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Isidoros Parlamas

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Quality of Life, or the lack of it, depends on what we perceive as valuable.

Because quality of life is rare, we have to ask what value is. Because it seems that most of what's considered valuable is useless and much of what's considered useless is very valuable.

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    May 3 2014: Quality of life is due to numerous factors many of which are out of our direct control such as our living surroundings, healthcare, environment, and political environment.

    I believe you may be referring to happiness here rather than quality of life, as your level of happiness is a function of what you perceive as valuable, combined with whether or not you have that valuable thing. Often the things people find valuable are material possessions that must be consumed, used, disposed, and replaced. Many times people value experiences like vacations. This kind of happiness is fleeting and puts us on the hedonic treadmill of wanting ever more, and that's just perfect for the way our consumer based economy works.

    But not so good for us. There is another deeper kind of happiness I call "joy", which becomes a permanent part of one's life outlook, not dependent on what we perceive as valuable and not subject to the ups and downs of chasing happiness.

    It's the things that the happy people and joyful people value that seem opposite to each other, as you say in your conversation topic.

    One of the quotes I want for my epitaph: "You always have everything you need to find joy"
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.So, what''s Quality of Life?Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
      • May 6 2014: Dear Isidoros
        Quality of Life is a very-well difined by WHO, which includes hapiness.
        Martin Seligman, an USA researcher, defines Happines by the formula H = S + C + V, where
        H = happiness; S = set range; C= circunstances and V = your voluntary.
        Looking at those terms, "joy" is, in my unertanding, a personal presisposition which is include in "V".
        Have a nice day!
        • May 7 2014: If it's well defined by WHO, let's have the definition...
        • May 15 2014: Any alleged "definition" that includes so many TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE elements is no definition at all. One might as well say that "quality of life" is defined as "ooga bazingy flip ha woo ma poip".
      • May 7 2014: Hi Isidoros; thanks for your reply.
        Accordig WHO, QOL is "The individual's perception of their position in life in the context of culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns." (The WHOQOL group, 1994)
        There is another definition by a brasilian recesach, Marcelo Fleck: " QV is the individual's perception about your life position, culture context and values context, on whitch lives in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns." (Fleck et all, 2000).
        The statement "most of what is considered valuable is useless and much of what is considered useless is very valuable" has its limitations: for example, when someone is seriously ill, fails to value material things and gives due weight to "love", "solidarity" and stuff ... isn't it?
        Cordially,
        MRM
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          May 13 2014: If the definition of QOL is one's PERCEPTION of their position, and perception is defined as "a mental impression" (meaning that it cannot be quantified or scientifically validated), then blanket statements and generalizations about quality of life cannot be made. QOL is different for each individual, regardless of SES, health, relationships, demographics, etc... A wall street mogul may have a lower QOL than a sickly woman in a third world country, solely based on their perception of their circumstances. QOL does not depend on what the masses consider valuable, but what matters to the individual.
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        May 12 2014: "Most people live in misery"? What makes you think that? You do know that "most people" generalize about the lives/opinions of "most people" based on their own lives and opinions? People of all kinds of income see themselves as "middle class". People of all kinds of convictions see themselves as "reasonable" and "sane" and "like everyone else". People who are generous believe that most people are generous, people who are healthy believe that most people are healthy, and the same with sick people.

        What you think about "most people" mostly reflects how you see yourself, unless it some veritable statistics (and statistical data can often be open to interpretation).

        Do you tend to see yourself as living in misery, and choose friends with a similar view on their situation? I was about to write to you "you are mistaken: "quality of life" is plentiful!", but caught myself in time :)
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.
      But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.
      So, what''s Quality of Life?
      Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
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        May 5 2014: What is Quality of Life?

        My definition:

        Quality of life is the general well being of a person, as shown by a combination of indicators including a person's wealth, job, physical environment, culture, political environment, physical and mental and emotional and spiritual health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social and family ties.
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          May 6 2014: I absolutely agree. The bottom two levels of Maslow's hierarchy define Quality of Life for me. When we talk about Quality of ART, then we can start to talk perceived value. But when it comes to life these needs need to be met. To what LEVEL, may be what this debate is really trying to be about...maybe
        • May 6 2014: As I said to Isidoros...
          Quality of Life is a very-well difined by WHO, which includes hapiness.
          Martin Seligman, an USA researcher, defines Happines by the formula H = S + C + V, where
          H = happiness; S = set range; C= circunstances and V = your voluntary.
          Looking at those terms, "joy" is, in my unertanding, a personal presisposition which is include in "V".
          Have a nice day!
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        May 20 2014: Hello Psic Maximino,

        The way Martin Seligman defines happiness, there is a progression from simple pleasures to finding meaning and purpose. The joy I speak of comes from finding meaning and purpose. Also, I do not accept Seligman's equation because it is somewhere between pseudo-science and misleading to present this in an equation type format to begin with. What Seligman should have done is present his happiness formula like this:

        H = f(S, C, V)

        In this form, Seligman's "insite" boils down to saying that one's happiness is a function of who you are, what happens to you, and how you react to it.

        I think the joy I am talking about is not any one of those variables H, S, C, or V, but more a cultivated state of mind achieved by how you choose to live your own life, rewiring neural circuitry to achieve joy without fooling yourself.
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      May 7 2014: why do you say living surroundings, healthcare, environment, and political environment are out of our control? We can do a lot to control those, can't we?
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        May 19 2014: I actually said they are out of our "direct control", and I used the word "direct" to indicate that we can influence these things but we can not directly control them. And by "we" I was using the royal we there, meaning "one".

        What I meant to say was that we are born into our living surroundings, and we can "try" or do what we can to influence our surroundings, but controlling global warming is different from controlling one's own behavior in this respect.
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          May 19 2014: okay, danger. Well, the "joy" that you speak of, does it include trying to influence these things, for me anyway it is important to try to change things in your environment you don't like, and sometimes I worry that people could numb themselves to what they don't like and try to tell themselves they are finding "joy" in spiritual things but maybe they are rationalizing their own avoidance. I think this video is very good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ErlTinKrQw
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        May 20 2014: Greg, you are so spot on with your comment. In another conversation, I disagreed with someone else's general admonition to "be content with what one has" (I hope I'm getting that quote right from memory). The part I took issue with is exactly what you're talking about. For me, I could agree with the admonition to "just be content" or "be happy" or in my terminology, be joyful. I do not agree with advice to be joyful with respect to anything "I have", or do not have for that matter. That introduces a relationship between myself and "what I have" which, for me, is the root of some suffering, or attachment in a buddhist sense.

        Regarding finding joy, I think that is a life long spiritual quest and there is not just one or even a small number of ways to pursue that. What works for me personally is being of service to others (especially teaching kids) any way I can, especially to those that really need it. For other people, maybe saving the environment is what floats your boat. Or fixing our broken political system by protesting, or running for office.
    • May 15 2014: Thank God that there is atleast one more member at TED who believes that there indeed are out of control things.
  • May 8 2014: I think you are looking at it from a circular argument. The quality of life truly depends upon your values and not someone else values. So if you look at my life and say the quality of my life is bad, that would be based upon your values not mine. Only the person can say whether his quality of life was good or bad. It also depends upon the time of life of the person, values can change over time.
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      May 13 2014: Great point! As I commented above, perceptions vary among individuals. There is no universal, perfect definition of QOL, because my needs and desires are not, and can never be, the same as yours. Based on each individual's unique past (the interplay of biology/genetics and environment), their perception of QOL will vary. It is not a matter of free will or choice, but rather of the differences among people.
      • May 13 2014: Dear Bieckelman, thanks for the reply.
        QOL is a subjective assessment by excellence; those records may enter expectations and ideals of each. Thus, we can observe a Wall Street tycoon who would give up everything I have to be at peace with your kids fishing without thoughts that torment and a sick lady who longs to have been born in England, for example, a country with first-world which has an exemplary service Health ...
        Greetings!
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      May 20 2014: Hi Wayne - I agree with what you're saying, though I think you have confounded two concepts of quality of life.

      "Quality of life" as a general concept is kinda like an SAT score or your IQ number: It's a bunch of more or less objective facts about you that sums up a bunch of things about you along many different dimensions.

      In your comment, you used the phrase "So if you look at my life and say the quality of my life is bad...". Here is where I think you are confounding multiple concepts of quality of life. The quality of *your* life is a very subjective matter as you rightly say. This is different from the "Quality of life" technique used to asses an individual or population sample.
      • May 23 2014: I guess in my mind there is only one measure for the quality of life and that is the subjective view of the individual living that life. The articles that evaluate the quality of live within a country are using in my mind the values of the articles and have little or no relationship to the actual quality life of the society.
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    May 4 2014: "When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need." Dalai Lama
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      May 4 2014: Good point Rodrigo and Dalai Lama:>)
      If we are not content with what we have, what makes one think that s/he might be content with more?

      That idea suggests looking outward, for something that can be recognized and practiced from within:>)
      • May 7 2014: Hi Coleen and Rodrigo
        Good point for bolth you!
        The bad Marcketing insists on creating false needs greatly contributing to people to remain in a kind of perennial dissatisfaction and thus seek to cap their "holes" consuming, consuming, consuming ... this way works against good quality of life ...
        Have a nice day!
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          May 28 2014: Hello Psic,
          My perception and experience, is that people have choices, and are not obligated to "remain in a kind of perennial dissatisfaction".

          If one wants to change his/her quality of life, s/he simply makes different choices.
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        May 7 2014: For me, there is a very crucial and subtle distinction between "being content" and "being content with what we have", at least as I perceive the phrases. And I thank you Colleen for stimulating me to write about this (and hope you are well!)

        If I am content with what I have, then I will lose the drive to invent, perfect, go beyond, and explore, an even take risks. I personally never want to feel that way.

        What I do want to feel is "content", which in my vocabulary I think I call "joy" - a permanent state of my being and outlook towards life, regardless of my circumstances.

        Or maybe I am not mapping our words as you mean them.
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          May 28 2014: Hi Danger! I am well, and hope the same for you my friend:>)

          I am content with what I have at any given time, and I KNOW there is more to achieve, explore and experience. I find that the risk taking part decreases as I age, and that feels ok because I am content with whatever is happening in the moment, and I know there is another moment and experience to explore:>)

          Joy feels to me a little like happiness....fleeting at times. I can always be content without joy and happiness.....I can be content even when facing sadness and sometimes uncomfortable challenges. Contentment for me, is part of the foundation which I build on in any given moment:>)

          We all "map" words differently, with different meanings to us as individuals, and accepting that fact contributes to my contentment, joy, happiness, and quality of life:>)
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.So, what''s Quality of Life? Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.So, what''s Quality of Life? Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
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        May 5 2014: "Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.

        According to ecological economist Robert Costanza:

        While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive... Also frequently related are concepts such as freedom, human rights, and happiness. However, since happiness is subjective and difficult to measure, other measures are generally given priority. It has also been shown that happiness, as much as it can be measured, does not necessarily increase correspondingly with the comfort that results from increasing income. As a result, standard of living should not be taken to be a measure of happiness..."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_life
    • May 7 2014: Hi Coleen and Rodrigo
      Good point for bolth you!
      The bad Marcketing insists on creating false needs greatly contributing to people to remain in a kind of perennial dissatisfaction and thus seek to cap their "holes" consuming, consuming, consuming ... this way works against good quality of life ...
      Have a nice day!
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        May 20 2014: I agree! I recently learned about Edward Bernays (fascinating guy to research) and was saddened but not too surprised to learn that from the beginning, the purpose of advertising (and public relations) is to unconsciously manipulate people into buying and doing things they don't need or even want in order to support this pyramid scheme of an economy we've got going here with the 1% at the top. I had kinda thought this darker part of advertising was relatively new.
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          May 26 2014: ... "manipulate people into buying and doing things they don't need or even want in order to support this pyramid scheme of an economy we've got going here with the 1% at the top." Danger Lampost

          DL, your statement above, "PYRAMID SCHEME OF AN ECONOMY", is the simplest and clearest explanation why there are the top 1% and bottom 99%.

          One of the most critical keys to living a life of joy and contentment is avoiding the trap many of us fall into: “We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
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      May 20 2014: Dali Lama Says: 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need."

      I would add: "Yes, I have everything I need to find joy, only I keep getting in my own way." This 'everything' that I have is in reality my own life that I live to find my own personal meaning. There are no things that I 'have' that are apart from me. It is me that I need to be happy. I am all I really need.

      A shadow side of spirituality (as Greg Dahlen perhaps suggests) might interpret Dali Lama's quote to mean that I should be happy with "everything that I have" or perhaps (to put it negatively) "despite everything I don't have", thus using spirituality as a tool to numb myself to some suffering in my life in order to feel happy. And ignoring suffering just leads to... more suffering.
  • May 2 2014: If a life is complex, and values are blurred and fragmented, make the life simple.........
    that is where quality of life and depth of life is located. Don't take my word for it
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.So, what''s Quality of Life?Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
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    R H 30+

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    May 12 2014: According to published definitions, 'value' is a judgement. 'Judgement' is the evaluation of evidence. Our evaluation of evidence is based on what we perceive. But, does the question then become: Is there 'intrinsic' value in something, or is 'value' independent of a thing's 'self-worth' and solely dependent on the one perceiving? Does something have 0 value unless it's perceived? I believe that yes, the tree did make a sound when it fell in the woods whether someone heard it or not. So yes, a thing does have value whether we perceive it or not. So then using that logic, Quality of Life does exist whether we perceive its value or not. We may be unaware of that value, we may not agree with that value, and/or we may dismiss that value as irrelevant, but that would make 'value', or in this case 'Quality of Life's' value, independent of what we perceive.
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      May 13 2014: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
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        R H 30+

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        May 13 2014: Ah yes, but it could still be beautiful whether the 'beholder' sees it or not.
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    May 11 2014: It all comes down to understanding the difference between 'needs' and 'desires'. Quality of life is more of a perspective phenomenon and it should be determined by what means we fulfill our basic human needs like shelter, food, clothing, education etc.
    The other point which I think is important to address here is that over the years our minds have been tuned by media, telling us what is important, what should we have and what should we don't. So this could also be one of the reasons for our failure to understand that what actually is valuable and what matters more. We tend to mimic the choices and even philosophies of those who we consider are better than us. This is how desires are created.
    So I think if you are fulfilling your needs with sufficient means you should be content enough with your quality of life.
    • May 11 2014: Hi Maria

      Interesting and valid thoughts...but it seems to me that most people shy away from defining important concepts...that's very bad for human kind because it leaves us in the dark...
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        May 12 2014: "shy away from defining important concepts".... I believe there are many things which cannot be completely comprehended by human mind and this is where nature plays its role. If we were able to define every concept and construct theories and methodologies for everything-then there won't be anything left for humans, except to mechanically follow those theories and methodologies. So, few things should be left in dark :)
        • May 12 2014: This sounds like an excuse...but it's not convincing. There will always be plenty left for us humans to do.
          Important concepts such as truth, justice, education, democracy, and many more cannot be left open to interpretation by any potential usurper of power out there.

          They are too important to be left undefined. Any pseudo-politician can claim he's for democracy and justice...and all their auience are getting is words that soeund promising.

          Try studying the Republic of Socrates and Dialectics. Practice makes perfect...there a working methodology to approach defining a concept...and it's well worth the effort...
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        May 13 2014: I totally agree with you ....but I wasn't referring to macro-level concepts like democracy, education or justice. I was talking about the concepts which concern an individual and are totally measured through his perception like satisfaction or value etc.
  • May 7 2014: There is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights put forward by the UN. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    However, like any kind of abstract agreement, there are definitely a lot of gray areas that need to be discussed and continually improved upon, especially when addressing biases and cultural identities. They are definitely hard lines to draw, and the process requires a lot of communication, understanding, and respect. While there are technological gaps in our ability to provide everyone with basic necessities, I think the bigger problem is desensitization, lack of a sense of global community or responsibility among those who have the power to help. Many people take for granted the quality of life and fortune they have relative to people who live in perpetual hunger or thirst for "luxuries" like clean water.
    • May 7 2014: Hi Tanya

      All those you mention are issues which make all the more important to define the concept...I'm talking about a philosophical definition...not some definition that accommodates those in power.

      By Philosophical I mean, true to the nature of the concept and valid from a logical point of viw.
      • May 7 2014: Thanks for your response, Isidoros. I'm sorry I probably won't be able to give you a formal philosophical argument of QoL. I come from an engineering background with a passion for international development. I think social contracts like the declaration of human rights, define in a practical manner the way people should behave towards others in the face of scarcity and competition. Take clean drinking water for example. Since clean water is a scarce resource, there has been debate about treating water as a commodity vs a basic human right. The decision to treat water as one or the other can have large implications on what people can do with it.

        Because we are able to have discussions about things like water or sanitation and have it effectively go either way. That is, some people believe that those in abject poverty deserve to be there and that their quality of living comes about by the fruits of their own labor. People who believe this might not have trouble treating clean water economically as a competitive good. Whereas, other people believe that it's a basic right for every living person to have access to clean water. Considering this, I think what we generally try to do with social contract is to determine a minimally acceptable level of QoL for humans. Outside of that, I don't think quality of life is rare. I think it's an observable gradient and that everyone who is alive has some quality of life and opinion about what QoL is. I think our thoughts about QoL generally depend on our individual opinions of responsibility and where we define our ingroups. Social contracts are a way of attempting to unify people with wildly different opinions and notions of community. I think it's a pretty impressive undertaking to try to unify people with diametrically opposed views - some thinking the less deserving should suffer and others thinking that nobody should suffer. I do enjoy thinking about QoL. Thank you for sharing this topic.
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    May 5 2014: Hello, Isodoros.

    If there is something I am sure about, is that quality of life depends on happiness. We have all seen some examples of other people´s life when they have a great job, their house of their dreams, and eventually , money. But all of these doesn´t mean that they are happy, or in other words , have a good quality of life. They might even be more unhappy than someone that works twice a day, five days of the week and has healthy problems.
    Beeing healthy, having money, a great job or a great body does not mean that your life is great.
    No.

    Quality of life depends only on one thing: Your attitude towards life.

    It is up to you if you care about something, if you appreciate what you have, if you enjoy life or if you don´t. And I am talking abour every aspect in life.
    You decide whether to make of your life a pain in the neck or the best adventure.
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.So, what''s Quality of Life?Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics.
  • May 3 2014: Food, shelter, reproduction and occupation of mind are essentials of living beings. Beyond that mind adjust to the available surrounding and quality of resoruces. Here is what you are talking about one's perception.

    This may be true for all life forms.
    • May 5 2014: I think quality of life is rare because most people live in misery, both material and spiritual.
      But first we need to define Quality of Life and then see if it's available widely.
      So, what''s Quality of Life?
      Because we cannot recognize anything for what it is if we do not know its characteristics
      • May 5 2014: Isidoros"

        I defined it. Beyond that we can history of the human beings by decades or centuries. We can also study history of life over two million and two billion years.

        What has changed is spread from rich to poor, our knowledge of possibilities that presents to us. Zimmerman is a billionaire. Fact is that Zimmerman story is the world of lotto but his achievement is nothing like lotto.

        It ill be nice for you to present what is an ideal quality of life that at least can be achieved in USA. You raise important issue.
  • May 31 2014: My belief is that the quality of life although greatly misrepresented in the media, is based on where an individual is. Where they are in their age, maturity, environment, and education. I have been wealthy but poor and poor with wealth abundant.
  • May 27 2014: So true ... I think that our life depends on view as valueable. As human being we need to prioritize on what is important and our value system...belief system ..the things we treasure a d the things that encompasswho we r
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    May 26 2014: Interestingly enough, there are several cognitive biases which prevent many of us from accurately placing value on something until it's gone, or averts us from valuing what we have, only to be envious of what other's have. We also tend to view the past as somehow being better than the present, even when this usually isn't the case.

    Clearly "value" is subjective in nature, and we oftentimes cannot accurately gauge what is truly valuable due to these aforementioned biases. However, what I've found is that besides basic necessities, more "stuff" doesn't create any added value to our quality of life. That being said, if our basic needs are met, then our quality of life shouldn't even be up for debate. The problem is that we oftentimes take basic necessities for granted, and it's not that we view these necessities as "useless" or less valuable, it's just that we don't even consider how fortunate we really are.
  • May 24 2014: The quality of life depens on what you want from people. If you always expect somehing from them or kind , gentle behaviours you would be upset when you see the thing you don't want. So to become more happy or enrich your qualty of life you should live without any expectations. You shuold only share your respect, love.
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    May 23 2014: During a recent personal economic downturn in our lives (my mate and I), I'm working on the recurring thought to "love what I have (what's left) and use it/that in as many ways as possible...repurposing...making it/them stretch. Value/valuable is a judgment call and I choose to make no judgments. Today's a gift and what we do with the time is an opportunity to feel great about our accomplishments should we choose to get off our butts and do something we're led to do. Seize the thought then seize the moment.
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    May 19 2014: what things that are considered useless are really very valuable?
  • May 18 2014: In a Western sense of the word 'valuable', we immediately think of material objects, things that provide pleasure but are constantly changing. Quality therefore has two very distinct differences, this is what we find to be valuable at the time, and what we find to be valuable in retro-spec. A quality of life, I believe, is intrinsic more than extrinsic, this again depends on what we find to be valuable. What we perceive to be valuable is dependant upon whether we follow social trends or whether we follow our own desires. This is perhaps the difference in what dictates a quality of life or what we think quality comes to mean. A quality of life is institutionalised, there is a social blueprint for what a quality life is and isn't, and this is what's confusing our sense of value and quality.
  • May 15 2014: It's all mind over matter.
    If you don't mind, it don't matter.
  • May 15 2014: How Does Perception is Created inside the Individual Person ?
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    May 14 2014: Johnny Atman says:

    What is our definition of Quality?
    Do we not see that every time we define something, we have to measure it, and as soon as we do this, we also give birth ti its; opposite? Anything we measure, we Polarise, and then we are trapped between the TWO, chasing ONE and avoiding THE OTHER. So, any Value is Polarised, thus Prejudiced. So we always take a point of preference, and Desire is born. Desire is Addictive, and so is Prejudice. So Quality of Life is Prejudice.
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    May 11 2014: Hi, Isidoros, interesting debate :)

    I think that quality is something variable, that we are always running to, and that we are neglecting the value of what we actually have at the moment. For example, we have happy family, and beautiful children but we have not secure job. Or we have everything, but we are alone...

    I am looking for job for 2 years, and I think that quality of my life depends of when I would find a job, so I could afford some things that's unavailable for me at the moment. Maybe I'm neglecting mine family, relationship, mine hobbies that way, but I really try to avoid it (neglecting).

    Quality has no criteria, and as time goes on, criteria becomes higher and higher, or they are moving from one point to other (solving one criteria, moving to other)...
    • May 15 2014: Be an entrepreneur and create jobs for others....
  • May 11 2014: I don't think qov is dependent on what we consider valuable. To an alcoholic alcohol might be the most valuable thing. But the possession of alcohol will not improve his qov.
    I would like to add a point: Happiness and qov are mutually exclusive.
  • May 11 2014: In my view quality of life depends upon what you think as avaluable. In your perception you may define your quality of life depending upon your satisfaction with the life .There is no end of desire so it may be in your perception there will be no fullfilment of quality of life.In indian culture there is more impotance is given to the process of giving up your desire through out your life like a saint.That is why most people in india get satisfied with their condition of their life through the way of adopting the way of spirtuality. Spirtuality shoul be a valuable thing that can fullfil your desre of quality of life in your perception.
  • May 8 2014: I really have no idea why phone maker persist on not including mSD expansion on their product let alone for this SIZE range.

    I guess in the end most people upgrade their phone just for the sake of it and continue just using it for light use like some stupid facebook games so it justify this stupid practice. But then again the most successful lenteen android phone out there HAVE expansion so I wonder which is the stupider one here...
  • May 8 2014: I think a person's perception of value is bound by biology, experience and the undefined ephemeral vicissitudes of personality. Value creates hierarchies. Hierarchies define expectations. Unfulfilled expectations foster either sadness or anger.

    So in regard to your statement; the quality of life IS our perception. That's why I believe we need to value less so we can accept more. Of course like so many free will options moral ambiguity allows self interest to corrupt our universal nature.
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    May 7 2014: well, for me one of the most important factors to quality of life is unwanted noise. I hate unwanted, unpleasant noise coming in from outside my residence. So, for example, I have fought with neighbors about their playing loud music that came through the walls into my apartment. I have fought with the supermarket across the street about noise from their loading dock at five in the morning. The first secret to fighting noise is finding out what the noise laws are where you live, for example, in my city there are about ten pages of noise laws in the municipal code. Once you know the laws, you have an objective standard, you can see what noise the other person is permitted and what noise, or level of noise volume, is not permitted.
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    May 7 2014: “I enjoy talking with very old people. They have gone before us on a road by which we, too, may have to travel, and I think we do well to learn from them what it's like.”

    Socrates, in Plato's The Republic, c. 380BC
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    May 7 2014: I like this question. The GeoHive website calculates that 7.9% of the global population is now aged 65+. Across the developed nations this figure is higher and increasing. Western Europe 19.1%, Japan 25%

    I know this questions is not necessarily about age and ageing, but with recent research predicting that half of babies born in Europe today will live to 100, it's an important factor. As modern living conditions and medicine extend our lives still further it is vital that our extra years are fulfilling, rewarding and life enhancing – not only to benefit the elderly individuals, but for the overall health and well-being of their families, community and society.

    The media presents conflicting stories with octogenarians running the marathon, or couples celebrating 70 years of happy marriage, along side shocking stories of abuse of elderly or disabled people in "care" homes, and court cases of desperate terminally ill people begging for euthanasia.

    Long term studies of adult lives have indicated that there are four main lessons that every adult needs to master before they can achieve true contentment - or Qof L

    As an adolescent, young people must achieve their own identity: a sense of one's own self - values, passions, tastes - leading to financial and emotional independence from the family. Once achieved they are an adult and need to master the following skills:

    Intimacy: mastery of being able to live with another person in an inter-dependant, reciprocal, committed and contended way. 21 years onwards.

    Career Consolidation: mastery of expanding one's personal identity to assume a social identity within the world of work
    25 years onwards.

    Generativity: mastery of the demonstration of a clear capacity to unselfishly guide the next generation. 50 onwards

    Keeper of the Meaning; mastery of impartiality, fairness, wisdom, acceptance. An attribute of old age.

    When we don't value the elderly we miss the things they would gladly give us.
  • May 7 2014: Now, it seems to me that Quality of Life is indeed rare, because even though it has not yet been defined, we all agree that it is something positive.

    We also know that 650 million Indians defecate in the open, plus 500 million Chinese, plus another 500 million from various countries.

    We also know that at least 35% of the global population is malnourished to put it mildly...so, it doesn't take much wisdom to come to the conclusion that Quality of Life is rare, unless we turn things upside down and are ready to claim that lack of access to basic sanitation is not a prerequite to Quality of Life...Anyone?
  • May 7 2014: Hi everyone

    we have to start from some place...and I think we cannot have a meaningful discussion about anything if we do not know what we are talking about.

    If you show a ball to 100 people, 100 people will recognize it as a ball because they share the same VISUAL definition of a ball. That is objective. The same holds for quality of life if we are able to provide a credible CONCEPTUAL definition. Quality of Life cannot be 100 things at thess same time, it's one thing, but so far it has not been defined.

    You mentioned numerous potential components of Quality of Life, but what I'm looking for is Quality of Life, not its components. A car is not a tyre plus a driving wheel plus a motor plus....a car is a synergistic entity, jsut like Quality of Life and, of course, NOT every statement is a DEFINITION...for it to be a definition it has to fulfill certain criteria.

    But we are used to referring to concepts in a naive and simplistic way, thinking that JUST because they are concepts and not objects they cannot be defined objectiveley.
    That's of course wrong!
    If it's important to know what a ball looks like, it's even more important to know what, for example, JUSTICE is, and not confuse it with the legal, or with the financial compensation, or punishment, or revenge, etc. because Justice is none of the above, and we cannot talk about such an important concept that cencerns us all without knowing what it is, and to know what it is we have to define it satisfactorily.

    The same hold for Quality of Life.

    So, let's all try to come up with a worthy definition...

    best regards
    • May 7 2014: Dear Izidoros and everyone
      I see the concept QV as same as "happiness", ie as a hybrid of those concepts that has an objective component (measurably so) but also a subjective component (individual) that varies from person to person and even within the same person varies according to their time and lived context. So set QOL becomes impossible in the general case; but the expectation - that varies from person to person, from moment to moment - that there is a convergence between "autonomy" the central value of ethical life (Kant) and wellbeing.
      Thus, at the bi-personal level, I've seeing clear definitions about QOL and happiness in my interlocutors masentendo that the "general case" QOL is one of those terms that mankind has created but that does not allow setting.
      Best regars for all.
      MRM