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Nothing Better to Do

All action can be classified as “nothing better to do”. When a person does anything it is the best action they can think of within the constraints of their present situation.

For example, even a person being mugged would rather being doing something better. Imagining a better course of action is not all there is to it.

This idea, the use of the phrase “don’t you have anything better to do?” in my mind betrays an absolutist Horatio Alger style of thinking where its all personal responsibility and no external influence. Carry that to its logical conclusion to see how absurd it is. Did the woman in Somalia watching her children starve to death choose that life? No. We are just as helpless as she, just a lot more lucky.

Updated: April 30, 2010 — 12:32 am

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