The Ethics of Quality of Life

Why choose one activity over another? One of the most definitive aspects of identity, that bears the responsibility of being one of the aspects that may be determined consciously, is time allocation. The most definitive decisions a person make usually occur during culturally ascribed “rites of passage”. They involve a (what should be) conscious process of decision making where you choose what you are going to do with the incoming portion of your life, in terms of time and every other resource you will need to invest.  Understanding rites of passage is critical.

They are accepted (consciously or unconsciously) social time-spaces for defining and accepting -at least to the eyes of the social group- what an individual will be doing with his or her time for a determined period or phase.  Ad minimum, this is one of the functions of rites of passage, product of social dynamics that have made functionality an integral part of culture.

Choosing an activity is specific enough to be understood as a realization of the complex process that is decision making.  Be it complex by the plural aspects that are involved from the subjective perspective of the individual or as an inherent characteristic or result of social dynamics.  Because choosing one thing or another is also an act of meaning: the individual will be portraying a meaning socially, while the social group and society in a macro-level has endowed the object and the subject with meaning.  

Sure, options A and B are a result of society per se, but a person may choose if he or she wants to do A, B, A and B or B and A, or neither.  A person may also decide whether he or she says one thing or another and how he or she says it -tone-wise and energetically-wise-.  Some more than others.  Perhaps the same occurs with thought.  A person is able of thinking about one thing or another, proactively and even reactively, pending a great deal of training or skill to do so.  ” The power of the mind”, as the media, pop-culture, slogan goes, refers to this specific skill.

The ethics of Quality of Life provides a pragmatic framework and way of thinking that may be useful in decision making, problem solving, planning and research, among others.  QOL may be observed, barring an always needed ethical commentary and critique.  Those defining the milestones of QOL -be it scholars, politicians, institutions, priests and other community leaders- in an ideal world would be making decisions bound to have “the best possible aggregate effect” (BPAE) and would take precaution of potential side effects from such decisions on other actors within the system and in other systems.  

The more people involved, the more people potentially affected by decisions made in a hierarchical system. The more people potentially affected, the less likely it will have the BPAE.  QOL investing should be managed at an optimal level, hierarchically.  A strategic level where effects may be monitored and where technological and cultural endowment make the operators of the QOL project agile enough to respond to the dynamic effects in different temporalities.  

Culture and technology are two levels of life where individuals and institutions may pragmatically design, monitor and reevaluate actions bound to have the BPAE on QOL.


JD Rico is the founder of Holistics and Partner and Editor of the Digitalist Hub. He is a researcher and entrepreneur in the topics of Business Intelligence, Digital Media and Venture Capital. He holds degrees in Anthropology (BA), Economics (BSc), Project Management- Innovation (MSc), Cultural Studies (Min) and Artificial Intelligence Product and Service Design (Cert.). He serves at the board of companies in Emerging Tech, Wellness, Food Tech and Cultural Impact. He writes Cap∙Hackers, a newsletter for 33,000 business owners and investors.

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  1. Pingback: A Holistic Perspective on Capital in the New Economy - Digitalist Hub

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