Category Archives: contrarian

“All of America’s well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution, and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy. For the economy to be “healthy,” America has to remain unhealthy.”
The Real Reason For The 40-Hour Workweek

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-real-reason-for-the-40-hour-workweek-2014-6

“Do not drop out. Instead, try to stop yourself from committing suicide until you can find a job that is so non-hellish that it does not make you suicidal, and then stay at that job, or an even better one if you can find it, for several decades. Grab what fun you can on the weekends, save up money, enjoy your retirement, and you will have lived a pretty good life.”
Rain Prieur

http://ranprieur.com/essays/dropout.html

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Filed under contrarian, erik-green

3 2 stories of naivete

IN INDIA, THE INVENTOR OF A MACHINE TO MAKE SANITARY PADS:
“Luckily I’m not educated,” he tells students. “If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop… Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978

AT GOOGLE, THE CREATOR OF GMAIL:
“Very often, if you do something new, the actual feedback people will say is, ‘This is what we tried before and it doesn’t and won’t work,'” he says. “If you’re naive, you may not even realize that it’s been tried and didn’t work,” he says. “We tend to overlearn from the past. Just because something didn’t work in the past, doesn’t mean that it can’t work in the future–especially in technology where things are constantly changing. Maybe the technology changed, the world has changed, or you’re just simply taking a different approach. All these people [at Google] were telling me that it was a bad idea and it would fail,” he says. “But I didn’t really care, I thought they were all wrong and tried it anyway–and it worked.”

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3027233/why-gmail-creator-paul-buchheit-gave-javascript-a-second-chance?partner=rss

CASEY NEISTAT:
Ignorance Is the Mother of Invention
“The truth is I never tried to come up with a new style; I was just never taught the way you’re supposed to do it. When you’re never taught the way you’re supposed to do things, you find your own path. Story is all I care about, I’m not a good enough writer, so I needed the images to hide behind. Embracing my ignorance is what yielded my style.”

http://www.refinery29.com/2013/08/49802/casey-neistat

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Filed under contrarian, creativity

The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys)
(On voluntourism. From a founder of a summer camp in Dominican Republicfor HIV+ children.)

http://pippabiddle.com/2014/02/18/the-problem-with-little-white-girls-and-boys/

ME: I am similarly useless. Not to mention the expensive airline tickets (and associated CO2) and (for employed people) the opportunity cost of not doing the work one normally does — the income one could instead donate.

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Filed under contrarian, erik-green, globalization, green

Climate scientists calling for revolution

Is avoiding a 2 degrees C rise “impossible” or is it “difficult but doable” — “…scientists have been dramatically soft-peddling the implications of their research”

Naomi Klein in Russell Brand’s New Statemen issue: http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt

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Filed under climate change, contrarian, erik-green, future, green, revolution

In the news…. some related links

The following are some related links. Computers are simultaneously making amazing things possible and helping make some people very rich, but also making it more difficult to make a living for many (see the income inequality video).
It’s touching everything for good or bad. Media, education, news, jobs, food, financial markets, politics. Some win (and we all hear about those people) and most lose (and news tries to not depress or mobilize us too much about that). “The limitation of the personal view” Jerry Mander calls it.

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- The Rise of the Blockbuster (blockbusters are actually on the increase. the “long tail” is still there, but aren’t the real winners %-wise)

http://wgbhnews.org/post/rise-blockbuster

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- Misconceptions about wealth Inequality in America

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- “Q: If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?”
“A: I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.”

https://twitter.com/SciencePorn/status/391419960817614848/photo/1

(original at: http://as.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/15yaap/if_someone_from_the_1950s_suddenly_appeared_today/?sort=top)

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- University megastar professors

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2012/08/07/the-coming-age-of-the-teaching-megastar/

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- Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?
Smart machines probably won’t kill us all—but they’ll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.

http://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/2040-our-robot-paradise/

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- BAY WATCHED: How San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country.
BY NATHAN HELLER
OCTOBER 14, 2013

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_heller?currentPage=all

Naval Ravikant “… the cost to build and launch a product went from five million … to one million … to five hundred thousand … and it’s now to fifty thousand.”

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- The Nacho Dorito
“I visited Steven A. Witherly, a food scientist who wrote an insider’s guide, “Why Humans Like Junk Food,” and we raided his lab to taste and experiment our way through the psychobiology of what makes Nacho Cheese Doritos so alluring.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/01/dining/nacho-graphic.html?_r=0

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- TOO COMPLICATED TO FAIL

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22too+complicated+to+fail%22

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Filed under computers, contrarian, person: Jerry Mander, tech, thinking

links: happiness and work

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
Cal Newport
NYTIMES: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/jobs/follow-a-career-passion-let-it-follow-you.html?_r=0
BLOG: http://calnewport.com/

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“We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. “

some suggestions
– exercise
– meditation
– 3 gratitudes
– 1 journal item about something positive
– random acts of kindness

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“If what you love to do cannot keep you alive and pay your rent, it’s doomed to be temporary. That doesn’t mean temporary things in life are not worthy, it just means you should keep this piece of information in mind. Except for really rare cases (and you shouldn’t think you are one), doing what makes you happy is unsustainable. There’s always someone paying the bills. So if you’re happy doing what you love, probably there’s someone paying your bills by doing something profitable that they don’t love to do.”

View story at Medium.com

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Several useful articles at Harvard Business Review blog on this topic:
https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ablogs.hbr.org+”Do+what+you+love”

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So, to summarize! :-) The basic points one reads regularly:

- “do what you love!” — what if I don’t have a passion or true-calling? that’s ok. it’s generally bad advice anyway. And people don’t have ONE thing. It’s what We make of our choices.
– cycle: “happiness” (flow/play/lightheartedness) leads to good work leads to happiness
– make an avocation a vocation means (obviously) you need to make substantial money
– some things just can’t realistically make money (easily, or often)
– we see examples of people “doing what they love” in the media, but this is like thinking we can make it as a pro athlete — Yes it’s possible and some people do it, but it’s not likely (depending on the field)
– doing it (whatever it is) for money might kill the joy or alter it
– doing it (whatever it is) for so many hours might kill the joy or alter it
– there are aspects of all work that we don’t like 100%
– work satisfaction: – not “passion”. good at it, responsbility/autonomy, impact (Daniel Pink DRIVE)
– grass is not greener
– people often study kinda useless things in college
– hard work/talent/skills (leading to accomplishments and happiness) is the way to go

http://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2013/09/13/why-you-cant-find-a-job-you-love/

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Filed under contrarian, happiness, person: Cal Newport, work

Not News: The Most (And Least) Lucrative College Majors, In 1 Graph

Old news, right? And perhaps mostly useless because it’s not going to convince someone to study or work in engineering (for example) if they aren’t interested.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/10/219372252/the-most-and-least-lucrative-college-majors-in-1-graph

1. Data should be adjusted for things like stress and hours worked per week/year as some majors/careers are going to be much better in this respect.

2. Unemployment is also higher in many of the lowing paying majors/careers. Also, how about avg years worked and ageism by career sector? 50 years old software engineers vs 50 year old teachers.

3. Info should also be adjusted for pensions. Working for 20-30 years and retiring (or working at a new job) with a pension is rather nice.

SEE ALSO:

1 in 2 new college graduates are jobless or underemployed (2013)

http://news.yahoo.com/1-2-graduates-jobless-underemployed-140300522.html

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Filed under ageism, contrarian, education, work