Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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International Useless Persons Society

To give those with no purpose, some purpose
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
  [vote for,

Internationally there is a problem with unemployment. For these able bodied people in perpetual unemployment a sense of purpose and belonging is often hard to attain. Unfortunately depression and mental illness becomes a way of life. Depending on anti-depressants and other drugs is often a coping mechanism for people who cannot fill their days with gainful employment.

To instill a sense of belonging and personal contribution to society a group such as the International Useless Persons Society may be instrumental in allowing some sort of self fulfillment and self worth. Know that your membership card is valid for life or the duration of one 'uselessness' to society might help people engage in useful endeavors by just feeling like part of a movement.

For the IUPS the board, consisting of lifetime useless people, certain activities could be arranged on a geographic basis. For example, a group of useless people could congregate in the local park/beach to collect scrap metal and clear up litter - giving the people a sense of usefulness and taking up time that would otherwise be spent annoying normal citizens/sleeping/taking drugs or just being general layabouts.

Hopefully with some activities, building skills and self- esteem, these people could eventually resign their memberships of IUPS and gain gainful employment or otherwise contribute in a useful manner to their community.

AngelEleven, Nov 26 2015


       So - while unemployed, do voluntary work through some kind of civil-society group.   

       It's not a bad idea - I did it myself for a year or two during my useless youth - but it's quite WKTE, isn't it?
pertinax, Nov 26 2015

       Uselessness is something to be aspired to. If you are paid to do something useful, it suggests you are holding people to ransom because they need you to do your job and if you were not paid, you would refuse to do that vital thing, e.g. doctor, sewage worker, farm labourer, firefighter. On the other hand, there is honour in uselessness because nobody needs you, so you are simply being paid out of the pleasure you are giving, e.g. actor, musician, TV producer. Unemployed people don't fall easily into either category but simply because their work is unpaid, it doesn't mean they don't work. I think the issue is that the way I categorise work, money and usefulness doesn't correspond to the way you do. I aspire to be useless in fact.
nineteenthly, Nov 26 2015

       Everyone is already useless, the heat death of the universe will come, and what use is all that toiling? If that is too far distant for you then the ice will come much sooner. Look upon your works, you naïve, and despair. Useless.
pocmloc, Nov 26 2015

       I preferred John Wilkes' alternative interpretation: "Life can then little else supply but a few good fucks and then you die."
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2015

       Better than the other way round I suppose.   

       //building skills and self- esteem// - the epitome of uselessness. Don't bother even trying.
pocmloc, Nov 26 2015

       We need to bring about a world where there are no useful people. Unfortunately we can't because that would be a useful thing to do.
nineteenthly, Nov 26 2015

       Realised in 1992 that my function is solely decorative.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 26 2015

       Good for you [nmrm]! Being decorative is of course one method whereby one can ally oneself with another who will pay one to continue being so.   

       Most of us are organ banks too.
nineteenthly, Nov 27 2015

       //Life can then little else supply [...]//   

       Ah. Yes. There is a small practical problem with this, viz.,
IF (a) you are the sort of person whose chance of getting those few good fucks is vanishingly small
AND (b) you know it
AND (c) you live in a culture dominated by this Wilkesian view
THEN it becomes quite rational
(d) to just hurry up and die
AND (e) to take a few others with you, if you feel so inclined.

       Hence, both high-school shooting rampages and Islamic suicide bombings. Well, I simplify slightly.   

       Now, the conventional response to this sort of problem, particularly among "caring professionals", is to insist that, given enough role models and public spending, point (a) can be eliminated so that point (c) becomes benign. It is regrettable that this doesn't work, but it doesn't, and it never will. Therefore, point (c) becomes the crux of the problem.
pertinax, Nov 28 2015

       Why would you conclude (c) was the crux of the problem and not (a)?   

       I could imagine a ready supply of anti-(a) provisions going a long way to ameliorate the problem. A lot more effectively than the strongest anti-(c) prescription.
pocmloc, Nov 28 2015

       We need to make things like the Jetsons where you go to work and push a button.
travbm, Nov 28 2015

       Been meaning to say hi, [travbm]. The problem with that is that it's partly the button-pushing that causes the mental health problems. People need to be self-motivated enough to take the initiative to do things which are not harmful in view of the fact that they have time on their hands.
nineteenthly, Nov 28 2015

       BigSleep you may be a Muslim or whatever, but I have to support Israel because they are at least trying to make a free democratic civilization unlike the terrorist of hamas that are using Palestinian children as human shields after starting Terror Attacks. If you want peace in the holy land Islam is the problem where the koran says to murder men, women and children. So as long as you have Islam you will always have terrorism.
travbm, Nov 28 2015

       //People need to be self-motivated enough to take the initiative to do things which are not harmful in view of the fact that they have time on their hands.//   

       It's exactly that kind of thinking that has led to the decriminalization of philosophy.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 28 2015

       Any governmental body always has its victims who do not benefit from its advances. For Israel, it is Palestinians. For the US, it is native Americans and blacks. The UK has the Welsh...
RayfordSteele, Nov 28 2015

       Err, the Koran actually says 'be nice to the other people of the book' , ie Christians and Jews. Is it worth mentioning 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' or the sin of wearing two types of cloth on the body at same time.   

       Religions are OK until people 'forget' the inconvenient bits. Always wondered what the Muslim troops drafted into WWI as stretcher bearers made of all those Christians killing each other.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 28 2015

       This is right communitarian hypnotic suggestion and antagonism.
guncandy, Nov 29 2015


       Humans are hardwired for religion and politics. Those memes get carried by somebody regardless of individual immunities.
normzone, Nov 29 2015

       Something about our future in robots seems mentally deficient as well. Or perhaps just mental?
RayfordSteele, Nov 29 2015

       The future is not in robots, the future is the next consciousness event in a vast abyss where unlikely stuff can happen. Robots is just working to push to boundary of unlikely stuff with organized effort, but the future relies on the universe effortlessly exploding into unstoppable physics.
guncandy, Nov 29 2015

       //Why would you conclude (c) was the crux of the problem and not (a)? //   

       Well, not for the first time, I refer to Desmond Morris' "The Naked Ape". He describes two different patterns of sexual behaviour among various mammal species. Some species tend towards monogamy, others towards winner-takes-all. According to Morris, species tend towards monogamy (i.e., sexual rationing) in so far as they need to collaborate as groups in order to eat.   

       In other words, among animals, the sexual deprivation of non-dominant individuals happens precisely in proportion to the extent to which their species is only interested in sex. It's paradoxical, but not illogical.   

       Grazing animals can usually take their food for granted, so they exhibit a lot of sexual status-inequality. The beta bull is celibate, not because the alpha bull is a pompous Victorian patriarch who distracts him with talk of faith and duty but, on the contrary, because neither of them has anything to think about but their sexual status.   

       By contrast, the wolf pack has to co-operate or starve, so even the runt is given some chance of a little piece of the sexual action - so that the group can pursue, literally, something other than sex.   

       That, at least, is my paraphrase of the way Morris tells it.
pertinax, Nov 29 2015

       Radical Islam is part of Islam. If you accept Islam you also accept terrorism.
travbm, Nov 29 2015

       //overeating into heart failure.//   

       Actually, that one probably is hard-wired to some degree. We have evolved to deal with a scarce and unpredictable food supply, and therefore to eat as much as possible of the most high-calorie food when it is available. We enjoy eating, whereas we don't really "enjoy" breathing, because food used to be scarce whereas air is generally available. The surprise is not that so many people in developed countries are obese; the surprise is that some people are thin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 29 2015

       I think we already have this in the US, in the form of "Bosses Day".
blissmiss, Nov 29 2015

       I will have had the dubious honour of spending 6 months between being otherwise usefully engaged for money this year and as a result feel (being on the cusp of an offer, hopefully later this week) as though I've emerged somewhat changed by the experience. I've noticed many opportunities require a person to be in work already in order for doors to remain open, and that pay-scales get fixed based on your previous form - weirdly resisting movement in both upward and downward directions.   

       Psychologically, I've noticed that telling the truth; that you absolutely, positively, desperately *need* this job, in order to feed the hungry mouths of your dependents; is not a good approach. Instead, interviewers seem to prefer a candidate to focus on communicating that the work, whatever it may be, is something they actively enjoy, or even perform as a hobby out of hours. In which case, they'll be pleased to pay for you to do it under their roof, rather than gadding about willy-nilly on your own. In this regard, I think being able to do, and be seen to be doing your own thing, paid, or unpaid, is probably the best way into gainful employ. The hard part is getting people to take you seriously along the way, not to mention satisfying the original problem of actually getting food into the mouths of your starving children along the way. At the end of the day, short of a lucky break, you've just got to put in the graft.   

       And this is where I think it's important to realise that sometimes, we all need some degree of support, not only to find those things that we can do that interest and drive us - but in the meantime, to keep slogging on, earning enough to get by. It can take a long time before that lucky break comes along, and it's easy to get lost along the way.   

       As evidenced in the comments here, each person's belief and sense of self-worth is a highly individual thing. Worth giving it a shot mind, otherwise, it's easy to see how drink, drugs and other short-termist behaviours could quickly prove tempting.
zen_tom, Nov 29 2015

       If things go according to plan I'll be there summer after next.   

       Save me a seat?   

       That would be fantastic 2-fries, and Ian, you're not wrong. Something a couple of weeks into December?
zen_tom, Nov 30 2015

       It's not so much that humans are innately religious, although I think they probably are. It's more that groups tend to acquire irrational beliefs as time passes which get entrenched, and those beliefs then become shibboleths for membership which bind them together. You might come to believe the photocopier needs to be thumped three times to work properly or that you're not supposed to wear dresses under separate skirts, or you might come to believe that only faith in Christ can save you. In the end, they serve the same function.   

       People at extremes of belief often seem quite happy to stay at those extremes and almost support each other, possibly because they're spoiling for a fight. Meanwhile the people in the middle get hit by the flack because their views are more nuanced, but more quietly expressed.
nineteenthly, Nov 30 2015

       Well it is obvious the USA will be destroyed by apathy until terrorist claim America by Jihad and the Chinese and Russians invade.
travbm, Dec 01 2015

       Nations are less important than economic and social forces.
nineteenthly, Dec 01 2015

       Isn't this what the House of Lords is for?
DrBob, Dec 01 2015

       The House of Lords has a for??
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 01 2015

       // Radical Islam is part of Islam. If you accept Islam you also accept terrorism. //   

notexactly, Dec 02 2015

       //I've emerged somewhat changed by the experience//   

       I went through a very similar experience in the early nineties, [zen_tom]. You have my sympathy. You might say that the buy side of the labour market is very big on recycling information; in that respect, they're a bit like momentum investors.
pertinax, Dec 04 2015


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