Arbeit Macht Frei

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JasonL
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

Post by JasonL »

Hugh Akston wrote: 15 Aug 2017, 16:02 I don't think the specific content of the leisure activity matters as much as the distinction between the meditative/experiential vs productive/aspirational mindsets. Drugs, books, painting, knitting, video games, running, pr0n, whathaveyou all seem like perfectly cromulent activities so long as they are practiced without any kind of fixed goal or product in mind, but rather for the experience of enjoyment.

TBH that sort of approach seems more intuitive to me. I think it would be more challenging to argue the opposite position that work and accomplishment add meaningful value to your life.
Yeah, I go the other way on that. I draw a distinction between thoughtless and thoughtful values, goals, or aspirations, but I don't understand having a set of considered values and not caring at all about trying to enhance their expression in the world. Meditative things have value in the clarity they bring, but I don't understand them as ends. I'm fundamentally an aspirational creature. I should choose thoughtfully and with self awareness the things to which I aspire, but If I then shrug off the effective action required to drive from point A to point B, I'm just navel gazing in a way that makes excuses for me not being what I myself think I should be.

I hold out the possibility that people may upon meditative reflection say there is no value worth expressing, there is nothing I admire or aspire to promote, there are no things to accomplish. It's possible. I don't get it though.
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nicole
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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JasonL wrote: 15 Aug 2017, 16:17
Hugh Akston wrote: 15 Aug 2017, 16:02 I don't think the specific content of the leisure activity matters as much as the distinction between the meditative/experiential vs productive/aspirational mindsets. Drugs, books, painting, knitting, video games, running, pr0n, whathaveyou all seem like perfectly cromulent activities so long as they are practiced without any kind of fixed goal or product in mind, but rather for the experience of enjoyment.

TBH that sort of approach seems more intuitive to me. I think it would be more challenging to argue the opposite position that work and accomplishment add meaningful value to your life.
Yeah, I go the other way on that. I draw a distinction between thoughtless and thoughtful values, goals, or aspirations, but I don't understand having a set of considered values and not caring at all about trying to enhance their expression in the world. Meditative things have value in the clarity they bring, but I don't understand them as ends. I'm fundamentally an aspirational creature. I should choose thoughtfully and with self awareness the things to which I aspire, but If I then shrug off the effective action required to drive from point A to point B, I'm just navel gazing in a way that makes excuses for me not being what I myself think I should be.

I hold out the possibility that people may upon meditative reflection say there is no value worth expressing, there is nothing I admire or aspire to promote, there are no things to accomplish. It's possible. I don't get it though.
I don't think that's really it; I think it's more about the way that reaching a goal is always something of a disappointment.

That is, reaching a goal is not in fact the same as reaching your end, because you don't reach the end. You reach your finish line but stuff just keeps going, and you either have to move on or set another goal and work toward that one -- in either case, if you don't like the process or experience by which you're getting to the goals, you aren't going to be very happy because you're doing something you don't like 99% of the time for a fleeting sense of accomplishment or "doneness."

Post-race depression is super common, for example, because you're like...wait that was it? You have to actually like the process or the end isn't going to be enough of a reward.
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JasonL
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Sure I get that, but I hit pause when we are talking about meditative things as ends in themselves for a whole life, which is where zen people want you to go. It's all process no direction, with really an embedded sneer at the idea of direction.

Like if upon reflection I think I want to help people maybe by sharing things I know about basic finance with at risk families, I do have a decision to make about how to view accomplishment. Maybe I just meet one family per year and guide them through all of their bills and gain deep satisfaction from the process and at the end of the year I say "I helped one family". Another thing I could try to do is systematize my approach and try to bring less hands on to more people for greater effect. In either case there's always more to do, but if I care about the thing I'm trying to advance I have to care in some sense about the magnitude of effects I produce. That's a goal, that's an accomplishment or failure, that's a standard, and yes there will be more where that came from.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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It's more like a focus on direction causes a lot of anguish that could be avoided by a focus on letting process happen and improve.
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JasonL
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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How is process not direction dependent?
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Jadagul
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Enjoyment _is_ the experience of working towards and/or accomplishing goals.

(That statement is probably too strong. But it feels right).
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JasonL
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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That's close to my experience but clearly not everyone's.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Right. I can be very goal-oriented but I get to the thing and it seems very empty and then I get disgusted with myself that I was tricked again by my stupid psychology into doing something stupid.
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JasonL
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Arbeit Macht Frei

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I find thoughtful selection of goals to make that feeling less empty. I place the burden on myself to choose things that should matter to me so at the end I can say what's next but still look back at something real I accomplished. Having no savings to having some savings. Being weaker to being stronger. Helping some number of people in some material way.

Maybe one difference is I'm unbothered and even excited that there's a next thing after this thing.

ETA I find rudderlessness to be the most anxiety inducing state.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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JasonL wrote: 16 Aug 2017, 09:59 I find thoughtful selection of goals to make that feeling less empty. I place the burden on myself to choose things that should matter to me so at the end I can say what's next but still look back at something real I accomplished. Having no savings to having some savings. Being weaker to being stronger. Helping some number of people in some material way.

Maybe one difference is I'm unbothered and even excited that there's a next thing after this thing.

ETA I find rudderlessness to be the most anxiety inducing state.
Yeah, I wonder if a lot of it is selection of open-ended / continuing goals vs finite goals. Like I've been working on cleaning out the basement > so that I can move the air hockey table there > so that I can replace the flooring in the room it's in now > so that I can use that space to move furniture in so that I can replace the carpets in the rest of the upstairs. It ends up being far enough off that 'cleaning out the basement' like I got mostly done this weekend isn't really an end point. Certainly not like "run the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon."

And I'm sure there are people who just can't get motivated by a bunch of intermediate steps. They think "I want new carpets, but there's so much work to get there that I can't comprehend it." I don't know if there's a way to 'fix' that, because I don't know that anyone knows how motivation is generated.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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How do you choose a goal that matters to you? What distinguishes a goal from a task, an accomplishment from I guess I'm done with it?
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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A thoughtfully selected goal implies a degree of self awareness. It involves a set of questions like "in this arena (health, finance, work, relationships, leisure, etc), what are the things I find admirable? What does an admirable person look like, what specific things do they do, and what are the implied virtues or values that I really am getting at with my sense of admiration?" Then you would honestly assess yourself against that aspirational person and you set goals to bring yourself closer to being the kind of person you want to be.

Thoughtless goals skip this step and look more at what social expectation is or kind of shoot in the dark in an attempt to flee a current state without having the compass of "what exactly am I fleeing".
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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nicole wrote: 16 Aug 2017, 09:47 Right. I can be very goal-oriented but I get to the thing and it seems very empty and then I get disgusted with myself that I was tricked again by my stupid psychology into doing something stupid.
You just need to have goals that you can't possibly actually complete. "Improve at X" works for this.
Hugh Akston wrote: 16 Aug 2017, 10:31 How do you choose a goal that matters to you? What distinguishes a goal from a task, an accomplishment from I guess I'm done with it?
The point is to always be working to be and do better. Always reaching for something.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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That seems like saying you just have to masturbate but not to climax.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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You need infinite and finite goals. Infinite goal where the task is to maintain or persevere to continue, and finite goals where the task is to complete the activity or reach a certain point or level.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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I don't see the self servicing model as apt. There are only a constrained number of activities that have that kind of One Big Moment structure - performances, competitions etc. It isn't a model for life or accomplishment in general. It's great to celebrate saving your first $1k. There it is sitting where you can see it. It means a certain amount of security against some kinds of risk. It would be goofy to say "dang that wasn't the utlimate life goal explosive high ever so oh well". You can celebrate again at $10k or 6 months cushion because that gives you some unemployment security, then $100k because that gives you some retirement security. Now, that doesn't run infinitely as marginal utility of additonal dollars saved keeps declining, but say you get to $1M as a psychological milestone which also represents a life in retirement in which you can do pretty much what you want. Okay, now saving isn't the focus after that. You like charities? Learn about those, if they are effective and whatnot. You want to try some new experiences? Do that. You still have the accomplishment of the $1M and what it represents.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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JasonL wrote: 17 Aug 2017, 09:04 I don't see the self servicing model as apt. There are only a constrained number of activities that have that kind of One Big Moment structure - performances, competitions etc. It isn't a model for life or accomplishment in general.
I think that's part of the point from earlier in the thread that if you are focused on the means and not the process, you're not going to be happy. What you are saying here is "life is a process, not an end," right.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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I might need to draw a distinction between an end and a direction tho.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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"Fucking qualia." -Hugh Akston

"Sliced bagels aren't why trump won; it's why it doesn't matter who wins." -dhex
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Yeah, those are the things where I can get behind the idea that too many people think of all waking hours as time that you should be 'productive'. I mean, if someone uses a vacation day to go watch an eclipse, that's a "loss" of productivity? Is it a loss when they used that for going to the beach? Or to lie in bed all day? And isn't that "loss" already built into the whole equation?

It's the same thing that I said in response to someone's office posting a "no personal internet" policy: Too many people, especially 'bosses', think that any time not working as hard as possible is "lost productivity". If you were working harder, then you could get more done. And it's BS. Especially as automation and shortcuts reduce the time that tedious things take, increasing the percentage of attention you have to give to tasks to get them done.

As an example: Roadway plans used to be very minimal. A baseline, the outsides of the road, and some written specs describing the road. 5 miles of roadway would be 20-40 plan sheets. Main reason was that it was hard to draw things. Every sheet took a lot of time to produce, and even then they were pretty empty of ink. Now with computers and design software, a 3 mile of roadway interchange project we just did is 800 sheets. And each sheet is crammed with ink. And instead of having the time between design tasks while things get drafted by other people, we do most of the design directly in the software and have those lines go right into the plans.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Am I missing something or being a heartless bitch to not think this is out of line for GM? Like, it's not great optics, but if you're not working for your employer at the moment why should they be paying your benefits?
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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If GM are the vultures in this metaphor, then who is the rotting corpse upon which they are feasting?
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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Ellie wrote:


Am I missing something or being a heartless bitch to not think this is out of line for GM? Like, it's not great optics, but if you're not working for your employer at the moment why should they be paying your benefits?
To be clear, a striking union almost always winds up taking over coverage under COBRA funded from their Strike War Chest. The terms of when that occurs would be negotiated in advance and I can’t believe GM would jump the gun here. Non work is costing the company tens of millions per day, so acting like they should be eating that, not hiring replacements, and funding benefits they don’t have to contractually is just stupid.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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The 5-Hour Workday Gets Put to the Test
At the firm he renamed Rheingans Digital Enabler, the 16 employees start work at 8 a.m. and may leave at 1 p.m. Mr. Rheingans, the firm's managing director, says employees can deliver the same output during a focused 25-hour week as in 40 hours interrupted with distractions.
To accomplish that, small talk during work hours is discouraged. Social media is banned. Phones are kept in backpacks. Company email accounts are checked just twice a day. Most meetings are scheduled to last no more than 15 minutes.
The five-hour day brings challenges, employees say, with the pressure to produce the same work in less time. They also had to adjust to not texting or talking with family during the workday.
At a previous firm, Mr. Rheingans took a salary cut so he could spend two afternoons a week with his children. A few months later he asked for his salary to be reinstated because he was producing as much work as before. His partners agreed, though, he says, they were rankled by the arrangement.
At Digital Enabler, a monitor displays the hours, minutes and seconds remaining in the workday. At 1 p.m., the display changed to “#high5, #feierabend”—or closing time in German. One employee packed up and said goodbye. There wasn’t a rush to leave. Another worker fetched Chinese takeout and joined two colleagues for lunch in the conference room.

By 1:45 p.m., only two developers remained, their eyes trained to their screens. Ms. Burdach, their manager, says it is often necessary to work more than a five-hour day to meet client deadlines.
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Re: Arbeit Macht Frei

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WSJ wrote: 12 Feb 2020, 13:32 Most meetings are scheduled to last no more than 15 minutes.
Is that even possible???
WSJ wrote: 12 Feb 2020, 13:32 Ms. Burdach, their manager, says it is often necessary to work more than a five-hour day to meet client deadlines.
You better check with Orville on that one Wilbur.
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