a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Building a vision of life without work.

You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again is 573 pages of indexed, searchable hatorade about the '70s and '80s. It's fundamentally a cautionary tale about how early success leads to drug abuse and narcissism. It includes great quotes such as Mama Cass saying "I remember what an asshole you get to be between your first magazine cover and your third" (about Spielberg, no less!) and the never-sourced, apocryphal

The Jews have a saying: people see money three ways, as blood to nourish, as semen to create or as shit to be thrown away.

I haven't had a jobby-job since February 13, 2007. Since then I have never worked more than six months in a year, never made less than $60k, and have often made six figures. I am firmly of the opinion that 40-plus hours a week doing something unfulfilling is no way to live. But I have also learned that lots of people derive their fulfillment from pushing the fuckin' boulder up the hill every day only to have it roll back down.

THERE IS NO REASON TO LOOK DOWN ON THIS. Yer blogger seems absolutely gobsmacked that his girlfriend doesn't want to spend her life playing video games and going to museums.

    I feel sure that some of them also felt that they were, you know, continuing to move and shake and improve their lives whereas, from their perspective, Iā€™d sort of given up ā€” my life appeared to be a static thing, unchanging, and therefore pretty fucking boring.

The author has chosen a set of values that are entirely focused on hedonism. The author's friends have chosen a set of values that are not. Yet the author has real difficulty empathizing with his friends:

    I suppose this is is a testament to the different reactions one can have to the same experience ā€” the experience of watching your friends work away at through their jobs while they spend money on <stuff>.

This is pretty easy - if you derive pleasure from <stuff>, work for <stuff>. If you don't, don't. But don't for a minute pretend that one position is morally superior to the other or you will, in fact, drive away everyone who matters to you.

I now revel in telling people I'm retired. I go to bed exhausted every goddamn day. I spent six hours standing in front of a drill press yesterday. In the time I stopped having a jobby-job I wrote eleven screenplays (sold two!), a novel, two graphic novels and a rippin' business plan that made me more money than all the rest. I've learned a dozen different software packages, three or four different kinds of metalwork and am writing this between three different CAD/CAM webinars. I've been "retired" ten years longer than this guy and I find him extremely boring.

If your life is unfulfilled do different stuff now.

Every single person in that dude's creative writing classes was either busting ass working two jobs or living off of Daddy's money. Been there, done that, got the certificates. And yeah - if you don't think you have the stamina to be a writer, don't. But also recognize that showing up every day to file TPS reports also requires stamina, not a mote in the eye.

I've been neck deep in turning an $8k CNC machine into a $150k CNC machine for about two months. If I can get it up and running in the next ten, that'll be a $142k career. The author's approach to life is not dissimilar from Shannon Hayes' Radical Homemakers, except that anybody what wanna farm recognizes that you're doing something.

I dunno, man. This guy seems to utterly disrespect anything other than "doing nothing".

    I left the conversation warning myself to never become like the first guy who seemed utterly devoid of any energy or curiosity of the world beyond his job.

Did he seem happy? 'cuz some people find their niche. They are to be envied, not pitied.





Kaius  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Yer blogger seems absolutely gobsmacked that his girlfriend doesn't want to spend her life playing video games and going to museums.

    I dunno, man. This guy seems to utterly disrespect anything other than "doing nothing".

Right, which I think is the fatal flaw. He worked to free himself from the need to work, escaping FROM it but not TO something else apart from sitting around the house and taking a few trips.

I suspect that you have no problem filling time with interesting projects that enrich your life. I know I often look at the 40 hours a week spent working as a (mandatory) demand on my time which reduces availability to do other things, learning new skills etc. That is its a job. If retirement was an option, my approach would be "retiring from needing to spend 40 hours doing X every week, freeing me to do more of A-Z in the future", not "retiring to the couch to play Xbox 40 hours a week". In the last week I have spent my evenings and weekends fixing oil boilers, timber floors, water mains, painting, decorating, plastering... And its a blast, I enjoy learning and doing new things.

    Did he seem happy? 'cuz some people find their niche. They are to be envied, not pitied.

He was content, which is probably a less fickle state than happiness in the long run. I mentioned him as an example of the opposite extreme and maybe as an example of how people on the extremes can have lots of similarities; where the blogger wanted to leave work and had nothing else, my friend wanted to stay working as he had nothing else. Its one thing to work when you have to, another to continue working when it is no longer a requirement but you enjoy it; but to shut yourself off from all other experiences (which both extremes seemed to do) is best avoided.

In your earlier post you mentioned that people overthink all of this and I would agree. To me it all comes down to the time you have and how you spend it. Should you find yourself financially independent, if you like what you do and have no interesting in other activities then stick with it, in my case I suspect that the desire to learn something new that does not align with my current job (and may not be economically viable) would be too strong to not pursue.

kleinbl00  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    He worked to free himself from the need to work, escaping FROM it but not TO something else apart from sitting around the house and taking a few trips.

And that's my biggest beef with this genre of self-help: from Tim Ferriss to Robert Kiyosaki, it's leisure-time all the time. It's also been pointed out that Tim Ferriss probably spends 80 hours a week promoting the four hour work week.

I've been through... three? four? careers since college, depending on how you count, and it's always been about turning a hobby into a profession. I say "retired" but it's not like I don't plan on selling the shit, it just shuts up the normies when they ask when they can buy one because fuck you I had to reinvent casting get off my dick.

I think the idea of squirrelling away money so you can "retire" to do the shit you love is fundamentally flawed. What you should do is invest your time in getting remunerated for a better "job". But that doesn't sell books and doesn't get page views. Ripping out to IMTS in Chicago between shifts mixing television in LA isn't something you can tell anecdotes about on a podcast, it's just hustling.

Some people wanna hustle. Some people don't. No harm either way. But this whole genre of "hustle so you can stare at your belly button and smoke weed" advice is written for the stupid (often, by the stupid).