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Day job ramblings, or the addictiveness of paid work

economics
psychology

(Michael Hrenka) #1

Bah, I tried spending less time on my day job, but ended up allocating almost 44 hours to it this week. I must be doing something wrong. On one hand it’s super frustrating, on the other hand the day job is starting to feel good and addictive.

The social forces and emotions surrounding paid work are really strong. You underestimate them at your own peril.

It’s quite an interesting challenge dealing with the fucked up mess I encounter all the time at my day job. It’s far crazier than school or university, or even Facebook.

What I do at my day job is not terribly important in the big scheme of things, but I’m helping at least some people a bit. And that makes it so much more attractive emotionally. Human psychological incentives are really broken… or underutilized by rationalists.

The problem is just that it’s relatively easy to get money by doing a regular job. It’s almost unfairly easy! Striving for greater goals is just comparatively insane in comparison. It’s so hard to go against the natural flow of psychological incentives, which pushes people into regular jobs.

I feel like I should arrive at a conclusion here, but it somehow eludes me. My day job is just a crazily mixed bag. And I appreciate it for being just that. At the same time, I don’t feel any deep attachment to it. It’s just another step along my winding path towards more … something.

There’s something to note though: paid work seems to be addictive, and I don’t even know whether that’s a good, or a bad thing.