In the study [PDF], [researcher Rik] Pieters followed more than 2,500 Dutch people over six years. For more specificity, the researcher broke materialism down into three categories that have subtle but significant differences. What Pieters calls “acquisition centrality” is pure, unfettered materialism. It’s the consumerism of the shopaholic—an unadulterated love of acquiring and owning possessions. “Possession-defined success” is the desire to keep up with your neighbours, a status-driven urge to make sure you’re not falling behind. And “acquisition in the pursuit of happiness” is exactly what it sounds like: buying with the belief that happiness is just one more Apple product away. It is materialism that “reflects a deficit.” …
He found that, over time, loneliness increased materialism and materialism increased loneliness (though the effects here were much smaller). Consumers can find themselves in a vicious circle, shopping because they’re sad, getting sadder as they shop, shopping some more—a loneliness loop that threatens to end with authorities discovering you alone in your apartment, long since dead, surrounded by a heaps of unopened Amazon boxes.
Surprisingly, however, as Pieters dug down into the different types of materialism, he found that not all materialism makes you miserable. While those who shopped in pursuit of happiness or to attain a particular status predictably increased loneliness over time, the people shopping out of “acquisitive centrality” actually seemed to decrease their loneliness.
(via The Dish)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
You enter the first room of the mansion and it’s completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it’s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they’re momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of, and couldn’t exist without, the many months of stumbling around in the dark that precede them.Andrew Wiles on mathematics research, (referenced in this blog post)