What would people do all day if they didn't have work/school

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scratch123
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What would people do all day if they didn't have work/school

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

Lets say its the far future and computers have taken over all human jobs. Also almost all human knowledge can be directly inserted into your brain using nanobots. Because of this humans no longer need to go to work or school.

Work/school takes up so much time in so many peoples lives I wonder what society would be like without it. What would people do with all that free time? Most things people do for entertainment now only work as entertainment because they don't do them everyday and if it is an everyday thing they don't spend hours doing it. Also the whole issue of money would have to be worked out but it probably wouldn't be much of an issue since alot of things computers can do they can do for free.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Ptolom » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:47 pm UTC

I'd probably spend my time trying to hack the computers to see how they work. I'm sure with all human knowledge directly beamed into my brain I'd be able to figure a lot of it out.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Kang » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:40 pm UTC

I think they'd kill each other and/or themselves.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Kewangji » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:14 pm UTC

I'd write things, masturbate, and cultivate my tastes.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby fuzzycuzzy » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:48 pm UTC

I think this forum would be a lot more active...

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Enuja » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:22 pm UTC

Tanith Lee's 1976 novel Don't Bite the Sun is set is a world where the robots do all the work, and have all the control. It's a very 1970s novel, and it has a position on life without purpose, but it is interesting.

John Ringo's The Council Wars Series is also set in a world without work, but that world ends very early indeed in the first book.

These authors seem to think that people who live in a world without work learning to work is a more interesting subject that how people would live if all work was done for leisure purposes.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:13 pm UTC

Wait, who fixes the machines? Who builds new machines? Who programs them? Who designs new things, who produces actual novel ideas and products? Where does the energy comes from, and how is it delivered to machines?

It's like the Industrial Revolution or the computer revolution, which doesn't get capitalization yet. Yeah, you displace a lot of work by introducing machines to do work that was once done by hand. But you suddenly create a demand for those machines. Your scenario--of machines doing literally everything--means you have to have machines that are versatile, self-sufficient, and capable of doing complicated intellectual work. In other words...they're people.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby pseudoidiot » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:16 pm UTC

Kewangji wrote:masturbate
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby folkhero » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:20 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Wait, who fixes the machines? Who builds new machines? Who programs them? Who designs new things, who produces actual novel ideas and products? Where does the energy comes from, and how is it delivered to machines?

Machines, machines, machines, machines, machines, fusion (or maybe solar power gets a lot cheaper or something), wires. These are really good machines we're talking about.

For the OP, you could look at what retired people do (including rich people who retire young) and schoolkids who get summers off. Which is to say, lots of masturbation. Although if everyone else isn't working either, it might be easier to find other people to have sex with.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby TimelordSimone » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

Evidently I would sleep a lot and play video games.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Wait, who fixes the machines? Who builds new machines? Who programs them? Who designs new things, who produces actual novel ideas and products? Where does the energy comes from, and how is it delivered to machines?

Machines, machines, machines, machines, machines, fusion (or maybe solar power gets a lot cheaper or something), wires. These are really good machines we're talking about.

Then, as I said, at that point your AI is so good you've just created another population of sentients. So, "people" would do all those things. Humans, well, they would probably do some of the same things, if it's work they enjoyed. Other than that, there's a host of cultural things that, even if your AI participates in, doesn't necessarily favor computers over biological brains, so people would write and paint and all that still.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby AvatarIII » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:16 pm UTC

i think it would be the ultimate life of leisure for many people, spending most of their time (depending on the person) doing a combination of sex, drugs, listening to or creating music, looking at or creating art, reading or writing books, watching or making movies, playing or contributing to video games, and sleeping.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Ptolom » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

It would actually be pretty terrible. I think people would be driven to acts of wanton vandalism. Either that or plugging circuitary into their brains until they become one with the machines.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Kewangji » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Ptolom wrote:It would actually be pretty terrible. I think people would be driven to acts of wanton vandalism. Either that or plugging circuitary into their brains until they become one with the machines.

I am scared of the policebots.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Ptolom » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:43 pm UTC


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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby folkhero » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:49 am UTC

Ptolom wrote:It would actually be pretty terrible. I think people would be driven to acts of wanton vandalism. Either that or plugging circuitary into their brains until they become one with the machines.

In the past, a large population of unemployed young men would cause an increase in crime rates. This recession, with all it's unemployment hasn't really lead to more crime. I think the leading theory of why not is video games.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby TimelordSimone » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:08 am UTC

folkhero wrote:
Ptolom wrote:It would actually be pretty terrible. I think people would be driven to acts of wanton vandalism. Either that or plugging circuitary into their brains until they become one with the machines.

In the past, a large population of unemployed young men would cause an increase in crime rates. This recession, with all it's unemployment hasn't really lead to more crime. I think the leading theory of why not is video games.

Video games prevent violence? But that is the opposite of what the media tells me.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:38 am UTC

I do a lot of farting about, but if I had access to money (or just a lack of scarcity) I would be doing at lot of art/craft things. I read and cook and help my mom with stuff and write.
And I hang out online more than I should. (unemployed for 2 years)
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:47 am UTC

ART

ALL THE TIME

ART EVERYWHERE
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby ikrase » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:44 am UTC

Art, love, sensuality and science.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby tastelikecoke » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:00 am UTC

The society will grow, grow fast. Grow faster than your mom.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Windowlicker » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:40 am UTC

Enuja wrote:Tanith Lee's 1976 novel Don't Bite the Sun is set is a world where the robots do all the work, and have all the control. It's a very 1970s novel, and it has a position on life without purpose, but it is interesting.

John Ringo's The Council Wars Series is also set in a world without work, but that world ends very early indeed in the first book.

These authors seem to think that people who live in a world without work learning to work is a more interesting subject that how people would live if all work was done for leisure purposes.

If I'm remembering correctly, Iain M Banks's Culture novels have no work (within the Culture at least).. also IIRC, some people volunteer/do jobs anyway, just for fun. The rest of them seem to just drink, shag and spend a lot of time trying to express "FUCK YEAH SPACE".

As for me, I haven't done any work in the past month, I've just been sitting around refreshing facebook and feeling sorry for myself. I guess I can continue that for the rest of my life.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Menacing Spike » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:17 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote: Your scenario--of machines doing literally everything--means you have to have machines that are versatile, self-sufficient, and capable of doing complicated intellectual work. In other words...they're people.


Robots are not people. You sound like a 50's sci-fi writer.
They could be designed to be people-like, with all the flaws, biases, needs, and borked instincts. There is not point in doing so, however.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby deskjethp » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:53 am UTC

Brave New World, slightly more advanced... a bit different, yes I know... they have "jobs" and such...

Philosopher types would beg the question: what is the purpose of life? and all that...

Limits would be pushed, people would want to be better than everyone else at things, nothing different there...

More Wall-E perhaps? I can see this happening... At the Mall of America, they are planning on adding a clinic and a hotel. Now suppose you worked at the mall. You could then have money to sleep in the mall, eat at the mall, exercise at the mall, get your health checked at the mall, and otherwise never have to lave the mall in general. Add epic thrusters and some serious solar panels or whatever for growing crops in the mall: bam! The Axiom. Almost. Take out the working because you added the robots... Wall-E.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Viae » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:52 am UTC

The Odyssey reckons that everyone would just do witchcraft all day.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby the_bandersnatch » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:38 am UTC

Viae wrote:The Odyssey reckons that everyone would just do witchcraft all day.


If 'witchcraft' is a euphemism for 'wank' then I concur.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:22 am UTC

TimelordSimone wrote:
folkhero wrote:
Ptolom wrote:It would actually be pretty terrible. I think people would be driven to acts of wanton vandalism. Either that or plugging circuitary into their brains until they become one with the machines.

In the past, a large population of unemployed young men would cause an increase in crime rates. This recession, with all it's unemployment hasn't really lead to more crime. I think the leading theory of why not is video games.

Video games prevent violence? But that is the opposite of what the media tells me.


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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:16 pm UTC

Windowlicker wrote:If I'm remembering correctly, Iain M Banks's Culture novels have no work (within the Culture at least).. also IIRC, some people volunteer/do jobs anyway, just for fun. The rest of them seem to just drink, shag and spend a lot of time trying to express "FUCK YEAH SPACE".

And they play games, that's common theme in the books. In some sense, they're excellent books about post-scarcity society. But they work by not showing much of that society, really. Most of the books are set on the edges Culture, or in other societies that are not as post-scarcity as the Culture itself. You only get small peeks on life in the Culture itself. Banks is a very clever writer who knows when to leave things vague if we cannot really know how it would be like.

The games are interesting, I think. Like art it's something that allows people to be famous and high-status, even it doesn't buy them stuff they couldn't anyway. But arguably, there is not much difference between a job and a game or art that you take very serious. Lots of people on the boards of companies and organizations could easily retire at their desired level of luxury, but they keep working anyway. Because they like playing the game, being someone who matters, with influence.

A significant part of our own economy consist of people working hard to produce status markers that can be bought by other people with the money they earned making status markers for others. Arguably, there is a lot of serious game-play in there already.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Death2 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:56 pm UTC

Forget that, I want to be an astronaut. Can those robots build me an FTL space ship so I can go visit the stars? How about building a whole fleet of them so I can reenact Enders Game?! How about we start doing some genetic engineering too! If there's no need to go hunting and gathering anymore, lets start seeing exactly how far we can take ourselves into the future. Can you imagine how cool it would be to fly of your own will, or be able to remember or learn all kinds of things that you couldn't before?

Work is only 8 hours a day for some of us and we haven't (U.S. at least) felt any real pressure to meet our own very basic needs for awhile now so I just can't see how having to do a little less work is going to impact our culture so much. Unless we've all reached some transcendant state of existence within the universe itself, I can't see how we wouldn't want to continue to explore and advance as much as we can.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby delfts » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:26 am UTC

Some people may still be curious enough to tinker with different ideas and experiments, so technology could still advance. I foresee most of us becoming hedonists, though. Personally, I'd continue focusing on self-development so that I could have a shot at inventing something -- it seems like a fun endeavor, although I've unfortunately never been interested enough to try it. Aside from that, I'd enjoy myself by whatever means possible: learning (new languages, topics in math, about politics/the government/the world, about history, etc.), reading (goes along with learning), socializing, etc.

Now that I think about it, though, a lot of the things I would do would probably be altered significantly, since people wouldn't have worked with them earlier on. (For example, since inventing the printing press mayn't have been on Gutenberg's mind if he hadn't been educated/working, it might not have ever been invented, making learning new things much more difficult. Similarly, the internet might not have come into existence). I guess it really depends on when people stop working/going to school, though. If such things never existed/weren't held as social standards, then yeah, we'd be way far behind. If it all stopped right now, we might still have a fair shot at continuing technological advancement, considering most people at school don't contribute anything significant anyway, and most of the people who do contribute things significant don't do it because of school. (Work is another factor...)
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:
Kewangji wrote:masturbate

there'll be a machine for that

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Zamfir » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
pseudoidiot wrote:
Kewangji wrote:masturbate

there'll be a machine for that

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/406227867/Masturbation_Machine_Masturbator_Adult_Toy_For/showimage.html
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:00 am UTC

Sig. The first link, that is.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Midnight » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:17 am UTC

exactly what I do right now.
eg, dick around on the internet and play music.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Obby » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm UTC

I'd probably go scuba diving a lot more than I currently do, that's for sure.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:33 pm UTC

I've been lucky enough to have a few months off between degrees, during which I'd go travel around the world as well as read/write for fun. So I guess for me I've already answered that one personally? :wink:

Also, I suppose I have issue with the original question somewhat because it assumes people only go to school or work because they're forced to. This just plain isn't true or else there would be no such thing as night classes in community college (sure you might know what happens in Jane Eyre, but people still want to discuss it) or the fact that a lot of people like their work/ do jobs that others consider a hobby (ranging from football player to astronomer). I have great faith in people finding ways to entertain themselves. :)

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby scratch123 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:39 pm UTC

Andromeda321 wrote:I've been lucky enough to have a few months off between degrees, during which I'd go travel around the world as well as read/write for fun. So I guess for me I've already answered that one personally? :wink:

Also, I suppose I have issue with the original question somewhat because it assumes people only go to school or work because they're forced to. This just plain isn't true or else there would be no such thing as night classes in community college (sure you might know what happens in Jane Eyre, but people still want to discuss it) or the fact that a lot of people like their work/ do jobs that others consider a hobby (ranging from football player to astronomer). I have great faith in people finding ways to entertain themselves. :)


If you could download information right into your brain why would you want to go to school? School can almost be thought of as a way to download information extremely slowly with most of it not relevant to what you are interested in. Almost like terrible file compression. Also school isn't the only place to discuss things you are interested in. There are plenty of places of the internet for that. If a bunch of people downloaded this information there would be more people to discuss it with as well. School takes such a huge time/effort/money investment and when you are done with it you only get a small subset of all human knowledge.

If people still wanted to work they could do that as well but I suspect that these jobs would increasingly have more and more common with games since computers would take care of all the boring parts.

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:38 am UTC

We're missing the brazenly obvious here.

scratch123 wrote:What would people do with all that free time?
Argue! Duh.

(And more likely, argue to the point where work is necessary to keep up with escalating hostilities and to repair collateral damage.)

Andromeda321 wrote:I've been lucky enough to have a few months off between degrees, during which I'd go travel around the world as well as read/write for fun. So I guess for me I've already answered that one personally? :wink:
Well, the question becomes rather different if it's a matter of "what would people do all day if they didn't have work/school, as well as a huge pile of cash so they could afford to travel around the world". :|

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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Josephine » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:37 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Andromeda321 wrote:I've been lucky enough to have a few months off between degrees, during which I'd go travel around the world as well as read/write for fun. So I guess for me I've already answered that one personally? :wink:
Well, the question becomes rather different if it's a matter of "what would people do all day if they didn't have work/school, as well as a huge pile of cash so they could afford to travel around the world". :|


Presumably the only way this could happen is a post-scarcity society, where money isn't even an issue.
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Re: What would people do all day if they didn't have work/sc

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:22 am UTC

I'd probably go into lab and do experiments. Oh wait.

I'm glad to say I'd do what I'm currently doing, just with less pressure and scheduling. And probably more vacations in the winter months.
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