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Natural Social Contract Annotations

Decisions, Choices, and Actions

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) In the Theory of Social Meta-Needs, I have argued that, except for those UnChosen Actions that spontaneously occur as the result of one's Internal physiology, all human Actions result from Choices, which, if Rationally made, analyze the widest-viewed, longest-range Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation (see foundational discussion and then definition below) of all Available Actions/Events/States. However, in order to complete this argument it is necessary to show that such an analysis is computationally possible. First, a simplified analysis of how such a computation can be done, either consciously or subconsciously, is presented. Then the limitations of this simplified approach and how they can be overcome to generate a complete and practical algorithm is clearly stated. (Before proceeding the reader may wish to review the vector approach to the calculation of Happiness State Value.)

  1. Compute the hypothetical Happiness Attribute Vectors of all Continuer States of all Available Actions (at least those whose Future Happiness State Value - see definition below - might reasonably1 be greater than one's Current Happiness State Value) to obtain the set of Future Happiness State Vectors.
  2. Assign a probability of achievement for each Attribute a-Value (vector component) for each Future Happiness State Vector in the set and multiply each Attribute a-Value by its corresponding probability of achievement, thus obtaining the set of Future Happiness State Expected Value Vectors.
  3. Recall the Happiness Importance Vector and take the scalar product of it with each of the Future Happiness State Expected Value Vectors to obtain the set of Future Happiness State Expected Values.
  4. For each Available Action, add together the Future Happiness State Expected Values of all the States that are possible Effects of that Action (ie. all States which occur in each possible time-line) to obtain the set of Future Happiness State Values.
  5. Finally, the maximum over the set of Future Happiness State Values generates a Chosen Action.

Again, for those readers who have trouble understanding vector concepts, an alternative to the above approach would be to use the bar chart approach, explained in the Happiness annotations, to make similar computations as above to arrive at the exact same set of Future Happiness State Values for each Available Action from which one would make one's Decision about which Action to actually Perform. Hereafter, this kind of Decision Process will be referred to as the Net Benefit Expectation analysis with respect to Available Actions.

2) As noted before, the above analysis, even though complex, is a simplification of what actually needs to be done in order to take a Rational Action, because it ignores at least four major points, the first and second of which are particularly important with respect to long range thinking and consequently of any attempt to optimally increase Lifetime Happiness.

  1. Because optimally increasing Total Future Happiness is the goal of all Action and each Action generates a State which is the basis for the next Chosen Action, it is clear that any attempt to optimally increase one's Total Future Happiness must necessitate taking into account the probabilities of all possible future Happiness States.2 This means that any complete and adequate Net Benefit Expectation analysis, the purpose of which is to optimally increase Total Future Happiness, will need to include calculations iterated indefinitely into the future. However, because the future is uncertain and may not even occur (in the sense that the lifeform doing the calculation may not continue to exist), not only will the probabilities associated with future States produced by current Available Actions be lower and harder to compute in proportion to the amount of time they are displaced from the present, even the total of their probabilities will be lower,3 so that their contribution to current Decisions will be exponentially diminishing with respect to their future time displacement. Even so, if the Society is sufficiently stable,4 such long-range planning, which is certainly necessary for optimally increasing Total Future Happiness, can be highly effective (ie. can produce a Value very near the highest possible). Note that the simpler Decision method that I have defined in detail above, but without such iterative inclusion of potential future Happiness States and thus without a Chosen Action based on the maximization of the integrated Happiness State s-Values (ie. the Lifetime Happiness), could be called Immediate Net Benefit Expectation analysis and used as a definition for Pure Hedonism.

  2. Remaining alive is never certain. Just as Actions are necessary to maintain life, so too does every Action have death as one of its possible results with a non-zero probability. However, while death is certainly a possible negative outcome of every Action (since it is a possible outcome from merely the passage of time due to random Events of Reality), it cannot correctly be viewed as one of the negative Attributes of a Happiness State since no Happiness State can exist without life. Therefore, the constant possibility of death needs to enter the Decision making process in a fundamentally different manner than all Happiness State Attributes of pleasure and pain. Upon reflection it can be seen that the logically correct way to compute the Value of one's remaining life (that which would be lost if death occurred) is to equate it to the Total Future Happiness Expectation itself, since the termination of life precludes the addition of the Total Future Happiness Expectation to one's Total Past Happiness and thus reduces one's Lifetime Happiness Expectation by the amount of the Total Future Happiness Expectation. Therefore, the final computation of the Net Benefit Expectation for each Action at each time should include an additional term which is the probability of death resulting from that Action times the negative of the Total Future Happiness Expectation of that Action calculated without this term. This possibility of death is another factor that Pure Hedonism does not take into account. In fact, it is characteristic of Pure Hedonism ("eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die") not to be concerned at all with death, but only with momentary pleasure.

  3. At every instant of time after the present, a different Continuer of oneself, and thus a different Happiness State, will exist. Even if time is quantized (there is a minimum possible time duration), so that this number (of actually unique instances after the present) increases only in proportion to the total time duration into the future and even if one could produce all the necessary Personal data about one's Current Happiness State Attribute a-Values, one's desires, and one's estimates of the likelihood of successful attainment of desired future States, it is clear that the amount of such data is far too great to allow one to actually s-Evaluate the Future Happiness State Values for all Continuers even with the aid of the fastest available computers. At first view then, there appears to be no natural or simple answer to the question of how one should or even Rationally can Choose a sequence of Continuers such that the sum of their Happiness State Values will be the maximum of all Available sequences of Continuers and thus will optimize one's current Action Decision (ie. make it the Available Action most likely to optimally increase one's Lifetime Happiness). In fact, it seems that which Continuers to Choose and the amount of time over which to iterate their Happiness States Values and likelihoods into the future is itself a Choice, which can only be optimized in an asymptotic fashion by means of the wisdom of past analyses and their Chosen Actions having had apparently good results (ie. having resulted in a high amount of Total Past Happiness, apparently higher than other past Available Actions would have produced).

    It is now clear that the fact that all one's future Happiness States depend on all Actions previous to them implies that in order to optimally increase Total Future Happiness (and thus, Lifetime Happiness) one needs to iterate one's estimation of the likelihood of all future Available Happiness State s-Values to determine which sequence of them will effect that total and thus, determine the sequence of Chosen Actions that will be optimal for that purpose. On the face of it this seems like an impossible task for even the most intelligent and Rational human, and, if done in this kind of ad hoc manner, by trying to begin the analysis from scratch every time one needs to make a Decision, it most certainly would be impossible to accomplish with any amount of reasonable adequacy. Operating in such a Pragmatic manner, even the most intelligent, Rational human would make major mistakes and likely not even live very long. However, all humans have developed mental tools which, when correctly used, make this gargantuan task more manageable, and, if the tools are well honed and well understood, the end result of Chosen Actions will likely be very close to the desired ideal.

    The mental tools that I am talking about are learned behaviors usually called habits and principles. Basically both habits and principles are automated s-Evaluations and responses which have been estimated beforehand to be the best general approach to optimally increasing Future Total Happiness. As part of such preplanned and preprogrammed behavior, it is also critical to discover and also program into one's behavior all those clear and well-defined situations when the general rule of the programmed automated behavior should be modified and what that modification will be (ie. what are generally called the exceptions to the rules). If one is developing a principle or habit (automated learned behavior) then one has not really completed the process until all such exceptions have been discovered and also programmed into such behavior. It should be noted that is it incorrect to think of an exception to the general rule of the principle as being an exception to the principle itself, since such exceptions are actually an integral part of the principle as a whole. Perhaps some illustrative examples here will help.

    I and Kitty decided many years ago that a general rule of our diet would be to not eat sugar, rice, wheat, most breads, pasta and white potatoes or any foods containing these as additives or as the major constituent. Such a diet is generally called a low refined carbohydrate diet. (Even though some of the listed carbohydrates sources are not actually refined, their effect of having a high glycemic index (GI)5 is similar, which is why they are included in the list). However, we also very much enjoy the flavor of some of these "forbidden" foods. Therefore, at the same time that we formulated the above general rule, we also decided on a complete (ie. covering all situations) set of exceptions to the general rule. Thus, we do eat some of these when we eat out, which is purposefully not very often, and we even buy a few treats, that may break the general rule, to have at home to eat occassionally in very small portions. In addition, if we are away from home for long periods of time, then we will also break the general rule if we cannot get any other food to eat. However, for this reason we try not to be away from home for long periods unless we are sure that the venue will have food that fits our dietary principles (there are many more than merely this simple one). Thus, the principle of low carbohydrate/GI dieting, which has become an automated habit for us, includes both the general rule described above and also all the expectations described.

    Here is another example of the use of principle in the sphere of Social Actions. What should one assume and how should one act during one's initial contacts with a new person in order to optimize one's InterAction with hir for the purpose of optimally increasing one's Total Future Happiness? It is particularly true that, in the current Society with its penchant for privacy and anonymity enabling the availability of such a limited amount of information about people, one should not be overly trusting of a new person if one does not wish to lose valuable assets without any gain. On the other hand, one should also not be overly suspicious (as so many people are of the new) or the new person may take offense and act in a negative manner. Therefore, a reasonable general rule of behavior is to assume and Act as if the new person is an honest, competent and reasonable individual, but only to the extent of InterActions involving things of relatively minor Value. Then as you get to know the person better and gain more certainty of hir positive characteristics with respect to the kinds of InterActions you wish to have with hir, you can enlarge the scope of those InterActions. So then, this is a general rule of initial InterAction that is very Beneficial for yourself because it gives that person the benefit of the doubt (about honesty, competence and Rationality) and therefore encourages hir to exhibit such characteristics, without endangering your own assets very much. However, before this general rule of InterAction can be made into a principle of InterAction, one must also determine under what Categories of circumstances the rule should not be followed and what should be done instead in those circumstances. If this is done for all such circumstances for which it is not in one's best interest to apply the general rule (and by default it then should be applied in all others), then one has completed the definition of the principle. Some such circumstances and appropriate alterations to the general rule for this kind of InterAction are:

    Actually such exceptions to the general rule of initial InterAction are precisely how one alters one's InterActions as one gains knowledge of the person involved by means of InterActions with hir.

    Clearly then, the more well-defined, complete and consistent, automated s-Evaluations and responses to the situations encountered in one's life that one has developed, the easier it will be to accomplish the necessary consideration of the Effects of current Available Actions iterated into the future and, thus, the more likely it will be that one can closely approach the goal of optimally increasing one's Lifetime Happiness. Most particularly, such habits and principles of operation are extremely important to guard against the possibility of major Harmful and/or Injurious results of one's Actions, especially including the termination of one's life.

  4. The Current Happiness State and all possible future Happiness States will, in general, also have Happiness Importance Vectors with different component a-Values. However, this can be taken into account by assigning a probability of Change for each of those also and, as a first approximation, using a new Happiness Importance Vector whose component a-Values are the average of the current and expected a-Values. However, as time progresses, the amount of Happiness contribution of various Happiness Attributes relative to others is likely to alter much more and not necessarily linearly with time. Therefore, this averaging is at best approximate in the near term. In general, one would need to apply a probability of Change as a function of time to each component of the Happiness Importance Vector.

From the detailed description now given of the complete analysis required to fully determine the Chosen Action that will most likely optimally increase one's Total Future Happiness (ie. one's Rational Action), the term Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation Analysis appears to be a better description of it, and it is that widest viewed and longest range mental analysis which is referred to in the NSC definitions by the term Choice Estimation.

3) I will now continue the analysis of Categories of Actions of a Freeman which was begun in comment 4) of the Annotation on Freedom and Liberty.

Clearly, Positive Actions would be the Internal Actions among which a Freeman ultimately always Chooses. However, s/he must also consider Actions that might produce highly Harmful Events, which could be a low probability Effect of a Positive Action, an Effect of an UnChosen Action or an Effect of an External Action, if only to strongly guard against their occurrence. Rational Action, as defined above, is very close to how I have defined it in the NSC. The difference is that the full definition of Rational Action given in the NSC includes the additional condition: "indefinitely continues to maintain was such an Action under the Environmental conditions extant at the time he made the Decision." This condition was added in order to distinguish Rational Actions that were merely unsuccessful (did not produce the desired/Intended Effect/State) because of some UnAvailable Information (unawareness) or unpredictable and/or uncontrollable Process (ie. having a high likelihood of success was outside of the set of Current Potential Actions/Events/States) from those Actions that were unsuccessful because of illogical or evasive Choice analysis. I have argued elsewhere (see the Yahoo Morelife discussion threads: Msg 708, Msg 728 and Msg 894) that Rationality does not mean error free or perfect in any sense, but only means that one will always agree that, under the circumstances of the time, one took the best Chosen Action of all those Available, which generally means that one used the time that was appropriate for the perceived importance of the Decision and did not willfully evade Information that was either known or readily Available (ought to have reasonably been known - an example would be trying the cell door each time after it has been opened and closed by a jailer to see if it has been locked or not). For a more detailed discussion of the terms Rational and evasive also see annotations 7) and 8) below.

I will now illustrate these Categories of Available Actions by continuing the example, of the human in the cave where the main entrance had been sealed, that was begun in the annotations for Freedom and Liberty, but now the situation will include possible InterActions with other humans outside the cave. Hir Positive Actions may include using hir pocket knife, hatchet and bare hands to try to open the sealed entrance, using a cell phone to call someone outside to get equipment to dig out the entrance, trying to find another exit from the cave, or simply staying in the cave, with lots of food and water in relative comfort, waiting for help to arrive to unseal the entrance. Even the last could be an Action that optimally increases hir Total Future Happiness if s/he has no special need to be elsewhere, has reason to think that the sealed cave entrance will soon be noticed and unsealed and/or thinks s/he has little likelihood of being about to clear the entrance or find another way out. Finally, hir Rational Action is to first conduct a Choice Estimation of all hir Positive Actions (four possible ones have been listed here), which s/he would have already needed to do to a certain level in order to even Decide that they were Positive Actions, and then Decide which of them is likely to increase most hir Total Future Happiness using the Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation Analysis method. For example, if s/he is frail and/or disabled and was leaving the cave right after other people who will clearly know that s/he is now trapped inside and will immediately get equipment to begin unsealing it or if s/he has quickly been able to phone for help from people nearby with proper equipment, then s/he may Decide to simply wait for the entrance to be unsealed so s/he can leave by the easy manner with which s/he entered. This last Decision would then lead to hir Chosen Action, which, at least until and unless upon reassessment s/he decides that it was illogically or evasively made, would also be hir Rational Action.

4) The definitions in the NSC make a major distinction between Freedom and Liberty. In addition, however, both Freedom and Liberty are defined such that they are reduced only if some Potential Actions/Events/States are either eliminated or have their Attributes or Attribute a-Values or Interval of Attribute a-Values, reduced by some Constraint, Social Constraint, respectively; rather than by a mere Alteration of the Choice Estimations associated with some Actions of Freedom and Liberty, produced by some Non-Social or Social, respectively, Event. I now make a more detailed argument for the validity and utility of those distinctions.

A Freeman will always be affected, to a certain extent, by an Action on some part of hir body coming from either hir Environment or hir Person (ie. by an External Action or Internal Action). However, with respect to their Effects, such Actions are separable into two distinct Categories: those that affect hir mind (either consciously or subconsciously) and those that do not. I will call the latter (those that do not affect hir mind) SubSensual, reserve the term SubLiminal for those Actions that affect hir mind, but not consciously so (at least not that s/he is immediately aware of), and use the term Sensual for those Actions the Effects of which s/he is immediately conscious. Another useful Classification of Actions on the body are those that permanently alter the representation of Information in a Freeman's brain, and thus affect the Information contents of hir mind, but that have no other permanent Effect, and those that do not alter any Information within hir mind. All Sensual Effects are, of course, also Information altering, however, this new Classification is independent of the SubLiminal and SubSensual Categories, since Actions in those Categories may be in or out of this new Category (those permanently altering Information in the mind) depending on the nature of the particular Event produced by the Action. Examples of SubSensual effects are: low dose radiation, mild and gradual toxins in air or water, and most biochemical Benefits of supplements beyond minimum levels necessary to prevent deficiency diseases and below pharmacological doses. Examples of SubLiminal Effects are: various nootropic chemicals, use of illogical words, phrases, and arguments, and probably some forms of sound and light. The use of illogical words, phrases and arguments is an Effect which SubLiminally alters the Information in one's mind, whereas the use of nootropic chemicals does not directly alter any Information in one's mind, but only potentially enables oneself to more easily or more adequately alter such Information.

For my purpose here, however, the major important fact of human nature is that Actions causing Sensual (conscious) inputs always have mind altering Effects, and even, to some degree, UnChosen mind altering Effects. However, the ability of the mind's conscious or subconscious Processes to ignore or disregard the Information that enters it, as opposed to the body which only has a limited ability to regulate and modify the extent to which it is Changed by Effects of its Environment, allows the mind to greatly alter the ultimate Effect of any External Action upon it. While this difference is subtle, and some will argue that it does not exist (because, for example, one can also ignore the pain of a cut or even a broken leg), I maintain that it is real enough to be importantly differentiating. The reason for this (using the same example) is that while it is true that one can largely ignore the pain of a cut or even a broken leg, one cannot ignore the facts of Reality that the cut bleeds and is visible, and that one can no longer walk on the broken leg. Similarly, one can not truly ignore the Alteration of Choice Estimations resulting from a broken leg since those Alterations are also a fact of Reality. (Maintaining that one is not affected because one was not going to walk anyway is a false argument in this regard - it merely evades the Reality of one's Altered Choices by confusing such mere Choice Alterations with a reduction of Happiness, something that does not always follow from reduced Choices.)

Another very important example of the subtle differences between those Effects that the mind can ignore but that the body cannot, occurs whenever one Freeman initiates an InterAction with another. While most moral philosophers appear never to have viewed such InterAction initiation as an example of a potentially Harmful Compulsion, in my definition of Responsible Harm I do just that. The reason is because it is not possible for the body per se both to be unaffected by and yet to respond to an InterAction initiation, no matter how it is done. This is because the fact of the Connection itself implies that the receiver has been physiologically Changed. Whether or not this Change is then viewed as Harmful or not is entirely up to the Evaluation of the receiver - whether s/he was prevented from gaining more Happiness Value by the interruption than the Value being gained from the Event of interruption. It is also important to note that the Information that is transferred by such an InterAction only enters into this computation, as a potential source of Value, as Information per se, rather than as the Effect on one's Happiness of the facts of Reality represented by the Information. If the Information is of no Value then a Rational mind will simply disregard it. For example, if person-A initiates to person-B the conveyance of Information, the contents of which is that something of Value to person-B has been destroyed, then the Value of that Information per se to person-B has no necessary Relationship to the reduction of Lifetime Happiness that person-B incurs because of the fact of Reality conveyed by the Information. This essential difference in kind between physiological and mental Processes leads directly to the critical distinction between Constraints of Potential Actions/Events/States (reduction of Freedom or Liberty, depending on whether the Constraint is Non-Social or Social, respectively) and Alterations of Choice Estimations, although the former are also always the latter.

5) Just as Available Actions/Events/States may be increased (or decreased) in number of existing Attributes or in the amount or Interval of Attribute a-Values so that the potential for Lifetime Happiness is increased, the same or decreased, so too can Choice Estimations of existing Available Actions be Altered so that Total Future Happiness Expectation is increased, the same or decreased. However, even though Choice Estimations are Altered by all such (both Constraints and mere Choice Alterations without any physical Constraint), the Alterations are not always unidirectional with respect to Total Future Happiness Expectation (ie. less Choice does not always imply less Total Future Happiness Expectation, nor does more Choice always imply more). To see that clearly, I will itemize the logical cases involved when an Action is added or removed from the set of those Available to a given person and give examples. The example abbreviations are as follows: Available Actions = AA; Chosen Action = CA; Total Future Happiness Expectation = TFHE.

AA increased, CA Altered, TFHE more This is the standard situation. Any new Available Action makes it possible for you to Choose that Action if you Estimate that it will increase your Total Future Happiness Expectation. This is precisely why one wants to have more Available Actions. A simple example of this is any technological advance that is made Available for purchase. However, if one's knowledge of the likelihoods of the Effects of a new Action are highly uncertain, it may still be wise to not take it even though it appears to have the highest Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation. This is because such uncertainty means that while this Action may greatly increase your Total Future Happiness, it may also greatly reduce it. A conservative Choice may be to stay with an older and more proven Action until more Information about the new Action becomes Available. A typical example for this last would be the Availability of a new potentially life extending drug for which all known research suggests it will extend your healthy happy Lifespan and thus taking it will increase your Total Future Happiness Expectation. On the other hand, there is insufficient research to have a high assurance that it will not actually shorten your Lifespan because of some currently unknown long range toxicity.
AA increased, CA Altered, TFHE same This is probably IrRational because of the uncertainty involved and there being no positive reason for Altering one's Choice from that of an older more proven Action. A possible exception would be if the alternative older Action with the same TFHE was itself of even higher uncertainty and therefore with potential for even more Harm or Injury, than the new Available Action. For example, purchasing a car with airbags to replace a car without them, may be advantageous even though the overall Total Future Happiness Expectation is the same, because the airbags may prevent the extremes of bodily Injury that are possible without them.
AA increased, CA Altered, TFHE less To make the new Available Action into one's Chosen Action in this case would make it an IrRational Action, by definition.
AA increased, CA UnAltered, TFHE more This is also a common situation. The fact that a new Action is Available does not necessarily mean that one will Choose it, even though its availability to others, who do Choose it, may increase one's Total Future Happiness Expectation.
AA increased, CA UnAltered, TFHE same Imagine trips to the moon have now become Available Actions but with major danger. I would not Alter my Chosen Action nor would my TFHE be Altered (not directly, although it might be increased because of added future benefits from others because of their Altered Chosen Actions, which then would be an example of the previous case). Actually, the more that I think about it, the fact that a new Action has become Available almost certainly means that someone will Choose it because s/he thinks it will Benefit hir, otherwise why would this Action have become Available, other than by mere chance. Okay here is a real example. A volcano has just begun to erupt 20 miles from where you live, but is not having any Effects on your current activities. You now have the new Available Action to drive over to it and get caught in the lava flow. However, except in very unusual circumstances, you will not Choose to do so because that Action will not optimally increase your Total Future Happiness, nor will anyone else taking that Chosen Action and getting killed cause an increase in your Total Future Happiness (not even if it is someone to whom you owe money - think about why that is true).
AA increased, CA UnAltered, TFHE less I suppose this would be the case if trips to the moon as described above might also result in a rocket falling on my head. I would not Alter my Chosen Action since there is little that I could do to Protect myself (except perhaps to Social Preference against the rocket owners). Perhaps this is also the view of those who are against genetically modified foods or any other increase in Freedom of which they do not want to partake and that they are convinced will Harm others, and therefore, indirectly, themselves.
AA decreased, CA Altered, TFHE less This is the standard situation. A reduction of Freedom may mean that the Rational Action that would have been Chosen, now cannot be and thus the new Chosen Action generates a lower Total Future Happiness Expectation than the previously Chosen, but now UnAvailable Action. A simple example would be not being able to go dancing because of a broken leg.
AA decreased, CA Altered, TFHE same This one seems to be impossible. If the decrease in Available Actions actually caused an Alteration of Chosen Action, then it must have been because that Action has lower TFHE than the Action that would have been Chosen if the Action were still Available.
AA decreased, CA Altered, TFHE more Again this seems to be impossible for the same reasons.
AA decreased, CA UnAltered, TFHE less Your leg is broken, but you were not going anywhere anyway. However, you would certainly have less chance of staying alive and UnInjured if you needed to run out of the house because a fire started.
AA decreased, CA UnAltered, TFHE same This is quite usual. If you had not planned to take the now UnAvailable Action, then its UnAvailability would not cause you to Alter your Chosen Action nor would it cause you to Alter your Total Future Happiness Expectation. However, once again, if others who valued that Action also could now not make it their Chosen Action, then it would still indirectly reduce your TFHE.
AA decreased, CA UnAltered, TFHE more I think some Action with only negative consequences would fit this case. Suppose someone left a bottle of nitroglycerin on my Property (and I have no use for it and only concern about its potential danger). If someone else then removed it, my Available Actions (to blow myself up with it) would certainly be decreased. but my Chosen Action (to do something other than blow myself up with it) would be UnAltered and yet my TFHE would be increased (because there would now be less chance of blowing myself up).

Although in the majority of cases, any Alterations in Available Actions and any Alterations of Choices will Alter Total Future Happiness Expectation (and usually Total Future Happiness itself), my examples illustrate that these concepts are actually quite independent of one another. It is my contention that not appreciating this independence has led to an enormous amount of confusion and false definitions of Harmful and Beneficial Actions by those attempting to analyze human InterActions.

In summary, as opposed to a physiological Constraint of a Freeman's Potential Actions (which, if it is a Social Constraint, is a clear reduction of Liberty - eg. being handcuffed), with respect to which a Freeman has no Choice to not be Constrained (although if s/he does not care to exercise that particular Constrained Available Action - ie. if it is not one of the Actions needed to achieve hir Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation during the time of its occurrence - s/he may have been and remain asleep, the Constraint may still not decrease hir Lifetime Happiness Expectation - ie. may not Harm him), a Negative Alteration of hir Choices merely Alters the Happiness State expectation rankings within the set of hir Choices. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that this Negative Alteration of hir Choices may at any time result in an actual reduction of hir Lifetime Happiness if one of the Altered Choices would have become hir Rational Action, but for its Negative Alteration. To illustrate this with respect to the broken leg example above, although you may not have been planning to walk anyway, any number of External or Internal Events can cause an Alteration of your Choice Estimations, and the result of such Alterations may be that you would have Chosen to walk (say to replace some milk which unexpectedly went sour) - ie. the Event results in a previously lower Happiness State expectation for some Potential Action, now being high enough to become your Chosen Action but for the broken leg causing it to not be an Available Action. In this case, since the fact of the broken leg is now a part of the calculation of your maximum Limited Time Iterated Net Benefit Expectation, it is a Constraint that is effective in Altering your Chosen Action and will likely be effective in reducing your Lifetime Happiness. It is important to note the use of "likely" in the last sentence. The reason for this is because the future is never determined. Any number of things can interfere to Change one's Environment and one's actual Happiness State Value. For example, it may be that if you had not broken your leg and had rushed out to get milk, you would have been hit by a truck and killed. However, it is important to realize that such chance possibilities only enter into the Choice Estimation with their a priori probabilities and that it is logically incorrect (because it is essentially unreal and meaningless) to recalculate a past Chosen Action using the new knowledge gained since that time.

6) In my set of definitions regarding Choice, I have also clarified the important distinction between a Choice and an Intent. In Reality one can only Choose Available Actions rather than in any manner direct Events to occur with any certainty. Thus, one Chooses one particular Action over another in order to attempt to achieve an intermediate purpose (ie. to have a Desired Effect), but always for the ultimate end purpose of optimally increasing one's Lifetime Happiness. This difference between a chance UnIntended occurrence due to some Choice and the Intended occurrence is particularly important with respect to the definition of Breach of the NSC, since only a Charge of Intention to Violate is the basis for a Determination of Breach of the NSC and the Revocation of the Status of "Freeman". Since Intentions always originate in the mind of the potential Actor as Intended Actions for Desired Effects, it is often not clear to others (and sometimes not even to the Actor) what a person's Intent is or was, and this is certainly a problem with respect to Charges of Breach of the NSC or any other determination of Intent. On the other hand, there are many times when Intent is absolutely clear, partly because the Action would simply never have been Performed without such Intent. In addition, there are subtle but important differences between an Intended Action, a Manifest Intended Action and a Manifest Desired Effect which differences are made clear within the definitions. Here are examples of the three. If Freeman-A points a gun at Freeman-B and says "I am going to kill you" before s/he fires the gun, and if in addition the bullet strikes Freeman-B, then this is a clear Intended Violation. In addition, as soon as Freeman-A says those words, hir Available Action of firing hir gun at Freeman-B becomes for Freeman-B a clear Manifest Action of Freeman-A and the death of Freeman-B is a Manifest Desired Effect of Freeman-A. Whereas the simple declaration by Freeman-A: "I wish you were dead" is not a Manifest Desired Effect. Even a declaration by Freeman-A: "I am going to kill you", without at that time having the Available Action to fulfil hir expressed Intent is not at that time a Manifest Desired Effect, because of the lack of means to Effect hir desire. The purpose of these "Manifest" definitions is to produce a method of judging Defense - an Action taken before one is even Harmed in order to prevent such Harm, which may be hard to distinguish from a Violation but which is not a Breach of the NSC.

7) There is much dispute in philosophical circles over the term Rational, both with respect to its meaning and whether it is even possible for any human Choice to be either Rational or IrRational. Some philosophers argue that Rational has no valid meaning; some argue that it has, but that humans always Act Rationally; and still others argue that Rational has a meaning but such behavior is not possible for any human. I will therefore state clearly at the outset that I think Rational is a meaningful description of behavior that occurs for all humans some of the time and for some humans most of the time, but not all of the time for any human. This last follows from the fact that no human is perfect. By Rational, similar to the standard dictionary definition, I mean applying reason and logical processing in a sane and lucid manner to knowledge and abstractions within the mind in order to arrive at a conclusion, a Choice and an Action that has the best possible chance to optimally increase one's Lifetime Happiness. That some people do Act Rationally some of the time follows from the fact that they remain alive and, since, for a human, maintenance of life cannot be achieved by instinct alone, staying alive requires that a person use hir mind for productive Decision making (ie. to efficiently gain ends - something that can only be done by using reason and logic). However, since a few people most of the time and many people some of the time do not either logically process Information or Act in a mentally sane and lucid manner, but instead Act on unfocused whim - essentially no different than by flipping a coin - I do not agree that all human conduct is necessarily Rational6. Most certainly it is not Rational in any reasonably complete sense. Furthermore, all people some of the time practice evasion of certain Information either consciously or subconsciously (often by habit) and, thus, do not Act Rationally because they do not adequately use the Information that is actually available to them (ie. they do not sufficiently examine the Available Actions of thought). And yes, it could be argued that either this Information is not actually available to them or that they are examining the Available Information adequately as they see it, so that they are, therefore, taking a Rational Action within the context of their Available Actions and their judgment of how much they need to be examined. However, I think this argument is specious and simply serves to excuse as acceptable, habits, attitudes and behaviors that are inherently IrRational because they are not conducive to optimally increasing Lifetime Happiness - certainly not over the long run to the person who uses them, often even by hir own Evaluation after the Act.

8) In order to fully validate the concept of Rational Action, it is necessary to specify a method for deciding whether or not a given person's Choice, and consequent Action Performed in accord with that Choice (ie. hir Chosen Action), is Rational or not. Thus, I must specify how, when and by whom this is to be decided. I will state right off that even though I argue that the term Rational as a description of a particular human Action can be given a valid meaning that differentiates such Action from many other Available Actions (that are IrRational), I do not agree that this distinction can be decided with any finality during the life of the Acting individual either within the mind of the Actor hirself or externally by others. Such a judgment can and will ultimately be determined only by the objective results of the Action in question upon the Acting individual, all of which results continue to unfold in time, only bounded by hir death7. Others may think, judge and even discriminate against a person because of an Action that currently appears IrRational8, however, in the end only the individual who Acts can be the final arbiter, because only s/he has to live with the consequences (unless such Action Violates another person resulting in UnRestitutable Harm to that person). If a person is trying to be Rational (ie. trying to optimally increase hir Lifetime Happiness), however, s/he will perceive that hir Action appears to not actually have had the desired (optimally Beneficial to hir) Effect, and s/he will then do the necessary self-analysis to see why the Action turned out to be IrRational (if that was indeed the reason why the Action was not successful in its goal) or why it otherwise failed (perhaps because of some Event over which s/he had no Control and no possibility of foresight at the time of hir Action), and how such negative or non-optimal Effects might be corrected in the future. Nevertheless, in spite of the subjectivity of any instantaneous or even less than hir lifespan attempt to describe a given human's Actions as Rational or IrRational, any successful science of human conduct must distinguish between such Actions. To not Estimate for oneself, a priori of its final determination by Reality, whether or not a human Action is Rational is little different than to not Evaluate for oneself, a priori of its final determination by the free market, what is the Value of any good or service. One must make a Decision and Choose based on the current available evidence, simply because one must Act within a limited amount of time and with a limited amount of Information in order to optimally increase one's Lifetime Happiness. Thus, it is clear that any judgment of Rationality is at best a temporary estimate and one should always be open to new evidence that will change one's mind (Alter one's Choice Estimations). In the end, the Rationality of an Action can only be determined by its effects on Reality (including other humans), just as market Values can only be determined by human Actions relating to the good or service in question. Rational Actions may thus be seen as the result of Internal Services (services of the mind which are directly for one's Person alone). These Internal Services produce Value, some of which only becomes apparent over time as their use increases the Lifetime Happiness of the person who used them. In that sense, Rationality may also be seen as the degree of an Evaluation of an Action, so that instead of merely Rational or IrRational, all human Actions are more correctly seen as more or less Rational, with such amount of Rationality being an Attribute of the Action itself, potentially Changing with time. This view is explicitly used in the vernacular language when speaking of an Action itself as wise or foolish, rather than applying these descriptions to the Actor hirself.

1. Ideally one should examine all Happiness States that are possible results of every Available Action, but clearly the limited computing power of the brain and the cost of time spent (unavailability of that time for other Happiness generation) in comparing Happiness State Values necessitates some trade-off. Such a trade-off is what I mean by the term reasonably. However, this means that Deciding just where that trade-off point sits is an integral part of the Estimating Process which is thus clearly iterative (repetitively self-referencing). Furthermore, one can only examine those Effects of Actions of which one is aware. This last is a factor of major importance in all Decision making. As one gains experience in life, one tries to make Estimates even of the likelihood that something unforseen and important will happen as the result of one's Actions.

2. Either the State Values of Continuers of the Current Happiness State must continue to be as high as possible or some calculated current Action purposefully makes the immediate future s-Values lower, so that the longer term future s-Values are sufficiently high to make up for the temporary reduction. In fact, such thinking and estimating is precisely what long-range, widest-viewed planning is all about and is why I have called it Rational Action.

3. The lesser weight of future Actions, Happiness, assets, etc. is often described by use of a term related to buying something of questionable Value by saying that these future things are discounted with respect to the present, with a discount rate that depends on their likelihood of occurring as desired and Estimated at the current time. Another way of thinking of this is to imagine an interest rate which is reducing the present Value of the desirable future asset by a certain percentage for each year distance from being a present Benefit that such future asset is unattainable.

4. A discussion of the need for a stable environment is contained within "Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction".

5. The Glycemic index of a food measured the rate at which blood glucose rises after eating a given amount of it. For more information see: The Official Website of the Glycemic Index and GI Database.

6. In this respect I disagree with Mises' statement: "Human action is necessarily always rational."

7. For extensions to the "standard" definition of life that apply to various states of human life impairment ultimately including death, see: "States of Life and Death Defined" by Paul Wakfer.

8. As they correctly should (ie. such behavior will tend to optimally increase their Lifetime Happiness). To understand why see the essays: Anonymity - Hazard, Not Protection; Limitation, not Enhancement, Personal Characteristics as Market Commodities and Social Preferencing - Evaluation and Choice of Association; A Method for Influence.