Jul 20, 2018

Puritans didn't like wasting time

From p. 289-90 of my copy of Albion's Seed:

A central idea in this culture was that of “improving the time,” in the seventeenth-century sense of “turning a thing to good account.” Time-wasting in the Bay Colony was a criminal offense. As early as 1633 the General Court decreed:

"No person, householder or other, shall spend his time idly or unprofitably, under pain of such punishment as the court shall think meet to inflict; and for this end it is ordered, that the constables of every place shall use special diligence to take knowledge of offenders in this kind, especially of common coasters, unprofitable fowlers and tobacco takers, and to present the same."

Sorta reminds me of a stance common in Effective Altruism. Perhaps this explains the strength of the Boston EA community (1, 2)...