What Does It Mean to Thrive?

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What does it mean to thrive? One definition could be simply - having time to pursue autonomy, mastery, connectedness, and purpose. This is what self determination theory defines as the fundamental motivators of human behavior. Thus - thriving means that we have ample time to pursue self-determination - as opposed to 'working' just to to make a living. We think that with today's knowledge and technology, 'making a living' should take but a small fraction of one's life. Maybe 25% or so - and not a full time effort as it takes today. If we have such amazing technology as we do today - we really need to question the design of a society in which people 'work' full time, where more than 50% of the population don't like their jobs, and where 13% [1] of the population is depressed.

This discussion assumes that peoples' work is not their deepest purpose - that there is a separation between 'living a full life' and 'working' - that living and working are two distinct activities in mutual conflict. This is generally regarded as the case - only 13% of the people in the world actually like going to work [2] (not the same 13% as above, though coincidentally interesting).

We believe that thriving is closing the gap between 'life' and 'work.' One's work should provide the deepest fulfillment. Otherwise, we need to question the system in which the economy alienates people from their deepest interests. We believe that one of the prerequisites for a healthy economy, and therefore more fulfilling lives - is the open source economy. An open source economy affords the efficiency to provide one's needs effectively. Our experiment involves demonstrating that an open source economy produces the greatest level of prosperity. It is for this reason that we believe that open source economics is not a warm and fuzzy idea - it's a moral imperative for prosperity and lasting peace.

Our experimental approach means actually creating that Global Village of unprecedented prosperity and lasting peace. We start with theories, but are much more interested in succeeding at practice - as theories can easily fail. We mean creating a microcosm of the greater world - but from local resources as opposed to entanglement in military conquest or foul geopolitics. That may not be easy - as we will still have to address the issue of invading colonials - how do we keep peace, produce meaningful money, and negotiate with laws designed to maintain permanent war? There is not an inch of soil on earth not claimed by a government. The only solution to this is that our ways rub off onto the surrounding world. Otherwise, we will be gobbled up and become yet another specimen of a failed utopia. A sign of success would mean that new and improving versions of our work begin to sprout up everywhere around the world. We don't have to go to Mars yet to secure civilization - it can start right here. Though in the long term, expanding our Kardashev Scale to more than 1 may be a good idea. For now, learning to thrive on this planet should be the predominant occupation of humanity. Our goal is to move the dial forward on this question.