Seven billion plus. 7,000,000,000+. That’s how many of us are on this planet, give or take.

There’s an Asian proverb that goes something like, “…many know the benefit of a useful man, but who knows the benefit of the useless man.”

Take those two thought trains together…and crash them into each other. I come to this wreck of the imagination by way of the CIA factbook and one pathetic person (I.e., me) wasting time watching a famous dance program on the television. I do not particularly like the program. In fact, I have the TV muted. It brought to mind that proverb. So, my question is rather simple: at any given time, what percentage of people are utterly and completely useless?

We can thin the herd a bit from the start. A high percent will be sleeping. Say, 49 percent. Another 12% should be dining or crapping. 61%. So, thirty-nine percent should be being useful. [These estimates actually look pretty good to me.]

But. Even if the math is accurate, we all know humanity is not. How do we determine who is slacking off?

(I had it calculated last night, but the WP editor ate my last five paragraphs.)

Thirty-nine percent. Some working, some playing. I won’t go for an even split here, but say 20% are working. Now out of that 20, at any given time, they’re not being productive, therefor useless.

But wait! That 20 & 19 percent rotate and overlap constantly. So it is a possibility that at a given moment in time, all of humanity can be useless.

So, what is the usefulness of seven billion people?