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More than 4 hours spent hating Tim Ferriss
January 8, 2009 10:55 AM   Subscribe

"5 Time management tricks I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss", author of The 4-Hour Work Week.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (89 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Christ, was an etc.

Also, how much time could this guy save by cutting down to a reasonable number of 'r's and 's's in his name? I'm just saying.
posted by DU at 11:06 AM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was amused.
posted by Nonce at 11:07 AM on January 8, 2009


A life without a nemesis is a life less livid.
posted by stavrogin at 11:07 AM on January 8, 2009 [49 favorites]


I learned that simply avoiding Tim Ferriss saves you a lot of time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel cleansed.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2009


Makes mental note to avoid Penelope Trunk and Tim Ferriss.
posted by fixedgear at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Huh. I just googled around and discovered this Tim Ferriss person is probably real. I had this for some kind of weird in-joke.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2009


Christ, was an etc.

Christ WAS an asshole? that's a bold escalation of that meme. should go very well here on der blau.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


don't hate on germans, hat :(
posted by boo_radley at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did the author also throw tantrums on the playground as a child?
posted by Joe Beese at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2009


This is one of those moments I love when I will have heard of something vaguely at some point in my life and thought "Huh, that sounds kind of cool I guess, maybe I should check it out" and then I never get around to checking it out and totally forget about it for two years and then there is a post to Metafilter about how it is terrible and the person behind it is a monster and I am glad that I never invested any time into learning anything about that person or their blog or book or whatever and never gave them any money or blog hits and then I go "Oh yeah, apathy wins again!"
posted by ND¢ at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2009 [45 favorites]


tl; dr
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:21 AM on January 8, 2009


tl; dr

Summary: Tim Ferris is a doody head.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2009


Up until a few moments ago, I had no idea who Tim Ferriss was, which means I have been incredibly succesful at avoiding him. I'm available for motivational speeches.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


Man, it must be exhausting to hate someone that much.
posted by juliplease at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tim runs around telling people who have lots of relationships competing for their time how to think about work/not work, forgetting that in the real world, where people are not assholes, time management is not an equation or a semantic game because relationships really matter.

Right. That reminds me of how Stephen Covey wrote in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that his son once allotted 15 minutes on his schedule to call his girlfriend of a year or more and dump her. Obviously, he ended up having to put more time into talking things over with the girl. Relations with other people cannot be quantified and time-managed, and if you try to do it you'll wind up becoming a sleazy hustler other people can't stand.
posted by orange swan at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


that's a bold escalation of that meme.

We're immanentizing the escalation.
posted by cortex at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


As a result of having half-read Getting Things Done I'm putting this advice in a bucket, or something.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2009 [29 favorites]


I find it enervating to pick a few people to really despise. I pick them at random. You'd be surprised how easy it is to locate reasons for hating anybody at all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


(singsong voice) I think she has a crush on someone! And I think I know who it is! Tim and Penelope, sitting in a tree...
posted by fungible at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


der blau

I don't understand. Not even in German.

Is this getting old yet?
posted by Nick Verstayne at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2009


My nemesis is Bruce Nauman, as a result of having to wait for someone next to one of his fucking crappy video art pieces, and them taking an unexpectedly long time, resulting in me having to be in the vicinity of the fucking thing while it looped repeatedly. I hate you Bruce Nauman! From hells teeth I spit at thee!
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on January 8, 2009


I get hating Tim Ferriss because he sucks and everything, but dancing tango is clearly work? I sort of doubt it. It's not like Ferriss relies on any tango income he's dancing. Because he likes it. He could be sleeping late if he felt like it instead. That's not like being a paralegal or a garbage man. I'm sure the four hour work week is just marketing horseshit but if you want to run your own business and you don't want to make as much money as you can you can work much less than 40 hours a week. And if you only work like 10 hours a week you will probably get a higher marginal return on your time than if you worked 50. The idea that you have to expand your work to fill your time regardless of how much money you need is so crazily common that it requires extraordinary intervention to do anything else. But there isn't any good reason for why this should be the case.
posted by I Foody at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


You people are missing the real gem here. Check out the poll on the right side:

Women who are more educated receive more oral sex. I wonder, is this also true for women who make more money? Please answer this question based on your own experience, as a giver or receiver.
posted by Big_B at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2009


That's some serious competition for AskMe.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2009


I'd have commented sooner, but I only check metafilter twice a day.
posted by brandman at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


big_b, I have to find a way to pitch that to our marketing committees.
posted by boo_radley at 11:49 AM on January 8, 2009


I FUCKING HATE YOU BRUCE NAUMAN! HATE YOU TILL THE END OF TIME!
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Women who are more educated receive more oral sex.

Does that work for males?

*eyes unfinished thesis*
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find Tim Ferriss very helpful as he offers a portal into the mind of a psychopathic narcissist, someone who views others as solely the means to greater self-aggrandizement. It's very helpful to learn how to recognize folks like that without having them be a part of your life, because they're usually pretty destructive.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2009 [22 favorites]


It's not like Ferriss relies on any tango income he's dancing. Because he likes it.

Does that make it not "work"? Depends on how you define "work" which is exactly the "semantic game" thing she's talking about.
posted by DU at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2009


Women who are more educated receive more oral sex. Does that work for males?

Would they be more headucated then?

I'm sorry.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:53 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


As if I didn't dislike this woman enough already, I had to read her 9/11 story...

I was one who wanted a better look. I wanted to get closer. And the price I paid was leaving my shoes in the middle of a pile of suffocating bodies.

And they were her favorite pair! Oh, the humanity!

I wanted to be closer. At the corner of Church and Broadway, I angled my way through a large, packed crowd to get the best view.


Out of my way, bridge-and-tunnel scum!
posted by Joe Beese at 11:55 AM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'd never heard of Penelope or Tim before, but in merely 15 minutes, I've got quite a bit of dislike built up for both of them. I guess I can take the next 3:45 off.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find it enervating to pick a few people to really despise. I pick them at random. You'd be surprised how easy it is to locate reasons for hating anybody at all.

I'm not sure if this is a malapropism or just a really odd thing to say.
posted by camcgee at 12:01 PM on January 8, 2009


Um, the oppose of enervating. Nervating.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:04 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


She was at the corner of Church and Broadway...one of her commenters was also at the corner of Church and Broadway...somebody show me on google maps: where exactly is that? Aren't those streets parallel?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2009


and yet, Tim Ferris is now on the front page. A link to his book on amazon, no less. The man really does know how to get his name out.
posted by shmegegge at 12:11 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry. Ferriss.
posted by shmegegge at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2009


She is correct that Ferriss uses a semantic trick, defining work as non-work, to achieve the fake four hour work week he hawks in the title. But the Tango thing was a bad example.
posted by Outlawyr at 12:14 PM on January 8, 2009


The 4-Hour Workweek consists of some profoundly useful insights into how we might rethink the relationship between work and life and money, wrapped in the packaging of an insanely annoying, hyperventilating get-rich-quick scheme that almost nobody, I'm sure, has ever fully implemented. I'm always a bit surprised by people who hate it so much; can't you trust yourself to extract the good stuff without taking on the surface characteristics of the author? Meanwhile Penelope Trunk just comes off as incredibly easily riled, and petty.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile Penelope Trunk just comes off as incredibly easily riled, and petty.

I have to admit to reading ehr blog regularly (well, it's in Google Reader, so it's not a lot of effort). She's discovered that by blogging dishy details of her personal life, readership goes up. So really, dumping on this guy is as calculated as she accuses him of being.
posted by GuyZero at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think they had more than coffee that day. Her level of bitterness has "jilted" written all over it.
posted by rocket88 at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2009


One too many rides on the "Ferriss Wheel," Hah? Hah? Gedddit?
posted by jonmc at 12:35 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to admit to reading her blog regularly (well, it's in Google Reader, so it's not a lot of effort). She's discovered that by blogging dishy details of her personal life, readership goes up. So really, dumping on this guy is as calculated as she accuses him of being.

I totally agree. Every now and then I'm tempted to take her off my blogroll, but she always draws me back in when I least expect it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't to have dated someone to despise them. Although it helps.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:42 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I needed a shower after reading Ferris's book. He is one-half Dale Carnegie Course huckster, one-half used car salesman, and one-half multi-level marketing scum. That's 150% asshole.

Is life easier for this kind of sociopath?
posted by the christopher hundreds at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


I would have flagged this if "This is shameless marketing" was an option for flagging
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2009


If I was interested in saving time, I wouldn't have given $5 to MetaFilter.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2009 [16 favorites]


I don't really know who either of these people are (nor do I care to, based on what I've read), but I do think she makes a very important point about relationships - they are very key to getting things done in my world, and my time management approach changed when I figured that out.

As with many things on the internet, you have to sort and sift the gems out from the snark, complaining, and general wonkiness of the person writing.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2009


Save Ferriss
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm with Christopher and Leo above: someone I trusted recommended the Ferris book and I was horrified to realize that the whole idea was to create scam products and pay someone else incredibly low wages to do your work on them for you.

However, if you ever need to explain the categorical imperative to anyone, he's a great example: if everyone did what he suggested, the world would come to a grinding halt as there would be no one left to pay to do the shit work and no real work would get done.
posted by Maias at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ssavve Ferriss?
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2009


So most weeks Tim probably has a 100-hour workweek. It's just that he's doing things he likes, so he lies to you and says he only works four hours. He defines work only as doing what you don't like.

I understand why people call this a semantic game, but if I could really get all the things I don't like doing in a week done in FOUR HOURS I would be ecstatic. Even if I still did "work" (that I enjoyed) the rest of the time.

So it's kind-of a game, but also kind-of not --- I mean, who doesn't want to eliminate / drastically reduce what they don't like to do?
posted by wildcrdj at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2009


I already work a four hour workweek. I joined the blue.

Thanks Metafilter!
posted by lumpenprole at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


From his bio:

Tim is an active education activist and has architected experimental social media campaigns . . . As a professional polymath, he has amassed a diverse roster of credentials and experience . . . He developed his nonfiction writing with Pulitzer Prize winner John McPhee and formed his life philosophies under Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe . . .

. . . Tim eats punks like you for breakfast . . . Tim developed his universal cure for malaria with the most revered shamen of Borneo . . . Tim benchpresses the starting offensive line of the New York Giants . . . Lines 'em up on a bench, lifts the whole bench in the air, like that . . . Tim architected the Bilbao Guggenheim, but gave Gehry the credit because he really needed to catch a break that year . . . Tim formed his perfectly sculpted calves out of raw plutonium and then had them bronzed in platinum and mounted in the Louvre . . . Tim is an advocate of active action so active it can't be seen with the naked eye and arrives back a minute before it left . . . Tim can bend space-time with an arch of his handsome eyebrows . . . Tim isn't your new bicycle but he can make it go faster with less effort without even trying . . . Tim is the kingdom, the power and the glory . . .
posted by gompa at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2009 [19 favorites]


if everyone did what he suggested, the world would come to a grinding halt as there would be no one left to pay to do the shit work and no real work would get done.

This criticism is largely true of many motivational speakers. There's a slight problem with a motivational guru telling a room full of sales reps that they can be the number one salesperson.
posted by orange swan at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2009


Dang bio link's busted; here it is again.
posted by gompa at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2009


. . . Tim can fix your broken Mefi link with his mind . . .
posted by gompa at 1:29 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


As I was reading this I thought "wow, this guy sure reminds me of Penelope Trunk. I really hate her."

!!!
posted by sondrialiac at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2009


You've got the voice down, gompa, but are missing the point. It's not that Tim is so great. It's that Tim can use weasel words to make anything sound like an impressive accomplishment. He's the world's top ultimate greatest resume padder.

So it wouldn't be: Tim architected the Bilbao Guggenheim, but gave Gehry the credit because he really needed to catch a break that year.

Rather, he would volunteer to help install the new mailboxes so he could co-architect the Bilbao Guggenheim along with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry.
posted by Gary at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why people call this a semantic game. Doing what you like and what interests you and for which you're not paid is not work. Learning the tango, training for a marathon, crafting old suitcases into pet beds or reading the blue take time and different amounts of effort but they're not work. Teaching the tango, coaching marathon runners, working at Hobby Lobby and reading briefs are work. As an unemployed person I know the difference.

Now, please excuse me while I go teach my dog to fetch.
posted by shoesietart at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2009


So, he bait-and-switched this woman into going for coffee, which is pretty sleazy in itself, then proceeded to yap on endlessly to her about his fucking book? Christ, what an asshole.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2009


So now I've wasted even more time trying to figure out what her company actually does. Evidently, one can join her website, participate in community forums, maintain a profile and some form of personal blog, and network with employers. Sounds okay, I guess. But then her most prominent employer is Chili's. Chili's for the love of god.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:50 PM on January 8, 2009


As a professional polymath

Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by orange swan at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2009 [12 favorites]


Every now and then I'm tempted to take her off my blogroll, but she always draws me back in when I least expect it.

I know! The farmer! She cried in her hotel room! She was overdressed for a Silicon Valley cocktail party! (you look so nice!). It's like a start-up meets 90210.
posted by GuyZero at 2:34 PM on January 8, 2009


So now I've wasted even more time trying to figure out what her company actually does.

From her perspective, the company raises money from VCs. That's about it.
posted by GuyZero at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2009


Now, please excuse me while I go teach my dog to fetch.

Tim Co-architected a valuable resource sharing paradigm with a species variable coauthor.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:49 PM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


>> if everyone did what he suggested, the world would come
>> to a grinding halt as there would be no one left to pay to do the
>> shit work and no real work would get done.

> This criticism is largely true of many motivational speakers. There's
> a slight problem with a motivational guru telling a room full of sales
> reps that they can be the number one salesperson.


Well, actually.. this criticism is completely true of every occupation imaginable. I still here it all the time though, mostly around ideas like freeganism.
posted by Chuckles at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2009


Well, actually.. this criticism is completely true of every occupation imaginable.

I don't think so. I'm an editor. Not everyone can, would want to, or should be an editor, and that's fine because my job is to be an editor, not to convince everyone they can be editors. Motivational speakers claim to help people be successful, and they never seem to acknowledge the fact that their methods won't suit everyone, and that not everyone can live in luxury, work in an artistic field or work four hours a week. Their whole idea of success is based on one's doing better than most of the rest of the world and therefore by definition impossible for most people.
posted by orange swan at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


in other words...embrace mediocrity! (sheesh, took you long enough)
posted by jonmc at 4:01 PM on January 8, 2009


I don't think he likes to tango, or Kickbox; my impression is that he wants to impress others. But he likes impressing others so maybe it's "not work" (or turles) all the way down.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, actually.. this criticism is completely true of every occupation imaginable.

It's not just that he's telling everyone to be great or efficient. It's that his ideas only work if most other people don't do them. You can check e-mail twice a week, and that works because everyone else still checks it more often and everything is waiting for you. If everyone checked it twice a week, e-mail would not be useful.

A lot of his advice works this way. Your automated money making scheme only works because some other schmo is willing to work 40 hours a week at a low wage.

His criticism of the working to retire mentality makes a lot of sense. His solution is no more scalable than any other get rich quick scheme.
posted by Gary at 4:26 PM on January 8, 2009


Since she is also, like Tim Ferriss, a narcissistic bullshit peddler, this post is complete jealousy.

But I see why GuyZero and TPS read her blog. It's like a slow-mo flameout, except it's not in the gray, it's her whole life.
posted by fleacircus at 5:20 PM on January 8, 2009


It's like a slow-mo flameout, except it's not in the gray, it's her whole life.

If your life is going to heck, you might as well monetize it.
posted by GuyZero at 5:23 PM on January 8, 2009


Wow. That blog was a sad, petty and inert waste of time.
posted by tkchrist at 5:51 PM on January 8, 2009


I also hate Tim Ferriss. I had never heard of Tim Ferriss until I saw this post but after ~5 minutes of clicking around I now hate him.
MetaFilter: Pretty Blue Hate Machine.
posted by MikeMc at 5:54 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The man's mother probably hates him. Plus all the people who work for him — like the ones paid to Google him (though you know he's the type to Google himself) and monitor references to him on the net and who are reading these words right now. Feel that hate, Ferriss employees! And then get yourselves decent jobs!
posted by orange swan at 6:14 PM on January 8, 2009


I'm always a bit surprised by people who hate it so much; can't you trust yourself to extract the good stuff without taking on the surface characteristics of the author?

I don't buy shit from Don Lapre either and it's not because I'm afraid of becoming Don Lapre, I just try to avoid giving any more of my money, time or attention to blowhard, narcissistic assholes than absolutely necessary.
posted by MikeMc at 6:16 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


After 30 seconds of viewing the Brazen Careerist front page I've decided I hate Penelope Trunk and all the people who joined her site as well.
posted by MikeMc at 6:40 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, I don't know. I read most of this as tongue in cheek. Maybe I'm giving her too much credit. But her overall style didn't really annoy me. It's your standard, I-centric blog.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:01 PM on January 8, 2009


I thought Ferriss' book was kind of fun. Totally impractical ("First step, start a wildly succesful business!") but fun.
posted by bardic at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2009


Oh, this is priceless (from Tim's bio):

“Tim has packed more lives into his 29 years [at time of publication] than Steve Jobs has in his 51.”
- Tom Foremski, Journalist and Publisher of SiliconValleyWatcher.com


I'm no huge Steve Jobs fan, but self-promoting huckster Tim Ferriss is not worthy of scrubbing the skid marks out of Steve Jobs's underwear.
posted by jayder at 11:01 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't understand how someone like Tim Ferriss actually has the cojones to be touting himself as a success ... four years of prestigious undergraduate education, and this is the best he could do, writing a cheesy MLM-style self-help book?
posted by jayder at 11:20 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trunk's blog post seems like one narcissist attacking another narcissist for being a narcissist and not paying enough attention to her.

It's a clash of two self-packaging, impersonal, outscale Personalities... rendered weirdly, unpleasantly... personal.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:37 AM on January 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I never paid attention to either of these people before... and yet, after all I read, if I were a book publisher and had to pick one of these two people to write for my firm, I would have to pick Mr. Ferriss.

Why?

I've been to SXSW. It's a lot of fun in the way that so many vaguely cutting-edge-of-media conventions are. But it's also a bit of a pretentious, clique-y, blogtastic lovefest, compare gadgets, do cool human tricks, talk politics and the world, and generally intellectualize. And at the end of the week, they always claim to be energized, with new ideas... before heading back to the same projects they worked on before and doing the same as before... at least until they fly off for the next seminar.

Were their lives transformed by the convention... or did they just get their geek on and confirm their place amongst their peers?

Let's be honest... writing a "tips to improve productivity" book is not an intellectualist undertaking, though you may try to make it appear so. It's perfectly fine to go to a convention and enjoy yourself amongst your peers -- I certainly have in the past -- but much of the time it accomplishes about as much as a cocaine binge. You get the high, followed by a crash afterwards... and you wonder where your week and your money went.

Far better to stay at home, actually doing the hard work of staying focused on the task at hand... not caring what all those others think, unless, of course, you need their help to sell your product.

I would never want to meet Mr. Ferriss or be his friend... He seems like a complete wanker, really. But you have to admit, he singlemindedly focused on the work at hand, even though he raised the ire of an unsuccessful writer in the process.

We probably all know a few people like Tim Ferriss in our lives. Shamelessly self-promoting, untrustworthy bastards.

Too bad most of them are pretty successful, isn't it?!
posted by markkraft at 12:47 AM on January 9, 2009


Well that's two more nemesises ... er, nemesi?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:20 AM on January 9, 2009


I'd like to find a random sample of anyone who takes these time management tips to heart. I always lose them in about a week.
posted by Buzzkilz at 7:25 PM on January 9, 2009


Tim Ferriss wrote a post called "How to Learn (but not master) any language in 1-hour" back in Nov. 2007. I had a few issues with it. (self-link, sorry, but thought I'd share because I really care about language and it REALLY pissed me off to see him bastardize the subject.)
posted by iamkimiam at 2:26 PM on January 15, 2009


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