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In this life, we are all just beginners

I recently enrolled in an online course because I liked the key question of the course: If you are so intelligent, why aren’t you happy? I decided to jump right away into the first video, but there was a problem: no audio. The professor was clearly speaking, but I couldn’t hear a word. I was frustrating.

I checked, of course, all the connections of the computer speakers and, as I expected, everything was in order. Obviously, I also checked the speakers to be sure they were on. The green light in front of one of the speakers indicated they were on. Satisfied, I returned to the video ready to listen and… silence.

It was a mystery. I decided to watch the video on my tablet and not in the computer. I opened it on the tablet and there were no problems with the audio at all. Everything was normal. But I prefer the computer because it is easy for me when I need to answer quizzes or complete questionnaires.

So, I decided it was time to check the computer. A troubleshooting program almost immediately detected a problem: I was using a generic audio driver instead of a specific driver. I installed, of course, the new driver.

Now the computer asked me to “optimize” the sound of the speakers moving the speakers around. And it also allowed me to decide what kind of sound I wanted to use for my earphones if I was not using the speakers. With the updated and the optimization done, I went back to the course, and… silence.

If the computer was not the problem, my other option was to check the browser I was using. I thought that perhaps the settings of the browser were preventing the audio of the videos to be played. I reviewed the settings, but I found nothing out of place.

The next step was to check if any extension in the browser was blocking the video. I thought that perhaps the extension I use to block certain ads was, for whatever reason, also blocking the video I wanted to watch. I deactivated the extension for the web site of the class, but there was still no audio in the video.

By this time, my initial enthusiasm about learning something new about the connection (or lack of thereof) between intelligence and happiness was rapidly diminishing. But I decided not to give up because, after all, it is good to search for both intelligence and happiness. Then, an idea came to my mind and I did something that, in retrospective, I should have done at the beginning. I checked the audio setting in the video: it was “mute”.

I felt like a beginner in life. Here I was, trying to understand the mysteries of intelligence and happiness, and failing to see and solve simple things. I realized then that the reason why intelligent people are not happy is that perhaps they, like me, are not as intelligent as they think they are.

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