Friday, October 09, 2009
In general, hunter-gatherers do not have a concept of toil. When they do have that concept, it derives apparently from their contact with outsiders. They may learn a word for toil to refer to the work of their neighboring farmers, miners, or road construction workers, but they do not apply it to their own work. Their own work is simply an extension of children's play. Children play at hunting, gathering, hut construction, tool making, meal preparations, defense against predators, birthing, infant care, healing, negotiation, and so on and so on; and gradually, as their play become increasingly skilled, the activities become productive. The play becomes work, but it does not cease being play. It may even become more fun than before, because the productive quality helps the whole band and is valued by all.Dr. Gray reaches some conclusions about hunter-gatherer ideas of work which could prove very powerful in helping cybercitizens redefine the work-play connection:
- Hunter-Gatherers' Work is Playful Because It is Varied and Requires Much Skill, Knowledge, and Intelligence.
- Hunter-Gatherers' Work is Playful Because There Isn't too Much of It.
- Hunter-Gatherers' Work is Playful Because It Is Done in a Social Context, with Friends.
- Hunter-Gatherers' Work is Playful Because Each Person Can Choose When, How, and Whether to Do It.
from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith