Re: Other signposts towards the Singularity

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 10:10:05 MDT

> Answer: almost everyone will still have to work hard
> at tasks not of their
> choosing to get a decent life, just like they always
> have. The liberation
> of 90% of the population from agriculture only
> increased leisure
> moderately.

Actually, the total working hours as a % of lifetime
has steadily decreased. Between the shortening
of the workweek from 12 hours x 6 days to 8
hours x 5 days, the later average start of
work (age 14 -> ~age 21), and the extended
life expectancy, the fraction of our lives
spent working has gone down a lot.

In countries where the population has levelled
off and the housing stock has been paid off
(i.e. Europe), they can get by with even fewer
working hours and more vacation time than we
do in the US.

Since my personal needs are fairly modest, at
age 43 I've saved up enough to live off my
savings indefinitely. I worked with a guy
who had even lower personal needs, who retired
after 7 years as an engineer. And another
couple who between them averaged 0.5 low wage
job, which was enough for a small apartment,
food, and the cable bill.

What keeps people in the 'rat race' is that
they want nice stuff, and they want it now.
They forget that the more hours they spend
working to afford the nice stuff, the less
time they have to _enjoy_ the nice stuff.

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