Re: Will there be time to Relax?

Robin Hanson (
Sun, 07 Nov 1999 15:01:33 -0500 wrote:

> > My current theory is that leisure is mainly about "bonding." By spending
> > time with our social allies, we show that it is they who are our allies.
> > Of course this isn't our conscious motivation; it doesn't have to be.
> > I also hypothesize that social allies were relatively more valuable in
> > times of plenty, giving us an evolved tendency to spend more time in
> > leisure as we get richer.
> I do not get this at all -- it seems that bonds of social trust would have
> been more valuable in times of scarcity. I'd appreciate a brief explanation
> of this idea.

I don't have much more. We do know that in situations of extreme poverty,such as during famine, people show the *least* social bonding. And as we have gotten richer, we have spent more time on activities whose primary purpose I think is social bonding: leisure, education, and health care. So I hypothesize

that social bonding is more important as you get richer.

> > So will the people who dominate the future be those who follow their
> > evolutionary tendency to spend lots of time in leisure, or those who
> > resist it to spend less time? Well, according to my theory that depends
> > on the actual value of social bonding today relative to what we evolved
> > to expect it to be. And damned if I know the answer to this.
> Hmm -- you know, I interpreted this question to be more about "fun" than
> "idleness". Maybe we read "leisure" differently . . .

I meant "fun" as well.