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Against the Cult of Busy
September 10, 2013 11:00 AM   Subscribe

You may succeed at work, but will you succeed at life? The rabbi of Toronto's City Shul, Elyse Goldstein, reacts against the "cult of busy" and the addictive quality of busyness for busyness's sake.
posted by jb (69 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
> Busy is a competitive sport- who has less time, me or you?

Don't hate the player, hate the game.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:19 AM on September 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Given the people I know who brag about how busy they are, I'll hate the player and the game.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2013 [23 favorites]


All I know is that I want to burn this particular fucking game to the ground. And then I want to tear down any remaining infrastructure of the game. And then I want to salt the fields surrounding the former location of the game.
posted by COBRA! at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2013 [26 favorites]


So true. Time is the one thing we all possess, regardless of race, sex, class or belief, but only in a finite and indeterminable amount.

I once volunteered at an emergency room in South Florida, and was struck by the amount of dying elderly that came through those doors... Rich, poor, men, women... people who were simply out of time. That regardless of their bank accounts, the size of the houses they came from, their personal beliefs; religious and political, or lack thereof, there was nothing they or anyone could do to create more time for them.

If the value of something can be found in its rarity, than there is nothing more valuable than what can be found in a single moment. For the trees will never sway quite like this again, this cloud will never appear in this shape again, these voices murmuring in the background will never speak in their specific chorus again.

But I have emails to write, dinner to make, children to dress, and dogs to feed, and there's always tomorrow, right?
posted by Debaser626 at 11:33 AM on September 10, 2013 [33 favorites]


I always protest internally when I read that "we" have bought into what Goldstein calls the "cult of busy" lifestyle. I haven't, my friends haven't, and I have no trouble avoiding people who simultaneously brag about and bemoan their busyness.
posted by Wordwoman at 11:36 AM on September 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


The cult of busy is keeping us from building the kind of community we all really crave. It’s keeping us from making the difference we all want so badly to make.

This may be true for me. As I am a Jewish atheist who uses the rituals of Judaism without the god stuff to be more aware and more intentional about the things happening in my life and the world, I have been thinking a lot about the new year this week.

How I am going to live this year with more intention? What was I focused on last year? What am I proud of having accomplished and what burden needs to be released?

One of the things that I would like to work on this year is community building in my personal life. Even though I am not a perpetually busy person and I take lots of time to do the things I love and be there for others, perhaps I still need to look at all of the things that keep me occupied for occupation's sake.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:39 AM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


> Given the people I know who brag about how busy they are, I'll hate the player and the game.

Those people are victims, too, they just don't know it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:41 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is just too much stuff to do. Netflix keeps fucking recommending stuff and won't stop! Just how many British detective shows are there? That all you guys make over there?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2013 [35 favorites]


Radhika Nagpal had a related piece that I thought was excellent - hers was specifically about the grind of being an assistant professor at an elite institution but I think it applies more generally:
At home we admire the parent who sacrificed everything for the sake of a better life for their children, even at great personal expense. The best scientists. The best parents. Anything less is not giving it your best.

And then I had an even more depressing epiphany. That in such a world I was destined to suck at both.

Needless to say it took a lot of time, and a lot of tears, for me to dig myself out of that hole. And when I finally did, it came in the form of another epiphany. That what I can do, is try to be the best whole person that I can be. And that is *not* a compromise. That *is* me giving it my very best.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


GradHacker also had a related funny segment called "How to Act Productive." (Highlights: Bring work to the gym. Start late. Feel guilty. Make sure "right now is a really bad time.")
posted by en forme de poire at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll be able to stop being busy when others need less of me!
posted by Calzephyr at 11:46 AM on September 10, 2013


Given the people I know who brag about how busy they are, I'll hate the player and the game.

Yea, really. There was a thread about it on here at some point i swear, but it brought up those people who are veteran, hardcore service industry workers who brag about working 14 days straight with "clopens" back to back and 10 hour days and stuff. It's the same kind of thing. Why would you brag about that? what's cool about that?

I just don't understand how you can think that being busy means that you're fulfilled, or that it's something to be proud of. Note that i'm almost entirely talking about the people who relate busyness to their job here, not just "oh yea and on tuesday i'm going hiking at XYZ ridge".

This busyness thing becomes a pissing match, and the people doing the pissing aren't victims. You sign away your right to be a victim to be pitied when you brag about something.

It's just gross.
posted by emptythought at 11:51 AM on September 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


All I know is that I want to burn this particular fucking game to the ground. And then I want to tear down any remaining infrastructure of the game. And then I want to salt the fields surrounding the former location of the game.

Man, you're going to be soooo busy getting all that shit done.
posted by General Tonic at 11:52 AM on September 10, 2013 [26 favorites]


BTW, I thought this was quite beautiful and moving. Thanks for posting.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:53 AM on September 10, 2013


GradHacker also had a related funny segment called "How to Act Productive."

Those are hilarious. These are so much more than just sending random emails at 1am on a Friday night:
You need people to know how productive you were over the weekend. You need to inspire them. Last week I mentioned how you must carefully slide your lack of sleep into conversations to preserve some social tact. Such rules seemlessly extend into this week. Don’t start by talking about your productive weekend, ask about their lazy weekend first: “So what did you do this weekend.” “Oh it was awesome, we took the boat out on Saturday, the weather was beautiful, hung out for a while, hit up this party in the evening. Then on Sunday…” “Oh, that must have been nice, I was here working the whole time.” Oh yes.
posted by bonehead at 11:59 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Why would you brag about that? what's cool about that?

People brag about that because our value in society is measured in dollars, and talking about how much you work is a way to signal that you have a lot of them, or at least aspire to. I still pity them, no matter how gross they are, because they're victims (or, if you don't like the word victim, the end result) of a broken system, whether they're aware of it or not. That's why we're calling it a "cult" of busyness.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:03 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seems like there are at least two modes of problematic busyness, though.

There's aspirational, "I gots to have more" busyness, but then there's also "I need three jobs just to maintain a pretty modest life". The latter seems unpleasantly common, at least in my own experience.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:10 PM on September 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


The random emails at 1am is not a joke, my boss at my last job did that. Then sent me a text at 6am asking if I had read them.
posted by hellojed at 12:12 PM on September 10, 2013


working 14 days straight with "clopens" back to back and 10 hour days and stuff. It's the same kind of thing. Why would you brag about that? what's cool about that?

There is a very strong strain of pathetic sucker mentality in America re: the "work ethic". It's a way of differentiating your virtuous, temporarily-embarassed-millionaire self from the undeserving leeches who are headed nowhere and deserve nothing. Unlike you. Of course.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:17 PM on September 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is not a new issue.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:20 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is also meant to show just how indispensable you are. Nobody wants to be just another cog. "I swear, if take lunch we might miss our estimates and have to lay people off, I'm that important!"
posted by Ad hominem at 12:21 PM on September 10, 2013


I'd love to RTFA and all that, but I'll just wade in here with a comment since my job's too important to permit me the time to really consider this issue.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


working 14 days straight with "clopens" back to back and 10 hour days and stuff. It's the same kind of thing. Why would you brag about that? what's cool about that?

There's a very teamlike (or cultlike, if you prefer) vibe in the service industry, much like there is in tech startups, where the biggest masochist is the best worker and if you're not working 12+ hour days, you're a scrub and a slacker. Importantly, a lot of times this isn't explicitly enforced by management, but by conformity among the workers themselves.

For example, at one of the startups I worked at, there was a group that would regularly go for long lunches and then, naturally, they'd have to stay until 9/10/11/midnight to finish up the work they were supposed to be doing when they were fucking around at lunch. I, and a couple other people, would take the usual 1 hour lunch and leave at the usual time, earning the stinkeye from the 2 Hour Lunch Bunch, to the point that they went and bitched to the CEO that we were leaving the office early and not pulling our weight while they were here until 9 or later EVERY NIGHT (nevermind that they would've been able to leave at 6 with the rest of us if they didn't take an extended lunch in the middle of the day).

So by NOT fucking around at lunch, the 3-5 of us not in The 2 Hour Lunch Bunch had become the problem at the office and got to have a Very Serious Chat with the CEO about how we were bringing company morale down when we weren't there with the rest of the team and we weren't doing enough work, etc.. Note that this wasn't a rule he had to enforce, his underlings enforced it for him and turned us leaving on time into a liability and a problem that had to be solved.

(If you're curious, his solution was "Well, you guys can take a long lunch too, if you want" not enforcing the rule about 1 hour lunches, because it was that kind of company)
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:34 PM on September 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


Productivity is a measure of rate of exploitation of human resources over time. Broadcasting your busy-ness signals/implies that you are a high productivity human resource, which therefore signals/implies that you can be exploited more quickly and more effectively than other human resources. It's a method of indicating your submission to the process of exploitation. If we were dogs, we'd roll over and show our tummies, but since we're humans we talk about how busy we are instead.

I hesitate to post this, because I know someone who actually lived through the period I'm about to talk about will come by to correct me (but maybe it'd be good if I were corrected here - I like having my romantic delusions punctured). But: while reading about the last days of Soviet Union I've frequently been struck by how in certain ways that particular country at that particular time seems like a more pleasant place to live than contemporary America. I'd, well, I'd quite like to live somewhere where no one has much - not many things, crappy housing even - but also where people have not many things to do, and where the average day consists of a lot of sitting around doing not much and having not much and shooting the shit with whoever's around.

Basically, I would like to be an openly non-productive, low-consumption worker in a system where that's okay, because no one else produces much either. I know the Soviet Union at its wane wasn't that, not really, but, man, some descriptions make it sound real close to it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:37 PM on September 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't have time for this.
posted by FuturisticDragon at 12:39 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I realized a while back that working longer hrs only makes the work you do become sloppy, which then leads you to work even more hrs to fix the stuff that you fucked because you weren't able to commit full attention to it the first time around. It's a shitty cycle that I keep seeing over and over among coworker and friends, and when I tell them that if they just cut back, relax and take time to unwind after a day of work, then their work will improve, they usually just mumble something about how busy they are.
posted by dudemanlives at 12:40 PM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


We have the material means to provide ample leisure for all. The problem is a failure of nerve. Most people can only define what they are by what they do: they simply don’t have the tools to do otherwise.
posted by No Robots at 12:45 PM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Broadcasting your busy-ness signals/implies that you are a high productivity human resource, which therefore signals/implies that you can be exploited more quickly and more effectively than other human resources. It's a method of indicating your submission to the process of exploitation. If we were dogs, we'd roll over and show our tummies, but since we're humans we talk about how busy we are instead.

Quite. As Ghostride The Whip's story illustrates, there is a quite strong whiff of the "house negro" to the attitude.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:45 PM on September 10, 2013


I realized a while back that working longer hrs only makes the work you do become sloppy, which then leads you to work even more hrs to fix the stuff that you fucked because you weren't able to commit full attention to it the first time around.
Quoted for truth.

My former office manager was always bragging about putting in long hours. Staying late to "play office" (meaning making copies of nearly EVERY PIECE OF PAPER in the office and putting them into folders to be alphabetized and never seen again). She made the most mistakes of anyone but was the first to point out the mistakes of others.
posted by stltony at 12:48 PM on September 10, 2013


Regarding my comment above and feeling sorry for the victims of the system who simultaneously are its instruments, like the character of Stephen in Django Unchained, it is possible to understand that they are victims of the system in their own turn and at the same time feel that they are sons of bitches for helping to perpetuate it.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:49 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be thrilled to be a success at either.
posted by tommasz at 12:52 PM on September 10, 2013


working 14 days straight with "clopens" back to back and 10 hour days and stuff. It's the same kind of thing. Why would you brag about that? what's cool about that?

When you're working that much at your menial jobs trying to pay off credit cards and student loans, you don't have anything else in your life to be proud of. You have to have something or you can't keep going. After a while it starts to feel like an accomplishment, even when you know it's unsustainable.
posted by impishoptimist at 12:58 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have often returned to Richard Scarry's excellent exploration of this subject.
posted by Kabanos at 12:59 PM on September 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


I realized a while back that working longer hrs only makes the work you do become sloppy, which then leads you to work even more hrs to fix the stuff that you fucked because you weren't able to commit full attention to it the first time around.

There's lots of evidence that this is true. Long weeks can help in the short term, but are ultimately self defeating, causing real losses in productivity due to errors. This takes anywhere from one to two months, and is why sustained crunch-mode is possibly the worst strategy there is to boost productivity.

The cult of busy is the enemy of actually getting work done. IME, those who pull long hours are often less productive than those who can go home every night and enjoy their weekends. Overtime should only be used in temporary and exceptional circumstances.
posted by bonehead at 1:17 PM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


The only winning move is not to play.
posted by sfts2 at 1:22 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a very teamlike (or cultlike, if you prefer) vibe in the service industry, much like there is in tech startups, where the biggest masochist is the best worker and if you're not working 12+ hour days, you're a scrub and a slacker. Importantly, a lot of times this isn't explicitly enforced by management, but by conformity among the workers themselves.

Oh, i know. I've worked several jobs like that. I just never bought in to that bullshit.

When you're working that much at your menial jobs trying to pay off credit cards and student loans, you don't have anything else in your life to be proud of. You have to have something or you can't keep going. After a while it starts to feel like an accomplishment, even when you know it's unsustainable.

To me this feels like an after the fact rationalization to add some kind of respectable, rugged, relatable humanity of the hard working man to these types of people. Every single one i met directly in the line of and through friends in the service industry were just hard drinking early 20s people who never even really went to college, or were idly meandering through community college maybe. It was just a bizarre machismo thing as mentioned above by others.

It was by no means driven by some debt, or to work anything specific off. It was just treating the difficulty of working in that type of job as a game an trying to be the baddest motherfucker who had the high score.

Seriously, i never met the noble working man trying to create something to be proud of type. Just the kind i mentioned.

I REALLY wish i could find the seattle stranger article about this that rags on it right now. It's not this one. It describes it so perfectly though.

It's basically an adult version of the kid whose uncle works at nintendo and let him try out the nintendo 65, with a slight twist.
posted by emptythought at 1:24 PM on September 10, 2013


The thing that baffles me is that I work at a university where there's a fairly explicit deal that our lower-than-the-private-sector pay is balanced by an institutional recognition that we have lives outside of work, and even in this environment there's always some dumbass who wants to burnish her or his hard worker cred by suggesting something like working through Christmas.
posted by COBRA! at 1:40 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cobra, I think some people in academia would suggest that the low pay is instead balanced by a sense of meaning and purpose and independence and GET TO WORK SLACKER PEOPLE ARE DYING OF PANCREATIC CANCER WHILE YOU'RE ON FACEBOOK YOU CAN CHECK IN ON YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD SLASH AFTER YOU CURE CANCER
posted by en forme de poire at 1:44 PM on September 10, 2013


Or their tenure committee.
posted by bonehead at 1:53 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno -- I'm Jewish and I more or less agree with her about the value of Shabbat and turning things off for a certain amount of time every week. And yet I can't help feeling like part of the anxiety that busycult members experience is the constant stream of articles nagging, "Are you doing things OPTIMALLY or it it possible you're LIVING YOUR LIFE TOTALLY WRONG?" and here we have one more of those articles.
posted by escabeche at 2:12 PM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Thats why we need to stop and hear the shofar, just like Abraham needed to stop to see the ram. The shofar shatters the altar of busy we have erected. I know when our member Peter blows the shofar today we will experience a moment like no other; a moment of absolute stillness and full attention during which the cult of busy will have no sway over us, will hold no attraction, and will exercise no power. The shofar is the sound of blowing away the need for pinging sounds to make us feel called. The shofar is the sound of our beating hearts when we slow down and ignore the distractions that are keeping us from hearing it. ”

That's gorgeous, and even makes me want to be a little religious.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:28 PM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have often returned to Richard Scarry's excellent exploration of this subject.
posted by Kabanos at 12:59 PM on September 10 [8 favorites +] [!]


Not to mention Tristan Farnon's.

almost certainly NSFW, bwahaha
posted by hap_hazard at 2:29 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't have time to read this. Somebody synopsize it for me.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:02 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mental Wimp: "I didn't have time to read this. Somebody synopsize it for me."

It's basicaly about AY CAT
FEED ME A STRAY CAT
FEED ME A STRAY CAT
FEED ME A STRAY CAT

posted by boo_radley at 3:14 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read Walden at age 16 and was forever changed. It is still one of the most influential books I've ever read. Thoreau's words are truer now than then were all those years ago.
posted by eq21 at 3:36 PM on September 10, 2013


I sort-of work with a Busy Woman. She begins almost every conversation with "I can't stay..." and then a litany of her busyness starts pouring forth. If there's a lull in the conversation she will just start listing off obligations she has, trailing off where she hopes you'll jump in and take on some of her busyness. She'll offer to help with anything, but then constantly remind you how many of her busy things she is displacing by helping you. If she's particularly wound up she'll start detailing the way her boss is busy. I know she thinks I don't work hard enough, but then she sees what I get accomplished and she must be confused. Somehow I manage to get my job done, and done well, without sweeping everyone I know into a frenzy. And then I have time for other things, while shes's still running around being busy.
posted by Biblio at 4:40 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried this early on in my career. It sucked: I burned out and got sloppy, nearly got fired. And it turns out that, at the end of the 15 hour day, nobody actually cares.

So I changed my game. I work reasonable hours (most of the time) and have a healthy work-life balance.

Pro-tips To Avoid Busy-Ness:
1. Never be late
2. Always be the coolest head in the room
3. Be Extremely Fucking Competent in your role*

Bonus Tip: find the 'delay send' feature in your corporate email client. Once in a while, schedule some email to be sent out at ungodly hours. Your message will be dutifully sent out at the appointed time even though you're sleeping/playing/etc, and your coworkers will think you're some kind of Dark Lord of Productivity.

*In my experience busy-ness is a weak compensator for ability. This seems to always bear out over time.
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:50 PM on September 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


No Robots: I don't think the problem is a lack of will among individual workers at all — I think workers act busy because we've correctly assessed the employer-employee relation as one of domination and submission, and so perform submission so that we don't get turfed and lose our jobs and homes and starve on the streets. Asking us to drop the routines of submission is... well, imagine a bully taking their victim's arm and beating the victim with it. Then imagine going up to the two of them and asking the victim to stop hitting themselves.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:26 PM on September 10, 2013


I think workers act busy because we've correctly assessed the employer-employee relation as one of domination and submission, and so perform submission so that we don't get turfed and lose our jobs and homes and starve on the streets.

I think thats one class of it, but not all of it. I work with people who act like this who are wealthy enough never to have to work again. Or an even larger set of people who could find another job in a day or two. In the tech industry, a lot of this is a competitive / identity thing and not a necessity thing.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:46 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Programmers are particularly terrible about being ultra-masochist long-hour guys. I have a strict rule: I work 40 hours. If there is an emergency, a real one, I might work 45. I do not work on holidays or weekends or at odd hours unless previously arranged and compensated with hours off at a time of my choosing. Other people will be bragging about putting in "a sixty hour week last week!" and I'm filling out a time sheet: 8. 8. 8. 8½. 7½.

When I left the job, they begged me to stay, and offered me a ridiculous raise. They have since tried to re-hire me twice. Several of the 60 hour week guys have been laid off.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:53 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think workers act busy because we've correctly assessed the employer-employee relation as one of domination and submission, and so perform submission so that we don't get turfed and lose our jobs and homes and starve on the streets.

I'd say this is part of it. Part of it is also...well, one of the problems I frequently run into with work stuff is I'm quiet and thoughtful when I'm mulling something over and people interpret that as disinterest or a lack of engagement. People who are vomiting out an endless stream of verbal diarrhea and are in a flailing panic or constant freak out are seen as urgently doing something even if (or especially if) it's wrong, because I have found companies don't value actual results so much as the appearance of effort and in fact, if you're the one that quickly and smoothly solves a problem, they actually value you less than the one running around shrieking SO BUSY MAKING AN EFFORT TRYING SO HARD. One of the skills I had to train myself in was babbling out half-formed thoughts to create the appearance of effort rather than waiting until I'd fully formed an opinion, because "quiet and thoughtful" was always seen as "not working" or "not trying hard enough."

Or, say, in baseball, there are players that aren't that good that are constantly praised because they do flashy things like make diving catches and it looks amazing and the announcers go OH WOW THAT GUY REALLY GETS HIS UNIFORM DIRTY BOY OH BOY HE IS GRITTY AND SCRAPPY. However, players that are truly good would not have to go diving in the dirt to make the catch, because they'd already be in position to make it and make it look easy, but that tends to be valued less than frantically MAKING AN EFFORT.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:19 PM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only winning move is not to play.

Easier said than done, friend. And one is not always busy by choice.
posted by sundrop at 9:17 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Capitalism rewards Derek Jeters. Like, whoa, it's true literally and like a metaphor.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:25 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dear Mr. Buick:

I greatly appreciate your contributions here at Metafilter. My post in this thread was a response to you. I had meant to suggest that you are not completely mistaken about the Soviet Union. Horrible system that it was, it at least preached the ideal of worker empowerment. In this ideal there is real power, but faith in this ideal seems to be disappearing. It is high time for a renewed commitment to both socialism and spirituality, those ideals so scorned by the bullies.
posted by No Robots at 9:26 PM on September 10, 2013


I have often returned to Richard Scarry's excellent exploration of this subject.
posted by Kabanos at 12:59 PM on September 10 [8 favorites +] [!]

Not to mention Tristan Farnon's.

almost certainly NSFW, bwahaha


Ah, T. Farnon, an interesting sense of humour.
posted by ovvl at 9:29 PM on September 10, 2013


Has anyone else here gotten 404'd by the first link in the post?

Or were y'all just too busy to actually click on it?

;-)
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:54 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


However, players that are truly good would not have to go diving in the dirt to make the catch, because they'd already be in position to make it and make it look easy, but that tends to be valued less than frantically MAKING AN EFFORT.

I've always been disappointed that Yoda's light saber duel wasn't like this. Instead of Sonic on speed he should have been the very picture of zen like economy of motion.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:53 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You may succeed at work, but will you succeed at life?

I've cleverly managed to get round this dilemma by failing at everything.
posted by Grangousier at 12:13 AM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


All I know is that I want to burn this particular fucking game to the ground. And then I want to tear down any remaining infrastructure of the game. And then I want to salt the fields surrounding the former location of the game. posted by COBRA!

Man, you know GI Joe will stop you.
Why bother?
posted by Mezentian at 5:34 AM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alternative link from Goldstein's blog.
posted by jb at 5:44 AM on September 11, 2013


dudemanlives: "I realized a while back that working longer hrs only makes the work you do become sloppy"

Once you commit yourself to "working" for an unrealistic span during the day, what happens is the level of half-productive mucking about goes up. Reading metafilter, wandering around looking blank, chatting with coworkers or on the phone, being distracted by sorta-work-but-not-quite things doesn't seem like such a big deal since we're going to be here for 12 HOURS I mean imagine how much work we're getting done! What's a bit of faffing here and there?

Meanwhile, if you commit to having to get your share of work done in a sensible workday, suddenly that faffing represents a much larger proportion of wasted time.
posted by vanar sena at 6:46 AM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I get around that by committing to getting nothing much done at all. I am on the fast track to management!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:59 AM on September 11, 2013


I'd have liked to see the article, but the link seems to be a 404 now.
posted by philipy at 9:29 AM on September 11, 2013


There is also the hilarious Sandra Boynton song for children Busy, Busy, Busy (MP3 file | web page - scroll down to Philadelphia Chickens)... my kids love it.
posted by ludicdruid at 11:05 AM on September 11, 2013


Who by water, and who by fire?
posted by skbw at 5:44 PM on September 11, 2013


philipy - please see the alternative link I posted a few comments above yours. it's the same sermon, hosted on the rabbi's blog. Sorry about the original link - I don't know what happened to it.
posted by jb at 7:40 PM on September 11, 2013


If the value of something can be found in its rarity, than there is nothing more valuable than what can be found in a single moment. For the trees will never sway quite like this again, this cloud will never appear in this shape again, these voices murmuring in the background will never speak in their specific chorus again.

Debaser626 - that is beauty in words. Well said.
posted by lon_star at 9:12 AM on September 12, 2013


Thanks for posting the alternate link.

It is a fascinating piece.

The irony is I hastily skim-read it because I have stuff to do now, and I plan to re-read it and reflect more fully on it later. Intentions of that kind, truth be told, have a tendency to never come to pass.

I've been thinking about such issues lately, e.g. in this this other thread, and one of the things I was thinking about was the way that traditional religious communities and their calendars provided a structure for people to help them regularly bring their focus back to their most important values, and how most us don't have that anymore.
posted by philipy at 10:27 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Updated the link so it shouldn't be 404 anymore.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:35 AM on September 15, 2013


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