Setting Political Objectives

It can sometimes be paralyzing to consider effective means of political action in today's climate. There seems to be so much wrong in the world, it's difficult to know where to start. But the problem of determining what to do is not so difficult, if you keep your eyes on some of your fundamental values. Suppose that you wanted to maximize joy in the world, at least among the humans. How would you set out to do that? What would your sub-goals be? Happiness seems to have certain dependencies, such as adequate nutrition, freedom from stressors and envy (or the need to project achievement). Let's suppose that we set these three dependencies as sub-goals. We could identify the following sub-sub-goals...

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What Everyone Needs

In A Theory of Human Need, Len Doyal and Ian Gough developed a very short list of basic human needs, which amount to health and autonomy. Satisfaction of these needs depends on the satisfaction of intermediate human needs--needs shared by everyone. If you don't satisfy your intermediate needs, you're unlikely to be healthy and free (and therefore unlikely to very happy, I would add). Here is a list of the intermediate needs...

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Waitzkin on Learning

In The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin describes a collection of learning heuristics, a practical philosophy, he's used to excel in chess and martial arts. I've chosen to represent Waitzkin's heuristics as dictums...

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Montaigne's Answers to the Question 'How to Live?'

Sarah Bakewell has written a wonderful book, How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne, where she contemplates 20 answers that Michel de Montaigne might have given to the question 'How to live?' Here are the answers she imagines from Montaigne...

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Greatest Analogy in Science?

Between 1861 and 1862, James Clerk Maxwell worked on a paper entitled 'On Physical Lines of Force'. According to Robert Crease, the paper contains one of the greatest uses of analogy in the history of science...

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Aristotle, On Getting It

To Understand Change is to Understand Nature, according to Aristotle...

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Coined Bit

John Tukey, the legendary statistician, coined the term 'bit' when he was working on John von Neumann's pioneering computer engineering project (building the original MANIAC)...

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