I believe in human happiness as a biophysical principle and a personal goal, both at once.
My training is as a theoretical biophysicist (son of two physicists), so of course my personal "philosophy" of life will look like a theory, rather than like a series of personal observations. In this case my theory encompasses not only human happiness but vertebrate happiness, and the vertebrate bio-mechanics that must be based on. I mean this theory to be defensible as scientific truth, but labeling it a "philosophy of life" releases me from defending every little bit at the standards of whatever discipline contests it. Structurally, a simple theory has several enormous advantages over any kind of observations or experiments: it is more trustworthy (being based on incontrovertible principles), its scope is broader, and it is easier and quicker to apply when you need it.
The problem with most theories and philosophies of life is that they are transmitted by culture, and thus include cultural biases. My approach hopes to avoid that pitfall by basing itself not even on experimental science (whose results can be biased by funding preferences or cultural prohibitions), but on essential mathematical principles. Hopefully, those carry very little bias, so their results ought to apply to anyone at any time. Hence "a minimally biased philosopy of life."
I have spent my life designing electronic information-processing circuits and researching neural ones. The most effective circuits of both types are always autonomous and operate on simple principles, meaning they identify their informational needs and pursue them freely. In other words, they pursue "desires" in search of "happiness." Unfortunately, most humans I know and know about do not feel that freedom and thus feel less happy than they might, although in principle anyone could at any moment open her eyes and feel complete.
Our ancestors evolved as upright mammals in a complex world, and whatever happiness-circuitry they used to find their way in life still lies latent in us now. But much of that circuitry has been cloaked or redirected toward the goals of civilized society, and its function has been forgotten. This site aims to clarify the common-sense principles by which our own minds operate, so individuals may rediscover their own humanity inside themselves.
A world of ten billion people for whom fulfillment is but an eye-blink away is unstable (in a good way!), presenting an opportunity for sudden, radical improvement. In a pot of still-molten sugar, adding a single grain can crystallize it all at once. In the same fashion, inside a confused brain or a society, a single shift of viewpoint (or "reference frame") can suddenly recrystallize both perception and performance. The separate "theoretical" viewpoints assembled here are well-established, and in hindsight most seem obvious. That clarity may help this approach spread like wildfire, as useful scientific ideas often spread. But unlike other scientific truths, an understanding of the circuitry which lies inside our minds needs neither external validation (besides experiments on oneself), nor resources (besides those hours spent), nor institutional support. It can only be consumed and spread by individuals for private ends.
These ideas are helping my friends, my family, and myself. I hope that you find similar success.
Criscillia Benford's Home Page
pre-2015 Softky Home Page