Finding Meaningful Jobs

A Gallup poll found that a staggering 87% of people worldwide don’t feel engaged at work, more specifically only 29% of millennials are engaged at work. It’s also important to remember that millennials have the highest rate of unemployment and underemployment in the U.S. but somehow we are still described as an idealistic generation. The poll also found that again 87% of millennials believe development is important for meaning in a job.

The first insight from this of course is that people do not simply want jobs, like so many politicians claim, but in fact they want good jobs. A good way to think of it is to think if it were possible to add millions of jobs to the economy by simply picking strawberries all day, that would be missing the point! Just imagine how much less people would be engaged at work. People want to go to work and find some kind of meaning without doing too much actual work, in many ways the paycheck is just a byproduct of this. What exactly makes people engaged at work? And more importantly, what makes any type of work more meaningful than others?Read More »

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Notes on Enjoyment

It was sometime in the evening Thursday night, just as the noises of the toads gathering outside my window began to emerge, that I couldn’t help but shatter. On my nightstand next to me books I hadn’t even begun reading: Plato, Lucretius, Shelley, Kant, and so on. A little earlier in the month I created a chart of all the books I was going to read this year, a whole product line of philosophy from Spinoza all the way up until Wittgenstein and Zizek, only stopping along the way for some light reading of Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Malthus, and Keynes, and the whole nine yards of economics to go along with it. In fact, in the moment I was reading a book on the history of economic theory, only about halfway through, when I took the bookmark out closed the book and put it back on the shelf. I don’t plan to return to it.

I shredded the reading schedule I made and trashed the bastard in the cans outside my house, I don’t think I’ll need it. There is a sudden moment people are faced with when they come to terms with their own boredom that they can’t help but laugh. I made the grave mistake of aspiring to be some kind of academic, and therefore thinking that one should only shroud himself with the most sophisticated and mind fucking texts to make himself feel smarter, so that’s exactly what I tried to do. A person can only take some much time reading about history, god, and everything inbetween before going bonkers and running through downtown nude. Read More »

Books Every Boy Should Read

I distinctly remember being in elementary school and only reading a select few books. There’s always the few books schools would assign, the ones that tested your reading comprehension, but none of those were as interesting as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books my mom would buy me. I don’t remember much else from those years other than that I knew everything Tolkein like the back of my hand, and I don’t remember even understanding them, but definitely chugging through the Lord Of the Rings.

That point being that the time when a boy leaves elementary school and goes on to enter middle school is an odd transition period, in many ways more awkward than the transition to high school. Middle school is distinct in that the kids never even raised the question of finding themselves before, and suddenly they are thrust into the entire matter. It is their first taste of drama, their first glimpse into adulthood and freedom and all the misery that comes with it. By no means are they adults by this age, but simply they have the aspires to be adults by this age and that’s what counts the most. Some would argue that children seem to be growing up faster, and, whether true or not, presses this issue of adulthood even further.Read More »

Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

After the night of fury and chaos in Paris, the world is still dazed. It’s being reported that 129 people were murdered, but with many more still injured and in critical condition. President Francois Hollande called the attacks an “Act of war“. And although the French government has only just begun to identify the attackers (You can read the passport nationalities further down in the Reuters article) ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attack. It is too early yet to know anything for sure.

This attack comes just months after the ruthless slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo office in France. Using the recent past as a guide, it is possible to make assumptions on the aftermath of the attack.

What was unique about the Charlie Hebdo attack was that since it specifically targeted the magazine, the event sparked a wave of free speech sentiment. But what was typical about it was the jailing of 69 people that spoke differently by the French government, most notably the French comedian Dieudonne. This was mostly ignored. Alongside of this came the rise in right-wing fascist activity in Europe, calling for the removal of Muslim immigrants. Of course a surge of Nationalism took place in many other groups as well.Read More »

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

Starting tomorrow, on November 1st, the National Novel Writing Month officially begins. The goal is for a concentrated month in which participants aim for at least 50,000 words written during that month (even though novels are generally 80,000 words). However, they do admit that the length they choose makes most novels turn out to be short novels or even novellas. Their reason being:

We don’t use the word “novella” because it doesn’t seem to impress people the way “novel” does.

Water for Elephants was written as a result of NaNoWriMo and later went on to become a major motion picture.
Water for Elephants was written as a result of NaNoWriMo and later went on to become a major motion picture.

NaNoWriMo is nonprofit organization and runs largely off donations and sponsors. Their main focus of prizes is simply that winners get the satisfaction of completing their novel, the winners being people who meet the writing goals. There is also a list of other prizes that winners get, such as 50% of the Scrivener writing software and other discounts to writing related perks. Also to boost their credibility they have sections dealing with media coverage of the event and a list of books published as a result of NaNoWriMo. One of the most famous novels published being Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants”.Read More »

The Roles of Art

I find it interesting in the way art almost entirely reflects the artist. Of course this seems obvious, but there’s also unintentional ways it reflects the artist. This is noticeable when you take a writer who doesn’t make an outline for their writing. If they begin to just write and see what comes out, it almost always expresses subtle traits of the writer. The tone they use, the events they portray, the characters they establish, it all reveals their subconscious feelings. This is why when you’re done reading a good book you feel as if you personally know a writer because of how much of their personality you’ve picked up.

After consuming all forms of art, paintings, writing, music, ect, you begin to notice a trend in topics. The universal themes artists are usually to make a point or to get the audience to feel a certain way. Themes like war, conflict, relationships, money, and nature are used to guide the audience to the conclusion the artist intended. For instance in Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” the brutal imagery of WWI is used to establish a relatively anti-war message. The author saw an issue with the current state of things so he wrote the novel as not only a record of it but as an argument against it. But notice how if there were no wars there would be no point to write an anti-war novel. Another example would be Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”, if there were no dust bowl, the book would not have to be written. This shows how many times art is used as an argument against a certain established event/tradition, and often shows a proposal for a different one. Because of this many forms of art carry a counter-culture message.Read More »

Female Body Image and Marketing

Many people might have noticed lately the #PlusIsEqual manufactured by Lane Bryant. The aim of the campaign is seemingly to get more coverage for these plus size women. The mission statement on their website reads as is:

67% of US women are size 14 to 34. But they’re underrepresented on billboards, magazines, TV…everywhere. We believe all women should be seen and celebrated equally. See what people are saying. Add your voice and join us in calling for equal representation.

So of course this is a noble cause. It just so happens that Lane Bryant specializes in selling plus size women’s clothing, and no doubt the campaign is to raise profits. If they are able to successfully make this the accepted body type, they’ll be able to raise their profits with the flood of women accepting the size and buying their clothes.Read More »