Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What Gives Humans Value?

This is an excerpt from "How Not to Become a Millennial." It's arguably the most important segment in the book as it applies to every one and speaks directly to the only point and purpose you have on this planet - to be of value to others.

But what is value?
How is it determined?
How is it conferred?
Or is it intangible and philosophically undefinable?  

The truth is it's very simple, concrete, and obvious.  It's whether people have the courage to admit what the nature of value is.

"Imagine you are the most talented heart surgeon in the world.  Or perhaps the best chef on the planet.  Maybe you’re the best musical composer of all time.  Or perhaps you are simply the greatest mom in the history of moms.

Now put yourself alone on Mars with nobody around you.

What you will soon realize is that without other people it doesn’t matter that you’re the greatest surgeon, the greatest chef, the best music composer, or the universe’s greatest mom.  Without other people to recognize or avail themselves of your abilities you have no value.  You are technically worthless.

Predictably, some will argue that you have at least some philosophical value in being the best.  That just because you are a music composer on Mars and create the universe’s greatest song doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.  It’s a great song that just needs somebody to discover it.  But that makes the point even more so.  Not until somebody else discovers it will it have purpose, meaning, or value.  It will remain a piece of paper with notes written on it, indistinguishable from the matter of Martian dust that surrounds it until another sentient being finds it and can appreciate it.

This is the key thing to understand about value – specifically, what gives humans value.  That you cannot be an individual and confer value upon yourself.  The option to declare yourself “valuable” or “worthy” does not exist.  Value is completely dependent upon the existence of other people.  And it can only originate from and be given by other people.

Therefore, if you wish to have any value (at least here on planet Earth), you need to do one of two things.  You either produce something of value other humans will willingly transact their time for through the use of money (as money is nothing more than their time converted into a physical exchangeable form), or you be an interesting enough human that people willingly spend their time directly with you as friends, colleagues, or lovers.  But in either case, you will soon realize it is the transference of humans’ only and most precious commodity – time – that determines all value in society.  Not money.  Not traits.  Not your gender.  And not your political religion.  Other people’s time.

This makes perfect sense since time is really the only commodity humans have.  It is the only currency they can trade in.  And so it should be no surprise that what ultimately determines the value of an individual human is how much of other people’s time they command either through the labor they offer or being such an interesting person people willingly want to spend their time with them.  But to achieve either, be you a highly-paid surgeon or simply “The World’s Most Interesting Man,” there is only one way to do it.

Through accomplishments.

And accomplishments are all that really matter in life.

It takes absolutely nothing to be “Latino.”  It takes absolutely nothing to be “female.”  It takes absolutely nothing to be a “pacifist.”  And it takes absolutely nothing to declare yourself a “tanqueraysexual.”  Nobody cares.  Nobody is going to pay you for it.  Your traits offer nothing of value to anyone.  But if you’re a surgeon or a hang-glider or a software engineer or an entrepreneur or a beautiful woman or a race car driver or somebody who is in great physical shape, you not only likely command a very high wage, but are sought after by friends and the opposite sex alike.

Alas, given the choice as to whether people would spend their precious time with “The World’s Most Interesting Man” or “The World’s Most Typical Millennial,” there’s no choice.  Everybody will want to invest their time with the accomplished individual over the person who’s masturbating over their traits, their sociology degree, and demanding BGI.  And it’s also why we can all readily identify “The World’s Most Interesting Man” (though fictional), but have a blurred non-descript image of “The World’s Most Typical Millennial.”  One is accomplished.  The other merely exists.  One has value.  The other does not.  And at the genetic level you want to trade your time with people of value because quality people improve your life.

Regardless, this explains why accomplishments have value and traits do not. Why people who try to make a living on their traits are usually impoverished panhandlers compared to those who make a living through their accomplishments.  There is demand for accomplishments, but not traits.  But this also presents younger generations a very clear choice in life.  A fork in the road that will determine whether you piss away your life or make it count.  And it’s simply whether you want to live an accomplished life or not.

The path to an accomplished life may be rigorous, arduous, challenging, and difficult, but you will become an accomplished individual.  You will be an accountant, a father, a mother, a builder, a kayaker, a distiller, a grandma, a motorcyclist, an inventor, or whatever it is you set out to be.  You will not only have a volume of work and a legacy to leave behind, but you will have been handsomely compensated for your profession and ideally loved by all the people in your life.  You will not once mention in your list of accomplishments a “trait” you had or a “belief” you held because it will have never occurred to you to mention such stupid things.  And when you die you will have no regrets because you will have made your life count being of professional value to society and being of personal value to the people you loved and cared about.

The other path is the one officially sanctioned by the Millennial political religion.  A seemingly easier path, that is in reality the really hard path.  One where society not only owes you a living, but *must* value you simply because your mother did not abort you.  That in merely existing you are somehow great, of value, and of worth to society.  And there is no need to labor or toil to accomplish anything in life because you are blessed with having “Trait X” and “Trait Y,” not to mention you hold “Belief A” and “Belief B” - the politically correct views that are of ultimate human value.  But as you constantly panhandle your way through life, trying to get the world to worship your traits, precious seconds tick away as nobody wants to have anything to do with you, either through employment or a personal life.  And what people do spend their time with you are usually the same low-grade caliber of people, equally wasting their time on this planet.  And upon your death bed nobody will care, nobody will attend, and like most people’s lives, it will not have mattered.  You will have left no genuine legacy, rendering your existence in this universe truly pointless.  And the truest testament as to just what a pathetic life you will have lived will be that the biggest accomplishment in life will have been your “College Experience.”  A college degree that got you nowhere except poverty.

There is no clearer picture to younger generations than what the costs and consequences are in choosing traits over accomplishments in life than the Millennial generation.  And while the Millennials were heavily lobbied to value things they were born with over what they actually did after they were born, it doesn’t change the fact that they still chose the wrong path and consequently destroyed their lives.  And even though your parents, your teachers, your counselors, your politicians, the media, and nearly every institution will do everything they can to get you to value your traits over your abilities, for your own sake and your own precious life you cannot put any value in your traits.  You must derive all your value in life through your accomplishments.  Because if you don’t you simply will have no reason to live."


Tucanae Services said...

"Without other people to recognize or avail themselves of your abilities you have no value. You are technically worthless."

Quite the contrary. The test that you survive on Mars in an environment you are unprepared for is itself a testament to your worth. It is called Survival. Fact it is the sole and ultimate test of worth. Without survival there are no great compositions, great souffles, or well balanced children.

Anonymous said...

Survival is just not dying. Just as being is having been born. Yes on Mars you are an astronaut. But in downtown north america?

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

Too bad so many abdicate that decision

kurt9 said...

This is very Randian, except that you are replacing money with time. I do agree that, in this context, time (attention span) is the measure of all value.

Paul Thompson said...

I would argue that survival (whether on mars or in the Womb) has no value, except to the survivor. It's just a necessary precondition to having value.