Chapter 2.

Work

Utopia

Why isn't the Future here yet?

We used to believe that life would always go on more or less as it is. It might have been grim, but it had always been thus and would be so…

Purpose

The Agonies of Choice

For most of history, we had no choice around most things in our lives: there was only one job we could do and it would be chosen for us by our…

Capitalism

Nature as a cure for the Sickness of Modern Times

The modern age has manhandled nature like none before it ever quite has. Previous eras may not have treated it with too much respect – the Ancient Greeks stripped most of…

Good Work

When Are We Truly Productive?

In the last two hundred, the world has witnessed the greatest increase in productivity in the history of humanity. From 1 A.D to 1820, living standards in the West slowly doubled,…

Status & Success

On Asking People What They 'Do'?

The world became modern when people who met for the first time shifted from asking each other (as they had always done) where they came from – to asking each other…

Meaning

How Could a Working Life Be Meaningful?

For most of history, work was not a topic of sustained reflection because it seemed at once so simple, so inevitable and so unpleasant. It was overwhelmingly focused on the provision…