Thursday, December 08, 2005

Conservation of Joy

Totally wack thought I had recently... when a new child is born a lot of joy is brought into the world. Most of the joy is shared by the parents, and then some is shared by the grandparents and other relatives. Also, there is the residual joy that is gobbled up by their friends and acquantances who were simply happy for them.

When someone dies a lot of sadness is brought to the world. People are touched and are saddened by the loss. Direct and indirect sadness is released, similar to the case of joy in the event of a birth.

Assuming sadness is loss of joy, is Joy more or less conserved in the world? So we have Joy Inflow and Joy Outflow. It seems that more Joy is lost when someone passes than is brought when they are born. If this is the case, then is the world doomed to grow sadder and sadder each day?

So, I just spoke with Ms. Mt. Fuji (MMF) a little bit. MMF brought up the fact that a person continues to bring joy during his or her lifetime, but that new joy is somewhat reduced by the new sadness that is created due to their lives, too. So, the Flow of Joy is ongoing and the sharp loss of Joy due to death is a one-time event. In the case of a bad person the Joy Flow during life and death are negated, but the Joy from birth likely remains a positive.

What do we have here... for the typical person, we have Net_Joy = Joy_Birth + Joy_Life + Joy_Death. Joy_Birth is positive, Joy_Death is negative, and Joy_Life is slightly positive/negative depending how they lived their lives. Anyway, this brings me to the same question... is Joy (in this new view) conserved? Is the world growing sadder, happier, or maintaining an equilibrium?

Okay, more rambling here. There exists a National Joy Index (NJI)... the Rwandan NJI is obviously very low. America's is substantially higher. Now, we also have a World Joy Index (WJI) that is a weighted average of all the NJIs. What happens when the WJI drops too low? Will the world enter into a seriously disruptive state? Can there be serious consequences for the other extreme if the WJI spikes way up?


chococat said...

hmm well, I'm thinking that the blanance in a life does tend towards sadness - so the WJI would go down as population goes up. This decreased WJI (I think) also affects the WJI negatively (people are definitely affected by world events, especially in this day of globalization) - so I think that World Joy Index is decreasing at a rate faster than the population is growing. I guess the question that I would pose (if all I'm wildly theorizing here is true) is - are we going to have a population crisis, or are we all going to kill ourselves?

Jim Tran said...

Aaah so then schadenfreude contributes to Net_Joy...?

Brute Force said...

Haha. Ya, I suppose schadenfreude would result in a positive contribute to Net_Joy, but the misfortune experienced that led to the schadenfreude would have subtracted from it. The net effect, whether it was ultimately positive or negative, would be unknown without more information.

Chococat brings up an interesting angle... if she's right and the World Joy Index is inversely proportional to population, which of her two logical outcomes happens first?

My guess is that we reach a population crisis which forces our population down thereby lifting the WJI enough to prevent massive worldwide suicide and sadness related deaths.

chococat said...

Look - someone doing their part to increase the NJI.

Jim Tran said...

Looks like we can learn from lessons from Bhutan: