Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman talks about REST in his latest column, “Let’s hear it for the four-hour working day,” and makes a connection that I confess I hadn’t thought of:
Half a century ago, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins caused a stir by suggesting that people in hunter-gatherer societies aren’t ceaselessly struggling for survival; on the contrary, they’d built “the original affluent society”, by keeping their needs low, then meeting them. Crunching numbers from Africa and Australia, he calculated the average number of hours hunter-gatherers must work per day, to keep everyone fed. That’s right: it was “three to five hours”.
That number keeps popping up. And thanks for the great piece, Oliver!