Intents: Social Welfare.

Dimensions of Happiness

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Define abstract dimensions, that correlate best with people's happiness, and model people's movement in that space, to intentionally achieve social bliss.

YAML Idea

Till now, we had the idea of "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs," that included:

  1. Self-actualization: achieving one's full potential, including creative activities.
  2. Esteem needs: prestige and feeling of accomplishment.
  3. Belongingness and love needs: intimate relationships, friends.
  4. Safety needs: security, safety.
  5. Physiological needs: food, water, warmth, rest.

However, even grouped, these categories do not seem to be very pragmatic -- they lack prescriptiveness, and completeness in reflecting the areas we should pay attention to become happy. For example, someone may be unhappy because of an illness, or psychological illness, but Maslow's Hierarchy of needs do not identify this category, or, a person may be unhappy because of the lack of positive experiences, which is also not covered by Maslow's hierarchy.

Therefore, in order to find a more pragmatic and complete "universal formula" to help friends become happy, I was analyzing "happiness" empirically, asking "What are the minimal exhaustive set of areas that entirely cover the reasons of people's unhappiness?" I had empirically identified the following pragmatic categories instead:

  1. Meaning: self-defined goals, ideas and projects, that generate the meaning of life.
  2. Health: physical and mental states.
  3. Relationships: human relationships and activities.
  4. Finance: yet another form of social communication, granting access to utilities satisfying various needs.
  5. Experiences: life experiences also affecting our happiness.

Also, I have identified a few questions, that let us understand the reasons behind those areas, and grouped those questions under these areas, that people can use to self-diagnose the issues with their lives, and arrive at the actions to take.

So, this categorization is actually a bit more complete, diagnostic and prescriptive, in that it says, what to do to become happy. Namely, it says, that if someone is unhappy, they are unhappy due to one of the 5 factors above, and nothing else. So, it prescribes to identify which of the dimensions are undersatisfied, and make lists of actions to take to make them satisfied.

Interestingly, these areas are much better understood by modern science than those of Maslow's, allowing us to directly optimize them. For example:

  1. Meaning:
    • M1. List professional pursuits and self-actualization.
      • Why? List professional challenges you feel meaningful.
      • How? List ideas or principles to overcome those challenges.
      • What? List projects originating from or utilizing these principles.
    • M2. Identify 3-4 items out of the below ones, that give you most happiness.
      • [ ] Society and social love
      • [ ] Raising children and personal love
      • [ ] Staying with friends, and adventure
      • [ ] Problem solving and innovation
      • [ ] Spiritual intimacy and cooperation
      • [ ] Physical intimacy and exploration of feelings
      • [ ] Art, emotions and self-expression
      • [ ] Technological creation and systems engineering
      • [ ] Science, mathematics, and the mystery of the universe
      • [ ] Something else (please describe)
  2. Health:
    • H1. List feelings / pains / discomforts. (What specifically, and what could be done about them?)
    • H2. List longevity risks. (What specifically, and what could be done about them?)
  3. Relationships:
    • R1. List the people you want to build or improve relationships with and how.
  4. Finance:
    • F1. Cashflows: assets. List what things or processes add money to your account each month.
    • F2. Cashflows: liabilities. What items or processes consume or withdraw money from your account each month?
    • F3. What goods / services would you buy if you had an unlimited amount of money?
      • List products or services: Where to buy and at what price?
    • F4. Which 3-4 of the things listed below would give you the greatest happiness right now if you had?
      • [ ] Space travel
      • [ ] Valuable companies
      • [ ] Wonderful people for important jobs
      • [ ] Higher quality food
      • [ ] More comfortable conditions for more frequent sports
      • [ ] Beauty and opportunities more often look good
      • [ ] Travel and opportunities to meet specific friends more often
      • [ ] Access to spec. technical equipment and infrastructure
      • [ ] Access to spec. information systems and networks
      • [ ] Access to advanced medical and bioengineering facilities and services
      • [ ] Other (explain)
  5. Experiences:
    • E1. List some experiences you would like to have tomorrow.
    • E2. Write down the experience you want to achieve in the coming months.
    • E3. Describe some of the experiences you want to experience over the next many years.

Pragmatically then, all we have to do, according to the equation model F(X)=Y, or "thing ? = other thing" -- is, look where are we, and where do we want to be in life, with respect to these dimensions, and how to get there. For example, you can ask "Where do I want to be in the dimension of "relationships with other people"?" or "Where do we want to be in the dimension of health?", etc., and help everyone move towards great places in space of dimensions of happiness, solving the equation together for the social bliss.

Note: There is though, some things that a friend has recently identified as "spontaneity" or "magic" that may not be covered by the above categories, though, perhaps it could be categorized under the "experiences."


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Why you feel what you feel | Alan Watkins | TEDxOxford

"Understanding why you feel what you feel is one of the most important aspects of human development. After understanding comes control. When you control your emotions through vertical development, you can be more successful and happy. [...]"

--Mindey,


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And, here's a video on basic usage.


--Mindey,

So, if I'm wondering how do these factors generalize. What would be the equivalents for a more primitive type of life, like, say, a mosquito?

  1. Meaning: self-expression (fertilization for males, laying eggs for females).
  2. Health: overall functioning.
  3. Relationships: with another mosquito(s) for fertility, and with a blood donor(s).
  4. Finance: exchange of sperm for probability increase of progeny?
  5. Experiences: fertilization, feeding, laying eggs, drinking water, nectar.

Apparently, finance is a kind of social reciprocal phenomenon, where strategic exchange happens: one gives to another in exchange for something else of existential value. In such primitive cases like that of mosquito, there's no developed financial system, but it is still possible identify where strategic social exchange happens.

In more communal species with distributions of roles, these exchanges probably are more evolved. For example, one could attribute financial nature to the fact that bee drones may be getting "free" honey in exchange for increasing the genetic diversity for progeny.

It doesn't mean though, that financial system is necessarily a sign of higher intelligence, for example, lower order life, like the cells making up our organs, are entirely a result of a kind of financial system driven by blood or ATP and other molecules as a form of currency.


--Inyuki,

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