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Improving Economics Effectiveli

Capitalism has had a good run.

One of Capitalisms defining traits is 'economic value'.

This became the basis of capitalism because, at the time, we did not have an accurate model for how people make decisions or determine value. However, humans are innately capable of making value decisions with no training, and have been doing so for millions of years, despite constantly shifting factors.

If we wanted to improve economics effectiveli, we would primarily need to update the fundamental economic model of value, so that it is in-line with the process every human being already uses to evaluate and make decisions.

Luckily, the studies of decision making, biology, and computer modeling provide the components to make a compelling replacement.

Briefly, what would that look like?

What Would We Use Instead of Economic Value?

"Environmental Well-Being" is what would replace it.

This is a simple way to describe the process you (and everyone else) already uses to evaluate and make decisions. It is the same process that humans have used for millions of years, so is primarily biological coding, and doesn't vary from person to person.

How it works?

  1. We are constantly bombarded with sensory information (sounds, smells, touch, images, feelings, ideas).

  2. We filter out and ignore most of this information, because our attention is very limited.

  3. The information we accept is constantly being identified, categorized, and filtered for potential benefits or a threats to what we imagine our well-being to be.

  4. With this highly selected information, we construct and amend an imagined model of where we fit in our environment, along with any differences between where we imagine we are and where we want to be.

  5. This requires only ever modeling 2 variables: yourself and your environment. All information is summarized into these 2 variables, and their relationship.

  6. All of our behavior and emotions are biologically automated responses to what we imagine our environmental well-being to be, based on these 2 variables.

Now, this describes our "experience" of environmental well-being, and how we make decisions. This is the first half of well-being. We will simply call this "Happiness and Entertainment", or "Happiness" for short.

For better or worst, life isn't just what we imagine it to be.

The other half of Environmental Well-being represents our actual physical and biological capabilities in our environment, which is our level or achievement for what we intend. We will simply call this "Health and Fitness", or "Health" for short.

We are already quite familiar with the difference between Health and Happiness in our experience of food.

Broccoli is high in health, but low in happiness.

Dessert is high in happiness, but low in health.

And optimal diet is one that can successfully achieve high marks in both health and happiness.

Some additional examples of the difference:

Can you jump over that fence?

  • Happiness: "Who thinks I can jump that fence?", or I think it'd feel good to jump over something high and have an audience

  • Health: Jumping a 4ft fence demonstrates physical fitness above 83.79% of the environments population. Since I failed the jump, I am below this threshold.

How fast can you run a mile?

  • Happiness: I ran a 10 min mile, so I imagine I'm in the top 10%, and quite fast.

  • Health: 12.28 minute average, or faster than 67% of the people in your environment

How many trivia questions can you get right?

  • Happiness: I'm a smart person, so I imagine 80-90% of questions.

  • Health: Historically, I get 22.3% of questions right. Since the environment average is 16.7%, I would do better than most, and be in the top 76%

How are your relationships?

  • Happiness: I have a solid social media following, and good relationships with my family, so I imagine good.

  • Health: My social interactions are 25% more positive than average.

Health and Happiness are both unique and important parts of life. If you examine results and our reactions to them, it is easy to ascertain whether someone is operating with Health or Happiness as the intention / measure of success.

Biology doesn't allow us to prioritize and balance both, so we almost exclusively choose to prioritize one or the other in all of our decisions.

The general Rules to knowing the difference are very simple:

  • If we are making a decision to change how we feel, it's almost exclusively an exercise in "Happiness and Entertainment".

  • If we are making a decision CONTRARY to how it makes us feel, it is almost exclusively an exercise in "Health and Fitness".

So, if I deliberately eat something that tastes bad, or do something that feels bad, it is meant to improve my 'Health and Fitness'.

If I deliberately eat something that tastes good, or do something that feels good, it is meant to be part of improving my 'Happiness and Entertainment'.

There are exceptions and overlaps.

Improvements in Health and Fitness often improve how we feel at some point, and we can do things that temporarily make us feel bad as part of entertainment (ex. Horror movies, skydiving, feats of strength).

However, the general rules are helpful, and generally accurate.

Now that we have a good sense of Environmental Well-Being, how would that replace value in economics?

How Would I Buy Stuff?

Short term, normal economic exchanges wouldn't fundamentally change too much, except that there would be an added evaluation layer and tag.

Just as items today are assigned a 'price' for purchase, we can calculate a personalized 'result' that automatically compares the well-being someone is looking to gain from a product with what the well-being that will actually result from it.

So, if I go shopping for products that will help me lose 10 lbs, I will get a list of products and services that can actually help me achieve that result, with an associated price.

If I go shopping for products that will help me imagine that I'm losing weight, even if I'm not, I will get an entirely different set of products.

Price wouldn't vary. However, the new personalized "result" value will help me understand, evaluation, and choose my purchases far more accurately.

Long Term Changes

Long term, products and services would be minimized and bundled across producers to help individuals simplify and improve their overall Well-Being scores, while driving monetary and resource costs down.

It also opens up the option for dropping costs to a nominal amount through automation.

While this could take a long time to implement, all the fundamentals exist today, and the process toward this refocus of priorities toward managing to well-being is well underway.


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