spring trip earlier this year, we were in Kentucky and had made the decision to venture all the way to Hot Springs, Virginia. An 8 hour drive if we stuck to the highways, easily 10+ hours if we were to take "fun" roads.

We begin our journey, and about 4 hours into it everyone realized at about the same time that we were already really tired, and after stopping for a small break it was unanimously decided that we were going to get a hotel and sleep, and to scrap the Virginia plan altogether. However, later that evening we were all eating dinner together, and one of the members of the group noted that they were having much more fun spending time with everyone than they would have been with a sore butt still on the motorcycle! Another person chimed in with "Yea, I only really agreed to Virginia in the first place because I just like to ride; I didn't really care about where the hell we were going!"

The next day we did decide to go to Virginia (but not all the way to Hot Springs) and it was beautiful. But anywhere we went would have been beautiful. The destination has never been important...

Except for one: Waffle House. It's one of those traditions that was certainly never intended, but is absolutely a highlight on every trip. We make it a point to eat a Waffle House (preferably one we have never been to) for breakfast at least once every trip, though we often end up eating it for breakfast most days. I would argue that Waffle House is a place that only truly happy can eat at and feel comfortable in. These places are always objectively bad, but it is up to each person individually to create their own happiness here. And it is always an interesting experience; there's never a shortage of conversation-starters at a Waffle House.

We will settle for a Huddle House.

And that's it. Never be afraid of your destination, because you never know if you'll even make it there. You'll probably have a much better time on the journey anyway. And don't forget to stop and smell the waffles.

Here's some bonus pictures from past trips:


The Importance of Wisdom

By not seeking knowledge and instead choosing ignorance, we are only occupying ourselves with the lowest of pleasures. In Plato’s Republic, he argues,
“Therefore, those who have no experience of reason or virtue, but are always occupied with feasts and the like…never reaching beyond this to what is truly higher up, never looking up at it or being brought up to it, and so aren’t filled with that which really is…Instead, they always look down at the ground like cattle” (Plato, 586a)
By choosing ignorance rather than seeking knowledge, we deprive ourselves of a higher understanding and of higher pleasures.
If the lack of acquiring knowledge is of the lowest type of pleasure, why would some choose it? Going back to the example of the experience machine, why would some people choose to plug in? There would also be some who would choose to plug in because they truly believed that ignorance is preferable to knowledge. I see such beliefs particularly in the Astronomy class I tutor for. Some people would much rather believe that this world, Earth, is all that matters; that we need not question further. They would rather not try to come to an understanding of the universe we are a part of. We are part of something so much greater than this mundane life we live. Yet, to some, this is all they wish to understand. I would suggest such a purpose is foolish. To limit oneself to understanding the bare minimum is unfortunate. However, perhaps in some cases, there would be individuals who were ill who would plug into the machine in order to experience what it meant to not be sick. In which case, perhaps such ignorance could be excused. However, they would still be living in a false world. Outside of this experience machine, they would still be sick. It would not matter that they didn’t feel sick within the illusion. I would also argue that such conditions make people stronger and, in some ways, happier, for they can understand the value of life. Take for example Stephen Hawking. Hawking developed ALS, a type of motor neurone disease, and was only given a couple years to live. Yet, he found happiness in gaining knowledge of the universe. 
Another example would be Albert Einstein. Einstein is recognized mainly by his Theory of Relativity. However, Einstein had Aspergers Syndrome and was also believed to be dyslexic. What if individuals such as Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein decided that this life was not worth living and decided to plug into a machine? Stephen Hawking perhaps would have never discovered such intellect about cosmology and Einstein would have never published his Theory of Relativity. I would suggest that they would have a moral obligation to attribute such knowledge rather than plug into such a machine. I would suggest similar obligations to all individuals. We all have a moral obligation to humanity to seek and distribute knowledge.


In some ways, the Ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato agreed. In Plato’s Republic, those who lived in accordance with the virtue of wisdom were likely the philosophers, who were to be the leaders of his ideal state. They contemplated the importance of wisdom and how it led to the virtuous life. In the case of Plato, he believed that it was the virtue which led to live in accordance with the others, ending up in living a just life. He argued that if one lived in accordance with the virtue of wisdom, one would also be moderate and courageous.
We also receive a sense of enlightenment from the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. We get such an experience each time we learn something new, understand new ideas, and learn more about our universe and our place within it. Such concepts of wisdom and mindfulness can be found in the teachings of Buddha. The three pillars within the practice of Buddhism are mindfulness, and wisdom, and virtue. I will be focusing mostly on the first two. By mindfulness, Buddha refers to the attentiveness of the self and the world around us. I would argue such a state of being is important to one’s happiness because in order to understand one’s happiness, one must have an awareness, an enlightenment, of one’s self. The other, wisdom, simply refers to the common sense necessary to make rational decisions. In Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, Rick Hanson writes, “Then—with time, effort, and skillful means—virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom gradually strengthen and you feel happier and more loving” (Hanson, 15). When we can have an awareness of self and knowledge, we gain happiness because we learn how to appreciate the self and the world around us. Such contentment surely cannot come from ignorance.

Link to my first installment

First comment

Second comment

Monday, December 11, 2017

2nd Installment: Epicurus and Happiness

         Happiness is one of the most important parts of philosophy.  It was practiced and taught by many philosophers and writers throughout history, like Frederic Nietzsche, Aristotle, and Henry David Thoreau.  Who else comes to mind though?  Socrates?  Plato?  Immanuel Kant?  How about Epicurus?  For those of you who are unaware of who he is (although I’m sure we’ve all heard of him in this course), Epicurus was a Greek philosopher born in 341 BC who founded the school of philosophy known as Epicureanism and formed the Pleasure Garden, a place where he, his friends, and students congregated and lived together.  I remember Epicurus from my previous semester in my Intro To Philosophy course, and I instantly began to identify with his views.  

            He teaches his followers to seek only simple pleasures in life and the friendship of others.  For him, the most pleasant life is “one where we abstain from unnecessary desires and achieve an inner tranquility (ataraxia) by being content with simple things, and by choosing the pleasure of philosophical conversation with friends over the pursuit of physical pleasures like food, drink, and sex”.  I certainly identify with this; to be happy, we don’t need expensive items, fancy buffets, and sex (although I’m certain many would disagree with me on that!).  Personally, a good conversation with friends on my back porch with an Angry Orchard is good enough for me.  Or I could converse without the drink!  Regardless, I can be happy without fancy things like the new iPhone or the latest Yeezys.  Like his predecessors Aristotle and Plato, Epicurus says that we all desire happiness, and that all other things desired are the means towards obtaining happiness.  He once wrote his definition of happiness as:

Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we always come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing.

            Epicurus also believed that we make out lives unhappy with the belief that a god(s) will punish us for our misdeeds, and that death is something we all must fear.  This is because these beliefs produce fear and anxiety inside us and thus prohibits us from obtaining happiness.  To Epicurus, the gods don’t concern themselves directly with mortals, as they are eternal, perfect beings.  On death, he once wrote, “Death is meaningless to the living because they are living, and meaningless to the dead… because they are dead.”  This, too, I can agree with, as many of us are terrified of dying tomorrow or a month from now.  I’d rather be more concerned with being able to see friends than when I’m going to kick the bucket.  I know many people from back home in West Tennessee who are God-fearing Christians, and while it’s good that they have a belief in God, they seem too focused on His might.  They’re too focused on when God will strike them down than to continue to be happy with their own lives.  To them, I say don’t worry about it!  Focus on what’s going on around you and not what’s above your heads.  Jesus taught us to be happy with our neighbors, and thus we should.

            Do you agree with this?  Perhaps instead of texting emojis to each other on the new expensive iPhones, why not start an actual conversation with somebody?  Instead of playing the latest Call Of Duty on your gaming console, go outside and take a walk.  Don’t worry about what’s going to happen to you tomorrow or next week.  Focus on the simple things in life, and always be friendly.  Always talk with your friends, preferably in person!  This is what Epicurus taught centuries ago, and his lessons survive to this day.  While modern Epicureanism seeks any/all pleasures in both simple and complex forms (i.e. good food, nice clothes, etc.), all Epicurus wanted was a cheerful mindset and a good conversation with good friends.
1st Installment: http://philoshap.blogspot.com/2017/12/music-happiness-latham-crihfield.html

Source: http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/epicurus/


Philosophy of Music, 2nd Installment

No use waiting any longer, time to finish out the Playlist of Happiness and boy howdy could we use some with the FCC days away from selling the internet to big-name ISPs. The normal first selection would not start us on the right foot if you ask me, so let's start with something more pleasant.


Well out of place but more pleasant than track 7 is Bobby McFerrin's legendary Don't Worry be Happy. I dare say that this song is the platonic ideal of happy songs, what with the upbeat tune and charming voice encouraging you to be happy and not worry. It's not like this encouragement of happiness is assuming you're in a pleasant place, the situations described in the song are quite worrying. Late rent, being homeless, being broke and unfashionable and not having a love in your life are all things we probably have or might have to deal with. If nothing else, the song wants you to smile for everyone else so general happiness can be maintained.

Robin Williams being in this does give it a dark sting, but if you can forget that (by, say, not watching the video) then don't worry, be happy!

Alright, back to the proper order.


These are the songs that are basically about winning life. Maybe it's just a short-lived sense of satisfaction, maybe you've done all you've ever wanted. You might still have a long way to go, you might not have any more worlds to conquer. In any case, you're either finding happiness in success and fulfillment or failing at that.


I'd prefer not to.

Seriously, I don't even have some sort of deeper analysis of the song, it's just here because it's the first song I thought of for shallow fulfillment. It might as well be a hedonism song, he's just bragging about his car. He seems to think he's fulfilled, but it's just a kinda swanky car.


Much better.

Like Ice Cream Paint Job, this song features its fair share of bragging. Unlike that one, however, it illustrates where the rappers are now compared to where they used to be. They used to be underdogs, fighting to survive in an environment that's working against them and now they're MVPs, the top dogs. The song has a cold, dark atmosphere that highlights just how sucky a situation the rapper was in, which in turn creates a clear, triumphant contrast with the lines describing how good they have it now.


I hear soothing sounds...and a cool jazzy voice...and I think to myself...what a wonderful song...

But seriously, this is quite the wonderful song. Unlike Love it or Hate it, this song seems to be satisfied with life as it is. It's so hopeful and optimistic, with love and beauty and friendship and a positive outlook on the future. It's a great song to put on to relax, as well as a good reminder of the small stuff that we take for granted. How often do you see a crying child and think "that kid will probably know and do things that I probably won't"? Even being young enough that I'll be alive when they're freshly adults, my joints will probably hurt too much to do hyperspace super-basketball or mega-fidget-spinner combat discus or whatever's cool twenty years from now. We all could use a moment where we stop and look at all the things that make life worth living.


Exactly what it says on the tin. These are songs where the song is happy and tells you that you should be happy. It probably gives you some life advice for keeping your chin up over some upbeat music and probably repeats a central sentiment of being happy. That may sound annoying and aggressively positive, but I find that it is actually a good way to boost your mood.


I used to really, REALLY like this song but I played it so much it eventually wore thin on myself. Full disclosure, this is the other prompt-mandated song but I would probably consider it for this playlist even if it wasn't. This is one of those songs that sounds better in 8-bit or MIDI for me since it tends to lack that chorus in the chorus that just goes "Happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" in a way that's really started to grate on my ears. Even so, it's a cheery song that's the perfect example of what I'm talking about. He wants you to climb along if you need happiness, understand happiness is the truth, already get what happiness or if you just want to.


Lyric video because it's cleaner than the music video.

Here it is, my go-to cheer up song. You screwed up? Well, you're only human so it's okay to make mistakes sometimes. Feel like a piece of crap? It happens, things will get better. Life sucks in general? Don't worry, there'll be a part of life that won't completely suck eggs. Don't give up, there's a second wind coming. The song itself is really cheery, and I think part of what cheers me up every time here is that this song helped me get through a rough time in my life. Unlike some other songs, this gives me good nostalgia and rejuvenates my will to keep trucking through life.


Is it weird that this is a happiness song for me? It's not the happiest song here, but that synth feels like it's jumping through the clouds with leaps and bounds, not caring about what's going on. Okay, maybe this is a really bad song to show someone who is considering suicide since it keeps saying "might as well JUMP", but the lyrics besides that are motivational and inspiring, so it's probably not encouraging that.

You got to ro~o~oll with the punches!

And thus brings us to the end of our list. There's some highs and some lows, but I'd say it rarely provides an unpleasant experience, especially depending on your opinion of noisy music. Music's kinda magical, just put something on and it'll have a profound effect on how you're feeling. Even with all the crap going on from whatever nasty thing you heard today to the enslavement of the modern age's nervous system to out-and-out violations of basic human rights, take some notes from the songs here.

You need a love to keep you happy, You'd rather have a bottle in front'a ye than a full frontal lobotomy, There's beautiful things still in the world, You'll get that second wind sooner or later, and one so important we might want to sing it note for note: Don't worry, be happy.

Friday, December 8, 2017


"Still wanna be part of that world?"

(-Yes, but what's on the other channels?)

If I have your attention: remember to include "fun" elements in your 2d installment, as well as links to at least two classmates' posts you've commented on (if you've not already done that) AND a link to your 1st installment.

Most of you have the graphic/visual part down, but most could also benefit from a few more links. By links I don't just mean addresses. Actually highlight the text you're linking to. For example, instead of directing the reader to "The Little Mermaid" this way - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097757/ - just do it like this.

And actually embed the videos you want to include, don't just paste a YouTube address. It only takes about 3 clicks.

Second Installment(Final) 
Happiness by Amy Lowell - Poem
     Amy Lawrence Lowell was born February 9, 1874. She was an American poet from Brookline Massachusetts. She died on May 12 1925 in Brookline Massachusetts and posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.
      In the poem, Happiness, Lowell revealed how happiness can make people feel comfortable and relaxed. In the first stanza, she compares happiness to elation, empty quietness, also to some, happiness shows no delight or distress. This basically points to the subjectivity of happiness. Happiness can be defined and experienced by different people in different ways.
       In the second paragraph, the poet tries to explain what happiness means for her. She uses a lot of metaphors in her poem. She compares happiness to wine, in the sense that happiness makes you forget your sorrows, sad memories and give you pleasure. Happiness makes the poet feel better, relaxed and comfortable.
       In the concluding part of the poem, the poet says that happiness is rare. It eludes some people. And the fact that happiness is scarce points to why the poet is willing to do anything to get it, because according to the poet, happiness is better than anything there is.

Happiness by Amy Lowell
  Happiness, to some, elation;
Is, to others, mere stagnation.
Days of passive somnolence,
At its wildest, indolence.
Hours of empty quietness,
No delight, and no distress.

Happiness to me is wine,
Effervescent, superfine.
Full of tang and fiery pleasure,
Far too hot to leave me leisure
For a single thought beyond it.
Drunk! Forgetful! This the bond: it
Means to give one's soul to gain
Life's quintessence. Even pain
Pricks to livelier living, then
Wakes the nerves to laugh again,
Rapture's self is three parts sorrow.
Although we must die to-morrow,
Losing every thought but this;
Torn, triumphant, drowned in bliss.

Happiness: We rarely feel it.
I would buy it, beg it, steal it,
Pay in coins of dripping blood
For this one transcendent good. 

Happy Quotes
“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” – Ashley Montagu

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”- Stacey Charter

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”Epictetus

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” – Oscar Wilde

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”- Herman Cain

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” – Anthony De Mello

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”- L.M. Montgomery

“If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world.”- Joseph Addison

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”- Groucho Marx

“Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
- Unknown