Marc Simard

0 karmaJoined


A bit late to this post - thanks Holden for writing it, super interesting! 

Quick thought - could the definition of a "good life" change significantly across time/culture? Could this definition be biased in a way that often makes a recent period look like we've had progress (since we've focused on these things) and unclear (up, down, or flat) before that? 

For example - in a highly religious culture, the percentage of people assumed to be going to heaven (proximate measures could be being an adherent of a particular religious faith, going to church, praying, the number of churches and temples built, etc.) would be one of the key measures of a "good life". In this society, there would have been significant recent efforts to increase religiosity, so we would see an upward trend and that life is "getting better". In contrast, the percentage of folks practicing religious was not included in the trends you've measured (or that I would measure) to track if life has gotten better based on my existing frame, so we don't count a decline in religiosity as a negative trend.

Similar idea with your point re: factory farming.  If welfare of farm animals was a key value in a specific time/culture, then this society could see limited progress in "life getting better" in say the last couple hundred years (even though, based on our frame, life does feel like it's getting better!)