The Happiness Bug
The Happiness Bug
Most people assume that the current woes affecting the world and the generally miserable attitude of the world's population at the moment are the result of "Macro economic factors" or "Fiscal instability" or even "The rise of social media breaking down the bonds of society-ness".
Maybe not ...
Take a moment to think about this ... how come this is all happening now? In the past few years we have had a global financial meltdown, volcanoes going on the rampage, tidal waves, bird / swine flu, etc, etc. Why is it all at this one moment in history??
The thing that gives away the answer to the cause of all of this mayhem and confusion may be given away by the last of the calamities listed above: bird / swine flu. The authorities got in a bit of a froth saying that both would be global pandemics giving rise to much misery, wailing and gnashing of teeth ... and possibly a slightly worse train service than normal.
And what happened? Next to nothing. Which on the whole is a good thing - particularly if you are a bird or a swine ...
Why then could something that stops a disease spreading be a bad thing? Surely all diseases are bad, aren't they? That's pretty obvious, isn't it?
Or is it?
In an infinite and quite possibly random universe, how come it is not possible to have "positive" diseases? Evolution theory suggests that the "fittest" survive. Wouldn't a "disease" that had positive effects on the health of the person affected be of positive survival value to the person concerned and also in turn on the bug's own survival?
What if there were "poseases" (positive diseases) that made you feel fitter for example? Maybe a "happiness bug" that gave the sufferer a bright and bonny outlook on life. Perhaps an "insightfulness moment" virus that sharpened your perception.
There are many thousands of diseases - there could also be an equally large number of "poseases" out there. This could explain those otherwise inexplicable eureka! moments when a brilliant new idea is created. Newton may have been under the influence of a "Bit too clever for your own good" bacteria when he came up with the theories of gravity, light, motion, integral calculus etc etc. in that one brief summer.
So, if this is the case and the world is flooded with "poseases" why is the official UK Government rating of the country been downgraded from "Mustn't grumble" to "A bit rubbish" at the moment?
Well, the bugs and evolution are not alone any more. Since Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, mankind has been producing more and more bug-killers - antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals - and pumping them into the food chain through farming and over liberal use in medicine.
Although this all started out with good intentions, what if those same bug-killers have also killed the good guys, the "poseases" that boosted our performance, increased our brain power and left us feeling pleasantly content?
The bankers that were minting it in the 1980s could well have taken a dose of anti-biotics after an expenses paid trip to Venice and unwittingly exterminated their infection of "Canny judgement" bacillus leading inevitably to a long-term series of risky and increasingly bizarre financial decisions that gave us the recent turbulent economic times.
Dave Comoron may have had a touch of the "Saying the right thing at the right time-itis" bacillus during the election, eaten too much anti-biotic ridden meat at the election night party, however, lost his lucky touch and thereby returning back to his normal state of "Being a bit dithery". (Mind you, the same could be said of the whole current parliament ...)
There could well be an antidote to the current hard times out there somewhere: a dusting of mould on a particularly ripe and aromatic Parmesan, an inanely grinning peasant in the Alsace, or a chunky bloke called Kev who's always good for a laugh. Take a swab from any of them and who knows ... the happiness bug in a test tube?
And that is only the start. Continue by isolating the "Prudent financial virus" endemic in the Gnomes of Zurich. Track down the "Working a bit harder than everyone else" bacteria in Beijing.
Inoculations start on Monday.
2011sep02 1033: Just read in the paper that probiotic yogurts have been scientifically proven to improve mood and help with combating stress, anxiety and depression. Professor John Cryan of University College, Cork is quoted as saying: "... certain gut organisms can alter behaviour." (Sun 2011sep1)
Truth is stranger than fiction ... or have scientists not yet found out how strange it really is ???
Thought ..."First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" - Mahatma Gandhi