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User Journal

Journal Journal: Are smart people lazy?

I came across a /. article about a Nick Carr column, "Is Google Making us Stoopid?"

In the comments, there was a discussion about how as people become smarter, they also become lazier. There are several reasons for this. First, they expect to be more respected as they gain knowledge, and more respected positions often do not require you to work as hard (more on this later). Second, smarter people develop tools and machines to get the same amount of work done more quickly and easily.

A question I will leave open is whether people today who are in positions of power and wealth are smarter than those who are not. On one hand, there are rich, lazy people who have either inherited wealth or power (or were just plain lucky), or who have taken it through illegitimate means, or have received it by outsmarting everyone else. On the other, there are those who have worked for their wealth or power. Conventional wisdom says that the former is likely to be lazy, and the latter is not.

But is the conventional wisdom correct? It is certainly logical to assume that a hard-working person who becomes rich or powerful may then become lazy. If this wealth or power was earned, is this outcome likely? Certainly he is more likely to try to hold on to his wealth or power?

I guess there are a few things that can happen. The person can invest the increase and continue working as hard as before, or he can consume the same and not work as hard.

So is it then programmed into us how hard we will work based on our circumstances? Are hard-working have-nots naturally hard working because they have not, or would they still work hard if they were rich? Furthermore, if it is true that they would be hard-working if they suddenly became wealthy, would they not be hardworking if they had been rich from day one?

Here's a case study: business management. Working-class people often see being a boss as being able to do no work other than to order others to do work for them. Companies are usually structured such that the few bosses make a lot of money and the many employees make a little money. But why is this? Is it because the boss works much harder than the employees? Is it because he is smarter than the employees and the employees are unable to determine how he makes so much money? Or is it because the employees know exactly how and why he makes so much, but are unable to make as much because the boss is somehow stronger than them?

Studies have shown that people without (adequate) governments in populated areas form factions which become gangs. In fact, the gangs that exist today are run very much like a corporation, with a very wealthy gang leader and many poor minions. But it is not obvious whether the gang leader is in charge because of strength and force, or intelligence and skill.

I myself come from a rich family. I'll just say it right now: I don't work hard. And I'm not stupid: people tell me I am smart, and I'm working on a master's degree. I'll do whatever it takes to get the grade or bring home a paycheck, but that's it. People tell me it's not supposed to be this way: young people are supposed to have passion. Well, I sure as hell don't. I've been fired from three jobs for not working hard enough. I think that in school I was able to get away with only doing what was necessary, but in the real world, employers want you to do 'extra work.' I hate extra work. It stands in the way of me doing what I want to do: nothing. That's right, I would rather to nothing than work.

I'm not an asshole. I care very deeply about being fair. In fact, if I see that my not doing work results in it being dumped on someone else, I'll do it. I just don't give a shit about working hard at a job that isn't fun if I don't have to. I'm sorry, but if I see work as pointless, or 'beneath me,' I won't do it, unless I can directly see that someone else will have to clean up the mess if I don't. I don't care about the consequences of not working, probably because my parents are rich, I have money in the bank, and I know I will still be taken care of either way. So it's given me a big sense of entitlement. Ironically, this sense of entitlement has gotten me where I am today: jobless for the last 16 months.

I have had jobs that I've enjoyed. Perhaps it is because they were in IT support and there was a lot of downtime when I could work on things I wanted to do. But they didn't pay much, and that's probably why.

And that's my candid $0.02...

User Journal

Journal Journal: I hate phones

I hate phones. Perhaps it's because I've been spoiled by IM and email, but I find these particularly devices extremely annoying.

Imagine a device that would allow anyone anywhere to cause an infernal racket wherever you are; a racket that would appear to be coming from you. Now imagine that the noise was supposed to alert you that you need to drop whatever you're doing and take care of a person nowhere near you- right now.

That's a phone. And it's quite possibly the most annoying device ever created. Worst of all, when you answer your phone, especially at work, you have to SOUND CHEERFUL! So if you're in a bad mood and pissed off at some idiot who is making your life a living hell, you have to put your feelings aside and FORCE yourself to be happy. NOTHING MAKES ME ANGRIER THAN BEING FORCED TO BE HAPPY!

Sometimes when people call me, they say "it's so good to hear your voice." This makes me EVEN MORE ANGRY because they LOVE this device. It's like Satan is a phone, and they're worshiping the devil!

Okay, phones are helpful in a few special cases- like when you're standing in front of a friend's house and your friend doesn't answer the door, and you need to communicate with him- NOW.

That's called an emergency. And that's about all phones are good for: emergencies.

Alas, a savior is on its way: the smartphone. Now I have the freedom to communicate with people from anywhere, without having to sound cheerful, and at a time that I get to choose. And text communication uses only about 1/1000th of the bandwidth of a phone!

Unfortunately, many people do not believe the smartphone is the messiah and continue to call me on the phone, or not respond to emails, forcing me to call them on the phone.

That is why we must BAN PHONES! Make them illegal! BURN THE HEATHENS!

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