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“In 1929, British economist John Maynard Keynes gave a now-famous lecture in which he predicted that later generations would work only 15 hours per week because of advanced technology. In 2000, MIT biophysicist and theoretical ecologist Erik Rauch said we could do even less: that an average worker only needs to work 11 hours per week to get as much done as 40 hours in 1950.
Of course, working so few hours isn’t possible in the current system, for income reasons, but also because of how our identity, status, and well-being tends to be wrapped up in our careers. When you go to a job, you meet people, socialize, and feel like you’re contributing to society. Being unemployed is regularly associated with negative mental and physical health consequences.
We know that working too much is bad for you, but what’s the minimum amount of work we should do to reap all the above rewards? No one had tried to answer that question, till now: A new study in Social Science and Medicine found that we only need to work eight hours a week total—less than one average 8.5-hour American work day—to get the psychological perks of working. After eight hours, well-being plateaus.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."
"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."
"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."
"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."
"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."
"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."
"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."