When Einstein was near the end of his death (the unfortunate fate of known species), he was asked by the New York State Education Department what schools should emphasize. “In Teaching History”, he replied (I think we all will agree with his answer). Steven Pinker, the world’s most influential thinker and writer on the human condition in his brilliant book - Enlightenment Now - highlighted: “History shows that when we sympathize with others and apply our ingenuity to improving the human conditions, we can make progress in doing so, and you can help to continue the progress”
The above quote is part of an answer to a question when a student asked Steven: “Why should I live”? I remember asking the same question a few years back, and I think a good question for everyone to ask themselves.
We will come back to the above question at the end of this essay for now let’s move ahead…
I have previously written on topics like Power, Luxury, Love, Patriotism, expressing my admiration for Capitalism. I fundamentally believe Capitalism is a path to national prosperity. However, Charity and Civil Societies have played pivotal roles in societal progress. The debate over which is better will persist, so let’s employ some math, consider second and third-order effects, and determine which approach is superior, or if both have drawbacks. Our unique ability to make rational decisions sets us apart from other species.
The best way to make sense of this argument is if we take a few examples and do rough math (complete math will take many weekends of work and the purpose is to publish this essay by Sunday night, so it would be a rough math).