In Issue 6 of MONTAG we ask how technology will improve the most important - and often most under-served - human need of all: happiness.
Previous issues of MONTAG have centred around themes of togetherness, health, creativity, money, and work and play - all things that we endlessly juggle, tweak and reboot with the simple yet utterly complex goal of being happy.
Happiness is a nebulous concept: we can all name a few simple things that would deliver it instantly, and yet often it seems further away than ever. What would a world designed to prioritise happiness look like? And don't we already have the technology to make it happen?
MONTAG Issue 6 asks one simple, huge question: how could we finally use technology to become really, truly happy?
Even in today’s troubled times - where we can use the technology we have developed to nudge swathes of people into anger and sadness, doesn’t that mean we have everything we need to make us happy as well?
Comed-AI: a Neural Network, a Twitter Bot and an Artificial Intelligence walk into a bar...
Real human humour relies heavily on the context of the joke. Puns, mockery, dick-jokes, ridicule, sarcasm, witticism and satire all rely on "reading the room" perfectly at any given moment and delivering the joke with good timing. AI is... not so good at this.
Hell Is Other People (Except Actually It’s Not At All)
If you want make yourself measurably happier, in a substantial way that is backed by decades of data, then stop reading this and go and hang out in person with another human being - preferably one that you like a lot - and shoot the shit for half an hour. You can finish this article later.
Happiness.com is a microcosm of everything the internet has become in the 21st century: it's a social network, a media platform, a mindfulness app, and a cryptocurrency all rolled into one leviathan with a killer domain name.
MONTAG INVESTIGATES™: An Entirely Un-Scientific and Non-Thorough Investigation Of Happiness On Youtube
MONTAG wanted to know if some simple searches for happiness on Youtube actually made us feel happier. So we typed in some basic happiness-seeking search terms, filtered the results by Play Count, and investigated further.
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 15: who said it - @Dril or @Pontifex?
Episode 15 of the MONTAGE, is not only about how music soothes the the savage beast, but how Twitter - yes, Twitter - has revolutionised how we experience literature - yes, literature - and not just by making it really, really short.
Paper clips, pancakes, and the pursuit of AI happiness
What if instead of smarter and more productive, we worked to make artificial intelligence... happy?
Reject ambition, slack off at work, and find true happiness in washing machines
MONTAG is setting out a bold agenda which promises to revolutionise your life. We have a simple set of step-by-step instructions that, in decreasing order of scientific trustworthiness, will bring you the happiness that you deserve. Each step will increase your happiness, and none will detract from it.
The sinister corporate history of the Smiley Face
The smiley face, a yellow circle with two dot eyes and a curved line mouth, has meant many things to many people; but happiness, perhaps unsurprisingly, has not always been at its core. Throughout its disputed historical origins and even today, the smiley represents one thing only: merchandise.
Gross. National Happiness?
When we measure success on a large scale - like countries or businesses - we generally ignore happiness. Instead, we measure things like Gross National Product. So what if we made being happy the big, top-line measurement instead?
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 14: A Ray Kurzweil 2019 Weird Predictions Special!
Welcome to A Very Special Episode of THE MONTAGE Podcast: a 2019 predictions special. We compare the predictions for 2019 made by tech sayer of sooths Ray Kurzweil and check whether his grand proclamations are at all close to reality.
2019 Predictions - Part 2: centenarians, quantum computers, and clickbait
What health tech innovations are going to medically assist the quest for eternal life? How are smartphones and computers going to advance leaps and bounds ahead of the devices at our fingertips now? And, most importantly, what are the trendiest beverages going to be?
2019 Predictions - Part 1: apocalypse, astronauts and Amazon
This week, we guess whether we're inching ever-closer to a dystopian hellscape, whether we can turn it around or flee to space, the future of earthbound urban infrastructure, and what the next year has in store for four of our favorite tech giants.
No device can bring happiness - it’s already inside us! (Now you just need to find it.)
MONTAG chatted to artist Deborah Rodrigues about her approach to tech, art, learning and joy, and whether we are deluded in believing that a piece of technology can bring us happiness (SPOILER: yes, we’re deluded.)
The MONTAG Christmas gift guide
The holiday season is upon us once again, and to help you celebrate, we've compiled suggestions for gifts that will appeal to friends and family with a futurist bent. These gift ideas say, "The future is here, for the low, low price of $99.99!"
Xmas Excess - the terrible happiness of made-for-TV Christmas movies
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Tis’ The Season To Be Jolly. Merry Christmas Everybody. Christmas is coming. It’s inescapable. And it sounds like you’re gonna be happy about it whether you want to be or not.
What is happiness?
Twitter bot @_whatishappy states in its bio: "I am a machine trying to understand what happiness is," and the phrasings of many of its tweets ("My daughter joyed the car," and "Talking with a friend's new puppy") don't make enough sense to convince many judges that there is a human behind the account.
Primal Screen Therapy: your screens are not making you happier
Statistically, the less time you spend interacting with a screen, the happier you get. At this point, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the outlook for us screen-addled humans is a bit grim.
This is the exact number of things you need to be happy
Youth, beauty, success, social status, and a bevy of other pleasurable side effects are implied by advertising as being conferred upon consumption of new products, but there is always the same underlying message: you need more things to be happy.