To set the context for any writing, it’s helpful to have definitions. People often have a pretty good idea of what something means; however many times they’ll have different ideas from each other.
We’ll start with the basics:
- Food and Water
- Protection from the elements
Pretty straight forward. No food and water, starvation. No protection from the elements, death from exposure to them.
Everyone has these needs. In a minimal economy, you have to provide these for yourself. In a regular economy, where people form villages and larger social units, you have to do something which someone else values enough to trade you food for it. This could range from being cute (an example of the prime economic output for babies), to helping with the chores, to making tools (such as a blacksmith might do), or being very entertaining, such as a singer or actor. Whatever it is, it’s a substitute for finding your own food and making your own shelter.
Beyond those needs, we have the need for safety, for social contact, good health, and a large variety of others which can be hard to define at times, partly because they aren’t life or death needs like those stated above. In future articles we’ll touch on methods for meeting needs, starting very generally. We will try, at all times, to not only define needs, but explain why they are needs. We will also try very hard to stay away from the ambiguous and emotional language that often comes with exploring higher level needs such as creativity and morality.