Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes XXXXI: Is biochemistry the route to happiness?

Some scholars compare human biochemistry to an air-conditioning system that keeps the temperature constant, come heatwave or snowstorm. Events might momentarily change the temperature, but the air-conditioning system always returns the temperature to the same set point. Some air-conditioning systems are set at twenty-five degrees Celsius. Others are set at twenty degrees. Human happiness conditioning systems also differ from person to person.

If we accept the biological approach to happiness, then history turns out to be of minor importance, since most historical events have had no impact on our biochemistry.

Today, when we finally realise that the keys to happiness are in the hands of our biochemical system, we can stop wasting our time on politics and social reforms, putsches and ideologies, and focus instead on the only thing that can make us truly happy: manipulating our biochemistry.

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