Investing Time and Resources in Happiness

As a function of time and resources, what is the optimal way to reduce suffering and maximize happiness?

You have 1 minute and no money: Try to calm down and distract yourself with music.

You have 1 hour and 1 dollar: Ignore the dollar, just make a playlist of songs you really enjoyed in your life and play it as you dance.

You have 1 day and 50 dollars: Go get yourself some hard drugs.

You have 3 months and 1,000 dollars: Get some gym equipment, establish a workout routine, hangout with friends as much as possible, get laid, go to see movies, go to a beach.

You have 3 years and 3,000 dollars: Learn about Buddhist meditation, get fit, and then focus on achieving the Jhanas states. Stay in them for as long as you can.

You have 10 years and 10,000 dollars: Investigate charities that minimize suffering, or make your own. Fund-raise in order to eliminate suffering in people who have cluster-headaches by giving them access to tryptamine vape-pens, help the spread of pain-killers for people dying in hospitals in third-world countries, etc.

You have 50 years and 10,000,000 dollars: You found a research institute devoted to identifying the biochemical, functional, or behavioral causes of suffering, identify promising large-effect-size genetic modification technologies in order to enable sustainable hedonic-tone enhancement. You build a company that sells permanent hedonic tone amplification. With the money you get rid of factory farming and implement a wild-animal welfare system. Then you get rid of game-theoretical impasses using ultra-bliss technology.


  1. Jessica · December 18, 2021

    Giving tryptamines to cluster headache patients can have tremendous personal cost/impact. Maybe we should have a conversation about what this actually looks like in practice.

    • algekalipso · December 18, 2021

      Absolutely! Let’s talk about it!

      I’m working on a document precisely about this (and also kidney stones, benzo withdrawal, and chronic pain -> all with solutions I think are very viable within some years). Reach out!


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  3. Anthony Garner · April 3, 2019

    Somewhere in there near the beginning you need to add “find some magic mushrooms and eat them sparingly”

  4. Anthony Garner · April 3, 2019

    Quite agree to all of your points. Good stuff.

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