February 11th, 2007


Had been going to go to a Linux conference today, but from about 4am through 10am I didn't want to get far enough from a toilet to be able to take a bus. Starting to recover, which is good. Missed the 'con, bad. Now to figure out what's next.

Chestnut Time

And no, I'm not talking about boobs here; just basic philosophy.

What is a "Need?" Does it differ from a "Want," and if so, how? Do we need more detailed language here, and if so, what?

I think we do. The most extreme definition of "Need" is "Something you'll die if you don't get." I don't *need* pants, but my neighbors seem to be much more pleased for me to be wearing them.

Another way of thinking about it is that the word "need" is meaningless without an object. Need subject in order to do what? I don't *need* a bed to sleep in, unless I have something I need to do tomorrow that can't be done with a backache.

I also think there are some assumptions here about what constitute normal, basic standards of human living, and it'd be worthwhile to clarify what those are -- for example the pants issue I noted above. Food, clothing, and basic shelter are seen as needs, even though at varying times I've had to, or chose to, do without the first and last of those.

Thoughts? Commentary? Questions?