Students tend to place too much importance on the specifics of a job, as if there was a specific knowledge work pursuit hardwired in their genes.
The past week has provided a few notable redesigns of popular web services, including Squarespace and MailChimp. It’s interesting to note the visual similarities in how they have chosen to present themselves: photographed tableaus with props around laptops, tablets, and phones.
Both feature a cup of artisanal coffee on a dark wood counter, next to an iPhone 4 displaying the app in question. How to choose between them?
Ah, summertime commuting in the South.
Over the fireplace in the first house my parents owned together, the house I was brought back to when I was born, the words BOIS TORTU FAIT FEU DROIT were painted on the brick in Gothic script. Crooked logs make straight fires.
The way I choose to make its meaning: out of something gnarled, tough, flawed comes something with use and power.
Or, even busted shit can work if put to use in the right way.
Or, twisted bizarro brains shine bright too.
Crooked wood, straight fires! It was a cold house, and I don’t remember it. I’ve heard many times from my parents about glasses of water that froze solid on bedside tables over night.
Career is never as important as family. The better you are at your job, the more you’re rewarded, financially and spiritually, by doing it. You know how to solve problems for which you receive praise and money. Home life is more chaotic. Solving problems is less prescriptive and no one’s applauding or throwing money if you do it right. That’s why so many young professionals spend more time at work with the excuse, “I’m sacrificing for my family.” Bullshit. Learn to embrace the chaos of family life and enjoy the small victories.
Debate whether [Jason Collins] is a hero or not in your world, but he’s leading by example for a small subset of people who need examples, and doing so positively: with love, and work, and still more work. The two are ultimately indistinguishable when done right, and what they leave behind is the capacity to pass that work forward.
It really got to me when someone asks what I did for a living and I realized I didn’t have a good answer. And it was just, I don’t know, it was like I’m in my apartment alone all day editing this thing that I’m calling a film but it wasn’t actually a film yet. So yeah, there’s a couple of times where I just gave up and decided I was going to go back and get a job and actually have a good answer to what I did for a living. That was going to be that.
Doug Bowman: “The Wired office when I joined, in 1996”
We have always sensed that free time, time not dedicated to a specific purpose, is dangerous because it implicitly raises the question of what to do with it, and that in turn opens the door to the greatest of life mysteries: why we do anything at all. Thorstein Veblen was right to see, in The Theory of the Leisure Class, not only that leisure time offered the perfect status demonstration of not having to work, that ultimate nonmaterial luxury good in a world filled with things, but also that, in thus joining leisure to conspicuous consumption of other luxuries, a person with free time and money could endlessly trapeze above the yawning abyss of existential reflection. With the alchemy of competitive social position governing one’s leisure, there is no need ever to look beyond the art collection, the fashion parade, the ostentatious sitting about in luxe cafes and restaurants, no need to confront one’s mortality or the fleeting banality of one’s experience thereof. Even if many of us today would cry foul at being considered a leisure class in Veblen’s sense, there is still a pervasive energy of avoidance in our so-called leisure activities.
Work hones skills, challenges cognition, and, at its best, serves noble ends. It also makes the experience of genuine idling, in contrast to frenzied leisure time, even more valuable. Here, with only our own ends and desires to contemplate—what shall we do with this free time?—we come face to face with life’s ultimate question. To ask what is worth doing when nobody is telling us what to do, to wonder about how to spend our time, is to ask why are we here in the first place.
Previously in Mark Kingwell tumbles.
There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.
Once somebody pays me the first dollar, I’m on the hook to deliver. And wait a second: I don’t know if I want that yet.
It’s a neat trick on Fincher’s part. It’s difficult to render knowledge work cinematically (quick, what’s the last great movie about writing you remember seeing?), as opposed to physical work which more readily lends itself to Rocky-style montages, but Fincher has figured out a way to short circuit the process. Like all good filmmakers, he knows that if he gives us the signs, we will fill in the rest.
I like how they just casually mention loggers “killed by an out of control machine”. We know how this ends. Also, firefighters?
Over a third of firefighter deaths from 2011 were due to fires or explosions, but another quarter were because of transportation accidents.
“Cosmo’s got the caboose!”
The Deadliest Jobs In America, In One Graphic : Planet Money : NPR
When I was in my twenties I had this plan to go to El Salvador and write about the experience. I had no money, didn’t speak Spanish, but this was “my dream.” I stopped by one day to see a friend of mine but found only his father home. I’d never spoken to this man before, not really. He was a truck driver, a father of eight, always went around in a white T-shirt and a pair of Buddy Holly glasses. But this day, we talked. I told him about my El Salvador plan, expecting him to find it indulgent. But instead he said, “You know what? You have to do it.”
“Yes,” I said, with the force of revelation. “I do. I really do.”
“And you know why?” he said. “Because you know who you’re going to blame if you don’t?”
I did know.
“Myself,” I said with a knowing smile.
“Bullshit,” he said. “You’ll blame your wife and kids.”
I often thought of this conversation when I was stealing time from Radian to write this book. If I didn’t, I told myself, I was going to become a bitter old-fart version of myself, blaming Paula and the girls.
So I stole like a mother. I wrote in the bathroom, I printed using the company printer, I turned away from my Kodak report to jot things down, I edited while waiting for an offsite groundwater remediation system to purge, I sometimes blew off a full afternoon when I was feeling ripe, although usually, when that happened, I’d take work home, just to be fair.
(Cf. Amy Poehler.)
It’s been a few years since I’ve read any Saunders, but I’m really excited about his new book.
I think every kid wants to rebel against their parents and my parents are cool, artistic, creative people. So my way to rebel was to take the academic route. I always wanted to go to college and go to law school.
The one time I got a bunch of prizes, I just assumed I’d win them all. […] I really saw something in myself and I thought, ‘Oh, my God. I really did want that thing!’ Some part of me was disappointed that I got tricked into thinking it was important. I told myself, if that happens again, I don’t want to do that. I’ve since realized that it was good I didn’t win, because I wasn’t ready.
Last album I was like “I don’t now how I’m finna do this shit again,” but it’s been like that since Southernplayalistic… When in doubt you just gotta go to work.