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What Is the Ideal Human Lifestyle?

Socialism vs capitalism doesn’t matter — almost everything we’re doing now is fake progress anyway

What Is the Ideal Human Lifestyle?

What is the good life?

Is the West best or is the East the beast?

Should everyone be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, or Pastafarian?

Are the laid-back Greeks and epicurean Italians happier than the uptight Germans and the icebound Russians?

Would we be better off under socialism, communism, or “free” market capitalism?

Should everyone cheer for the Yankees while eating hot dogs, or play bongos in a drum circle while eating bunless vegan hamburgers?

Ours is the age of personal development; of self improvement; of constant optimization toward a perfection we will never attain. Pinterest, Instagram, and celebrity culture fuel our desire for the perfect, or at least ideal, life.

So what’s the actual best way to live?

Clearly, there is no one-size-fits-all lifestyle, but — and this is a truly bold claim in our individualist anti-culture — there are a few general ingredients for happy living that apply to all eight billion people on planet earth.

That’s right: There are eight fundamental elements to human flourishing regardless of culture, religion, sex, politics, nationality, and pretty much everything else. Every single person on earth would benefit greatly from having more of the following eight things in their lives, and the great task of our epoch is to find a way to deliver them to everyone, sustainably.

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Clean air

While there’s probably someone out there who claims there are positive benefits to carbon emissions, elevated mercury, and acid rain, the lungs of homo sapiens require pure oxygen for bodily health, mental health, and clear thinking.

Affordable and sufficient shelter

Most human beings need adequate protection from the elements, be it heat, cold, rain, wind, insects, or Jehovah’s Witnesses early on Saturday mornings. And they need it at a price that doesn’t steal decades of their time.

Clean water

Up to 60% of the human body is made of water, yet our greatly-limited freshwater supplies are loaded with fertilizers, detergents, animal feed, phosphates, micro-plastics, and industrial waste.

Legitimately healthy food

Diet Coke doesn’t count. I’m talking organic food raised locally in healthy soil without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, eaten fresh within hours of harvest.

Truly sufficient sleep

It’s called civil unrest for a reason.

Before the invention of Edison’s incandescent bulb, Americans got ten hours of sleep per night. Imagine how many hours they must’ve gotten pre-serfdom.

We need to re-engineer our world so people can get enough sleep that they can thrive without the need for stimulants. I’m talking 9–12 hours per night, depending on age, activity level, and sleep drive.

Notice what’s not on this list

  • dehumanizing technologies like pornography, streaming, and social media
  • eye-blinding, neck-cranking sedentary screen-staring
  • more AI surveillance
  • more politics
  • more vapid social media celebrities
  • more billionaires
  • more anti-axiety drugs
  • more concrete hyper-cities
  • more commodification

All of these things are serious impediments to widest-spread human flourishing, and yet these are the main areas of economic growth. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the left or the right, all our best minds and the vast majority of investment capital is being poured into apps, web platforms, AI, crony corporatism, hyper-cities, and the digital realm.

Homo sapiens are a biological species — so why are powerful private interests building an anti-human digital technocracy for the benefit of the few?

Humans will not be happier or healthier if we continue on this destructive digital course. We will be happier and healthier — as will the planet — when we have clean air, affordable shelter, clean water, healthy food, plenty of rest, lots of movement, more outdoor time in nature, and increased quality time with each other.

In order to change direction, we must share a new vision of what it means to live the good life.

The future is ancient.

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