Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

On Motivation

I used to read highbrow stuff on the internet, but then one day, reading one of Foseti’s random linkage posts, I discovered Business Insider. Which has the most dumbed down layout you can find anywhere, I feel almost insulted on just opening their homepage. But I’m hooked. Now most of my time in the office  is spent reading their hilariously sensationalistic articles. And although Henry Blodget looks like disgusting slime, there’s actually quite a lot of good stuff there. Makes you think. Really.

Two articles caught my eye today:

Greeks are abandoning their children as they can’t afford to feed them. Wow. Little I can add to this story. Downward mobility is truly tragic. The examples cited are the typical, young unemployed single mothers. Got knocked up by an alpha, got abandoned. But there was State, the sugar daddy of last resort. Alas, in Greece, even the State abandons you. The Greek is the ultimate alpha male if you think about it. A real uncaring asshole.

The other example I found more interesting. A man who has 10 children, with a salary of €960, so he gives away 4 children to makes end meet. He seems to be a native Greek, so no welfare scam. Just the embodiment of Malthusianism. I guess in Malthus time there were plenty of this kind of people, spending every single dime of extra income in pumping additional babies to this world. Which had an excuse if you’re a peasant with no contraception available. What was this guy thinking though?

Now in totally unrelated news, I mean not even news actually, I found this article which blew me away. The waking time of successful people. There’s a list of successful CEOs and executives and their lifestyles. Waking up at 4:30 am?! Holy shit. And they’re the last to go too! Tim Cook may be getting 400 million bucks this last year, but hell, he must be spending them in coke just to stay awake. Well coke isn’t that expensive. But still. I’d rather be middle-class but have a healthy sleep every day.

I know many workaholics, and being a fairly lazy man, I find them insufferable. I also resent the fact that their sheer number distorts the general expectations for any worker today. The general idea that people should do long hours if they want to succeed. All this is related to the single best argument against capitalism: the law of diminishing returns. The fact that in a free (or free-ish) market, competition will drive down profit margins until the market becomes a living hell for anyone involved. Well the labor market is a great example. I pity my American friends who have to work in that environment, expected to waste their lives in some dull office job, competing with cokenoses and Ritalin-filled drones. I just wanna go home, read a book and enjoy classics on Netflix, please.

Most animosity against capitalism is driven by envy, specifically money envy. People hate the rich, and they run their hamster wheels to rationalize any reason against them: corruption, crookedness, pure evil. And while there’s a point in that rich people, by their sheer wealth have more influence in politics, influence that they will use when necessary; well it is a tad unfair. But the point stands that rich people, in many cases, just work more. They focus their whole fucking brains in making money. And the opportunity cost of that is huge. They can’t have hip camping parties at New York, or stay months at their dads garage while studying how to Game hot models.

Which links with the news on Greece. I mean its really tough luck to live under Greece’s government, but its increasingly obvious that poverty is a state of mind. That dude could 1/endeavor to get a better job and more income, be frugal and save it so he can hedge risks better, or 2/keep on slacking while cumming inside his bitch at any chance he got. Well something tells me he wouldn’t have to give his kids away if he had the habit of waking up at 4:30 am.

But wait! Some charitable women got him some money and a place to stay with his family. Oh well. Poor Malthus, he didn’t count on that one. Darwin did though.

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13 responses to “On Motivation

  1. nydwracu January 11, 2012 at 22:57

    Waking up early isn’t that hard once you’re used to it; the only problem is that it’s nowhere near the sleep schedule everyone else has. I used to wake up at around 5am every day, but it’s just about impossible to do that in college and still have a social life. (It didn’t help, of course, that I had a night class that went until 10pm.) I’d say it’s definitely useful, though; instead of waking up and having to jump right into whatever it is you’re doing, you have time to plan things out immediately beforehand, and if you do end up working in the morning, it’s a lot easier (for me, anyway) when nobody else is awake. I even felt more awake on that than I did on the average college student sleep schedule (up around 4pm, down around 4am) I’m on now.

    Of course, I could never be a CEO; no matter when I wake up, I spend almost half my time asleep.

    • spandrell January 12, 2012 at 13:33

      What’s the point of being the General Manager of Peugeot if you have to commute 3 hours by train at 4:00 in the morning? Get a damn chauffeur and a limousine.

      There’s a point of waking up early just to avoid having the same time schedule with other people: be left alone. I used to do that by sleeping late.

  2. The Slitty Eye January 12, 2012 at 01:26

    I sniff the business of toddler trafficking… That must be lucrative.. lol

  3. Jehu January 12, 2012 at 04:22

    When things finally fall apart, what rises from the ashes will hopefully have learned one big lesson:

    Governments are extremely unwise to meddle in the battle between ‘Dads’ and ‘Cads’—or R vs K selection if that’s your preferred language. Artifically reducing the price of sleeping with a Cad by socializing away the risks, in part or in whole, is just plain a recipe for disaster. Similarly, artificially reducing the appeal of the Dad through redistribution is just plain insanity. The Gods of the Copybook headings will have more than a word for us.

  4. Handle January 12, 2012 at 11:15

    The funny thing is that the two issues you discuss aren’t at all “totally unrelated”. Cultural conservatives / traditionalists would make the same diminishing returns argument about the the social perils of the sexual marketplace as you have made about the commercial one.

    Under traditional courtship folkways and family institutions, the “wealth” of the land (sexual access to females) was accessible to most on easier terms, if not exactly in a purely egalitarian manner, then in a more reasonably-evenly distributed manner.

    Today the sexual market resembles the commercial one, cut-throat, rat-race competition, way out on the margins all the “consumer surplus” gets eliminated which also creates massive inequality where a few percent of ultra-competitive champions get a large portion of all the sex with attractive women. Occupy Game Street!

    This rate race, in fact, is even worse than the commercial one. Technology and advances in productivity can at least deliver a comfortable, satisfying lifestyle to your median middle class worker of average levels of motivation and effort. He won’t be equal to the rich, but he won’t be desperate or destitute either.

    But attractiveness to the female gender is all about perceptions of relative status based on her experience of males in general, and there is no way for the crowd to generally achieve an acceptable degree of attractiveness – effective to achieve their aims. Competition for women is more like competition for waterfront property or “decent neighborhoods” (surrounded by other top-10% people) – the inherent scarcity means it can’t be spread around to reduce social-frictions, and the rich (or powerful in Communist countries) end up getting it all.

    Traditionalists often make exactly the same arguments leftists make – they just use different objects and subjects. The negative personal and social side-effects of capitalism vs. the analogous ones of sexual liberation. The notion that certain aspects of the environment are worth official endorsement and encouragement so it can be conserved and preserved for future generations, vs the same considerations for culture and national composition.

    Left and Right are both capable of the same of the same reasoning, it’s just that they tend to overvalue their own interests and undervalue those of others. Not many reliable cost-benefit analyses to be found. Everyone skews the results to favor the case for their own dream of Utopia. But the argument itself (which is, really, an anti-libertarian one, “The nature of human beings and reality means that there are substantial social costs to individual freedom which can justify intervention”) is legitimate, and it’s a matter of applying it consistency and as objectively as feasible.

    • spandrell January 12, 2012 at 13:36

      Women aren’t scarce, they make themselves scarce by unreasonable expectations. And we make them scarce by porn-fueled unreasonable expectations. Schopenhauer used to argue that only mature adults should be allowed to read fiction, youngsters should be fed on a diet of history and biographies.

      Its a bad market for everyone; tells you something about those free markets which are efficient by definition. Somebody should hang those libertarians.

      • Handle January 12, 2012 at 21:49

        “Women aren’t scarce”.

        Quality women are. Sit in an average US airport and sit where you can “people watch” for a while and you’ll see just how scarce. I recently did exactly this in Atlanta and Detroit and, let me tell you, even a minimally low-bar for attractiveness excluded over 90% of the females I saw pass by – with “hot” being reserved for the top few percent. Very tragic indeed.

      • spandrell January 12, 2012 at 22:38

        Well I’ve never been to the US and God knows I’ll try to avoid it.

  5. Ted January 14, 2012 at 22:08

    Tim Cook may be getting 400 million bucks this last year, but hell, he must be spending them in coke just to stay way. Well coke isn’t that expensive. But still. I’d rather be middle-class but have a healthy sleep every day.

    Note that Tim Cook is gay. So he’s like a eunuch or a castrated working animal like a gelding slaving away for the corporation and shareholders. He’s not serving his direct genetic line or anything.

    His relatives could of course be helped by his hard work and wealth. But it’s also plausible that much of it is being wasted or serving others’ interests by being spent on hedonism, taxes, charities, etc.

    • spandrell January 15, 2012 at 14:34

      Heh, I didn’t know that one.

      Still he’s just one of many, and not all of them are castrated working animals. Some end up doing pretty embarrassing things just to get some poon.

  6. Foseti January 18, 2012 at 01:55

    I sort of feel like I should apologize for turning you on to the Business Insider, but it is a lot of fun – and it’s updated so frequently . . .

  7. Pingback: Just another day in the NYT | Bloody shovel

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