Businessman Becomes First to Take “Happy Pill”
Yesterday, Jake McClure, Chairman of Genasoft and one of the world’s richest men, announced that he would be “retiring from ordinary life” and consigning himself to the so-called ‘Happiness Bed’. Although others are believed to have experienced ‘The Bed of Roses’ for short periods, McClure is thought to be the first to commit for the rest of his life, and is certainly the first to talk openly to the world’s press. McClure, along with ‘a dozen or so’ of the world’s richest and wealthiest individuals, is said to have been a heavy investor in the research for the last ten years.
Jake McClure, 43, briefly answered questions from the press:
Could you tell us about the research project that has led to this possibility?
Well, that’s quite confidential. I’ve been a contributor for the last ten years, but the project has been operational in various forms for more than fifty years. Many of the top scientists are involved, forsaking publicity because they believe that such research is the only thing worth studying.
Aren’t you sad to be leaving your wife and children?
Yes, indeed I am very sad. But I know that the feeling of sadness will not be with me tomorrow. Tomorrow, and for the rest of my life, I’ll know only joy, delight and satisfaction.
'Will society break down? Well, maybe. Certainly when the technology becomes more affordable.
Won’t you be bored?
The Bed rewires the brain. Boredom is a device used by the subconscious mind in order to influence the choices made by the conscious mind. I won’t be bored, simply because the circuits that would make me feel bored will be disabled.
Don’t good feelings in life come from overcoming difficulties?
Indeed they do. That’s absolutely the way it works in ‘normal’ life: our brains only give us satisfaction when we overcome difficulties. But these good feelings that we crave are nothing more than neurological events - patterns of neurones firing in particular ways. Currently, our brains are wired up by millions of years of natural selection so that we experience these feelings only when we improve our genetic survival chances. But that’s just wiring. It can be rewired, just like a light bulb can be rewired. We’ve simply put in a new switch... only this time it’s going to be permanently in the ‘on’ position.
Isn’t your life pretty good anyway?
Yes it is. But it’s nowhere near as perfect as you might imagine. We all assume that great success, a wonderful relationship and huge wealth will elevate our lives to a degree of satisfaction and delight not experienced by so-called ‘normal’ people. We assume such a life will be free of fear, free of pain, free of worry. But it isn’t. My brain is programmed always to want more than I already have: I cannot free myself from the desire for more, nor from a feeling that the grass is greener.
Besides, even if my life were significantly more wonderful than yours, you have to understand that the intensity of the feelings that I’ll be experiencing tomorrow will be way beyond what is normally available to a human being: joyous feelings that in our normal lives are rarely glimpsed will become my minute-by-minute reality. I can’t wait.
Aren’t you concerned about the impact on society?
That’s two questions. Am I concerned? Yes, I am concerned, but I won’t be concerned tomorrow. Second question: Will society break down? Well, maybe. Certainly when the technology becomes more affordable there will be profound changes to society in general, profound changes to people’s priorities. The impact on the economy will be interesting to see... but I won’t be around to see it, because it won’t be as interesting as actually being on The Bed.
Aren’t you being a bit selfish?
Absolutely. But I’ve discovered that my fear of being regarded as selfish isn’t sufficiently powerful to forego a life of barely-conceivable bliss for.
Are you indeed the first?
I’m the first to publicise, yes.
But not the first?
At this final question, Mr McClure smiled and turned away from the reporters.