Throughout history, the lot of most of mankind has been rather miserable. Until a few centuries ago it was real slavery and into the last century, although legally free, most men and women had to labour so hard to earn a living that they were effectively slaves to their work. Different professions have had different approaches to this problem. As Max Perutz has put it ‘The Priest persuades the humble people to endure their hard lot, the politician urges them to rebel against it and the scientist thinks of a method that does away with the hard lot altogether’.
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