The Theory Of Escapology

EinsteinPosted by Lentus Ambulandus

“If you can read, you can cook.”

So said my dear mother. She was referring to a person’s ability to read a recipe, follow the instructions, and produce a proper meal. It works, in theory.

Here’s another theory:

“If you can perform elementary school math, you can be a successful Escapologist.”

So said Lentus Ambulandus. I’ve unearthed the essence of Escapology, herein represented in its raw mathematical form.

We know that

Income = Work x Compensation

where Work is a time value and Compensation is a rate.

We also know that

Income = Consumption + Savings


Work x Compensation = Consumption + Savings


Work = (Consumption + Savings) / Compensation

We are also aware of The Unfortunate Law of Leisure:

Leisure = Adult Lifespan – Work

where Adult Lifespan is an unknown constant.

But Leisure is really Escapology in its quantifiable form. Thus, we may say:

Escapology = Adult Lifespan – (Consumption + Savings) / Compensation

In order to maximize Escapology, and taking Adult Lifespan as given, we have three options: minimize Consumption, minimize Savings, or maximize Compensation.

However, experience has taught us that there’s an inverse relationship between current Savings and future Work:

Savings(now) x Work(future) = k

where k is a constant.

It would be foolish to minimize Savings, because this would increase Work(future). Our options are therefore reduced to two: minimize Consumption and maximize Compensation. But is increased Compensation really possible? Theoretically, yes, but the preponderance of evidence shows it to be a rare occurrence, and therefore not a reliable course of action.

In the end, we are left with only one clear, dependable path to Escapological maximization:

Stop buying stuff.

If we can do the math, we can Escape.

It works, in theory.

★ Buy the latest issue of New Escapologist at the shop or pre-order the book.


Lentus Ambulandus is New Escapologist's Chief Leisure Officer. He advocates doing the things worth doing (hiking, cycling, sipping coffee, reading books), and proudly accomplishes less in a month than most people do in a week. His creed is simple: Death Before Employment.

6 Responses to “The Theory Of Escapology”

  1. Zainab Usman says:

    Thanks for this apt analogy! Buying less is surely within ones control and a path to less stress and more leisure.

  2. Hi Zeniab. Check out the comments (by Spoonman and me) at the bottom of this post to hear how we learned this lesson the hard way!

  3. chrisbo says:

    “walking great distances, riding bicycles, and sitting around drinking coffee”.These are my three main activities! I also have my belongings down to a sackfull of stuff.

    minimalist Tip: buy merino wool jumpers and worn chinos/wool pants for a few quid from charity shops – ideal for all activities (odourless). Add to that wool socks (2 pairs), hat and a tough durable jkt and you are sorted for all seasons without question. Nobody over 30 odd years old really needs sports gear, shorts or fashion!

  4. Chrisbo: thanks for leaving a comment, and more importantly, for leaving no trace. I would normally agree with you, but I now find myself in the tropics, where my highly-successful-until-now merino underwear gambit has failed miserably. I won’t go into details, but I’m afraid I’ll have to bite the bullet and spend some money.

  5. Spoonman says:

    Brilliant, Lentus, absolutely brilliant.

    The thing about the calculus of Escapology is that it’s incredibly simple, but very few people have the guts to follow through. I wonder if we should introduce a Statux Anxiety term or Keeping Up with The Joneses term in your equations. It might be able to explain why the majority of people can’t internalize the straight forward concept of Escapology.

  6. Spoonman, please consider my math to be open source, and build upon it with Status quotients, Jones factors, and other Jack-Assery variables.

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