Leisure As Anti-Mimesis
Enrolling in the school of contemplation.
“But the gods, taking pity on mankind, born to work, laid down the succession of recurring Feasts to restore them from their fatigue, and gave them the Muses, and Apollo their leader, and Dionysus, as companions in their feasts, so that nourishing themselves in festive companionship with the gods, they should again stand upright and erect.” —Plato
Josef Pieper, in his classic book Leisure: The Basis of Culture, notes that the word “school” comes from the Greek word skole, which literally means “leisure”. Leisure was the school of life.
The fact that the educational-industrial complex (which we now call school) is associated with so much work—homework, standardized tests, the work of getting into college—is curious, then.
Work and thinking go hand-in-hand now. There is the modern phenomenon of the knowledge worker, who presumably gets paid just to think and solve problems.
Things became even more complicated in our digital world in which practically everyone online is a knowledge worker: news pundits, research analysts, cultural critics, twitter threadbois.
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