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  • I was going to write an intro joke but then like, you know, I just didn't feel like it, okay?

  • Hey couch potatoes, Julian here for DNews.

  • Recently, we got a viewer question from presumable dark wizard, Voltrius, asking if there was a specific reason why people are lazy.

  • He said he was looking for an excuse next time someone leveled that accusation at him.

  • Well I have great news, Voltrius.

  • Turns out being lazy is a huge evolutionary advantage.

  • Oh sure, "society" may not approve of laziness.

  • Inactive and unmotivated people are looked down upon, while driven workers are held in high esteem.

  • But have you ever considered the benefits of being lazy?

  • It turns out lazy is a derogatory word for efficient.

  • When we think lazy, we picture people laying on their couch, but laziness stems from a desire to be energy efficient.

  • Evolution programs us to save energy, not expending it for no reason.

  • So, to some degree, all people have laziness built into their behavior.

  • At least that's what Max Donelan of Simon Fraser University is proposing.

  • He and other researchers designed an experiment where they had participants walk with a robotic exoskeleton on their legs.

  • If they walked normally, the researchers penalized them by making it harder for them to move their knees.

  • If they wanted to save some effort, they needed to get lazy, and adjust how they walked.

  • That's a remarkable idea when you think about it.

  • Up to this point, these participants had taken millions and millions of steps over their lifetime and had done them all the same way.

  • Would they really change the way they walked to save a bit of effort?

  • Turns out, yes, they absolutely would.

  • Within minutes, they had adjusted their gait even though walking normally would only cost them just 5 percent more energy.

  • So, yes, you are hardwired to "be lazy."

  • If we follow the cliche, "necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is invention's dad."

  • Sure, human beings invented clothes because we needed to stay warm.

  • But we certainly didn't need smartphones.

  • And yet someone who needed money invented them and got rich because we are lazy enough to think it'd be kind of nice to watch a youtube video when our portable computers that already fit on our laps are all the way across the room.

  • The problem with laziness is it's short sighted.

  • Sitting around and not exercising feels great for the moment.

  • Heart attacks and strokes 40 years later do not.

  • Driving somewhere is much faster and easier than walking.

  • And because of that we have automobile accidents and contribute to climate change.

  • Like anything, Voltrius, there's a happy medium.

  • Yes, you are wired to be lazy.

  • And yes, being lazy demonstrates how clever you are.

  • But if you're really clever, you'll know when it's time to get off your backside and do work.

  • Speaking of smartphones, it looks like they could feed your laziness too.

  • Trace explains here.

  • Let's say you're asked what actor was in that movie that one time, and intuitive thinker will immediately pull out their phone and search for it, even though they might know the answer.

  • And analytical thinker will search their memory for what they know and then maybe have an answer.

  • So with the benefits and costs of laziness in mind, what's your stance on lazy people?

  • Do they infuriate you?

  • Or are you a member of their noble ranks?

  • Let us know in the comments or on facebook or twitter, subscribe for more and I'll see you next time on DNews.

I was going to write an intro joke but then like, you know, I just didn't feel like it, okay?

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B1 US laziness lazy dnews thinker smartphones walked

Why Laziness Can Be A Good Thing

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    doris.lai posted on 2020/08/02
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