Creating a Quality Life

So I’ve been watching some videos of Yale Philosophy professor, Death with Shelly Kagan.

He’s really got me thinking about things like the “Quality of Life.”

I thought it would be fun if I tried to quantify things in my life on a scale of 1-10. Something like eating at Taco Bell adds some quality, but not much. So it gets a 1.

Getting a book published, raising a kid, becoming financially independent are all examples of 10’s.

You can see my attempt at cataloging these kinds of things in my life here: (If you click it, it will get bigger.)

Creating-A-Quality-Life

Next, I wanted to start assigning a quality score to each day of my life based on the above criteria.

So, I’ve made a form I will try to fill out everyday.
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If you would, please don’t fill it out. I’ll just delete your answers. But if you are inspired to do something similar, I would love to see your daily quality scores.

You can see my daily results here.

That’s the spreadsheet format.

Here is the summary view of my quality scores.

I’m interested in doing this to see the kind of life I have. I also think that the underlying basis for this is the premise that more quality is better than less quality.  However, current determination for quality is completely subjective and based on my own personal values.

It would be cool if there was a way to determine a definitive value for “quality”. Maybe I’ll figure that out someday. But as of now, all I can think is that quality is subjective.

3 Comments

  1. sage
    11/22/2009
    Reply

    I guess it’s not exactly true that all quality is subjective. It would be difficult for your to argue that going to Taco Bell has as much quality as getting a book published.

    But then again, what if you were starving? Taco Bell would definitely have more quality than getting a book published.

    Maybe quality is relative to my personal station in life. Someone in India might think my talking about Taco Bell as having any sort of value is totally absurd. But I love Taco Bell. So it gets a ranking in my Quality score. It might not getting any score for another person. In fact, having to eat at Taco Bell could even have a negative Quality score for someone else… that’s not unreasonable to imagine. (Although it doesn’t make any sense to me.)

    But what about financial independence? Who would argue that is bad in any case? Money buys food, shelter, entertainment, education… on and on.

  2. sage
    11/22/2009
    Reply

    So, financial independence (while it might be arguable that kind of thing doesn’t help the world) is something that virtually all people would think would be useful. So, unless I come up with something different, or someone else provides an alternative, I might declare financial independence is universally high on the quality score chart.

  3. sage
    11/22/2009
    Reply

    Successfully raising a child is also probably universally agreed on as something that high quality… for people that have children. People that don’t have children would probably also agree that this should have high value for parents.

    I find myself interchanging the word “value” with “quality”. I’m not sure they are the same thing.

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