Ideas and observations

What sort of economic conditions would arise if, instead of basing our currency on some quantum of precious metal, we instead based it on the precise amount of  happiness destroyed in earning it? So, the purchaser of a 50 cent pack of gum would labor at some painfully tedious or loathsome task until he has sacrificed a quantum of happiness exactly equaling that gained from chewing a pack of gum. A house would cost exactly the sum of happiness of inhabiting it. That seems exactly fair to me.

*

In my life, every meal is a special treat, and every day is a vacation in an uninterrupted series of vacations, each unlike the others, with no hum-drum in-between. I’m always catching up with old friends before they move on to their next old friend, or their latest future old friend.

*

If you want to be a good listener stop trying to be a good listener. Instead, go find somebody with something genuinely interesting to say, something you urgently want to learn. If there’s nobody like that around, expand your search. Or, better, consider studying massage.

*

If I were designing a new hell, I’d follow Hesiod and leave open the question of its everlastingness. Maybe things might end up ok.

*

I don’t see what’s so bad about negativity. Most virtues are negations of vices. Isn’t righteousness the lack of sin? Isn’t the responsible person the one who can’t be blamed for an irresponsible act? Isn’t love the total absence of hatred? Isn’t respect the belief that the other isn’t contemptible? Who can argue with doing no harm?

Because I don’t see what’s so bad about negativity, doesn’t that actually establish the nonexistence of its badness? That is, doesn’t that establish its goodness? Yes. Or at least, you can’t establish that I’ve failed to establish it.

*

Do we really want to hear that same old story of the interminable series of thwarted conversations, each fresh, new and fascinating and futureless?

*

How do you know when something is not working out for you? Simple: you don’t want it.

It’s not zero sum. Someone’s loss is not necessarily someone else’s gain. Some things work out for nobody.

Maybe in the end, Rome was working out for nobody. Not that anyone alive at the time had any contrast for comparison. Despite the fact that nobody could come up with a better option than Rome, nobody could really actively want Rome to exist in perpetuity. Does this mean Roman patriotism diminished? I should read Gibbon and find out, but my bet is that it intensified.

*

yt?