The author described by one correspondent as the 'creator' of Idle Theory is also one of its creatures, alternating between busy and idle states. It is only during idle times that it is possible to think and write about Idle Theory. The rest of the time there are more pressing concerns.
Most of Idle Theory was written in a window of opportunity provided by a relatively long period of idleness. The Idle Theory of Evolution was published on the web on 1 April 1998, and was followed by the essays on human life on 1 Jan 1999. (The original essays can be found at archive.org searching for http://www.idlex.freeserve.co.uk .)
Since then, apart from a few corrections and additions to existing essays, life has generally been too busy to add very much. But there has been a slow trickle of new essays:
- Aug 2000 Economic Growth. The long term economic growth curve.
- Dec 2000 Trade, Money, and Prices. Tool time values, costs, and prices.
- Jan 2001 Joe's Boat An essay written in response to Michael Miller's 'Leisure Theory of Value.'
- May 2001 Slow Burn Fire. An essay exploring the idea of life implicit in Idle Theory.
- May 2002 Ship of Fools. Social inequality as life aboard a capsized Titanic.
- July 2002 The Business Cycle. The cycle of tool development.
- Sep 2002 Fossil Beach. Collecting belemnites near Charmouth, Devon.
- Sep 2002 Of Human Life. Idle theory as a physical rather than psychological model of human life.
- Dec 2002 Human Behaviour. In which it is argued that busy people are most likely to ill-mannered, selfish, and violent.
- Jan 2003 Darwin's Use of Language. The incidence of 'violent' words in Darwin's Linnean Society papers and the first chapters of Origin of Species.
- Feb 2003 Windows Winzipped website download facility added to allow offline browsing of Idle Theory website.
- Mar 2003 Out of Africa The human migration from Africa across the world.
- April 2003 The Family. Just as carpenters make chairs and tables, and blacksmiths make knives and forks, so families make boys and girls.
- May 2003 The Origins of Political Power. Subjection, the demands of concerted action, the seniority of elders, and the restitution of debt, as causes of political power structures.
- May 2003 Morality and Law The necessity of morality in society, its formalisation and enforcement by law.
- June 2003 Martial and Civil Culture - their incompatibility.
- July 2003 Forms of Political Power - From monarchy to anarchy: the evolution of different forms of political power.
- Sep 2003 The Individual and Society The alternation in time of the individual and society.
- Sep 2003 The Fossil Record The absence of intermediates.
- Oct 2003 Message board / guestbook added to Idle Theory front page. The idea is to allow people to comment on Idle Theory, and also discuss it. The intention is to allow visitors to communicate with each other.
- Jan 2004 Public goods and public ownership.
- Jan 2004 The problem of monopoly private or state ownership.
- Mar 2004 Totalitarianism and liberalism as consequences of low and high idleness.
- May 2004 The Perception of Time. The apparent speeding and slowing of time.
- August 2004 Outline of Ethics. This essay is an introduction and index to a raft of essays and comments on ethical matters, variously incomplete, loosely linked together, and likely to be edited and corrected and augmented (much like any other essay in Idle Theory).
- Sep 2004 The Ministry of Silly Walks. Richard Dawkins' theory of human bipedalism and human braininess.
- Nov 2004 Shifting Values argues that the institutions of slavery, marriage, and the death penalty gradually become obsolete as social idleness rises.
- Jan 2005 Idle Theory and Utilitarianism and Ethical naturalism stray off into more orthodox ethics.
- Feb 2005 Clock Stars and Prayer Beads The measurement of time.
- Mar 2005 The Days of Ku Sheng A cartoon.
Mar 2005 Rules and Rulemaking Rules as ethical shortcuts.
- April 2005 Psychologism. The belief that human psychology is the prime determinant of human affairs.
- Oct 2005 New orbital siphon developments.
- Jan 2006 Darwin and Wallace. The Linnean Society, 1 Jul 1858.
- Feb 2006. A fountain on a rotating space station.
- March 2006 The Natural Pace of Work. is neither too fast nor too slow.
- May 2006 The Stalled Empire of Science. Why science didn't get into ethics.
- July 2006 From Physics to Ethics.
- July 2006 The Code of the Buzzard. Ethical systems. Utilitarianism, Christianity, self-interest. Ethical evolution.
- July 2006 Plant, animal, and human. The value of plant and animal life. Considering multicellular life forms as collections of cells rather than as individuals. More questions than answers.
- July 2006 Tom Lutz at the George.
- Aug 2006. Reflections upon the Work Ethic.
- Nov 2006. The Necessity of Law.
- Dec 2006. The Rise and Fall of the Supernatural.
- Jan 2007. Outline of Economics. Theories of value. Primary and secondary economies. The dragon economy.
- Jan 2007. Economic Analysis. Analytic idleness and income. Just and unjust prices.
- Jan 2007. The Dragon Economy. High monopoly prices force people to work making and selling luxuries.
- April 2007. The Secondary Economy. In idle time, people make and trade luxuries and amusements.
- April 2007. The Wings of Sleep. The status of sleep in Idle Theory.
- May 2007. Busy and Idle Psychology. Selfishness, greed, conformity as the traits of busy rather than idle people.
- May 2007. Download Zip file updated.
- June 2007. An intuitive derivation of Bayes' Theorem.
- October 2007 Fear of idleness
- November 2007. Friedrich Hayek's Road to Serfdom from the perspective of Idle Theory.
- Feb 2008 Human population trends. Why global human population will likely peak and then slowly fall.
- Feb 2008 Free time in the school day. Recollections of school life.
- April 2008 The formation of human society 1. Cooperative humans societies were more idle than independent autonomous humans.
- April 2008 The formation of human society 2. Falling idleness brought the end of nomadic life, and forced a transition to settled trading society. Rules and regulations. Rising populations.
- June 2008 The formation of human society 3.
- Aug 2008 Concerning Equality. Arguments for and against equality. Inequity Theory. The probability of inequality.
- December 2008 Pain and pleasure.
- February 2009 Physics of Food, Clothing, and Shelter.
And The Energy Cost of Walking.
- March 2009 Solar system orbital simulation model
- April 2009 Essays on economics. A series of linked essays about Idle Theory's approach to economics, explaining the nature of wealth, the cost and value of tools and luxuries, and how tools acquire prices, and how these may be traded using a variety of forms of money. The introduction discusses the relation of Idle Theory to economic orthodoxy, and the final review points to some of the merits (and demerits) of Idle Theory.
- April 2009. A new Preface to Idle Theory.
- May 2009. A new The logic of puritanism. Unnecessarily stripping away the unnecessary.
- May 2009. The Value of Idle Time. A meandering essay.
- May 2009. The ice age formation of human society. A speculative history.
- Aug 2009. Oil Lamp Life. An analogy of reproducing cells as self-maintaining oil lamps.
- Sep 2009. Recurrent Fevers due to bacterial population peaks?
- Oct 2009. The fact that cancer tumours are warmer than adjacent normal tissue suggests another treatment.
- March 2010. Two Illusions of Freedom. The shared mistakes of the political Left and Right.
- Sep 2010 A Theory of Ageing.
- Oct 2010 No Such Thing as Society.