[ExI] Philosophy Tech Support
William Flynn Wallace
foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 26 22:59:05 UTC 2014
This brings up an interesting question. What if… everyone had too much
free time on their hands? Assume away constant struggles for the basics,
so we have sufficient food, shelter, all the bear necessities of life,
spelling intentional (Google on it, younger friends.)
Assuming Maslow was roughly right, people will spend their energies on
mostly social stuff - including a lot of status competition. Some will go
further and aim at self-realization and doing cool stuff. Most likely a
larger fraction than now will drop out and just enjoy life as couch
Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford
Let's look at this from a stand point of the Big Five. I really don't
think you can characterize what a hypothetical average person would do, so
let's look at specifics:
Introversion/Extroversion: at the extremes, you will find introverts doing
introverted things, like my reading and gardening. The extroverts will do
extroverted things like jumping out of airplanes, literally or figuratively.
Conscientiousness: people high on this trait will find something useful to
do, or at least the pretension of it, like spending their time getting more
advanced degrees. People low on this one will have no problem being couch
Emotionality: not particularly relevant here, I think
Openness to experience; those high will fill their time with experimenting
with new things, of which there is no end, of course.
not particularly relevant, I think.
There is no average person. There is an infinite number of mixtures of
these traits and prediction of their behavior in the 'too much time'
situation will be extremely difficult unless you deal with the extremes of
Way back (before 1960) I heard of a guy who graduated from college in psych
to a regular business. He was given a personality test, which he happened
to know. He solved the problem of answering truthfully or the way he
thought they wanted him to by doing the latter. His test results came
back: This person is either abnormally normal or he is lying. Pretty good
test, eh? (Nowadays there are severe restrictions legally as to what tests
you can give prospective employees.)
Yeah, it's a dull answer, all right
. Perhaps someone can think of what the high/low emotional
people will do as well as the high/low agreeableness people.
unless you favor very roughly right,
Maslow's hierarchy had
too many exceptions, reversals etc. - difficulty testing the theory as
well because of its lack of scientific basis. It does have a strong appeal
to common sense and we all know how valuable that is.
I do wonder if the rate of creating new religions would change. It was
described as two a day a few years back in an Atlantic Monthly article;
"Oh Gods" (on the web).
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