Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Ideal World

Often when I have made suggestions about how the world should work, what I thought were reasonable and practical options, others have responded with condescending dismissals like “That might be true in an ideal world.” My gut reaction to such statements goes something like this: “The reason why we don’t have anything approaching an ‘ideal world’ is because people like you refuse to even TRY to improve it!”

I’d be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers to the world’s problems, maybe not even an appreciable fraction. But I don’t have to, and neither do you. What we can do is share our ideas with each other, test them, maybe make a few mistakes along the way and correct them. The worst thing we could do is nothing; to shut up and just accept things the way they are.

So for what it’s worth, I’m going to take the first step and share some of my thoughts about what we could do to make this a better world. I hope readers will take the next step and either challenge what I’m saying, amend it, or add their own ideas.

In the broadest terms, I believe we must maximize the longevity of humanity (for our species as a whole, and for individuals), quantity of life (population size), and quality of life (how happy we are as individuals). In the following discussion, I will elaborate on each of these approaches, including the measurement of how well we’re doing and strategies for improvement.

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