27 Jul 2013, 9:25pm
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  • Work isn’t Fun – Scientific Study reports

    There’s a love/hate relationship with work in the personal finance culture. Working usually improves your finances, but there are an awful lot of people who like the idea of financial independence. There’s the whole ‘find the work you love’ meme, and a smidgen of Calvinist thinking which I’ve railed on at before.

    So it pleases me to bring you the results of a couple of researchers at the LSE, who were using the results of an app called Mappiness to see how people’s happiness correlated with various factors. One of which was working.

    Guess what I can reveal about the results? By all means go and read it, but basically it says

    Work pisses you off, and you are less happy while you’re doing it

    Well, I’ll be damned. Who’d have thunk it? What happened to the increased leisure time they promised me at school? Why are we building a society where we keep doing this to ourselves –

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

    Tyler Durden, Fight Club

    Now that science has shown us that work pisses people off, we will re-engineer society so we have a 20-hour week but earn half the money? I guess not, there’s only so far you can go with evidence-based policy making, and that’s where the hard edge of evidence rubs up against the soft gloopy squidginess of values and judgement calls and who gets to call the shots 😉

    Work “can be ” fun, but sometimes it seems the more you work to make it that way, the worse it gets. Times have changed and it ain’t gettin’ any better.It won’t stop at the 1% either: the system is f*c*ed !

    I have only recently come across your blog and was intrigued that this one got no responses. Thinking about it, I can only come up with the suggestion that it uncomfortably prods at core beliefs. We humans intensely dislike having our “belifs” challenged. To continue your thoughts on this topic, you may find this of interest:


    Kind regards and I enjoy your commentary


    No responses – probably cos it does belong in the dept of DUH! – who needs research to tell you this?

    I like the bit of my job where I help someone to solve their information / knowledge problem and hope that maybe I’ve made life better for a patient somewhere.

    But I hate :
    People who think they’re better than you.
    Financial restrictions.
    Having to be in work when there’s not enough to do.
    Managing the lazy and careless and moody.
    Having to get up at 6.30am and being permanently tired as a result.
    Next management fad which will change nothing.
    Bad outweighs the good by about 90/10%

    @g > It won’t stop at the 1% either: the system is f*c*ed !

    Can’t argue with that. The question is – revolution of evolution 😉

    @j that’s a really fascinating article. I’d come across this notion that in the opening eyars of the 20th centurey this switch was made in a TV programme by Adam Curtis called The Century of The Self. He posited that a fellow called Edward Bernays was instrumental in the early advertising industry to create demand to keep the optimum load on industry. Bernays’ book Propaganda is a fascinating read!

    The article you linked was a second source of the possibility that this decision took place. Curtis can be a bit tinfoil hat at times, it’s good to find a second source – thank you!

    @Sara Snap! Particularly the meetings and the fads, but pretty much everything else too. I guess towards the end I became one of the moody however 😉


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