Doing Nothing? In a Trance? Recipes for the End of Humanity

From time to time, I read articles defying any semblance of rationality. They are, in a nutshell, absurd and some frightening. My immediate impulse to rebut is thwarted because I either missed the deadline to respond or no opportunity to comment exists. This article is my opportunity to rebut!

I bear no malice toward the authors of absurdities. I honor their right to express their views publicly. Goodness knows, furthermore, I am sure many people have considered some of my published views to be absurd.

Absurdity Number 1.Why Doing Nothing Is Good For You” by Olga Mecking and Ruth Terry. Yes! magazine. June 18, 2023.

The coauthors promote the practice of “Niksen,” It means “to do nothing,  a practice of just being, and can be understood as one way to get some rest. It is watching clouds pass by, not scrolling through Facebook. It is letting your mind wander, instead of reading emails or even making plans for the future. Purposelessness is an important aspect of niksen. Niksen, therefore, is doing nothing despite the health, productivity, and creativity benefits of rest and leisure—not because of them.”

The authors go on to write that “Admittedly, this definition is somewhat nebulous and deceptively simple. It does not prescribe a specific activity or method, only purposelessness—and when does doing nothing become doing something, anyway? It also does not speak to the myriad interconnected personal, cultural, economic, and political factors that determine the extent to which people can “niks.”

The authors note that “Article 24 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims: “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. Yet too many people see these rights—and, consequently, niksen—as privileges that some people just have, some work for and earn, and still others should not be allowed to enjoy. According to the Protestant work ethic prevalent in North America and parts of Europe, hard work and productivity are the basis of being a good, moral person. “

The authors quote research presumably showing that “doing nothing could also improve productivity because it allows for a better clarity of mind — people made much better, more intuitive decisions when they didn’t focus on identifying the positive or negative sides of each option but instead did something completely unrelated to the task at hand.”

The authors conclusion: “We need to stop treating rest, niksen, dolce far niente, woolgathering, whatever you want to call it, as something we have to earn and start thinking of it as something we deserve—something we’re already worthy of. And we have to do it soon.”

My Conclusion

Promoting doing nothing is not only an absurdity, but a dangerous irresponsibility and guaranteed recipe for the eventual end of humanity at the evil hands of America’s power elite. (See Brumback, G.B. KABOOM! Wolves in Suits Leading Humanity to Doomsday and How to Stop the Doomsday Clock and End War and Human Misery. In Press.)


Absurdity Number 2. Breaking Free of Our Trance, Escaping The Gordian Knot: Summary Part 13 – 2 (Transcending Paradigms),” by Blair Gelbond, OpEdNews, Monday, April 17, 2023.

The best I can do here is cut to the chase as I see it, Mr. Gelbund’s inclusion of the concept of “trance.” I could not find that he defined it, so I turned to Merriam-Webster: “STUPORDAZE: a sleeplike state (as of deep hypnosis) usually characterized by partly suspended animation with diminished or absent sensory and motor activity: a state of profound abstraction or absorption.”

Never have I or would I ever pin the blame on some hypothetical trance as the cause of humanity’s ailments of misery and the plague of constant warring between the US power elite and the foreign enemies the power elite create for more power and profit.

My Conclusion

The American people at large are not in a trance. They have been deliberately “dumbed down” by the power elite, starting at the outset when the earliest industrial tycoons asked Hugo Munsterberg, America’s first industrial psychologist (my profession) to create a public education system that would produce workers smart enough to follow orders and dumb enough to follow them. Mass media, propaganda, diversions, and distractions soon followed suit.

Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Read other articles by Gary.