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Thread: Do you think people in the past had more free time?

  1. #21
    Artisan Conquerer Array Halla74's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Reading Walden and Walking by HDT I kind of think they did have more time or spent it a lot differently than people do today, what do you think?
    Yes, but they also died of common bacterial infections, and got goiters, and all kinds of other orld world afflictions & shit.

    The eternal here and now rules!
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  2. #22
    thankful Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    I wanted to find this online for you to watch, but can't find anything, even on YouTube.

    But if you ever get the chance, watch "Pioneer Quest: A Year in the Real West" - gives you a taste of what pioneer life was like in 1870's. There were two couples who lived in rural Alberta for one year, as the pioneers would have, using the same tools etc.

    It airs on PBS stations from time to time - was initially produced by History Television in Canada.

    Pioneer Quest - Tim and Deanna Treadway
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yep, the system is evolving towards maximum efficiency, and I expect it to get to an inhuman level at some point. I often like to point out how dropping the work hours from sixteen to eight hasn't dropped the overall work hours since it didn't take long and they took the women out of the home and into the factory.

    At the moment they are planning to raise the age of retirement here (since we live longer than before, it's only logical, huh?!) and there was this news story about some employees being pissed off about big bosses leaving for early retirement. I was like, "WTF, if they have earned enough to retire, let them, and some other people will replace them and get rich as well". I can't understand this stuff, it is like the employees were mad because they would get the chance to climb the ladder...
    I think its more because they'll never have the prospect of early retirement in their work stream on their wage than worrying about whether or not someone else can afford it.

    Re you're earlier remark about money, yeah, that's interesting because I've often wondered what would happen to the economy if money had an expiration date, it sure would circulate quicker and there would be something in the way of a radical market power correction between those who have accumulated and those who havent.

    Time out is really a no, no, if you did have a windfall and did opt out of work for a while then returning you would encounter all kinds of obsticles.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Since the average lifespan was much lower, I would think not.

    Life was hardly idyllic.
    Yeah, my talking point wasnt that it was idyllic or even easier, just that people had more time, they might have poured it into meeting more fundamental, direct needs but its not the same as the current time commitments that people voluntarily enter into.

    I'm not simply talking about work, I tend to think that there's a lot of paradoxes in choice and modern life, so much so that people will be over stretched or under pressure even in their leisure pursuits as their working lives.

  5. #25
    Banned Array
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    Nov 2009


    I think they had more family time..

    As for free time? That started in the late 20th century.

    Soccer practice is still free time. so is your pottery class.

    If it isn't work/school or family related.. it's free time.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Array King sns's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Not if they were 7's....

    (pictures a hunter/gatherer talking on his cell phone while typing something on his palm pilot)
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  7. #27
    mrs Array disregard's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    We can simulate daylight, so, no, I don't think so.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Array
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    Dec 2008


    Hmm... not sure, and it's hard to compare.

    On one hand, everything took much, much longer.

    On the other hand, we've not done a whole lot with our vastly increased efficiency except cram more productivity into the same amount of time.

  9. #29
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Smile Watching and Listening

    Until the invention of the clock we moved to our natural rhythms - our body rhythms, our diurnal rhythms and the rhythms of the seasons.

    We moved rhythmically and to remember, we rhymed our rhythmical poems.

    But the clock broke our natural rhythms into work time and free time.

    And guess what - they told us that work time gave us our free time - what a con! And we believe it even to this day.

    The clock didn't just steal our time, the clock stole our rhythm and rhyme.

    And so we are deracinated looking at our watch a hundred times a day - not knowing what to do without our clock. We have been clocked over the head by our clock.

    Fortunately time and distance have been abolished in the noosphere, and today very few young people wear a watch.

    We have stopped keeping watch; we have stopped watching; and now we are listening to ourselves and one another in the noosphere.

  10. #30
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    Yeah, but there was a high tradeoff in terms of security (of being alive next spring). I think that there's two different way to measure free time:

    1) total free time over your lifespan
    2) total free time in a given year

    I would say early farmers and hunter / gatherers beat us at 2), but we strongly beat them at 1). Think about how during your childhood / early adolescen you have 1/2 of your time completely free (and school classes aren't especially hard, either); during your retirement the amount of free time can be up to 2/3 of your total time. Basically, for 1/3rd of your life you have more than 1/2 of your time completely "free". Here I suppose that during aldulthood people are extremely busy, which isn't necessarily true (some jobs are sufficiently menial; self-employed professionals can have a good amount of "quality" free time, provided they know how to organize their work, etc.).
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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