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Obviously, it is better to "have fun while doing useful things" than doing any other activities. You improve both your short and long term chances of happiness. What is less obvious is how to achieve this state.
Two main questions naturally arise:
- What things are really useful in the long term ?
- How to add short-term fun to the useful activities ?
What things are really useful in the long term ?
Since we will all die, nothing. No, wait... Please someone think of the children ! OK but our children will die too. And then their children too. And so on. But humanity may survive. Maybe.
Serious scientists (and among them nuclear scientist are as serious as you can get) think that humanity needs our help in order to survive in the not so long term: http://www.thebulletin.org/
Their "doomsday clock" (minutes to midnight apocalypse) lists the biggest problems for our survival. This "doomsday clock" is no joke: the 2005 and 2007 Nobel peace prizes list the same 2 major problems as the "clock": nuclear weapons and global warming. New weapons of mass destructions (from new advances in fields like biology, nanotechnology, robotics, ...) can become a major problem too. Poverty is a major reason why some would want to use weapons, as is shown by the 2006 Nobel peace prize.
Of course to solve such big issues, many intermediate issues need also to be solved: education (and teaching the full scientific method, the one that includes Occam Razor, simulations and optimizations), access to accurate informations (an accurate web of trust is to be built if we want to able to trust anything, including scientific papers), traceability for money (avoiding laundering) and goods (including the pollution they generate) ...
How to add short-term fun to the useful activities ?
But it is sometimes difficult to bring fun to our most urgent priorities. Especially when our unconscious mind is obsessed by other fun activities... Reconciling these two different list of activities can be tricky. As can be reconciling the lists of favorite activities of several people that take part in a workshop.
This is why the fun and useful lists techniques page is a major part of this wiki.