April 16th, 2021 | Offices

Went deep into my notes today. Found an essay I wrote while being bored at work, a little over a year ago.

A bit dramatic, but I still wholeheartedly agree with what I wrote.

Here it goes:

Offices. Where man spends most of his life. Working. Giving back to society. It's the way the modern man and woman show that they are useful, and they are repaid with money.

Then, they pay their taxes, so they can benefit from public ammenities. Healthcare. Transport. And expect other people to contribute as well. They can expect people to clean their streets, drive their bus, collect their shit. Literally.

But is that the best way man can live? Not all jobs are nice, let’s face it. For example, I’m working at a high tech startup. We are building the smartwatch fucking astronauts will be wearing when they go to Mars! Sounds exciting, but it still sucks.

I think the problem is the 8 hour system. If you work 8 hours, and  sleep 8 hours, you are only left with another 8 hours.

In those hours you have a shower, cook, eat, shit, do errands. And what’s left? What is truly left? Around 5 hours, where you don’t have any energy left, and all you want to do is relax. Maybe a hobby. And maybe work out because you have to stay healthy. If you are a bit older and have a family, forget about it. Then you go to bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It’s not bad. You are not being chased by  lions. But it could be better. Just because life is easy does not mean it’s enjoyable. In a perfect world, your job, or else, the way you show society that you are useful, should be an natural extension of your personality. I make a nice wooden chair, you like it and you buy it. Artists are the epitome of this, especially the ones that can make a healthy living  off of it, which is rare.

This is not scalable, I know. I can't imagine anyone’s true calling being collecting your shit or flipping  burgers. But from an atomic standpoint, that’s what life should be about.

Also, we are way too specialized. Maybe that’s why even this job feels so lifeless and sterile. I'm plucked into a chair, doing something significant, but tiny, without any context of what of why.

For society, that is great. A generalist will never be better at physics  than a physicist. But from an atomic standpoint? Would you prefer your kids study only one course growing up? Or would you like them to study a different set of courses, spanning from literature to science, to linguistics, to philosophy?

Yes. This model of the world works great for society and the world  in general. But atomically, I think it’s shit. A bunch of specialised  cogs  that are mediocre in everything else in life, because they don't have any time left to think, read a  book, take a  walk, meet  new people, have uncomfortable conversations, take risks, grow.


@alexwestco

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