The Four Pillars of Gross National Happiness

The wikipedia states that “Gross National Happiness (also known by the acronym: GNH) is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population. Gross National Happiness is instituted as the goal of the government of Bhutan in the Constitution of Bhutan, enacted on 18 July 2008.”

Here I note, for the record, the four pillars of Gross National Happiness:

  1. Extreme silliness. Happiness cannot be aggregated like beans. It’s a subjective experience that cannot be measured nor interpersonal comparisons made.
  2. Extreme stupidity. The stupidity of trying to ape a measure created to estimate aggregate production of an economy in a year — Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product. Sure, GDP is useful. But coming up with a measure of say, Gross National Sweet Taste, is stupid.
  3. Extreme idiocy. It is idiotic to believe that coming up with a silly measure helps you figure out what to do to increase whatever that is supposed to measure.
  4. Extreme ignorance. It is ignorant to believe that measuring something automatically increases your understanding of what’s measured. Inability to distinguish between the name of an object and the object usually leads to ignorance of this sort.

Author: Atanu Dey


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