April 8th, 2008


Moving on up

For those of you that have never encountered it, allow me to introduce Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:

The simplest explanation of which is that embarking upon any step on the pyramid without first achieving the previous steps is doomed to failure.

There's a corrolary, however which is that as Maslow's theory was one of motivation, achieving a particular point merely acts as a springboard for the next one. Once you've achieved the basic level of (for instance) food, additional amounts give you a decreasing level of improvement. Having an amazing meal is not as much an improvement over a good meal as having a mediocre meal is over not eating at all.

Which means that this doesn't surprise me at all. We may well have more money than we did 35 years ago, and we may well have a higher quality of loot to play with, but all of this is down at stage 2 of the heirarchy. If we aren't encouraging people upwards, with achievement, respect, creativity, etc. then I don't expect happiness levels to improve.

As the survey says:
The figures follow trends from around the world that show that happiness and satisfaction do not correlate with average income once countries reach "middle-income" levels.
The biggest proportional increase in spending has not been on basics like food and drink, but on luxury goods, such as mobile phones, travel abroad, recreational activities, and clothes.
And one in six UK adults reported that they suffered from a variety of mental health problems in the latest survey, of which the largest category was "mild anxiety and depression."

which would tend to indicate that we've chipped away at our levels of security (step 1), while people are trying to branch out into new experiences and activities that they can now afford to try. I suspect that some groups are raising their happiness percentage, as they get their basic security and then move up the pyramid, while others are dropping, as they are mired in insecurity and worry.

My memory is improving

I gave Lilian my old CRT television when I got my flatscreen.
And in return she gave me her old laptop.

It's a Dell Latitude C600 - a Pentium III with 128MB of RAM. Apparently its selling point was $2486 when it was first released.

Anyway, it's got Win2K on it, which I can live with - especially considering the low levels of RAM. However, even with a reasonably lightweight OS on it, swapping between applications was a grind - it couldn't hold both Firefox and Thunderbird in RAM at the same time, so swap got pretty bad.

Checking online though, I could treble the amount of RAM for £25. So I popped to the Crucial Memory site, downloaded their memory checker, bought the stuff it recommended, and it arrived in the post today. Three minutes with a screwdriver took off the back plate, the memory slotted right in, and sure enough it all works much more smoothly now.

It's not as portable as the Eee, and I don't think I'd bother dragging it to places. But as a machine to use in the living room it's going to be very handy.

I am tempted to install Linux on it - but frankly it all _works_ right now, and I'm not sure what I'd gain (other than geek points, that is).