This notion of exploration vs exploitation has come up a number of times over the past few days. I hadn't heard of it before. The idea seems to be this:
when you're trying to improve something, like your happiness, there are at least a couple high-level strategies:
exploration — try out new things to see if they make you happy. Has the risk that they won't make you happy, so exploration may sacrifice some near-term happiness in the hopes of finding some sources of happiness to exploit in the future.
exploitation — mining known sources of happiness, like watching more episodes of a TV show that I like.
On a side note: is there a name for cases where people take two things that they think are opposites, and come up with difficult-to-distinguish names for them that people always need to remember the meaning of each time? Like quality vs quantity? or sensitivity and specificity?