Written by Gavin Palmer
My goal has been to help create peace on Earth. With that goal in mind I have thought about prerequisites like “providing an abundance of clean water to all people without forcing them to do things they do not want to do”. Part of the problem of providing clean water is related to waste management and many other problems. Ultimately, our ability to accomplish the goal is based on our ability to cooperate with other people. This is especially true because the goal may not be accomplished while we are living.
I have tried to share my goal with Elliot Temple twice now. I was a more irrational person the first time I shared my goal. I didn’t appreciate his attempt to provide criticism. Since then, I have learned to appreciate criticism. And when I tried to share my goal again I received a criticism that I might as well be maximizing squirrels. I resisted the urge to become too defensive and learned more about “maximizing squirrels”.
My understanding of this idea to “maximize squirrels” is that different people with different goals who take their goals seriously will eventually arrive at strategies which are similar. I think people who seriously try to “maximize squirrels” will inevitably try to provide clean water to all people and learn to cooperate with others. So I don’t think my goal is on the same level as “maximizing squirrels”. My goals are prerequisites for other goals: one of which could be “maximizing squirrels”. I think the “maximizing squirrels” thought experiment points to some challenging problems.
We need to create environments which allow ideas to be criticized and help people become aware of criticisms concerning the ideas which are possessing their minds. The first environment to create is our own mind and worldview. We are responsible for developing our mind to be willing and able to productively receive and integrate criticism. The second environment to create is our communities which have goals and missions. We are responsible for entering, leaving, and creating communities of people who are better or worse at productively receiving and integrating criticism.
My Paths Forward Policy has a link to my community.