• Anthony
    168
    We've all heard this phrase before. But have we ever stopped to contemplate its significance? A moment's reflection may convince one he lives a nightmare, that is, if he realizes he is conducting his lifestyle according to the above titular concept.

    Is everyone who believes in work-life balance following a necrophilic prescription here then? The primary face of this needs no exposition, really. The intimation is work=death, or at least not living. Major problem for mental health in the status quo here. At some point we have to start picking apart these insidious maxims that have insinuated themselves into the unexamined collective mob spirit. If the cobblestones are made of psychological death in this way, what is erected on top of them can't be exuberance for life and eudaemonia. Another mind-bender: implicit in the "work-life balance" concept is that work=death. None of this critique expands to include the image we shouldn't have to live a divided life at all, especially when one component is life and another something else; it should be all life at the outset, making every decision in its train...never life here and not life there.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    The intimation is work=death, or at least not living.Anthony

    That about sums it up, I'm afraid. Our problem is not that we resent the work one has to do to support oneself, but the amount of work, and the way we work, for reasons of unjustifiable greed.

    The elephant in the #ClimateChange room is #Consumption, and the father of the herd is #AmericanCapitalism. We need to learn to #consume out of NEED, not GREED; to take only our share of what the world can spare. — My 'pinned tweet'
  • TheMadFool
    4.4k


    1) Life-Death
    2) Work-Life
    Therefore
    3) Work = Death

    Well, I think the substitution you made makes sense. The maxim "Work-Life balance" suggest that

    1) work is the opposite of life. so work = death
    2) people seem to loathe work and do it only for the money which they need to live a life

    Do you have some statistic that you're right? If you do kindly post it here. Thanks.

    I found a quote relevant to your post:

    If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life — Marc Anthony

    That's the catch isn't it? You have to love what you do and this has become a privilege enjoyed only by few and not the right which everyone has and can enjoy.

    Why do you think it's like that, people disliking their work?

    This sad situation is due to a number of reasons. Firstly people don't pursue their dreams. Every person has a dream - something that they'd like to achieve. However people seldom follow through on their initial impetus and enthusiasm peters out. This then becomes a standard against which the real work they do gets compared to. The disappointment and dread is not a surprise.

    Secondly, very intimately connected to the above, we have the system to deal with. What kind of pursuits are rewarded by society in general? Does a personal dream/desire match a slot in the employment sector? Most societies encourage and reward only a limited number of vocations. The sciences, medicine, law, etc. are lucrative professions I believe. In other fields like art you have to be exceptional if you're to make your mark. No wonder dreams are broken and people end up working just so they can pay the bills.

    We can clearly see this pattern in the employment sector. At one end we have the doctor/lawyer, enthusiastic, enjoying every bit of his work and well paid and at the other end are people with broken dreams working donkey jobs and all they want is the money so that they can pay the bills.

    There is another aspect of the work-life balance that we may be missing. It's got to do with time. Well-paid people may enjoy their work but how much time do they spend at work? A doctor or business executive may have to spend a lot of time away from home. In this case enjoying the work and being well-paid is just not enough. Family-life is affected and can lead to problems, physical, mental and social.

    Yes, work does affect us in different ways and in different degrees and that may affect our lives but I think, to be fair, to say work = death is an exaggeration but necessary to highlight the problems of the ordinary man.
  • ZhouBoTong
    611
    If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life
    — Marc Anthony
    TheMadFool

    One of my all time least favorite quotes :grimace: . My parents spewed that garbage from a young age, but even a few questions from a 16 year old (me) would cause them to him and haw about how much they loved working 55 hours a week, every week. As they are approaching retirement, and are looking forward to it, they are somewhat willing to admit they were wrong with that quote.

    My quote would be, "if you think you love something, do it for 40+ hours a week for a few years, with a bit of pressure from other humans to do it well, and you won't love it anymore." (and that assumes a decent wage)

    I would refer to all the incredible soccer talents that emerge every couple years (think of guys like Neymar or Mbappe in recent years), but ONLY Messi and Ronaldo have loved the game enough to practice all day every day for 10 years. Ronaldinho, Maradona, etc, were incredible talents, but they end up with a 2-3 year prime because partying is more fun than working (and their job is playing soccer!) - to be fair, Mbappe is very young and could still have a Ronaldo-esque career (he's no Messi though, haha), but I would bet against it.

    So going back to the OP (which does make a funny equivocation between work and death) the phrase work-life balance is simply a response to the popular belief among baby-boomers that your work defines you and the more you work the better person you are. Not only are people rejecting that notion, but they are admitting that work is just what has to be done so we can enjoy the rest of life.

    I think TheMadFool (you? - I sometimes am not sure if I am responding just to one person, or to the thread), has other good examples of the problems that lead to people's desire for a "work-life balance."
  • alcontali
    829
    At one end we have the doctor/lawyer, enthusiastic, enjoying every bit of his work and well paid and at the other end are people with broken dreams working donkey jobs and all they want is the money so that they can pay the bills.TheMadFool

    The amount of money you make, matters way less than how you manage your income/expense streams.

    Someone who saves up 25% of his monthly income [m] will after [n] months end up with a buffer of [n*m*0.25] from which he can live [n*m*0.25/(0.75*m)] months = [n/3] months.

    So, if you do that for 5 years, you will have a runway of 60/3=20 months, meaning that you do not financially need your job for approx. a year and a half. The length of your runway does not depend on how much you make but on what proportion of your income that you manage to save.

    Runway calculations (and burn rate) are essential in startup situations (=following your dreams).

    Therefore, it is primarily a question of self-discipline. A lot of superfluous spending is done in imitation of others. Do not imitate them. You simply do not need most of what you spend your money on.
  • TheMadFool
    4.4k
    My quote would be, "if you think you love something, do it for 40+ hours a week for a few years, with a bit of pressure from other humans to do it well, and you won't love it anymore." (and that assumes a decent wage)ZhouBoTong

    The line between pessimism and realism has blurred enough to leave optimism all by itself - feeling foolish and utterly dejected. Yes love fades but what doesn't? A truism that people who enjoy their work are fully aware of. Don't you think?
  • ZhouBoTong
    611
    Yes love fades but what doesn't? A truism that people who enjoy their work are fully aware of. Don't you think?TheMadFool

    I am not sure what they are aware of, as they are using a quote that does not seem to reflect reality.

    So what exactly is the quote I was ranting against trying to say then?

    If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life — Marc Anthony

    Given that "love" will fade (so fulfilling the conditions of the "if" is impossible), how am I to achieve the "never work a day in your life"?

    Below I will add a bit more, but the above is likely the only part worth responding to.

    Yes love fades but what doesn't?TheMadFool

    That also wasn't my whole point. Most things that people enjoy, are very different once they become a job. Playing soccer at the park is not the same as playing professionally. Practicing martial arts, or anything, is a lot different from teaching. In fact, all teaching is more "fun and love-able" absent the expectations and pressures that come with a paycheck. A big part of my point is that people never "loved" it in the first place. In fact, with a few quick questions, I can get most people to admit that when they say they "love" their job, they actually mean that they "love it relative to other jobs" - HUGE difference in my book (it is like saying "I love the idea of dying in my sleep"). If "love" only exists relative to something terrible, I am not convinced it exists at all.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Work, labor, in this world tends to be a pretty alienating affair, whether it be run by capitalists or commissars. The reason people are paid to work is that no one would do it, otherwise.

    Work is death on the installment plan.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    One of my all time least favorite quotes :grimace: . My parents spewed that garbage from a young age, but even a few questions from a 16 year old (me) would cause them to him and haw about how much they loved working 55 hours a week, every week. As they are approaching retirement, and are looking forward to it, they are somewhat willing to admit they were wrong with that quote.ZhouBoTong

    Hear! Hear!

    "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life" is the kind of scuzzy lies that one finds on motivational posters.
  • TheMadFool
    4.4k
    You've taken the words right out of my mouth. Should I say anything more?

    Lately I've become suspicious of aphorisms like the one I quoted "Love what you do and you won't have to work another day". If you notice it has a poetic quality - a rhythm - that touched me and, I'm quite sure, many more who read it. In short it's beautifully expressed.

    It's here that matters get slippery because after any aphorism has done its job on us we don't know whether we like it because it's true or because it's beautiful. Or, I really hope this is true :wink: , it's beautiful because it's true.
  • Hanover
    5k
    Work is death on the installment plan.Bitter Crank

    If only manna would fall from the sky.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Well, manna falling from the sky would be nice, but in fact I was never waiting for that to happen. Of course I recognized that a living is got by going to work, staying there all day, and then showing up again the next day, and the next, the next... I did that for 40+ years, after all.

    Death on the installment plan is hyperbole, but not altogether. It isn't the work, per se, that is usually the bad part; it's the social and psychological structure of work that gets one. Some jobs are great. One is given work that is difficult, interesting, exciting, and regenerative. I've had a couple of those and they were NOT death on the installment plan. Some jobs are terrible. The work is tedious and of no value to the workers (granted, it has value to the employer) and is coupled with oppressive and demeaning regimes of oversight.

    I don't know whether you have performed that sort of terrible job or not. Maybe you were lucky enough to avoid it. it's labor where the worker value is not acknowledged, or only grudgingly so. That actual persons are employed is ignored as much as possible. It's dehumanizing. I've had several such jobs -- they didn't make up a huge portion of my work experience, but they were illustrative.

    Most jobs are neither great nor terrible. They are just humdrum.

    But getting back to work life balance: only while performing jobs that are really good can one also maintain interesting lives. To live an interesting job after work requires one to have energy and enthusiasm at 5:00 pm. Really tedious jobs, or even just humdrum ones, leave one too disheartened, tired, depressed, etc. to do a 180º turn when one gets home and pick up some fascinating project.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k

    If this work situation is the most realistic of the best of all worlds that involve work and non-work, why do we procreate more people into this model? A very basic question people don't really ask that much. It's like because we know nothing else, then it must be acceptable by default. Prevent forced labor, prevent birth..Fight the Power!
  • Anthony
    168
    If only manna would fall from the sky.Hanover

    It is a self-sufficient adult's responsibility to acquire food and, at least temporary, shelter. Beyond that...grotesque, oblique, ontologies () have reared up in between naked truth and what is essentially thralldom to species-wide dogma of eusociality (if humans have mores in common with instincts of lower life forms...say, insects...it isn't an index of advancing).

    Gandhi is an example of a man who understood well-being and self-reliance swam in the same fish bowl. Who here can make their own clothes? Better, who here doesn't feel like an undeveloped neonate they can't make their own clothes? No one!?! ? Simply astonishing! There are a lot of reasons for this (the absence of feelings of primal shortcomings) beginning with the pseudo relationships and environments experienced since infancy. Primary narcissism (and its later insalubrious growth into superego dependence) is associated with processes of projection and introjection inchoate in infancy. Would not some dependencies learned in infancy as part of the nature of being a helpless "larva," carried forward into the prime of life, not be an patent sign of nondevelopment, of something seriously wrong?

    The man-child, used to market values having usurped all other honest ontologies, loves adages like, "no such thing as a free lunch." What mendacious whoppers those deeply dependent the current system repeat in their narratives! Who has adapted to this system that really doesn't look at another person in light of the value they may bring to capital, and perhaps not in the value he has as an honest, self-regulative and self-reliant human? To the extent one isn't self-reliant, materially, he also isn't self-regulative.

    Espousing we should remain at a tribal state of advancement isn't the point, or rather, there is no such espousal here. My world would have no compulsory education, though what education was offered would have some time spent learning survivalism (starting at age 8 or so). Foraging (what nature offers you free to eat, usually with phytochemicals that go all the way back to the supernova, unkissed by the story of commercial enterprise, and quid pro quo illness), dressing game, bow-drill fire-making, basket weaving, finding clay deposits, making pots with primitive firing, and so on. And like kids wouldn't absolutely love learning these skills. A coincidence? I don't think so. My utopia is to be naturally free enough to actually be allowed to take care of myself, with nothing in between me and natural law (the only honest one), but human rule shows no clear sign of ceasing pretending to have superseded tempero-spatial order. Truly, I do not want 99.99% of the objects which come from the market fetishism of capitalism (and will be waste to the maw of some landfill). The few objects I do want from it, may join me to hypocrisy, though only if I can't care for myself.

    The image is not to have to suspend all association with the false ontology of market society, only to have necessary skills to be able to honestly say you can be mentally and physically autonomous if need be. The ontologies collateral to being able to do this are direct and true and a part of a salubrious lifestyle. Ghandi spinning his own material for clothing is a good example. At some point the limits of what you can carry, whether in your arms, on your back, or in your gut, needs to become the paradigm for a return to natural law being as the bourne of honesty...where usually, less is more.

    Most agree we are a social species, it's a pity it isn't lucid to the same people who would say this that in some central ways, the extent to which you are social is the extent to which you can't meet the needs of living, you are heteronomous and other-centered. Much psychogenic pathology rears up in other-centeredness, unless of course, the other compasses the totality of what isn't self (not only other selves). The most human people I've met are the types who can meet the needs of living if they have to...they may be the only ones deserving of the human denomination; more, a self-reliant person usually has more advanced social skills...it comes full circle.
  • Hanover
    5k
    My world would have no compulsory education, though what education was offered would have some time spent learning survivalism .Anthony
    .

    Survivalism in modern society has nothing to do with basket weaving, tracking and hunting prey, or starting campfires. Mastery of those skills would not make you particularity fit to survive in my neighborhood or most. Even should the zombie apocalypse arise, you'd only survive a few more weeks than everyone else, considering there really aren't a whole lot of deer in the woods or trout in the stream. That is to say that the current educational system is designed for survival, but today's society needs doctors, engineers, finance experts and the like. We don't need all that many more boyscout leaders.

    And I'm not knocking those skills as useless, but I just place them in the same category as being a really good banjo player, a scratch golfer, or even a brilliant chess player. Have at all those things, and if you can earn a living at them, mazel tov, but probably they're just good hobbies and mental exercises.
    The most human people I've met are the types who can meet the needs of living if they have to...they may be the only ones deserving of the human denomination; more, a self-reliant person usually has more advanced social skills...it comes full circle.Anthony
    Either that or you just have little respect for people whose skills are limited to indoor activity, like working at the computer and sipping fine wine and who couldn't imagine sleeping in a tent, so you designate them as whimpering subhumans.

    Like I said, enjoy your prepping, play your banjo, hit your golf ball, whatever. Just don't pretend like your hobby is the fountain of happiness.
  • Anthony
    168
    Just don't pretend like your hobby is the fountain of happiness.Hanover

    I have more to add, maybe later. For now, there's a stinking little minatory piece of hindrance to well being in thinking of a hobby as a mere hobby. Where else can one go to intentionally make mistakes from which to learn? And what other kind of learning compares to that which knows there are no mistakes, that in order to learn, freedom to fail is foundational. Fail in commercialized - game of rules - society and you don't die. Failure within the truth of law, and you die. What some deem hobbies, then, are infinitely more valuable to me, inasmuch as these activities are in some ways, the only place to learn without being fired (or flunking out of school). It's far more relevant to life than a fountain of happiness. You have to be able to self-regulate to learn.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    What some deem hobbies, then, are infinitely more valuable to me, inasmuch as these activities are in some ways, the only place to learn without being fired. It's far more relevant to life than a fountain of happiness. You have to be able to self-regulate to learn.Anthony

    You can probably find a large, remote tract of land somewhere and test your theory out if you really wanted.
  • Anthony
    168
    I'm there. Have yet to build a waterwheel behind the pond dam...:wink: And doing my best to dispel illusions of human domestication of itself as being any part of evolution. What evolves will be what separates humans from transhumans, or similarly, separates humans from humanists.

    What is it which makes someone think he could adhere exclusively to demands of modernity, ignorant of the best of all erst eras, and retain any possibility of being a perennial man? What is it which makes one think the modern world is the best of all times in all ways (that it is progressing?). Every era has a socioeconomic variable to it more advanced than the era before and what comes after. Feudalism was far less alienating than capitalism, work was never in question, there was no "job hunting." One of the very few symptoms of sanity I've come across anent modern commercialized life is open hiring. Like a guaranteed minimum income, open hiring is another element of capital which is extremely slow catching up to the fact that if money or a job isn't guaranteed you (without any hoops/games)...guess what ...it's systematized murder.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.7k
    What is it which makes someone think he could adhere exclusively to demands of modernity, ignorant of the best of all erst eras, and retain any possibility of being a perennial man? What is it which makes one think the modern world is the best of all times in all ways (that it is progressing?). Every era has a socioeconomic variable to it more advanced than the era before and what comes after. Feudalism was far less alienating than capitalism, work was never in question, there was no "job hunting." One of the very few symptoms of sanity I've come across anent modern commercialized life is open hiring. Like a guaranteed minimum income, open hiring is another element of capital which is extremely slow catching up to the fact that if money or a job isn't guaranteed you (without any hoops/games)...guess what ...it's systematized murder.Anthony

    Hey, in a way I agree but going about it differently. I simply advocate not making other people suffer by not having them. No need to worry if there is no subject that is the locus of any worrying to begin with :D. Hence I advocate against procreation- antinatalism that is. No agendas that other people need to carry out (work, happiness, growth-through-adversity, X). People think there is some ideals that people must experience and thus need to be born to experience this. I see this as flawed logic and want people to be more aware of this.
  • Anthony
    168
    Survivalism in modern society has nothing to do with basket weaving, tracking and hunting prey, or starting campfires.Hanover
    Explain.
  • Hanover
    5k
    Explain. Are you surviving if you do none of the work translating into survival of your organism? What are you dependent on which is surviving?Anthony

    My post specifically said "Survivalism in modern society has nothing to do with basket weaving, tracking and hunting prey, or starting campfires," but then you generalized it to something I didn't say, which is that survival can occur even if you do nothing that makes you survive.

    What I meant was specifically what I said, which is that those itemized things are not required for survival in today's society. In today's society, you get a job, make some money, and go out and buy baskets and food and you then turn your stove on in your kitchen and cook the food. The primitive skills you prioritized therefore shouldn't be prioritized, but should be considered interesting hobbies.

    I'm really not knocking your hobbies. I just don't think you really need to be a good cub scout in order to survive.
  • Anthony
    168
    For me, the human system is the source of misery, not life. It's not so much being world weary, I identify with what lasts (Earth, and its cycles), it's more to do with the unaccountable way that since the advent of agriculture, there's still people dying of starvation. What are the bad, non reasons for this? There's always been a desire for immortality, and it seems the further this bandwagon (mainly driven by tech and science obsession, but also religion, economics, any and all fundamentalism) goes along, the deeper we get into what can only be described as a sterile and lifeless, virtual reality that denies death and life to the extent the one reality is lost.

    Once our parents were seen as omniscient, unlimited, but when we learned they too would die along with the maggoty, dead squirrel on the road...we would need to develop a character to fit into undying, unlimited institutions of culture; this need to identify with something immortal has shown up in repetitive ways in organized (secular) religion, money economies, and most dominantly in our times, tech. and science determinism (through tech and science, by damned we will conquer death once and for all). Jesus died so you won't have to. AI lives so you don't have to. Indigents exist as pavement (miniature Jesuses) for the earthly paradise of the elite (who think they are immortal, at least for having made their mark). Once you're disillusioned by psychological, character armor and the culture which shores up psychological armor ...indeed, one becomes weary of his specie's interminable runaway attempts to deny death. In not accepting suffering and death, a full life can't be lived, a life of joi de vivre remains out of reach, tantalizing only.

    The main symptom I see as we go further down this rat hole of make-believe, psuedo-reality: people are getting stuck in emotional development and, in safetyism culture where no one can allow themselves to feel vulnerable, are crusty as children (a kind of pedomorphosis), alexithymia run rampant, adults getting addicted to video games since they can't tell the difference between vital needs and video games. Parents are spying on their teenagers, unable to tell they themselves have been eviscerated by the anti-privacy movement, mass-surveillance catastrophe, so they go on and treat their kids according to their own dead unawareness.

    You won't last. The seconds are ticking away. You won't have much time in the end to enjoy the leavings resultant of a partitioned, departmentalized life. People go on vacations. People retire. What are they vacating? Retiring from? What has been separated from what? Back to the question this thread is based on. If we've made it to the place where kids are taught mantras like work-life balance...the corollary is you aren't a fully vital being when you aren't on vacation or retired. Thus, people haven't the vitality - they've had the requisite shift of agency into death instinct - to understand what they're even doing. Unnerving.

    Schopenhauer1, I think many people are sleepwalking . If you think it's better with no life, fear not, for there isn't any. Everyone is awake and asleep in exactly the same way, which has a canceling effect on conscious awareness. Everyone must obey the same rules, standards, procedures, techniques, codes, computer programs, and protocols... their agency is eventually excised by this. If a system of rules can operate itself...what need for living, conscious beings? If the AI and automation really gets going, it will be clear people would rather not be alive, inasmuch as they will allow the AI to replace all the work of living. Then the pain will go away, you can sit on an actual beach or more likely a virtual reality one, and waste away into oblivion. You can die in this video game, but not die...so strange.
  • Anthony
    168
    In today's society, you get a job, make some money, and go out and buy baskets and food and you then turn your stove on in your kitchen and cook the food.Hanover

    This is clear.

    The angle I'm taking is that prepping is more than prepping and hobbies are more than hobbies. On the individual level, we can test the waters when it's really important, and we can run the water all the way out...then see what happens and adjust accordingly. Collective organizations don't allow for this, but institutions end in death only for those individual participants that have been living precariously dependent on them. One little blackout (California) and psychological armor comes off, having burned you red hot in the process. With enthusiastic learning, far more than a hobby, you can fail(no such thing) on purpose to see the boundaries entire of what you're dependent on. So it's ontological undertones such as these which mean more than any kind of sequential-based "prepping" idea.

    The truth involves incomplete information, then it's really a matter of living in truth or the psuedo and needlessly uncertain environments we have come to live resulting in multiple nodes which can collapse instead of only a few if we live grounded in truth rather than one small facet of it, i.e, the money economy you speak of. Money is like God, no? But is it God, is it an absolute? Is technological determinism an absolute? If an non theist claims not to believe in God, but lives a life mediated through a socially constructed medium (made up, pure idealism), surely there's a hair's difference between what is mentally and socially constructed and a God-like determinant. God could be said to have been born of collective belief, too, no? So a secular humanist still believes in a God-like conceptual framework, actually. And the needless complexity collateral to a belief in what doesn't exist (or acceptance of a grain of truth, while believing there is no incomplete information) leads to social and psychological strife the same way in any such case, whether it be the money of a money economy, the God of superstition and supernatural (empyrean rewards await sacrifice to the system), or the materialism of science and technics (some literally believe it's possible to upload your self into a program or genetically engineer away disease and death). I'm afraid getting with the program is mutually exclusive with learning from life. You could say animal magnetism of social approval has replaced learning in many ways.
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