In Praise of Idleness

Bernard Russell wrote a piece with this title in 1932 at the nadir of the world depression. Perhaps he was trying to put an optimistic spin on mass unemployment, but he was also making a valid point, namely that we work too hard.

More recently Rutger Bregman wrote ‘The Solution to Everything: Work Less’. In the same spirit, he notes that that our work-life balance is too unevenly positioned.

I wrote ‘Mind Reader’, inspired by the opening of Russell’s piece, as a reflection of the relationship between crime and savings.


Thirteen-year old James O’Brien walked with a limp. Passers-by ignored him.

Yet he had a rare gift, a sixth sense his mother called it right after he came home, and announced, ‘Mum, today, I saw a traveller regard twelve beggars lying in the sun. He offered a dollar to the laziest of them. I knew which one would get it even before it happened.’… Continue reading “In Praise of Idleness”