EppsNet Archive: Leisure

You Can Make It If You Try

“It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much [economic] mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.” — Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs – NYTimes.com I’ll argue with it . . . the fact that people are not doing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do. Maybe people aren’t trying to do it. Maybe people don’t want to do it. From Daniel Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow: A large-scale study of the impact of higher education . . . revealed striking evidence of the lifelong effects of the goals that young people set for themselves. The relevant data were drawn from questionnaires collected in 1995-1997 from approximately 12,000 people who had started their higher education in elite schools in… Read more →

Nice Guys Finish Last

You can lead a nice life; you can be a nice guy or you can be a great scientist. But nice guys end last, is what Leo Durocher said. If you want to lead a nice happy life with a lot of recreation and everything else, you’ll lead a nice life. — Richard Hamming Read more →

We Live Like Baboons but at Least We Have Television

Baboons who live in the African plains spend about one-third of their life sleeping, and when awake they divide their time between traveling, finding and eating food, and free leisure time–which basically consists in interacting, or grooming each other’s fur to pick out lice. . . . And as the historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie has shown, in thirteenth century French villages–which were among the most advanced in the world at the time — the most common leisure pursuit was still that of picking lice out of each other’s hair. Now, of course, we have television. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow Read more →