How Can Copiosis Possibly Judge What’s Valuable?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

A question came through Copiosis’ contact form: If someone offers a theatre play or a musical album, how can we measure the NBV (Net Beneficial Value) from something as subjective as musical taste and artistic performance?

We love this question because it points to how important culture is. Human life revolves around culture. It is very subjective. Music and artistic matters both are subjective too.

When people ask versions of this question, we believe they think we think there are “objective” measures everyone will agree with about everything. This is impossible, of course, which is why the question gets asked.

It’s not about agreement

In Copiosis, we’re not using objective measures of value everyone needs to agree on in order to distribute NBR to people. What we do is measure the results of an action – in this case, a musical performance, album or theater play – based on eight categories or questions. These are baked-in our algorithm. They are:

  1. What kind of resources were used to produce the result?
  2. How many people are producing similar results?
  3. How many people want what’s being produced?
  4. What are the benefits consumers get from the results?
  5. What do consumers say about what they got? Do they like it?
  6. What environmental impacts does the result have?
  7. What scale of humanity do the results benefit (local, regional, national or global, for example)
  8. How does the result contribute to human resiliency?

As you can see, we’re not concerned about people’s subjective tastes so much because subjective tastes aren’t that reliable in terms of measuring Net Benefit Value (NBV). People spending money on crack cocaine or meth will prove that subjective tastes aren’t reliable measures of value.

Our algorithm in plain math. It’s totally open-source and transparent, as is the process we use for improving it. Download the free algorithm proposal here.

How the Copiosis algorithm measures value

But we do know most people have values aligned with these eight questions or categories. So let’s look at a musical album, for example. Hopefully you can take this example and apply it to a play or artistic performance too. The analysis is mostly identical.

  1. What kind of resources were used to produce the result? Producing an album uses resources. Are they renewable, sustainable and plentiful? If the album is produced digitally, then resources used are pretty renewable, sustainable and plentiful, depending on how the producers produced it. The more sustainable, plentiful and renewable resources used, the more NBV is created, all things being equal, and the more NBR everyone gets.
  2. How many people are producing similar results? There are a lot of people in the world wanting to make albums. But the entire planet isn’t making albums. The more people who make the same thing, the less NBV is created, all other things being equal. This is designed to promote creative diversity. If you’re one of few people doing what you do, you get more NBR.
  3. How many people want what’s being produced? The more people who listen to the album, the more NBV gets created and the more NBR is awarded. This happens in perpetuity, meaning everyone who helped make the album keeps getting NBR for that album until they die.
  4. What are the benefits consumers get from the results? We know already that art of all kinds benefit humanity. We also know music is beneficial. We also know music has value in and of itself, but it also can add value to other situations, such as an office setting, a party or as a movie soundtrack. So we know based on research that this form of art is inherently valuable. Therefore more NBV gets created when ANY album is created, than less.
  5. What do consumers say about what they got? Do they like it? The more people who have listened to the album and say they like it, the more NBV gets created and the more NBR creators get.
  6. What environmental impacts does the result have? Depending on the kind of music and how it is produced, the album can have more or less impact on the environment, thus, more or less NBV accordingly. But, for example, if the album inspires people to do environmental work, that is included here too!
  7. What scale of humanity do the results benefit (local, regional, national or global, for example) If people all around the world enjoy listening to the album, more NBV is created. If it’s an obscure album and only people in one nation, or one city, or one concert enjoy it, then less.
  8. How does the result contribute to human resiliency? There is research showing that music can play a role in human resiliency. Whether this album contributes to that or not, will determine how much NBV is produced.

So you can see that the measures aren’t as subjective as one might think. The only really subjective measure is #5. The rest are based on observation. Not subjective opinions. Where subjectivity comes in is what values communities have relative to the output.

Copiosis creates opportunity for people in different regions to experience joyful lives based on their personal values.

Calculations are regional

For example, one community might not value “Metal Rock”. So in that community, their values rankings influence the algorithm to reduce NBV for that kind of music as determined by the eight measures. Another community might prize such music, so the NBV determination there would be different. Our algorithm allows different communities to weight or put more importance on values they believe are important, and lower weights on values they believe are less important.

What’s key though is, none of these determinations is “right” and they needn’t be. They only must approximate value to the degree that recipients are happy.

This is how everything is measured and how everyone is awarded NBR. A couple of additional important things: One, EVERYTHING one does creates NBV. So taking care of your daughter or sister, going grocery shopping for a friend or loved one, helping someone who is drunk get home at night…all these things are worthy of NBR. So our algorithm rewards such things too. Second, as one does these things, rewards keep coming well after the fact because doing such things creates lasting benefit.

In the end, everyone in Copiosis receives lots of small NBR streams (and some large ones) that just keep coming. That’s a huge plus for people living in Copiosis and it’s something that’s impossible today.

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