I recently read an article called Bullshit Jobs that very eloquently put into words what I’ve been thinking for a long time. We have the technology to reduce the work day significantly from what it is, instead, it’s the same. Technology has made everything move faster and more efficient. A single hard drive can store a companies entire filing system and be shared with the whole office at the sometime. And it’s cheap. If robots are stealing our jobs, shouldn’t we be able to sit at home in a Star Trek utopia? If we have all this extra processing power, why do I have to be at my desk for 8 hours? This is a very important question.
Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.
I know that I only do a few hours of real work. The rest is spent on my phone, surfing the internet, chatting with coworkers and day dreaming of being somewhere else. I would love to show up for my meetings, do my work and go home. I’ll even take the reduced pay. I’d rather be happy then make more money to spend more to fool myself into being happy.
I’ve recently been reading The Element by Ken Robinson. The book is about finding your passion in life; finding those things that you love to do. I don’t know that many people that like sitting at their desk answering emails. I bet they would rather get their work done and spend that time on a task that makes them happy. That was the way it was suppose to be. That’s the way it still could be.
Yet, just this week there is a story of an intern that apparently died after working too many hours. A 21 year old collapsed because of the excessive hours they were pressured into working. In investment banking no less… the most useless job possible in my opinion. If all the investment bankers stopped doing their job for a month, would anyone notice? The stock markets would react, but if no one was watching them, would it matter?
The world has made tasks, jobs and entire industries where their only purpose is to serve themselves. Somehow we’ve come to accept that occupying a chair for 8 hours a day is what work is. It’s increasingly depressing to me to realize all this time is wasted around the globe when we have real problems to solve. The fact that people trade futures; make money betting on what might happen in a made-up system blows my mind.
Yesterday I ran my first Spartan Race. I have done adventure races before, but this one was pretty amazing. (If you aren’t sure what a Spartan Race is, watch this video.) It’s a short race, only 5km. But it had some really challenging obstacles. Ropes, balance beams, climbing walls, barbed wire and spear throwing. Every time you mess up an obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. I didn’t miss a single one, so zero burpes for me. I beat my buddy who has was better cardio then I do just because I didn’t have any penalties.
That’s the great thing about these races; they equalize the playing field. You may be a great runner, but can to keep it up it knee deep mud? What about crawling, jumping or climbing? Can you focus your self when breathing heavy and make it across a balance beam? These races really challenge you in multiple ways. You have to be able to adapt quickly because you don’t know what the course will be like until you are on it.
A big thanks to Curtis and the guys at 2110 for pre-race training. I clocked in around the 37 minute mark. I’m very proud of that.
I love cookies. I want to eat cookies all the time. That course of action would turn me into a diabetic fat guy and no one wants that. I tried to make my own cookies with healthy stuff in them, so I could snack and maintain my girlish figure. They didn’t turn out that great. Here’s what I did.
I wanted oats and flax and all sorts of fiber protein goodness. There are no eggs because I didn’t have any. The internet said I could use flax, and I was putting that in anyway. Maybe the lack of egg was my problem… The cookies are way too crumbly. They taste great, but I made a baked trail mix, not cookies. It will still make a good at-work snack, but I’ll have to refine it to get it just right.
Earlier this year, Russia created a new law that will allow them to arrest people who are gay and people who are friends of gays. If you are visiting Russia and you’ve been to a few gay pride parades in Canada, that could land you in jail for 15 days. Even Mr Baird is upset about this. The Olympics are being held in Russian in a few short months, just as professional athletes start to come out as gay more and more frequently in North America. Russia has said the law will be in effect during the Olympics. This has so many repercussions that I can’t even list them.
Unfortunately, once of the repercussions is an apologetic attitude. I’m talking about June Thomas‘ article in Slate, titled “Why Gay People Should Be Grateful the 2014 Olympics Are in Russia” Fuck everything about that title. Don’t you dare, for one second, be grateful that a power sees fit to oppress you and jail you for something as trivial as liking the way your beard feels against another dude’s beard. Or grateful that you know it’s going on elsewhere in the world. The text of the article isn’t as banal as the title would have you believe.
Panicking about the Olympics six months before the games begin is a biannual tradition. […] We’re not seeing that kind of concern-trolling in the run-up to Sochi. Western outrage at Russia’s virulently homophobic law is more on par with the long international sports boycott of apartheid South Africa. This is one of those rare cases where outraged individuals and uncomfortable corporations have a shared incentive to raise a stink about something offensive and hateful that’s happening elsewhere in the world.
While she raises many a good point, it’s centered around the idea that we should be grateful there is attention being paid to this hate-law. In some round about masochistic way there is a singular, shiny glitter spec of truth to that. We should be enraged that hate-laws are put into effect at anytime, anywhere. We should be protesting in the streets in anger, not grateful that we know about it.