Whither Work?

The model for lazy entrepreneurs is Tim Ferriss’s book. I haven’t read it beacause…well, because although the idea of a four-hour workweek appeals to my inner sloth, having it as a goal seems altogether too pat.

I am wrong, of course. If I thought I could manage making hour a day count as much as eight or ten (or twelve, as I used to) then I’m all in. Who actually wants to work four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon to make money to pay the bills? More important, who doesn’t want to do that?

A few questions arise. The first one is, what if you enjoy that eight hours? Complementarily, what if you find the idea of having most of your days vacant a horror? It might seem counter-intuitive, but some folks much prefer the idea of a structured work life, because it then gives structure to their private and leisure life. Whether this results from conditioning is the big point.

Another way to look at this is: What would I do with the time I have not working? The answer to that will very greatly from individual to individual, of course, but it’s not as simple as all that. I am particularly bad at figuring out how to play. Swimming, walking, reading, drinking coffee, writing and being with friends pretty much covers it, but these are easily accommodated with the space left from a regular job.

So why do I want to work at getting my hourly value of work sky-high? Well, for one thing, actually having spare time will likely open paths unseen when our heads are down. The other is that we might be able to express our pleasures as income producing, which gets neatly to a point I aspire to: To work but have it not feel like work.

Perhaps that’s a better book.

Wages of Doom

If you earn less than $20 per hour, your job will be automated.

This brilliant headline is a sub-editor’s dream, simultaneously creating interest, fear and need to know more. But is it true?

Well, nobody really knows. It is way too general for a start. But I like the spur to action that it might create in someone who knows they can do better but lacks the drive to do so.

Misery

So much misery. So much. And that’s in wealthy countries. I cannot imagine living in Sudan, where everything is going bad…or has already gone bad.

Our misery, our abundance misery, is entirely of our own making. Most people in the US make enough money. What that do not do is husband that money properly. The spending side of their lives does not remain less than their income side.

Every night and day here in what many would call a minor offshoot of paradise, I see poor, indigent, struggling people. And they’re all drinking convenience-store fizzy drinks, or smoking, or doing nothing at all when they should be working. These folks choose poorly, and so are poor.

My utopia is a place where people can make a living and not rely at all on the largesse of their neighbors. That largesse includes the awful re-distribution of my money that governments somehow feel is their bailiwick.

Yes. Genuine hardship unrelated to work and spending habits exist. They are more than adequately helped by private charities, and would be overwhelmed if the government removed itself from the business. In other words, an already generous nation would become more so if it didn’t have to support clowns in “departments”.

Becoming independent of charity, hand-outs, government “programs” and even the money from rich uncle Don is an aim we should all have.

Restraint. Self-control. Prioritization. Self-denial. Work. Budgeting. These are the methods by which anyone can avoid misery.

Not At Home

Facebook’s mobile revenues were up in the last quarter, a lot. Astonishingly, nearly 20% of the world’s population has an “account” with this company, which tells us something, although I am uncertain just what.

The advertisers’s dilemma continues. On the one hand we have this shift to life on devices. On the other we have legacy media still operating, albeit at a much lower level. I can still remember the heyday of the newspaper classified ads business, when Fairfax, the then owners of the Sydney Morning Herald, declared their small-ads business a “river of gold”.

Noteworthy, thirty years on, of its replacement with the “river of drivel” that are most social media.

The question remains: how to find your customer? As Matt Drudge proclaimed about the likes of Twitter and Facebook, the internet is increasingly ghetto-ized. I wonder if consumer taste and choice is the same. Are we happy in our consumption fortress, or are we open to new ideas?