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The axes of humanity

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In my mind I keep a diagram of conduct in which all people engage to help me better judge them. The more people engage in the right kind of behavior, the more I like them. There are two axes, violence and productivity. The less violent, and the more productive, the more I like a person. All other labels people use (for themselves or for others, for groups or for individuals) can correlate with the various categories in varying situations. Productivity does not need to be money-making productivity, it can also be writing great works that help us understand the human condition, inventing and discovering helpful tools, systems, or theories, or things not easily measurable such as pleasantness to be around the person. Perhaps “utility added to others” would be a better way to describe it.

———————— Productivity————————

Proneness to Violence

On this diagram, those in the lower right, the peaceful productive, are the best people, and in the upper left, the worst for obvious reasons. In the lower left we find people who mind their own business but don’t add anything, and in the upper right we find dangerous people who use violence to be productive. That category is the most complicated, and determining what behavior justifies the use of violence is extremely difficult.

Violence does not need to be physical violence, it can also be appropriating money, property, all manners of coercion, or actively inhibiting of the freedoms of others.

In the lower left we would find an isolated person living off the land for himself, not producing anything of value for others. If he would engage in the market economy, he would already move towards productivity by engaging in non-zerosum trades.

In the lower right we find the people that make the West so successful. The peaceful, industrious, conscientious, humble and intelligent people.

In the upper left we find guys like Stalin. And more towards the upper right we find ambiguous figures like Pinochet.

The system seems to become less useful while I am writing this post and thinking more about it, becauseĀ  violence and utility are dependent on each other, and maybe I am merely providing a very roundabout way of saying that I like people who mind their own business in most day-to-day affairs while contributing to humanity by trading and sharing the fruits of their labors or beqeauthing to us greatly improved properties, spreading good morals and improving the lives of others by stimulating them to act similar to themselves.


Written by cultured ape

September 21, 2008 at 4:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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