Hi Jim, nice post! This issue has been discussed by economist and philosophers for many, many years. Almost 100 years ago Keynes foresaw that due to machines and productivity increase we would be working just 4 hours a day in the XXI century. And people such smart as Bertrand Rusell wrote an amazing book, In Praise of Idleness, which is worth reading, and where he promoted this single idea: human progress comes from enjoying idleness (an idea deeply rooted in roman and greek culture, BTW). In my humble opinion to really benefit from machines and automation we have to work less. If we found ourselves working even more, trying to squeeze ourselves to the max, we´re transforming into machines ourselves. But we´re human beings, and we need love, art, poetry, meaningful relations, idleness to enjoy them, and a meaningful work with purpose. This is our nature.
Unfortunately, it seems that we´re suffering from the opposite, this stupid “startup” culture of being proud of working 12 hours a day, loosing our health to create the next stupid app. Most of this culture comes from Silicon Valley, where everything, even meditation, which is the top of joyful idleness, is reframed to enhance productivity. I say no! We need to liberate ourselves from this obsession with producing and growing without purpose.