Everything is Valuable

This is frequently hard for me to remember: everything I (anyone) does is valuable. The application of labor, whatever the goal, has value (well, this can include negative value, e.g. murder).

Certainly, some activities are more valuable than others. Activities which have leverage – when your action causes other actions – can have a much greater impact, and may be considered more “valuable.”

But most of the time, there is little obvious relationship between an action and its value. This is a measurement problem.

In the lack of available measurement, we must choose the belief that maximizes outcomes. Namely, that each action has value, even if it’s not measurable.

In general, it should be possible to place actions in an ordinal sequence, so choice is not impossible.

Note: As technology removes other barriers to production, the relative importance of labor (work over time) increases in importance, since it more frequently becomes the bounding resource. Moreover, since total social activity is determined by total available attention, the allocation of attention is in itself important. Lacking an external situation to drive choice, many allocations are preference-indistinguishable. Imposing an internal value judgment upon an allocation does not confer moral judgement, but personal preference (taste).

Funny: I’ve been reading books which discuss the importance of maintaining simple, clear language and a low Flesch-Kincaid score. I don’t think this post adheres to those guidelines.

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