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People are valuable to:

  • themselves
  • other people

And they can be valuable either:

  • in their contribution to accomplishing some other goal
  • in immediate experience (in their mind or in the minds of others)

Means to an end (extrinsic value)

People are basically supercomputers (better, even).  We can do (and learn to do) all sorts of things.

In a networking workshop, the speaker identified three ways a contact could be useful:

  • connector
  • influencer
  • decision maker

People can also be:

  • doers (whether collaborators, co-workers, employed by you, etc.)

People can contribute the following to a means-ends chain:

  • skill
  • resources
  • knowledge

Ends in themselves (intrinsic value)

Not everything of value is only valuable in its ability to get something else of value. At the end of all reasonable chains of means and ends are things that are simply valuable in themselves, like fun and aesthetics and satisfaction. These are always experiences/feelings that we want.

We value our own life experience, thus we have intrinsic value.

See also

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