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Seventy years ago when farming women had nothing to do they would knit or sew or do something else which was considered useful. If all the chores were done people used to do things which would enhance their life situation. One aspect of this human trait with primitive people was the beautifying of their everyday objects. Nowadays it seems when people have spare time they just watch TV. Some of that is okay but most retired people are doing little else with their time and some have their TVs on all the time. Perhaps it is their only form of human companionship, but it seems to be so very empty.

We can be employed in non-economic activities which are socially useful. Making Wikipedia entries seems like a wonderful opportunity to be socially active and physically active and mentally active at the same time. There are other things which could be done which would enhance everyone’s life enjoyment if individuals could be shown a way to enter the game. Instead of watching soap operas all day long, the watchers could also write them, or if they have editing skills they could be proofing them. The same could be said for comedy – why watch comedy for hours when you could be writing it and sending it to where it is developed? Some shows do have a write-in bit which gets responded to, but I’m thinking of something more involved than just something to respond to with some quips. Most shows have a team of writers behind the scene who create the dialogue and it seems it would be possible to have these written by the online public.

Another thing for people with an abundance of time would be to clean up the quality of old paintings. Now that many old masters are online on the Google Art project it seems reasonable to have these digital works of art digitally enhanced. Returning the images to as close to their original quality as possible takes a lot of careful human time and can be done while listening to the radio or side-watching TV. These things can’t be done automatically because often it requires a human understanding to decide what a particular problem is and how it should be fixed. Just hitting the automatic fix on a camera program will usually improve a picture, but it also usually muddies the image. A human with a modicum of skill and experience can do a much better job of this kind of improvement.

There isn’t any money to be made from these kinds of activities, but it would give unemployed people something useful to do.