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Life and Work


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Poll: Do you agree with the following statements? (78 member(s) have cast votes)

Time is money.

  1. Agree (24 votes [30.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.77%

  2. Somewhat Agree (31 votes [39.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.74%

  3. Disagree (23 votes [29.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.49%

Time spent doing something you enjoy is not time wasted.

  1. Agree (63 votes [80.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 80.77%

  2. Somewhat Agree (14 votes [17.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.95%

  3. Disagree (1 votes [1.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.28%

It's okay if people spend their welfare money on luxury goods.

  1. Agree (17 votes [21.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.79%

  2. Somewhat Agree (27 votes [34.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.62%

  3. Disagree (34 votes [43.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 43.59%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1

Metadigital
  • Location: Texas
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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

It's commonly asked what the meaning of life is, and just as often, its meaning is assumed. To many, we live to work, and we work to make money, and we make money to survive.

Here in the United States, the average work week is about 46 hours long. That's just over 9 hours a day 5 days a week. For all this work we're treated with 2 days off a week to live our lives.

On the days we work, we average about 9 hours at work with an hour for lunch in the middle. Subtract the time it takes to get to and from work and we're looking at about 4-5 hours of free time a day during the week depending on commute and grooming habits. Assuming the best case scenario, this means that we get about 57 hours a week to live our lives (if we sleep a full 8 hours, which is above average in the US). 45% of our lives are spent at work, on average, to support the other 55%.

I cant shake the feeling that the reason for this isn't because we need to work so much to flourish as individuals or as a society. After all, there have been significant political, economic, and technological advancements since the agricultural revolution and the dawn of civilization. We have vehicles to transport us rapidly across the world, machinery to expedite the extraction and processing of materials. We even have robotics for the construction of products from food and clothing to even more advanced technologies that themselves can bring about even more advanced technologies. Despite all this, we're working about as much as we ever have.

We like to measure progress sometimes with reference to the Industrial Revolution. People are working less hours, we say, and living longer. Yet, it seems a bit backwards to measure progress from the starting point of the Industrial Revolution. I would even argue that such an argument needs a starting point before the first Agricultural Revolution. We should also include more cultures than those of the Europeans, Mediterraneans, and Mesopotamian, which all have long histories of work being the central virtue to life.

Cultures which predate the Agricultural Revolution were either herders or hunter gatherers, and both had an excess of free time despite often surviving in harsh climates. Hundreds of thousands of cultures around the world continued these practices long after the Agricultural Revolution, and some exist even today in small vanishing areas of the world. If we wanted it, surely our political, economic, and technological advancements could have given us a world with all the benefits of a civilization and at least some of the benefits of these herder and hunter gathering cultures, right?

Despite being the richest first world country, the United States is also the most overworked, and the average workweek is getting longer. Additionally, as our lifespans increase, so does our retirement age. We are a culture that wants to work, and we're using all the advancements we've made to maximize work output. You can't eat out without a huge selection of caffeinated beverages to choose from. Nicotine is used for the same reason despite some decline in popularity. Energy drinks are the latest addition to the our drug induced work frenzy. There is no sign of slowing down. In fact, we're rather afraid of it.

Our fear of not working has ancient roots and has manifested throughout history in many forms, such as sloth, the Catholic sin for those who do not work enough. Insane asylums originally held the unemployed who were seen as madmen until the Industrial Revolution which set into motion the idea that a large poor workforce was ideal. Thousands of inmates were released as, suddenly, these madmen found jobs and were eventually no longer considered to be insane. Yet isn't our obsession with work a form of insanity?

When meeting new people in the US, the most common question asked is, "What do you do for a living?" which means "What is your job?". Women occupied a terrible spot historically, as they did the majority of the work in the world, but got none of the credit. Taking care of the house, the dishes, the laundry, and the children were not jobs. They did "nothing" for a living, and even today stay at home mothers and fathers cannot answer the question "What do you do for a living?" because to this day these things are not considered legitimate work.

What is legitimate work, then? Selling coffee at Starbucks? Telemarketing? Advertising? Investing? Banking? Insurance? There has been a rise in the appreciation of gaming in the United States because one can now make enough to live on as a professional gamer. Because it can make money, it's a justified activity instead of a waste of time. Yet, is gaming justified only because it makes money? Is anything justified because it's a job?

Here in the United States, heart disease is the #1 and #3 killer (#2 is disease). At #4 is cancer. #5 is stroke. There is something all of these have in common, and it's closely related to our work culture. Stress, high blood pressure, and lack of time to eat properly or exercise properly combine to account for 4 of the top 5 killers in the US (with #2, disease, certainly being influenced as well). The rate at which the average US citizen dies violently is extremely low compared to these, and even then, the most common violent death by far is suicide.

Perhaps, despite all these advancements we've made, we really haven't made a lot of progress because we're obsessed with work for its own sake. There's a surplus of food and wealth in the world, but it's maldistributed into the hands of the most greedy. There are more empty houses in the US than there are homeless people, yet there are still hopeless people. We're so terrified of the "lazy" that we're fighting against social policies that might help people live with less, and as a result, work less. We're afraid to give people money because they might use it for something not related to working, yet, we haven't made clear what's so great about work that goes above and beyond survival. We just work, and the more we work the less we think, and the less we think the less we really ever live.

I reject the idea that all work is good work. I reject the notion that not working is a sin, makes you insane, or means that you're a leech. We all work so that we may have the freedom to live, to raise children, to build a family and a community, to share our knowledge, wisdom, and creativity with others. We don't live so that we may work. We shouldn't be afraid of not working or those who don't work as much.

55% of my life scattered across the week is not enough. We have come a long way. Our next goal, as a country and as a planet that is increasingly becoming like the United States, is to get that number higher. Let's shoot for 60% of my time alive spent actually living, then let's go for 70% and beyond. Let's actually make some progress for a change and create a world with an excess of free time. We have the food and the systems in place. Let's make work more like a hobby and get over that idea that life has meaning only because our work gives it meaning. Our lives have intrinsic meaning, and that's enough. Let's make more of it.

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#2

blackfire853
  • Location: Republic of Ireland
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:33 AM

I don't feel as if I can add anything significant,  you have summed it up behond perfectly.
The whitest rose is the one easiestly stained black,this leads to an important question.Why do you have paint near your roses?

#3

TheEvanCat
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:39 AM

But what if you like your job, Meta? Are you not living your life if you enjoy your job and what you do? Then you're living life 100% of the time (not asleep.) There's not a clear line between work and play. For some, work is play as well.

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Don't judge me because I'm fabulous.


#4

pwntpants
  • Minecraft: TheTurbanat0r00

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:58 AM

View PostTheEvanCat, on 15 February 2013 - 12:39 AM, said:

But what if you like your job, Meta? Are you not living your life if you enjoy your job and what you do? Then you're living life 100% of the time (not asleep.) There's not a clear line between work and play. For some, work is play as well.

I think the main focus of this, or at least what I got out of it, is that we need to strive to spend more time how we want rather than having to focus on working your whole life. I mean, is work really work if you enjoy doing it? I wouldn't call playing video games "work" because it's something I enjoy doing. Others do not enjoy doing it and it would be viewed as a chore in their eyes. Society as a whole just... doesn't care about free time. We just assume it's normal to spend our whole lives working and have this day-to-day schedule that is very recreation-dry. Now obviously, free time can be spent how you want to spend it, that includes working. So, I think Meta's point wasn't that work needs to be gone, but that "mandatory work" needs to be minimized so you can have more time to, well, live. And if living to you means working some more, then so be it. But to most that is not the case.
Posted Image

#5

TheEvanCat
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

View Postpwntpants, on 15 February 2013 - 12:58 AM, said:

I think the main focus of this, or at least what I got out of it, is that we need to strive to spend more time how we want rather than having to focus on working your whole life. I mean, is work really work if you enjoy doing it? I wouldn't call playing video games "work" because it's something I enjoy doing. Others do not enjoy doing it and it would be viewed as a chore in their eyes. Society as a whole just... doesn't care about free time. We just assume it's normal to spend our whole lives working and have this day-to-day schedule that is very recreation-dry. Now obviously, free time can be spent how you want to spend it, that includes working. So, I think Meta's point wasn't that work needs to be gone, but that "mandatory work" needs to be minimized so you can have more time to, well, live. And if living to you means working some more, then so be it. But to most that is not the case.

I'm just saying. Not all people are recreation-dry.

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Don't judge me because I'm fabulous.


#6

pwntpants
  • Minecraft: TheTurbanat0r00

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:22 AM

View PostTheEvanCat, on 15 February 2013 - 01:01 AM, said:

I'm just saying. Not all people are recreation-dry.
Well of course not.
But if you allow more free time, the people who don't get much time to themselves can get more recreational time, and the people who already do get to do what they want still have free time.
Posted Image

#7

ConservativeParty

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:27 AM

I think that it is important to find a job that you have passion for. A job that you would do without pay. If you achieve that, you probably wouldn't mind being at work because you are surrounded with what you love.
The Commies count their quarters and the ArtSci wish they could, the Engs have the longest pole and slam it home for good, so big, so hard, so tall, it reaches all the way to heaven, so shut your hole, we climbed the pole, we're sci 1 ­ing 7!!!

#8

Equatorium11

Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

Expanding on this, it's interesting how there are so many unemployed people who are simply unable to get a job- forget about producing something they have knowledge in or are passionate about, some people can't even get a monotonous job like working in a factory of some sort. If every unemployed person in the US were to have access to means of production, even if it's a bit limited, combined with improving technology to work out the repetative jobs that nobody likes, we could easily reduce the number of working hours to maybe 5 or 6 a day, perhaps even less.

Of course this goes along with my economic views, though that's another topic for another thread.

#9

Yourself
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:13 AM

View PostConservativeParty, on 15 February 2013 - 01:27 AM, said:

I think that it is important to find a job that you have passion for. A job that you would do without pay. If you achieve that, you probably wouldn't mind being at work because you are surrounded with what you love.

Perhaps, then, we should strive to give people the freedom to actually do what they want without putting the constraint of a living wage on it.
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

#10

bowserchomp
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:13 AM

View PostConservativeParty, on 15 February 2013 - 01:27 AM, said:

I think that it is important to find a job that you have passion for. A job that you would do without pay. If you achieve that, you probably wouldn't mind being at work because you are surrounded with what you love.

You would mind if you didn't have enough money for clothing, food, and housing. Let alone college tuition.
Don't fear the ripper.

#11

Nerevar
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:44 AM

Great post. I never really understood the worker mentality society seems to have. Frankly, I prefer working minimalistic and maximizing my free time. I find myself to be much happier, and in my free time I learn, talk, read, draw, write. It feels great. Alright, maybe I won't have money for some things I may also want, and I may not be as successful as others. Maybe I won't have medicine or healthcare once my body begins to age and sadly degrade. But I really have to wonder what determines the value of a life: quantity or its quality.

-The Power to Destroy-


#12

Machiavel
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:47 AM

The one interesting thing I've observed through my long obsessive hours on Wikipedia is that almost every significant intellectual came from money.

Plato was of the aristocracy
Aristotle's father was physician to the king
Archimedes was related to the king of Syracuse, and his father was a successful astronomer there
Cicero was from the equistrian class of aristocracy; home to some of Rome's most prestigious families
Marcus Aurelius was a freakin' emperor
St. Augustine came from the "Honestiores," the upper-class of the region he was born in
Thomas Aquinas was also of the aristocracy
Machiavelli came from a long line of notaries and lawyers
Copernicus came from wealthy Prussian merchant roots
Francis Bacon was, again, of the aristocracy
Isaac Newton's father was a wealthy farmer
Descartes was born into a political family
Leibniz's father was a renowned professor with a comfertable standard of living and large library
Hegel came from a brood of lawyers, notaries, and public servants
Schopenhauer's family and ancestors descended from old, German "patrician" stock

Etc. etc. etc.

Point is that, throughout history, the only people who had time to think about things, or to ponder the mechanics of the universe, or the nature of truth, or the role of justice -the only people who could cultivate some semblance of an intellectual life- were people who didn't really have to work that much to begin with.

They had the time and therefore the means to think about this kind of stuff and to contribute to the wealth of human knowledge as a whole, because really, what else were they going to do? There's only so many drugs to do, and so much sex to have, and even then people like de Sade found time to write about things inbetween those two great pastimes of the aristocracy.

I mean, it's startling to think about how many geniuses, how many would-be poets, philosophers, artists, and mathematicians, how many truly great people, must have died as illiterate serfs on some feudal lord's manor. How many astronomers must have died under the rule of, say, the Tang emperors -unaware of their own intellectual capabilities, for lack of learning, time, or resources. I wonder today how many brilliant young children are starving right now, or how many sharp-minded old men are looking down at their calloused hands and wondering about what could have been.

If we could find a way to give people more time to themselves, I think, we'll be giving them more time to create, to ponder, and to invent -just from a historical point of view. In short:

Posted Image

The only question now is how we're going to make those two circles overlap more, exactly.
The devil's advocate

#13

ConservativeParty

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:37 AM

View Postbowserchomp, on 15 February 2013 - 02:13 AM, said:



You would mind if you didn't have enough money for clothing, food, and housing. Let alone college tuition.
No sh Sherlock.
The Commies count their quarters and the ArtSci wish they could, the Engs have the longest pole and slam it home for good, so big, so hard, so tall, it reaches all the way to heaven, so shut your hole, we climbed the pole, we're sci 1 ­ing 7!!!

#14

Metadigital
  • Location: Texas
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone! I was afraid I would get a bunch of TLDR's.

View PostTheEvanCat, on 15 February 2013 - 12:39 AM, said:

But what if you like your job, Meta? Are you not living your life if you enjoy your job and what you do? Then you're living life 100% of the time (not asleep.) There's not a clear line between work and play. For some, work is play as well.

If you occupy this space, then you're extremely lucky. I don't think many have the opportunity to do this, and worse, those that do often go for whatever will make them the most money anyway.

I think Yourself summed it up best when he said that it's really difficult to get here if you have to survive. If the government met everyone's basic requirements for survival simply be being a citizen (which wouldn't be expensive at all), then more people would be free to explore what makes them happy. J. K. Rowling comes to mind here. She lived on welfare for years before her success with Harry Potter. Now, unlike many other wealthy people, she's stayed in Britain and pays all of her taxes as a way of paying back the state for supporting her through a difficult time. It only takes a few people like this to pay for entire populations of people who don't get such large kickbacks.

It's certainly better than directing tax money to the super rich like in the United States, which only helps a handful of people at the expense of millions.

View PostMachiavel, on 15 February 2013 - 02:47 AM, said:

The one interesting thing I've observed through my long obsessive hours on Wikipedia is that almost every significant intellectual came from money.

This is certainly true. Money and education have always been inseparable. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment above. Great read!

Finally, I'll respond in brief to the questions I asked in the poll. You all can do the same:

Quote

Time is Money

I completely disagree with this. If anything, money is time, but that's not exactly true either. Money relates in part to how much time you have and the quality of that time. If you think of your time as just being money, though, you'll spend it all making money, and then what's the point of money? It can't do anything for you if you don't have any time left.

Quote

Time spent doing something you enjoy is not time spent wasted.

Everyone seems to generally agree with this statement, which is not surprising on a video game message board. Out in public, though, less people tend to agree with it.

Quote

It's okay if people spend their welfare money on luxury goods.

I agree with this.

I don't think that we should simply keep people alive in a state of misery. That seems cruel. If people want to spend their welfare on entertainment and take part in the culture that everyone else is taking part in, I have no problems with that. If these people would rather buy drugs than eat food, then that is their choice, and they will probably live less because of it. At least they'll have some semblance of autonomy, some semblance of life, in the meantime. On the other hand, though, if they're destroying themselves or other people with drugs, the law should already have mechanisms to deal with these issues unrelated to welfare. If they're just buying video games, books, or musical instruments, though, then they're actively engaging in activities that integrate them into our culture and allow them possibly to one day create something themselves (like J. K. Rowling again) and give the world something back.

#15

Epichotsauce

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

I think there is something that we can fundamentally learn from eastern European culture. They work to live while a lot of us live to work.
Novus Ordo Seclorum

#16

CosmicSpore

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

Of course, I agree with this entire topic...
I think Communism successfully solves all of the problems mentioned in this topic so far, and some of these things are what led me to Communism in the first place.

Anyway, I'm not really sure if I can agree with this question:

Quote

It's okay if people spend their welfare money on luxury goods.

Perhaps it's just the wording, but honestly there is no real answer for this...

I actually have a lot of experience in this area, and I know practically all of the problems with the welfare system, as well as many people on welfare. It's a complex problem.

But inevitably, I can sum it up as simply this: Welfare only pays for a tiny fraction of what people actually need.
The government does not provide enough to those in poverty to afford their basic needs, let alone to help them get out of poverty.
The welfare system is basically a government lie to provide the higher classes of the feeling of not having any responsibility for those in poverty. It is a system specifically tailored and designed to maintain the status quo.

Now the issue I have with the question...
To say it is 'Okay' for a family to spend their welfare on 'luxuries' when they can not really afford to meet their other basic needs like food, water, shelter, and etc? No, it is not okay. They NEED those things (thus that is why they are called "needs"). To buy luxuries in place of these things means they are sacrificing their needs for things they don't need....

This issue gets even more complex when you add in the fact that 'having fun' is also a basic human need. Therefore, buying SOME luxuries is a necessity.... So yes, it is okay in that respect.

So for anyone to honestly answer the question... They have to answer both 'yes' and 'no'... Which is maybe what 'Somewhat Agree' is for, but it's really not the same thing.

The reason is because there are issues on both sides, so literally 'yes' and 'no' are both valid.

Many, many families on welfare or other aid in fact often do spend more on luxuries and conveniences than they should... And often they will go hungry, lose their house, or be unable to repair their car or pay for gas to get a job to get off welfare.... Or sometimes even worse, their children go hungry and/or receive less care.

So the answer 'No' is a justified answer. It really isn't 'okay' to do that, however frustrating this truth may be to those of us who know and understand their situations.

However, the upper classes usually label this as 'lazy'. It is absolutely not laziness.
These families buy things they don't need because of three reasons:

1. They are forced to buy conveniences because they are overworked and underpaid, therefore having no time to seek what they need for an affordable price.
For example, going to a 'Cash Advance' place costs them a chunk of their paychecks... Yet if they do not get these advances they don't have enough to pay their bills and to eat.
Another example is going to the convenience store, because they don't have the time, money, and/or patience to do a full shopping trip.

One MAJOR issue, which has never been addressed by the government, is the issue with families being FORCED to buy more expensive and unhealthier food at 'fast food' places because they do not have the time, nor the knowledge, to cook their own meals.
There are very, very few programs which attempt to help families with these things, however... None of them are effective nor actually address the real issue....
Honestly because there is no real solution except giving them more money... The one thing the government will never do.

2. They are typically uneducated about finances - LIKE MOST PEOPLE. Pay close attention to the last line.
Most people have the money to spend buying things like candy, snacks, treats, and etc. and still afford food... Therefore, most people don't need to be educated about finances to get enough to eat.
However, when you lack funding to pay for enough food to eat, every candy bar, bag of potato chips, and fast food place definitely counts towards ticking away at the limited funding.

Furthermore, again fast food. No one really realizes how much this stuff adds up unless they actually do add it up.... And really, no one does that.

3. Everyone deserves to be happy.
Unlike how the rich will often depict those on welfare, as lazy people who just want handouts and actually deserve nothing.... Everyone deserves to be happy.

Even though the government refuses to acknowledge this.... Happiness is a basic human need.

To be happy, people need to have fun. To have fun, they pretty much almost always have to spend money in modern societies.
Whether it is buying video games, going to the movies, buying a TV... or anything else, all on your welfare check... Having some of these things are more necessities than pretty much anyone in the world is willing to admit.

So the answer 'Yes' is equally justified. These people deserve to live life, too... The vast majority of the people on welfare are not at fault for their situation. They try, but fail, because society does not give them a fair chance... So what are they to do but to spend what little they have on their NEED to live life?

These answers are both equally distasteful.... The true problem lies in society. The welfare system is broken. The 'Work Ethic' system is broken. All of Society itself is broken!

The people on welfare are not lazy. They are not looking for handouts. They are regular people whose society failed them, and so they had no choice but to fail society. They deserve more than this... but our governments won't give it to them.

The entire world is basically broken.... And no one really seems to give a crap about it enough to do anything, except maybe a few... And a few just isn't enough.

Humanity deserves so much more than this... But humans are rather unwilling to accept this fact.

Edit:
Sorry for ranting.
I'm just very personally, physically, and emotionally involved in this topic, and I dunno... It's a weirdly emotional day for me today...

#17

sikcool
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:03 PM

How do you solve the problem?
Do you find a job that you find enjoyable? Do you focus less of career, and more on... Your life?
I see the problem, but i can't seem to find a simple solution.
Perhaps finding out what makes you happy, and trying to base your life on that would increase your happiness?

I'm probably addressing the concept of happiness more than i am life and work, but i feel that finding happiness is what life is all about, and that finding a balance between your work and your free time is a step in the way of happiness.

I'm probably just rambling, but i feel that happiness has a lot to do with it all.
(I'm not sure if what i just wrote even makes any sense, but it's late, and it's the best i can do right now :l
Hopefully it made at least a little sense...)

#18

Markwell99

Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

View Postsikcool, on 15 February 2013 - 10:03 PM, said:

How do you solve the problem?
Do you find a job that you find enjoyable? Do you focus less of career, and more on... Your life?
I see the problem, but i can't seem to find a simple solution.
Perhaps finding out what makes you happy, and trying to base your life on that would increase your happiness?

I'm probably addressing the concept of happiness more than i am life and work, but i feel that finding happiness is what life is all about, and that finding a balance between your work and your free time is a step in the way of happiness.

I'm probably just rambling, but i feel that happiness has a lot to do with it all.
(I'm not sure if what i just wrote even makes any sense, but it's late, and it's the best i can do right now :l
Hopefully it made at least a little sense...)

I love that view on life! Just what i wanted to say!

#19

NumberNoid
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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

In the current world, we work to make other people/co-operations wealthier leaving little time to ourselves.

I could rant about how useless school is because you have to learn everything for (now) 3 years in Scotland, the final year you have as a basic choice of "History/Geography". Which is very little but very nice is some cases like that. I still think that when you're 13/14 you should be able to choose what you want to do for the upto 4 years from second year. And that 4 days in a week you have to go there for 7 hours plus 4:25 H (4x7) + 4.25 and not perhaps change it to slightly less than 32 H a week because I feel that its too much time at school getting bored and waiting till the end of the day with almost nothing to look forward to.

Currently politicians, politics, laws etc are trying to tax the "poor" and give ease to the "rich" because they are really selfish, but hey, 99.99... % politicians only think about themselves and their future lives.

But, fortunately its beginning to chance with many people beginning to question the government and their laws and hopefully we'll see the laws changing.

* * *

People on benefits are more than welcome to buy themselves basic stuff like clothing, (if needed) (better) furniture and things that will help their future career or just simply to fit in (going to the cinima etc) to entertain themselves.

However, if they over do it aka go to the beauty saloon every day to make them look more like wallpapered Facebook prostitutes, then I do have a problem with that, I dont want to waste my time on their "leech" lifestyle and in return get nothing.

So yeah, that is my opinion on the state of benefits.

View PostSambaru said:

The NSA is the only part of the government that actually listens.

View Postaceattwister said:

Hell can't really be that bad. you've got decent company, more or less every scientist (so you know, re-invent AC...) You got the Guys who like guys, so you know, good fashion sense. Person who invented the computer is down there as well (he was a gay Atheist).

#20

Yourself
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:04 AM

View PostMetadigital, on 15 February 2013 - 03:06 PM, said:

Everyone seems to generally agree with this statement, which is not surprising on a video game message board. Out in public, though, less people tend to agree with it.

And that's horrifying.  It's like we've constructed our entire culture around the "ideal of stress".  I think this is one of the major contributors towards the apparently high rates of violent crime and homicide.  Our culture demands that you persist in a constant state of stress.

So few people seem to understand how healthy that is.  They paint things like vacation and time off as being unproductive and wasteful.  And I think they're right about that in a specific sense.  Our vacations and time off is probably largely spent on unproductive things, by virtue of the fact that we're otherwise so overworked.  Any time we can get away from work we spend entirely just trying to unwind the stress that naturally builds up, only to have to go back again and get it all back.

It's insane.
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.