Recently I completed reading The Second Machine Age - Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcafee.

I found it to be a worthwhile read that both explores the potential of the near and distant future while acknowledging that much is uncertain still. The early chapters exploring the charcuteries of the second machine age where will considered and create a compelling argument that something fundamentally different has perhaps changed in the relation of capital and labour once again.

A weakness of the book was in the final chapters and particularly chapter 14 ‘Long Term Recommendations’. The chapter makes use of a Voltaire quote from Candide,

Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.

In discussing the possibility of a universal income they argue that while it would meet the requirement of need it does not handle the other evils of boredom and vice. I felt this was a week part of their conclusion. Perhaps some other activity, other than work, exists that would handle the evils of boredom and vice? This could become the focus of humanities time if working to meet needs was no longer required.