Per Dave’s suggestion I watched Daniel Kahneman’s Ted talk about the differences between the remembering and experiencing selves. His point, more or less, is that we value the memory of something over the actual experience of that thing. Two especially interesting points/examples from his talk: First, would you take the vacation you’re planning if all the pictures and memories were going to be miraculously destroyed at the end? (I know I’ve taken a lot of “memory” vacations.) Second, in the question and answer portion at the end of his talk he notes that while there is a definite correlation between happiness and income below $60,000 (the lower you go, the less happy you are), it turns out that making more than that has no effect on experienced happiness (it does on remembered, though).