Children are happy when they encounter a mysterious garden full of odd-looking trees and interesting creatures.
Much better than the predictable play area in a municipal park.
Tourists are happy when they come across an 'undiscovered' city, with exotic buildings and friendly natives.
Much better than the boring resorts to which travel companies like to send us.
In life there should be an element of serendipity.
(Although we should avoid extremes)
At New Scientist, Catherine de Lange suggests that we get out of the groove.
She writes that "an emerging body of research suggests that chance is a vastly underappreciated ingredient in human happiness."
Aangirfan researched the Nevada hotel occupied by Prince Harry.
In the days that followed, adverts for horrid hotels in Nevada popped up on the pages we looked at on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc.
Nevada is the ultimate boring, nasty resort.
Catherine de Lange points out that "recommender systems are algorithms that use your purchases, likes and browsing history, as well as those of other people, to work out what future purchases you might be interested in."
The big corporations want to remove 'serendipity' from our lives.
They want us to be predictable, "always going to the same bar on a Friday night, for example."
They want us to be an automatons, with no free will.
They argue that taking the uncertainty out of life is "a good strategy for happiness".
But, uncertainty can sometimes be a good thing.
When God plays golf, he does not always want to get a hole in one.
Catherine de Lange points out that there is "a phenomenon psychologists call the pleasure paradox: we want to understand the world, but that understanding can rob us of the pleasure we get from unexpected events."
Try something new. Explore somewhere new.
Adding an element of chance can "boost our mood in the day-to-day".
The big corporations want us to get our news and for our purchases only from them.
They want us to live in a "filter bubble".
According to Danah Boyd, of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, Massachussetts, 'We've lost the recognition that connecting to people whose world views are fundamentally different is important.'
According to Catherine de Lange, "She traces that to a shift in attitude around 2005 when, she says, media focus on online predators led to 'a moral panic around stranger danger'."
"One of the most important things is letting your kids embrace serendipity," says Boyd. "That's what it used to mean to get on your bike and go out to wherever. We have lost that."
It's time to boycott the news and products from the big corporations.