CTownBrooklyn

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Cheerfully

Unfortunately, we are not algorithm-driven machines maximally enhancing the public good, while simultaneously using artificial intelligence to improve our understanding of the public good, and fueling this activity from some magical perpetual motion machine. I think daily we have to both accept and challenge our limits to give, and to expand the diversity and difficulty of activities that nourish ourselves. I did something difficult for me the other day: in my upstate bungalow colony (21 of use share a communal property with individual residences), the governing board cleared a black raspberry bush that gave me a lot of berries and a lot of joy, without my knowledge or consent. Rather than fume, I sent a thoughtful response, which resulted in me leading an effort ($100 budget) to replace the plants. A bunch of us found some end-of-season plants, and seven of us worked together to gather compost and recreate this garden patch better than ever. THIS is what I want more of in my life. Yet I offered only condemnation and annoyance to the woman who huffily came over and tried to keep me from playing fetch with my dog in a dog park (like most everyone else) because it was against city park regulations. I hope someday to be the person who can attempt to engage constructively with someone who offended and annoyed me as much as this woman. Yet spending time stewing in being disappointed in myself will not enable me to become that person. I have to grow my capacity for perspective-taking and concern for the well-being of others, and I can only do this by maintaining my own capacity to engage positively with myself and with the world, which I can only do through nourishing activities, some of which consume resources and benefit only myself (or others only via market transactions). That's the current functioning capacity of my altruism factory, and that's the only way I know of maintaining it and increasing its productive capacity :)