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social contribution != job != work

There's really no economic concept of the usefulness of social participation for its own sake. (Which is more or less what we do on ET.)

Which is why a lot of potentially useful work, from education to health care to artistic creation to scientific research, isn't being done.

There's also no concept of just allowing people to lie fallow for a while to see what they come up with when they don't feel they have to do something immediately, now, all of the time.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read the book Le travail, une valeur en voie de disparition which was a very good summary of the various philosophical values attached to work, as personal accomplishment, as the means of social interaction, as the alienating means of earning one's bread...

I'll do a diary about it when I stop procrastinating. (Now I'll have to reread it as it takes me so long to write the damn diary...)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
There's also no concept of just allowing people to lie fallow for a while to see what they come up with when they don't feel they have to do something immediately, now, all of the time.

This is something I've been puzzling about recently. If I now would leave geology and continue to receive the monthly income to sustain myself with food and shelter, what would I continue to do here in SA? I've already up to 5 projects in my head and no time left to execute them properly.

I do suspect that allowing people to lie fallow will result in a group of people that cherishes to just lie fallow all the time. We're descendants from apes after all.

by Nomad on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:31:09 AM EST
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If I now would leave geology and continue to receive the monthly income to sustain myself with food and shelter...

In other words, if you were independently wealthy...

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:34:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say financially independent.

The mind's eye on (financial) wealth somehow always conjures a number containing more digits than my monthly allocation.

by Nomad on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me guess: you need $250k.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 10:47:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For my current living style, far less than that. I currently live perfectly happy on less than 1/20th of $250k. This is Africa. For half of that, I could upgrade from renting a cottage to buying an apartment, sustain a family of three and develop my pet projects to my heart's content.

Any particular reason why the $250k figure came up?

by Nomad on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 11:16:13 AM EST
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Actually, the correct number would have been more like $110k. (Hence your "for half of that")

I took ZA's GDP (nominal) per capita from wikipedia and multiplied by 20. The original figure came from taking the GDP (PPP), which was a mistake.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 11:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
not per annum.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do suspect that allowing people to lie fallow will result in a group of people that cherishes to just lie fallow all the time.

I suspect you may be right. I also suspect it wouldn't be a huge problem.

In fact I'd guess people who'd disappear into a haze of drugs, sleep and sex would probably be a very small minority. Apes like to keep busy, one way and another, and it might be surprising to see what happens if the usual social restrictions around work are relaxed.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 12:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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