An Informational Approach to Stoicism
Stoicism is essentially a software fix to a hardware fact: humans tend to emphasize or experience negative thoughts more strongly by roughly a factor of 2. Daniel Kahneman’s research into what is now codified under the term “behavioral economics” has shown this to be the case. When confronted with loss, whether potential or actual, we react much more strongly than when faced with a gain of equal size.
Of course this makes perfect sense from an evolutionary, game-theoretical perspective. In order to be able to lose something, an organism must first have gained it through expenditure of a non-trivial amount of energy. If it were to give up easily on its “property”, conveniently defined here as “that which an organism defends”, it may very well not get another chance to acquire new food or mating partners, and consequently exit the gene pool and thus “the game” entirely. And since we
Continue reading →