The good doctor is back at Quadrant with another interesting philosophical essay about the Chinese coronavirus and its possible economic, social, and cultural ramifications. This is an alluring read to kick off the weekend and we also have the weekly Dalrymple Takimag column hitting the presses tomorrow.
If taken seriously, not only offices, but millions of journeys to offices, would become unnecessary, pollution would decline and leisure time would increase. This latter would be a disaster, since most people do not know what to do with themselves as it is. It is for this reason that work is not arranged as efficiently as possible, but its productive aspect is diluted by myriad unnecessary tasks—unnecessary, that is, from the narrow point of view of production. Except in the factories of the East, where production is all, a great deal of work is designed to keep us occupied while we produce nothing. It ameliorates boredom and prevents the bad behaviour in which boredom results.