Caterina Fake has been reading a new book called Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot by Julian Dibbell and loved it. She quotes this passage from the book which talks about the difference between work and play:
The Kpelle people of Liberia, to name one, scarcely make the distinction at all, allowing for a difference between arduous “forest work” and lighter “town work” but generally avoiding all work that can’t be done playfully, amid song and dance and jest. It’s not that they’re slackers. On the contrary: Diligent rice farmers, they organize their lives around the constant activity of cultivation. But when government advisors pressured them to switch from dry rice farming to more productive paddy-based methods, they resisted–not because they had no interest in making more money, but because they had no interest in working joylessly. The techniques of paddy-rice farming might be more efficient, the anthropologist David Lancy has explained, but they would reduce the Kpelle’s daily activity to “just plain work”, bereft of “the vital leavening of gossip, singing and dance” that makes Kpelle work worth doing.
An entire people who are happy at work and refuse to bust their collective butts – excellent! This makes a great followup to Fred Gratzon’s refusal to bust his butt.