If you assume an average life expectancy of 85 years, and deduct the hours we spend daily on sleeping, shopping, eating, working, tending to our relationships and on everything else that is obligatory, then how much time is left for the average person to enjoy those activities that are the sweetness of life? This book deals with this question.
Why do some jobs offer fulfilment while others leave us frustrated? Why do we so often think of our working selves as separate from our 'true' selves?
Over the course of the twentieth century, we have separated mental work from manual labour, replacing the workshop with either the office cubicle or the factory line. In this inspiring and persuasive book, Matthew Crawford explores the dangers of this false distinction and presents instead the case for working with your hands.
He brings to life the immense psychological and intellectual satisfactions of making and fixing things, explores the moral benefits of a technical education and, at a time when jobs are increasingly being outsourced over the internet, argues that the skilled manual trades may be one of the few sure paths to a good living. Drawing on the work of our greatest thinkers, from Aristotle to Heidegger, from Karl Marx to Iris Murdoch, as well as on his own experiences as an electrician and motorcycle mechanic, Crawford delivers a radical, timely and extremely enjoyable re-evaluation of our attitudes to work.
As a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics, the author conducts original research into the measurement of happiness and its causes and consequences, including the effects of our behaviour. This book is about how to behave happy and how to incorporate the research findings into our everyday lives.
Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion had a profound impact on our thinking about global poverty. Now, with The Plundered Planet, he has set himself an even more ambitious goal: to reconcile the immediate needs of the world's burgeoning population with a sustainable environmental future.
Is it possible to continue to feed and clothe ourselves without despoiling the planet for future generations? Can the poorest nations harness the economic opportunities that natural resources provide for long-term economic growth? How does our treatment of agriculture and fisheries need to change? Is there a fair and effective way to deal with the world's carbon emissions? What kind of framework do we need to deal with all these issues?
/> The world's response to these questions has, to date, been incredibly unimpressive. Collier shows how the extreme and contrasting impulses of unchecked profiteering - by individuals, corporations and governments - and backward-looking environmental romanticism have so far thwarted any constructive cooperation. Here he provides an ethical framework on which to agree future policy. And, based on his own ground-breaking research into these issues, he offers realistic and sustainable solutions. The chains of decision-making required are subtle and fragile but, as he argues persuasively, these are policies that governments and corporations around the world urgently need to adopt. Collier demonstrates, above all else, that our economic and environmental interests are not in fact competing; they are mutually dependent and we we will not be able to survive unless we reconcile them now.
The Plundered Planet represents a paradigm-changing intervention and should be essential reading for anyone concerned about our future on this planet.