Lets suppose we achieve the impossible, a world in which only the human endeavour necessary goes into the essentials. Food, shelter and so on. Where the remainder of our time and energy as a species is available to do what we will. What should it be spent on. I thought I would allow myself a little fantasy time and write some things down. Its not an ordered list, or an exclusive one, there are many overlaps. Its also a list for the whole of humanity, not everyone will do everything, but these are some of the things I hope people would be doing more of:
1. 10,000 hour skills, and not just useful ones. The lost ones. Going round the science museum recently I was struck by all the lost expertises. How many people these days knows how to make a mechanical integrator for a tape based differential equation solver? Lets have more people who can thatch a roof to perfection or create ornate plasterwork.
2. Learning. For its own sake, just for the joy of knowing. Learning both in the sense of being taught established knowledge and studying to make new knowledge, to increase our knowledge of the world. Past, present and future…
3. Lazing around. Just because there are workaholics like me who can often only get satisfaction from doing something does not mean everyone is like that. Some people really do get honest and simple pleasure from lying on the beach, that should be celebrated.
4. Family time. Not “quality time with the kids” but doing whatever it is you want to do together. Dinner, walk in the park, football match, being there not because you should, but because you want to.
5. Drinking great beer and wine, eating good food, which of course requires that people make more of it! Down with processed crap and McDonalds!
6. Random monkey noises, any world would be better with more random monkey noises.
7. Journalism. Yes, journalism. The thing that is meant to be being killed by twitter and blogs. Not the journalism of oracles speaking from hidden sources, but people who dip into the flow of information and process it, comprehend it and pass it on. Who do the hard job of working out what is happening right now.
8. Sport. Both to watch and to play.
9. Computer games, writing but also playing. If someone can be honest with themselves and get fulfillment in a virtual world good on them.
10. Getting excited and making things.
And to finish the most important one of them all:
11. Extending this list, finding that collection of things that fulfills you honestly and completely. To sum it up finding what has meaning to you personally not just some value decided by society.