Category Archives: person: Ran Prieur

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college

Excerpt from an interview with Ran Prieur at Boing Boing:
http://boingboing.net/2011/05/27/interview-ran-prieur.html
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Avi: What advice would you give to a smart kid in high school right now?

Ran: My first advice would be: Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college. This is a point about college that some people don’t understand. And that is, the main thing you learn in college is how to think and act like an educated person.

If your parents both went to college, then they raised you, then you already know how to think and act like an educated person. You don’t need to go to college to learn that. If you come from a lower class family and your parents did not go to college, then college is much more beneficial to you.

People who’ve been to college and learn to think and act that way get a lot more respect in the dominant society. Just the way you say words, the way you carry yourself. So that’s a big benefit of college. You don’t necessarily have to pay tuition to do that. You could learn that by osmosis. Hanging out in a college campus.

When I was in high school, I was completely unmotivated. I did not know how to motivate myself at all. I was just going through the motions. So I went to college because college was the thing to do. It was a lot cheaper back then in the late 80’s when I went to college. My parents had some money saved up so I didn’t have to go on debt for college.

But, boy, I would not want to be a smart kid in high school right now because unless you’re tremendously good at self motivating, it can be hard for you to quit high school and not go to college and find something to do and not just crash and burn.

Maybe I would say go to community college to get your basic stuff out of the way or hang out at a college campus. If you could get a staff job at a college campus, then you can kind of get the college experience, and even take a few classes.

I don’t know. I would not want to be a kid in high school right now. The generation that is coming up now is going to have a really tough time. Be adaptable, that’s the advice I’d give.

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Filed under advice, alternative education, college, person: Ran Prieur, raising kids / parenting, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Don’t quit your day job…

“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … ”

— Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com

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Filed under art, creativity, person: Ran Prieur, welfare, work, work-life balance

Work/Skills/Useful Happiness

Some links discussing the idea that “do what you love” CAN be getting the cart before the horse sometimes. It can happen that way, but not always. Or it can be a bit of both.

Sometimes…
1. With proficiency can bring happiness. Instead of the other way around.
2. things that one loves doing can’t always pay the bills.
3. doing something one loves to pay the bills can suck the joy from it.

LINKS:

— “If not passion for the job, at least warm feelings”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/your-money/26shortcuts.html?_r=2&sq=peter%20warr&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all

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Acting Dead, Trading Up and Leaving the Middle Class

” Acting Dead, Trading Up and Leaving the Middle Class. The idea is that you’re wasting your life doing anything that your dead great grandfather, in the grave, can do better than you. You’re using fewer resources? Your great grandfather is using no resources, and if he could talk to you, he might say, “Stop doing stuff that a dead person can do. You’re alive — do something that an alive person can do.”

as seen at: http://ranprieur.com/archives/037.html

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video games vs real life

Some collected quotes on video games and real life. By Ran Prieur and maybe some others…

— “I think the reason people like difficulty in games more than in real life, is that games are more densely and consistently rewarding. ” — Ran Prieur 8/7/2013 Blog

— Future w/ Virtual Reality and Augmented Intelligence, etc: “The key question is: Can you have the experience of going into a computer and coming back?” — Ran Prieur, http://www.ranprieur.com/essays/machines.html

— “Although we all realize that monotony is boring, almost every form of industrial work- banking, accounting, mass-producing, service- is monotonous, and most people are paid for simply putting up with monotony.” — Alan Watts

— Escaping vs Expanding: “Fifty years ago, how many kids emerged from books with tools that they used to change the world or their place in it? And how many do so now with video games?”
— “In a good society, usefulness and pleasure are one: every necessary activity is something that people find intrinsically meaningful and enjoyable, and everything people feel like doing feeds the whole system. When a society begins to depend on tasks that nobody feels like doing, it needs to fill the work motivation gap with extrinsic motivators: usually social pressure, physical threats, and rewards of money and status.”
— Rain Prieur http://www.ranprieur.com/essays/unfin-tech.html

— “… what we need is Sim Fall, a game with honest simulations of the ecological costs of technologies, the inefficiency of central control, human malaise, and other reasons that every empire falls. Most important, we need something that no strategy game has ever had: all increase must be reversible. Buildings, roads, and military units decay over time, and have to be maintained or rebuilt at great expense.” March 17-19 2007
http://ranprieur.com/archives/011.html

— “…humans have two contradictory desires. We want to feel like we’re valuable people living good lives, which itself is a massive and difficult subject. A good place to start is the famous video, The surprising truth about what motivates us. The other thing we want is for life to be easy, but there is a trade-off between a good life and an easy life.
This conflict comes into clearer focus as more work is automated. Do you want a machine where you push a button and food comes out, or do you want the challenge and personal empowerment of growing and preparing food with your own hands? This was not an issue in preindustrial civilization, when work was done by slaves and peasants. The lower classes suffered, but not from existential angst, and the elite felt important because they were ruling actual humans. Now there is a growing class of people who have no political power but are served by machines.
If the tech system can adapt to resource exhaustion, we might emerge into a high-tech utopia/dystopia, in which it’s easy to be comfortable but difficult to be happy. Social class will no longer be about power or even standard of living, but valuable activity. The upper class will hold the few important jobs that still require humans. The middle class will be hobbyists, practicing difficult skills that are not necessary for society. And the lower class will be content to consume entertainment.” — Ran Prieur, 11/28/2012
http://www.ranprieur.com/archives/041.html

— Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
“Reality is broken, says Jane McGonigal, and we need to make it work more like a game.”
http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

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Filed under essential, happiness, meaning of life, motivation, person: Ran Prieur, video games, work