Category Archives: Poltics

The oddity of a five day week.

Hamster wheel

Hamster wheel (Photo credit: sualk61)

This post might just be me being a lazy bugger, but is a five day working week really necessary?

I enjoy many things. For example, on the weekend I often go cycling and last night I went a run. I even manage to write some stuff now and again. However, if you asked me to do any of those things – note, things that I enjoy – a regimented eight hours a day five days a week, I would almost certainly start to dislike them. So why do we expect work to be any different?

I’m probably romanticising, but I’m guessing things wouldn’t have been like that back in the good old days when we lived in the forest and had a high chance of being eaten by something with big pointy teeth or dying horribly from a common cold. I guess in those times we worked when we had to, ie when we were hungry, and the rest of the time was pretty much up to us, leaving us to sit about grunting or poking the mysterious fire to our heart’s content. So why do we think that sitting in an office for forty hours a week is sensible?

And what is it we are working for exactly?

‘Well if we don’t work hard the economy will go into recession and that would be terrible!’ said a made up Tory politician (I’m pretty sure they say that kind of thing all time.)

But don’t they get it? The economy, money, recessions, they’re all made up! They don’t really exist. It’s just some convention that we’ve all agreed to work by and could just as easily stop working by and do sometime else instead. It would be like going to another planet and finding out that they worked only because if they didn’t the giant bunny rabbit of death would come and eat them. On further questioning we find that they are all perfectly sensible people and know that the bunny thing is… well… nonsense. ‘But that’s just the way we’ve all ways done things on this planet, so no point in changing that.’ So what it we are working for? I can understand a scientist, doctor or someone talking about the advancement of the human race etc, but for most of us our jobs are not like that and what we do is simply production for the sake of production with no real benefit to mankind what so ever. In fact with the way the environment is going we’re probably doing harm.

Another of those fallacies is that if we stopped forcing people to work, then nothing would get done, but again that is total nonsense. Just look at the internet and be proved wrong. A five minute search and you’ll find load of free programs, stories,games and music that people have spent a lot of time and effort making, not for financial gain, but because they wanted to. People are not lazy, we just think we are because we are so tired from working on stuff we don’t like all the time, but give people a month off and once they’ve spent a some time recovering, suddenly the urge to work will come and it wort be work 😦  it will be work 🙂 .

So here’s a not really thought out idea to consider. How about we take the jobs that people don’t really like doing (making shoes and cleaning sewers stuff like that) and divided them up between everyone in the country. Hopefully that works out as about three or four days a week for most. The rest of the days are then ours to work on doing whatever we want. You want to be a teacher, teach. You want to be a writer, write.  Okay so we might be a little less productive, but we’d certainly be a lot more happy.

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Filed under education, Poltics, psychology, Uncategorized

Our own worlds

Palestine

Palestine (Photo credit: No Lands Too Foreign)

Recently an acquaintance of mine who lives in Israel has been posting some rather unsavory things on facebook. I don’t take sides on the issue. It just seems such a mess of violence that I can’t see either as being “right” or “wrong”, but I don’t like the violent rhetoric coming from either side of the divide. There’s been more than once the my mouse has hovered over the remove from my timeline section before relenting.

It did make me realise how easy it has become today to remove things that we are uncomfortable with from our world and how it’s even easier to surround ourselves with ideas that we agree with. If you don’t like what someone is saying then just unfriend them. You think the television is too liberal then turn on Fox news, not Liberal enough then Jon Stewart is there. Even here on blog sites we can follow people who we on some level agree with and not follow those we don’t. It’s a dangerous situation, because it means there is no more dialogue. People can sit behind their respective walls and only allow in information that agrees with their current paradigm. They can paint the other side as a demonic or idiot enemy, that just doesn’t understand the true way. In the end, it will only lead to violence and division in society.

I’m a big fan of the “I love @#$%ing science”, posts that appear on facebook. But now and again there is a post that gives insight into the fundamentalist nature of some of the posters. It seems some would like to instate some type of Scientoracy on the world – and idea that admit I feel draw towards in some ways, but know to be absurd. But once you surround yourself with only people like yourself, these ideas start to seem normal. Likewise I’m sure there is a creationist site where they sit around tutting at people who believe only in science and want to bring in a theocracy and can’t understand for a second why anyone would think otherwise. After all everyone else that they know thinks it’s a fantastic idea. It’s the same for Labour and conservatives, democrats and republicans, Israel and Palestine. Both sides can only see insane charactures of the others. I’ve met some creationist, while I find there view on that one subject to be… well… rather strange. In other ways they seemed to normal intelligent people. And that’s the danger: if we don’t have dialogue, then we start to dehumanise people and that’s lead to all kinds of trouble in the past.

While I might be wrong, it seems that there is risk of the problem being ten fold for younger generations who have never lived without the ability to wall of others beliefs.

While I don’t agree with what she’s saying, I’m going to keep my pro-Israel acquaintance on facebook and try to understand her point of view. Likewise I hope I can expand my interaction with other people outside of my normal way of thinking. It seems one of the best ways to grow.

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Filed under philosophy, Poltics