On Otium

According to Cato, the Republican politician who lived in this world between 234 BC – 149 BC, when otium landed on Roman society from Greece, it destroyed the solidity and morality of human being. Nevertheless Otium is a necessary moment of everyday life where we gain drops of self enquire that allow us to develop criticality of the surrounding, because of the “happy-not-doing-basically-anything”. In our society time is one of the most important currency; otium is then considered a crime. Otium is not about leisure, as Cato intended it, as it is more related to the status “I am busy” even though “I am having fun“. In our society you can’t doing anything, it is social humiliating, it’s so improper. Technology moulds such time-based life with its gadgets, which keep us updated of performances. We know how good (or bad) we performe in every single moment of our life. The circle around which we are trapped in doesn’t reflect any wonder, any nonsense, any serendipity. Time consumes time. As algorithms create the infrastructure of our everyday by defining routes created by matches, unexpected diversions, or drifts, are not “planned”, as mainly such algorithms are controlled by private corporations, whose interest concerns on feeding the value of obsolesce. The LSE lecture offers a brilliant analysis of such contemporary condition.

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