Questioning Blimix

"What happens when you have conflicting goals?"


Imagine yourself playing Chess, having created a three-way fork. Your opponent, in saving the King, has left her rook and queen threatened and not sufficiently defended. Capturing the rook could be seen as a goal. Capturing the queen could be seen as a goal. And unfortunately, you can't do both. If you want both of these, you would see this as a dilemma, and although you could choose between them, you're not happy about having to give up capturing the rook. My paradigm merely evaluates both courses of action, and asks which one brings me closer to my ultimate dream. Each capture is something I might strive for, but neither is a "goal".

To get away from the metaphor, my final dream is maximum happiness/Beauty. The neat thing about this is that every step toward it is part of the reward. You could break it into subsets, such as "Freedom," and their subsets, such as "free time" and "financial security," and then start playing these off against each other as opposed goals (If I don't work, I can do whatever I want to right now, but if I do work, I can support myself and make sure that I will not depend on anyone else's generosity for my continued existence.), but that is a very limited perspective. I play for the whole game, not for its parts. True, usually I am forced to play only at the level of tactics, not of strategy, when I can't see all of the consequences of an action. That is called abiding by personal morals. But I never lose sight of the whole-game perspective, so any "goal" which would take more than it would give, by virtue of conflicting with greater "goals," is not seen as a goal at all. For that matter, none of the steps along the ways are considered "goals". (At least, not by me.) They are steps; they are culminations of value and effort and growth; they are foundations upon which to build still more wonderful things. Sometimes fluid and sometimes jerky, just like evolution, they stretch with no end but for my death. When the "goal" is to come as far as I can, waypoints are far less of an objective than is the way itself. They are not progress. They are a measurement of progress.

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