Being intellectually engaged by your job is a rare privilege — one that is really only possible in the 20th and 21st century, and only to white-collar workers. The natural state of employment is boredom, and non-bored workers are a rounding error.

Luckily, people find entertainment and intellectual satisfaction outside of work — if they have the time and energy left over at the end of the day!

Disconnecting the accumulation of life’s necessities from paid labor opens up time and effort for possible intellectual engagement. The alternative is what David Graeber terms “bullshit jobs” — 40 hours a week of boring work that doesn’t need to be done, invented for the sake of backwards compatibility with rules grandfathered in from an era where work was necessary.

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.

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