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Root needs are generally universal. We all share the same basic needs. What is profoundly diverse is the many ways we can respond to them. Each of our environments afford specific resources for addressing our needs. These resources vary both in kind and in availability at any given moment.


We learn from one another how best to relieve our more common needs. These form the norms we live by. Quite unconsciously. To deviate from such norms is to risk limited or denied access to essential resources. The more closely these norms are followed the generally easier it is to meet our needs, at least the more basic needs. Morality, ethics and economics all develop around shared understandings of common needs.

Homeostasis zones: green, yellow, red

When expressing a need we typically refer to a trusted resource to ease that need. Resources are often conflated with needs. But there are important distinctions.


When I say I need some water to quench my thirst what I’m really saying is that I seek the resource of water to relieve the root need of bodily fluid equilibrium. Water itself isn’t really the need.


Relief depends on such resources. Accessing them typically follow learned norms. Living in shared environments tends to compel agreement to such norms. And this can create problems.

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There is little homeostasis except for resources.


Restoring homeostatic equilibrium often requires something: a resource, whether concrete or abstract. Sharing access to resources results in personal and shared norms. This indigentological view appreciates how norms evolve to govern access to resources for restoring homeostatic equilibrium communicated by our emotions.



N0000s     Overview

To illustrate this indigentological phenomenon of norms, this section makes heavy use of the yin-yang symbol. Norms for accessing resources tend to follow binary constructs. But in a dynamic way that the yin-yang symbol can best illustrate.


N0100s     Binary tree heuristic=initial options

Experiencing a need typically triggers a series of initial binary options. Is it or is it not happening? If so, is it or is it not relevant? If so, is it or is it not significant? Each answer triggers more binary options, often quite rapidly.


N0200s     Gendered norms=organized options. 

Relief options tend to be organized around gender traits. Masculine ascribed traits organize around an outward emphasis. Feminine ascribed traits organize around an inward emphasis.


N0300s     Conventionality norms=cultural options

Socially available resources shape much of our relief routines. Cultural norms assure reliable access to needed resources, at least for those who comply with such norms. Deviating from such norms risks one's access to needed resources.


N0400s     Relief norms=experienced options

Familiarity is a potent teacher. Whatever we do that results in relieving a felt need we are apt to repeat. Action that fails to provide for our needs, or creates more problematic needs, we tend to avoid. Where resources remain elusive we often attach ourselves to actions that provide some relief from the constant displeasure.


N0500s     Psychosocial norms=balancing options

There are many resources we can access on our own. Most of what we need, however, requires cooperation with others. We need to be able to do some things for ourselves, which are internally available resources. As social beings we are also naturally dependent upon other, which are externally available resources. The more balanced our internally and externally available resources the more our full potential is realized.

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This sense of resource is not merely things but includes people. In a sense, people are our most important “resource.” For those needs we cannot resolve entirely on our own, such as all the food we will need and significant others for affection and affirmation, we need others in our lives. Help from one another greatly simplifies accessing needed resources. The simplicity of shared norms is key to how our minds work.


Norms are instantly triggered when experiencing a need. Initially, a series of options are quickly considered. Options often suggest some immediate action in case the need is urgent, felt as an intense emotion. Such options are generally organized around gender traits, to simplify the options in our social existence. These options can be both liberating and limiting. Norms tend to be biased toward basic needs, so they potentially limit one’s full development.

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