On work
Yonatan Zunger

I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this new endeavor. I’ll say, though, I’ve never agreed with Maslow’s stacking of the hierarchy or his assertion that you have to fill the lower physiological needs (beyond, you know, not dying) to get to the higher. In fact, looking at society throughout history, you find a peculiar thing: people were always willing to be physiologically wanting, while giving excess both to elites they chose to elevate (elites didn’t ‘seize power’ through most of our history, we gave it to them and were proud to show them off to others, e.g. ‘Look at how much food our Chief has! Look at his shiny gold and silver and jewels and headfeathers! Behold him, for his might is our might!), and even to questionably ‘real’ beings like gods, because it fulfilled other needs, like group belonging and cohesion, and another factor that Maslow added late to his pyramid and oddly gets very little treatment in any discussion of his works: transcendence.

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