Yesterday, I wrote a post "Good With Money vs. Good With Resources," but I had a problem: The word resource is almost, but not quite correct to cover the space of idea I was talking about.
I meant something along the line of "factors that you can gain influence over, that once gained have some persistent quality, that you don't have complete control over, but rather there's some way the factor can provide feedback to you, that used appropriately can be useful" - and that comes pretty close to being a "resource," does it not?
Wikipedia has "resource" as thus - "A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability that needs to be consumed to obtain a benefit from it. In most cases, commercial or even non-commercial factors require resource allocation through resource management. There are two types of resources; renewable and non-renewable."
Close! But not quite, as I was experiencing yesterday:
I also think the word “resource” isn’t the best particular word, since there’s a lot of things that are resource-like that aren’t really resources… obviously our relationships aren’t resources, but can also be invested in similar to a resource. You can go out of your way to do nice things for people who have done right by you, you can be thoughtful, you can go out of your way to travel to a place if someone you really admire is there.
But what is the space that contains the skills, knowledge, securities, cash, bonds, stocks, real estate, prestige, credentials, relationships, and also tools and clothing and all sorts of other things? What are those called? "Assets"? Sort of. Not quite. "Resources"? Not quite perfect.
I guess we could go more ambiguous with something like "factors" and throw an adjective in front of it - "useful factors or "beneficial factors"... but that doesn't really solve the problem, now does it? That's why you get academic papers like, "Factors promoting the usage and movement of materials with dimensions of time and space involved" - which is, like, blah.
I don't have any successful resolution to it. In one of my favorite short stories, the protagonist gains super-human intelligence and needs to create his own semi-mathematical language in order to be able to think correctly.
Consider that! In order to just think - not even to communicate - he had to create a new language!
A lot of times I need better words. The words we've got now have box us into certain kinds of thinking and limit our ability to communicate. But going ultra-general and verbose and clarifying everything isn't a great solution either.
So... life sucks, and then you die? Your input is very welcome, dear reader. This strikes me as a serious problem that most people don't even realize is a problem.