1. HUMAN PROBLEMS: WASTED TIME
Life is a series of problems which waste time if not solved. Time-wasting problems compose a hierarchy. At one extreme lie the basic, natural problems essential to biological life: food, water, shelter, and clothing. At the other end are unnatural problems generated within the confines of the human mind: "I only have one pair of designer jeans. I won't go to the dance because everyone has seen them!" The hierarchy is a continuum from the problems of need to the pseudo-problems of desire.
Inherent within this structure is a hierarchy of priorities. Problems of basic need within a society should be addressed before those of pseudo-need. When some people solve their unnatural problems they prevent others from solving basic, essential problems of biological survival. Consider the poor kid who takes a job to buy designer jeans when people lack jobs to buy food. Or, consider the industrial nations of the world that hog the available jobs when there are nations of starving people. A civilization cannot survive long if its top policy-makers allow some people to solve unnatural problems (desires) by denying others the means to solve their natural problems. The imbalance and injustices will ascend the social ladder until there is no ladder.
Quality of Life
A human problem is anything that unnecessarily wastes human time. Diseases are problems. Price-gouging by speculators, hoarders, or monopolies wastes time because people have to work longer hours to buy the same product. If the number of problems is rising, the quality of life is declining. The quality of life is the freedom of one's mind from problems. Problems force the mind to dwell on information that it does not naturally want to think about. The more time one devotes to following one's natural, personal trains of thought, the happier one will be.
The quality of life improves when people quickly define and solve problems. When people are organized in a truly democratic manner, they can easily judge which problems are the most pressing and should be addressed first. Those directly affected by a problem are best qualified to resolve it.
What factor should determine the placement of a problem on a personal or national list of problems? The determining factor should be how much time each problem actually costs the nation and the average citizen. The national cost should be the prioritizing factor. The biggest national problem wastes the most time. It costs each citizen the most, directly or indirectly. And nobody but the citizens themselves can prioritize the problems of the land.
Beware of people who say they are professional problem-solvers, e.g., the habitual politicians. Really, who in their right minds would want to spend their lives solving other peoples' problems by learning, feeling, and living the pain of those problems? No one! And no one can, despite what politicians say. The politicians' hypocrisy or blindness is, in part, why our problems remain unsolved.
No one can take the continual emotional strain required to understand other people's problems well enough to solve them. Those who try usually burn out or start faking it. Nationally, a lot of fake problem-solvers use the media and public naivete to convey the stature of effective statesmen. Look at their records; don't look at their cosmetic facades. If you know your public policy-makers only by their speeches, then you know only their facades.
Dislike for political facades and corruption is why many good problem-solvers avoid the existing problem-solving process. A career of solving other people's problems is hard enough without having to deal with hypocritical or duplicitous politicians.
In summary, humanity needs a better problem-solving process to address its unsolved problems. That process must be democratic and capitalistic. It must be able to collect, filter, percolate and hone the intelligence of those actually suffering from the problems.
Warning: Anyone found stealing lifehours will be forever banned from participation in and rewards of Better Democracy and Capitalism.
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