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This has to be one of my favorite interviews (and a favorite topic). I just wanted to add a reference as an aside, that some of you might find interesting. It occurred to me while reading so many comments about how not necessarily intellectual learning tasks, but other types of task learning contribute to personal happiness. Some time ago I'd picked up a copy of "Scientific American Mind" magazine (August/Sept 2008 edition), with an article (see http://www.scientificamerican.... ) describing how the brain lights up in so many depression breaking places when the hands are used to carry out goal oriented activities, like gardening or cooking or the kind of day to day work you find in Amish places, elaborating on why that might explain the sizable increased incidence of depression in the latter half of the twentieth century as compared to the first, with so many life conveniences replacing the kinds of goal directed hand task activities that in the early part of the century everyone was steeped in.

It's an excellent article. It makes me think of my Grandfather and Grandmother, both of whom were so involved in craft related activities, from painting, to gardening, to cooking, to woodworking. They were two of the happiest people I've ever known in my life.