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Utopia

Last updated Dec 25, 2021 Edit Source

# What is a utopia?

Utilitarian perspective: a society where everyone can fully maximize their utility function

# Is one even possible?

In a scarce world with infinite wants, no. Our concept of utopia is related to our concept of abundance, and most believable forms of utopia depend on being able to leave Earth, thereby providing us with near-infinite resources.

Utopia might only be a useful concept for people in higher resourced countries, it’s very difficult for people who are worried about day-to-day survival to imagine a utopia that is the same as first-world countries. Maslow’s hierachy of needs?

Does the concept of utopia requires a common definition of ‘good’? If so, how do we decide what good is in a maximally beneficial way? Utilitarianist approach of maximizing everyone’s utility function? Related to thoughts in The Ones Who Walk From Omelas

# Protopia

I think our destination is neither utopia nor dystopia nor status quo, but protopia. Protopia is a state that is better than today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better (Kevin Kelly)

We don’t have much desire for life one hundred years from now. Many dread it. That makes it hard to take the future seriously. So we don’t take a generational perspective. We’re stuck in the short now instead of the long now.