Monday, July 02, 2012

Homo ludens: the playful creatures that we are

A friend smiles in delight atop a small mountain.

Last night I sat with the dozen or so women members of my long standing women's group, discussing our lives. These days, the topic is often retirement -- when, if ever, this life change will arrive and what we'll do when it does. Those who have already retired (not me!) run the gamut from hyper-involved in the life of their communities to busily exploring inner depths they'd never had time for when employment ruled their schedules.

Maybe we should all be pondering the wisdom of cartoonist and satirist Tim Krieder writing in the New York Times Opinionator series:

“The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.” This may sound like the pronouncement of some bong-smoking anarchist, but it was actually Arthur C. Clarke, who found time between scuba diving and pinball games to write “Childhood’s End” and think up communications satellites.

My old colleague Ted Rall recently wrote a column proposing that we divorce income from work and give each citizen a guaranteed paycheck, which sounds like the kind of lunatic notion that’ll be considered a basic human right in about a century, like abolition, universal suffrage and eight-hour workdays. The Puritans turned work into a virtue, evidently forgetting that God invented it as a punishment....

This is definitely a "go read it all" essay. The guy has a vision I can get behind.

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