📅 Thought for today:

‘… most of mankind are not fitted by nature to a life of freely chosen leisure, because most would not know what to choose. Something equivalent to the compulsory games of the schoolboy would undoubtedly have to be instituted.’

— Sir Charles Darwin

#thoughtfortoday #lifeofleisure #leisure #life #leisure #idleness

It is 1956, Britain is at the forefront of scientific exploration alongside the USA and USSR (as was).

In an early issue of The New Scientist magazine (issue 6, December 27th, 1956), Sir Charles Darwin muses on the impending life of leisure that many Americans can expect.

I should add that this is Charles Darwin the physicist, not the naturalist (who died in 1882).

Darwin describes an impending time when we can expect to work only half the time and still be able to provide for ourselves.

The photograph is the first page of a two-page article, and the TL;DR version is that idleness will lead to mischief and that we will have to fill this new leisure time with activities so that people don’t sow discontent.

He goes on to suggest that “technologists will be working 50 hours a week whilst the rest of us work 25 hours a week.

Hmmm. It didn’t quite work out that way, did it? Technologists I would suggest are today’s tech entrepreneurs – they would consider a 50-hour week as part-time. They similarly have expectations of their employees that they work more than 40 hours a week, and often at inconvenient times.

So, if all these entrepreneurs and their people are working so hard, the rest of us must be working very little and still paying the bills?

Is managing salaries to ensure full-time employment all about preventing mischief?

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