7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018

You can bet on it...

"I don't think necessity is the mother of invention, invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble" - Agatha Christie

My guess says that the caveman who invented the first bucket was lazy.

Instead of climbing up and down the cliff from his cave to the stream in the valley and back again every time he felt thirsty, the bucket let him enjoy the very first luxury of laziness.

The "lazy" label has been attached to practically everyone who's enjoyed a new energy-saving invention.

My grandmother was convinced that the new gas cooker my grandfather bought for her would make her lazy.

Every time I asked my father if I could use the family car, he reminded me that walking was good for me.

My parents were also absolutely certain that television and then computers would make everyone lazy and unable to use their minds.

They tended to overlook the fact that their electric lawnmower and winter snow blower saved them a lot of energy during both grass-cutting season and when the winter snows fell.

Now, with the Internet, many have been enjoying the luxury of online banking.

Does banking online make someone lazy? You can bet on it. That is if you consider it laziness to save time and energy that you might enjoy doing something else.

When you think about it, these conveniences don't really make us lazy.

They simply free us to do other things with the time and energy saved by a new invention.

Going to the bank doesn't happen to fit into the category of pleasurable experiences, unless you're depositing lottery winnings.

When you have normal deposits or withdrawals to make, you have to dress especially for the outing or take time from your work to make it to the bank during the hours when they're open.

You need to fight traffic, find parking, fill up the forms, sign cheques, wait in line to get at the counter and be nice to the cashier.

All of that plus wasting petrol and putting up with crazy drivers getting to your bank's branch and back.

With online banking we can take care of our banking needs from our home computers at any time that's convenient 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Many online banking accounts will even pay some of your bills automatically.

Online banking is most widespread in the US, but many international and foreign banks also offer online banking services.

Worldwide, 60 countries have one or more domestic online banks.

For a list of international banks, with comments about each and the online services they provide, Google "online banking".

A number of popular individual online banking facilities, available internationally, provide reliable and secure service.

In addition to banking online, it's also possible to invest in securities on the Internet.

Things like stocks and bonds can be bought and sold online.

If you're like me, you have better things to do with your time than dressing up and fighting your way through traffic to get to your bank or securities broker.

When it comes to the routine business of handling checking accounts, savings and investments, it makes sense to be lazy.

Business executive Mark Kennedy wrote: "All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - say little about his intelligence, but speak volumes about his laziness".

Perhaps the computer and online banking and investing say more about human intelligence than Kennedy appreciates. I'd say you can bet on it.

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