Possible Side Effects

Augusten Burroughs

Why I looked at this book

In The People's Economics I discuss the economic concept of utility, and how it relates to happiness, and indeed whether happiness is all it's cracked up to be. So when I saw this Oatmeal comic I decided I needed to investigate further. This led me to the works of Augusten Burroughs. In particular to Running with scissors, but when I went to the library to look for that, I found Possible Side Effects instead.

I'd note though that the blurb for this book says it is approved for consumption by those seeking pleasure, escape, amusement, enlightenment, or general distraction., which looks like for those pursuing happiness. This seems to contradict the trail that led me to this book. Maybe this contradiction will be resolved when I read it.

First impressions

From reading the sample the book promises to be entertaining. The first two chapters are about losing a tooth at 8 years old (and a dreadful fear of the tooth fairy) and a nose bleed. I'm not sure whether the title implies a general medical theme for the book, I'll have to see.

Of course from a short sample it's impossible to tell whether it contributes anything to understanding the philosophy of happiness, but I can certainly tell that it worth continuing to read the book.
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In 1930, John Maynard Keynes wrote Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, predicting an age of leisure in a couple of generations. Why aren't we there yet? That's just one of the questions asked in
The People's Economics