24/08/2016

Existential overhead in the adult human

Time in each weekday used on basic upkeep of the organism:

  • 8 hours sleep. (33%)
  • 1.5 hours commute (8%).
  • 8 hours production (33%)
  • 0.5 hour hygiene (2%)
  • 0.5 hour shopping (2%)
  • 0.5 hour exercise (2%)
  • 1.5 hours cooking/eating. (8%)

  • = Leaving 3.5 hours for actual, discretionary life (15%).*


The above time is not waste, since each of them have their own pleasures, since some fraction of people would perform their jobs even without pay, and since unfocussed background cognition continues throughout them. (Most delightfully in the form of shower thoughts.) But it is still unfree. Ways to get your life back:

  •    +   1 hour saved on sleep from oral melatonin.
  •    +   1 hour off commute by taking public transport (for reading)
  •       (Or + 1.5 hours off commute by working from home)
  •       (Or + 0.5 hour from cycling your commute)
  •    +   0.5 hour saved on lunch from having soylent instead.
  •    +   0.4 hour off shopping from home delivery
  •    +   0.2 hours by taking caffeine & theanine in pills instead of boiling up hot decoctions.
  •    +   10 hours from becoming a crusty freegan (8 hours off work 1.5 off commute, 0.5 off hygiene).


The most effective strategy for preventing waste of life is hard to quantify in terms of hours per day: it is the behaviour implied by the expression "proceed til apprehended". Job requirements are often nonsense. Surveillance is (so far) gappy. Guards are indifferent. Meetings can usually be skipped. Some red tape is purely decorative: not even the demanding authority thinks it matters. (There are of course many, many situations where the spell is inapplicable, like anything to do with the police or military or sex.)

And "Objectively, should I care?".



* Many people seem to spend it entirely on cleaning the house and watching TV.**

** This is a childless developed-world person, clearly. In large parts of the world washing your clothes (in the river) takes a good hour or two, where it is minutes per week if you've a washing machine.




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