Johann Hari on Addiction & Depression [The Weekly Yes]

The Weekly Yes is my weeklyish post of recommended reading & listening.

I recently heard a Sam Harris interview with Johann Hari and my mind exploded right out of my head. Hari is a British writer who has been focusing on addiction and depression for a few years now. He advocates a different way of looking at both issues–in short, that he views them less as diseases than as symptoms of a greater disease. The greater disease is the very structure of modern society. In essence, we have constructed a profoundly lonely and disatisfying society, and we are reacting quite reasonbly, by getting depressed and drugging ourselves senseless.

For people who prefer words, here’s a New Statesman article on Hari and his most recent book, Lost Connections.

I have yet to read his books and really dig into the research he cites, but I love this type of thinking. I like viewing the world as nonjudmentally as I can, and from a high altitude. From high up I search for cause and effect. I find the world much more understandable and compassionate from this view.

I should add that Hari has a bit of an unfortunate past–his prior career as a journalist ended in a plagiarism scandal in 2011. I’ve not seen any articles red flagging his books though. Hopefully he has turned a new leaf.

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