Wednesday marked two years from the publication date of one of my favorite articles of all time: Productivity is Dangerous. I read it every December and I recommend you read it too. Now you might be wondering why a borderline-workaholic, always-on program-project-technical-manager-engineer loves an article praising doing nothing and describing LinkedIn as a death cult. I think, at the very least, the article is an excellent call to slow down and evaluate what is important and what is not.
Last week I saw a TV show set on the Mekong river in Cambodia with plenty of b-roll of families living along the river banks. They appeared to do occasional odd jobs, get food and water from the river, and spend remaining time with each other doing leisurely activities. I understand that this may be a massive simplification.
The past two days I have been working remotely from Florida, furiously typing into my laptop, while two dogs spent the entire day sleeping on the floor, occasionally getting up to bark outside the window. Before the industrial revolution, before society at large, I suspect this is generally how most humans behaves. Lounging around, searching food food, helping each other out. Probably I’m wrong here, but it’s an interesting thought.
I hope everyone has a lazy holiday.
2 thoughts on “Lazy Dogs”
Before society at large, I’m pretty sure the challenge of growing/finding enough food to survive took up the majority of mankind’s time.
But my interpretation of this brings me back to a thought that has been bothering me a bit lately – nomatter how busy a dog’s day is, they are totally content with tomorrow being more-or-less exactly the same.
Humans can’t live that way, apparently – we have to make the things for tomorrow better than today’s, our profits have to go up, our computers have to compute faster, Ect – if tomorrow is more-or-less exactly the same as today, businesses go bankrupt and the world we’ve created will teeter on collapse. But how can we grow in this way long-term?
That’s more or less it.
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I think that may only be true for prime working age people with drive and some privilege in a market capitalist society, people like us and those in our professional and social networks. I suspect that the majority of people in the US are pretty content living that way. And not just people like my grandmother who are content doing the same thing every day. Even some professions, like dental hygienists, may follow that path.
Though perhaps most are still always looking to enlarge income, save up for a house or retirement, but maybe the American dream is so dead at this point that those aspirations are gone (or that it was just a myth for a narrow few to begin with)