What Interest Me This Week

Anti-natalism & economic arithmetic

I've been revisiting arguments from anti-natalists. The core essence of their position is really quite simple: there are vastly more pain than pleasure in any given sentient life, therefore bringing a sentient being to life is a moral failure.

However there has been no attempt at qualifying and quantifying the statement of "more pain than pleasure".

Which got me thinking: what if we could actually quantify this via the market economy? Suppose mankind as a whole spend vastly more money in healthcare (treating pain) than entertainment (taking pleasure), it may point to the fact that there is more unit of pain than there is pleasure.

This isn't saying that if the arithmetic is proven right in the direction of anti-natalists, the argument is settled once and for all. You may still argue that meanings derived from pain would ultimately be worth the cost, but that's another story.

Domestic robots

On a slightly related note, I'm increasingly convinced domestic robots are the solutions to many social problems (or even the cause of some new ones).

On that front I actually think the problem space isn't progressing fast enough.

Had this space been progressing at the rate of software, your vacuum bots would've been folding clothes for you today.

Given that any serious technology started out as toys, I've been checking what the market has to offer for robot pets. In year 2000 Sony Aibo came along, and today we have Anki Vector. I'd be curious how Amazon's Astro perform in the market.

Stripping both products to a pound for pound comparison, I'd say the space have definitely regressed.