APPLE… GOOGLE… MICROSOFT… WHERE ARE YOU?

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When it’s not yet light out…
If you’re single, your alarm clock rings and you get up…
If you have kids, your kids are crying and you get up…
If they’re babies, you change their diapers and feed them…
If they’re bigger, you make them tidy themselves up and get dressed before making them breakfast…
You go the washroom and jump in the shower before finding some appropriate attire for work…
After finding something to eat, you head out to take your kid to daycare or school.
You arrive on time for work – but by the time you’re there, half of your strength for productivity has already drained away!
And I’m not even talking about the trials and tribulations at work, the chores in the evening, getting food on the table, doing the washing up and the laundry…
You go through this routine for a day…
You go through this routine for a year…
You go through this routine for a whole lifetime…


It’s always the same rat race… Really, it’s always the same rat race…
In the short space of time allotted to our lives, do we have to live in such a fashion?
Do we need to go through this much grief to ensure an honorable and secure existence?
Some find some alternatives, and some sidestep this rat race because they’re rich. But the exceptions to the rule in comparison to those who have to suffer through all of this are just a drop of water in the ocean…
Sometimes, I wonder, wouldn’t it be possible to create some sort of model for work that would be productive while not resulting in so much exertion and sheer exhaustion? Wouldn’t it be possible to create some sort of system that would allow people to live with enjoyment and dignity?
Is this harder than going to the moon, less important than trying to go to Mars or more unnecessary than inventing a smartphone or a robot that can even engage in sexual intercourse? Naturally, no one can deny the benefits that come with having a job, but can we ignore the total cost and extent to which it depletes our lives?

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All this came to mind while having a spot of lunch on a warm October day by the water at Le Sant’Ana Restaurant…. Located in St. Laurent du Var near Nice, Le Sant’Ana is a place that veritably bursts at the gills on Sundays. Its owner, Philippe is as handsome as Alain Delon (I mean Delon in his film days). When that’s the case, the place especially draws the interest of female patrons as well. It did not escape my attention that the two young and charming ladies at the next table over were quite content when Philippe came to see them off and allowed his lips to graze the edge of theirs while kissing them on the cheek… Philippe busies himself with everybody, bringing out meals and fetching bills.
The place is nice, the owner is congenial and handsome and our food was truly quite scrumptious. From Cannes to Monaco, the vast majority of fish restaurants serve farmed fish. In contrast, Le Sant’Ana is one of the few restaurants to show the gumption to indicate that “we serve fish from the sea” on its menu. I went as a guest, having a stupendous lobster for the main course. And I can also recommend the profiterole with two scoops of ice cream and bitter chocolate for anyone that’s not diabetic. Their espresso, too, was of real quality.
Inhaling the smell of creosote and seaweed from the sea while listening to the sound of ropes strike the masts of boats in the harbor really helps a person unwind. When you take a sip of wine, stretch out your legs and sprawl out in the autumn sun like a cat, other things usually come to mind for most people, but it fell to me to conjure up these thoughts… Why do we work this much? Is it so hard to find more time to come and enjoy oneself like this?
St. Laurent du Var is a small and tranquil town (apart from August) between Nice and Antibes, with the added benefit of being close to Nice’s airport. But the region’s sunny and temperate weather didn’t just have an effect on me – who knows what inspiration it has brought to artists and the ideas it has fostered. One of the most famous of these was Pablo Picasso, who, after casting his eye on Antibes, spent a whole uninterrupted year there, working with enthusiasm. If everyone’s living and work conditions were this satisfactory, maybe nobody would complain about working, but not everyone can be Picasso. But what’s important for the ordinary billions of people like me is that there be a system that wouldn’t starve you of life but would allow you to work with enthusiasm and live as you please.
Because I don’t harbor much hope from the talking political heads, I’m calling out to you, O Apple, Google and Microsoft! You write programs to make life easier, and you invent things that would never come to anyone’s mind; why can’t you make a program that would achieve these goals?
Is there no hero in Silicon Valley or similar place that could design a model for a productive system of work in which we would all work less and have more time to spend being with our loved ones and pursuing our hobbies?
You might find it strange for me to raise the complaints of those have work and a comfortable existence when no solution has yet been found for global hunger, but I can only speak to what I have seen around me, not what I have heard far away. I can only highlight the heavy burden placed on the shoulders of urban working women with children.
Getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark while toiling away for one’s entire life is undoubtedly unhealthy.
…The French humorist wasn’t wrong when he said, “If working were healthy, would they have a doctor on site?”

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