Cory Doctorow blogged about this article on Monday, and it seriously caught my attention. The original author, David Cain, wrote an essay after returning from 9 months backpacking and traveling. He’d realized that his return to North America immediately dumped him back into the frantic, frazzled life of a consumer. Though he was “richer,” life was much poorer. His 40 hour workweek trapped him in a cycle that cut out all of the enriching parts of life… and he began to realize it was all part of a larger plan:
I’ll lead with an excerpt:
But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
and the full, original essay is here:
Your Lifestyle has already been designed