Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The paradox of work is that many people hate their jobs, but they are considerably more miserable doing nothing.

--Derek Thompson

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Logical fallacy - not being employed does not necessarily equate to doing nothing.

To be fair, many people don't know what to do with themselves and rely on the order and structure of a regular scheduled job. But there are countless non-vocation endeavors one can undertake instead, if one so desires. The problem isn't a lack of options, but a lack of will or imagination.

In my theoretical ideal future utopia, "unemployment" would be 100% - automation would make it so that no one would work for a living, but merely for enjoyment. People would learn skills not for the sake of selling them, but purely for the sake of personal interest and fulfillment.

This notion already exists in the present on a less developed scale - just look at projects like the (recently discussed) replica ship L'Hermione, or the (also somewhat less recently covered) ongoing construction of Guédelon Castle.

These are not practical endeavors - they are hobby projects writ large. They are the products of collections of ndividuals spending their free time learning and employing largely non-practical historical skills simply for the joy of doing so and the wonder of bringing history to life. They exist purely for their own sake, and they are immensely satisfying to those taking part even despite lacking some other tangible value.

But the projects themselves are only possible because the people involved have ample free time to spend on them - they are financially well off, and can take the time to pursue such whimsical endeavors without harm. But if they were stuck spending all their available man-hours simply trying to earn a living wage, the projects would never happen.

I want to see a world in which no one ever has to earn a living wage, and instead can devote their time and energy to whatever they choose. Certainly I believe we'd see many more projects like these - as well as more art, music, cinema, theatre, et cetera - happening naturally in such an atmosphere.