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"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind."

- James Allen

This is my garden.

Here's a fun thought exercise:

Imagine that a robot exists for the sole purpose of ensuring that you and everyone else on this planet are as happy as possible. How do you think s/he would behave?

When thinking about this, I have assumed the following:

  • happiness is derived from a combination of:
    • the elimination of unnecessary suffering,
    • deep, lasting connection, and
    • continuous growth towards the actualization of one's full potential, where:
      • potential is in reference to one's impact on the breadth, depth, and diversity of life;
      • breadth of life is a measure of how distributed life is among galactic structures - how far we've gone;
      • depth of life is a measure of the adventures that unfold within it - the richness of our experiences;
      • diversity of life is a measure of sociocultural, biological, and philosophical diversity - how effectively we've preserved competing ideas and lifeforms.

I've thought about this a lot. I think this "happiness robot" might:

  1. perform research intended to harvest insights that protect and enhance life
  2. distill these insights into principles that can be observed or applied universally
  3. manufacture essays that synthesize these principles into accessible packets of information intended for distribution across a wide array of perspectives
  4. formulate hypotheses aimed at applying these principles to the edges of progress in an effort to illuminate those edges
  5. experiment with projects to test these hypotheses and distribute insights as efficiently as possible

Basically, its whole deal would revolve around helping people continuously grow and connect around their passions and pursuits that preserve and enhance the richness of life that we're so incredibly lucky to be a part of, while ensuring that no one is needlessly suffering.

I'm attempting to cultivate my garden in the same way that this guy would.