ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the past few months, two essays on America’s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, “millennial burnout.” The second was Derek Thompson’s Atlantic article on “workism.”

The two pieces speak to each other in interesting ways, and to some questions I’ve been reflecting on as my own relationship to work changes. So I asked the authors to join me for a conversation about what happens when work becomes an identity, capitalism becomes a religion, and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. The conversation exceeded even the high hopes I had for it. Enjoy this one.

Book recommendations:
Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris
White: Essays on Race and Culture by Richard Dyer
The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

If you’ll be in Washington, DC, on Thursday, April 25, join us for a morning of live podcasts in celebration of our fifth birthday. RSVP here: http://voxmediaevents.com/vox5
English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00burnout is an accumulation of stress related to the idea that like basically you should just work all the time and anytime that you're not working is bad and anytime that you are working is good work ism is the idea that work should be the nucleus of Our Lives the centerpiece of our identity and the fundamental organizing principle of our society
00:00:33hello and welcome to get your client show on the box media podcast Network I've been thinking a lot about work lately everything about work because it burned I had a kid and it sharpens a lot of questions about how much you are where you work and what parts of your life works at colonized that maybe actually need to be reserved for other more important or more meaningful things must be thinking a lot about work because I think a challenge to how we think about it is driving a lot of our politics right now in a lot of dissatisfaction in recent months to pieces that have influenced me a lot on this one was by Anne Helen Petersen at BuzzFeed is incredibly viral piece you probably saw it about Millennials burn out and the other was my dear come sit in the Atlantic about work ISM I want to read a quote from both of these pieces that I think so to set the table here and I'll be with his peace is about this feeling Vivid she identified and that they went viral became definition on the way
00:01:26because so many other people resonated to it I'll just constant burn out of a sense that everything was always too much and it if you weren't doing something if it was going to advance your work you should be doing get it all you can just throw it overboard and she writes why am I burnt out because of internalized the idea that I should be working all the time why am I internalize that idea because everything and everyone in my life is reinforced explicitly and implicitly since I was young and dark Thompson his peace writes about the idea that the problem this gospel that your dream job is out there so you never stop hustling is it it's a blueprint for Spiritual and physical exhaustion long hours don't make anybody more productive a creative they make people stress tired and bitter because I'm to say it's a diabolical game that creates a price of tantalizing it rare but almost nobody wins but everybody feels obligated to play Forever
00:02:20this is a episode of conversation about work and certainly because the three of us a writer is conversation that focuses on the kinds of work we know best but it's much more I think a conversation about capitalism and the cultural beliefs about what makes a human being valuable what makes our time worthwhile what makes a life worth living that have infected our culture at least in this time. They maybe don't expect everybody equally but I do think they they create context in which almost all of us operate and which a lot of people are now trying to challenge in one way or another this is a really great conversation at the Galleria beginning as always my email is Ezra Klein show at boxed.com precent Guest ideas anything you want in particular were could be doing a series on creativity so if you have people you think would be great guess on that topic either because they do something remarkable that you like to hear them explain or because they've a wonderful way of thinking about that topic I'd like to hear it again as a planchette box.com without further due here is conversation about work
00:03:19and I'll be there soon. Thompson Wilkin podcast great to be here thank you for a while because you guys both broke really remarkable pieces that are about different ways in which Americans you work right now and maybe he's the place in which it is eating away at our souls so dark I want to talk to you at this piece argument in the past Century our conception of work shifted from jobs2careers to Collings from working in the city to a status to a meeting can you about that a bit so here's a brief history of work in the US we were an agrarian economy and that means the most workers did the same things that the parents did and the same things that their great-grandparents said there was no sense of multi-generational growth or even single generational growth every job is just a job you were a farmer you worked in a farm and everyone in the history of family done the exact same the very idea of a career of it a narrative Arc of progress within one's working
00:04:19Vice is invention of the 20th century this idea that we should be working toward for example of a set of acronyms dpsleepy CEO that's a very very modern idea been the last say 30 to 40 years I think there's this creeping sense that anything short of a vocational soulmate is essentially a wasted life and that is what I call work ISM it's this idea that work should be the center of our lives our identities and our society and I think that it's only in the last half-century that modern secular Elites have codified this idea that the meaning of life should be found in work so I don't want to jump for your peace starts off now what is Millennial burnout and and how does it differ from just people in past generation saying I'm working a lot of tired
00:05:15another way that I've been thinking about Millennial burnout is like a demarcated different than Gen X / no different than Boomer burn out because yes throughout history people have worked a lot and then like I'm working too much I attribute this feeling which I think most people until my peace maybe wouldn't actually call burnout it's more just like our base temperature and how we go through our lives our lives as an accumulation of stress related to the idea that like basically you should just work all the time and anytime that you're not working is bad and anytime you are working is good and that's a maxim that I learned in graduate school that we just said like everything bad is good everything good is Bad Plus fix tieflings to that loans that limit our ability to make decisions that might make us a little bit happier or even have the Superfluous in
00:06:15I'm not could alleviate burn out whether that is through things like hiring a babysitter which me as someone who used to babysit for $2 an hour but then the third thing is this kind of ambiguous social media panopticon where you have to be performing your work-life balance and Performing Leisure but also be performing in like killing it at your job and part of that is very much like this educated boujwa level where you are performing that that balance but I think it's still part of the pressure that's associated with it and then the other thing that I should add in that is it is Center Point of of my peace and why it focuses specifically on Millennials is that we raised an optimized to be working all of the time and then graduated right into either the beginning of her tail Endeavor the after effects of the 2008 recession
00:07:15so much of our adulthood has been stalled like are reaching that the Milestones that are associated with American Childhood have either been off or unattainable together so something that you mentioned and a student debt loans and then $25 babysitters Derek you were talking about one of the key data points of your peace being that people at the upper end of the income scale are the one who decided to buy more time to work with it with the money they're actually they're making art is what both of you are describing a culture of work in America are close to work in a generation are we actually talking about something that's a culture of work in a particular substrata of this generation and in the upper point of the income letter from the feedback from my Essex I've received thousands and thousands of emails and response is that at its most Titan in America but it also has purchase in
00:08:15specifically India and Ireland and that's me is really fascinating and part of it has to do with an upwardly mobile middle class in India I think it's a bit of Peace could be translated into Chinese and circulated in China we might have a similar response there but then the Ireland thing really fascinated me because why not the UK right and so are the people who emailed me from Ireland I asked him was like what why Ireland what is going on here and they said that so much of it has to do with the influx of tech companies into Ireland because of the tax structure and all the other things that make Ireland it a Haven for places like apple and Facebook and other organizations that they have transplanted what seems to be like a very American conception of work and Leisure Time on to Irish culture
00:09:09so that that's really interesting and then the other thing I think is that so much of this just has to do with capitalism and I don't think that it even though it manifests differently for people who are up early Mobile in the middle of class that idea that you have to always have a side hustle that's something that is across the classes I didn't mean probably not that the most upper class but it might be different hustles but it goes up and down the class register do you think that the way were work transmute into somebody's identity is that equally distributed or is that something that's really it you're only talking about up part of population of a calling comes from Martin Luther and the Protestant work ethic and obviously there's many many Protestants who lived outside of the US that said the u.s. is I think in some ways exceptional in the way that it looks to work in the way that it values were both at the individual level and at the public policy level
00:10:09no large country in the world that as productive as the United States averages more hours of work a year and the gap between the US and most other countries newest CD is growing so annual hours worked per employee fell about 40% in Germany these industrious heart of protestantism but only by 10% in the US and even in 2005 is Sam Huntington the political scientist who came up with the theory of the Clash of civilizations who also wrote this book called few are we about America's national identity he pointed out that Americans work longer hours have shorter vacations get less than unemployment disability and retirement benefits and retire later than people in comparably Rich Society is so I do think that there is something that distinguishes the US from a lot of other countries that are similar to the US in Europe and Canada
00:11:09the case that work isn't at least as I'm defining it he is an elite phenomenon it is something that was first discovered to be happening among rich men that said I think there's also some evidence that it's going to happen among rich women there was a paper that came out at the end of 2018 that looked at what is the benefit of attending an elite school if you get into University of Michigan and you get into your Virginia state you also get into Harvard what's the financial benefit of going to Harvard and the upshot was this if you're a relatively rich guy no benefit if you're a Minority Report person there's a large benefit to go into Harvard if you were an upper-middle-class or rich woman the benefit of attending Harvard isn't that it makes you more productive or richer on a per hour basis but rather that it makes you work more hours is specially after you have a kid that essentially the upshot of a of an elite college education for upper and upper-middle class women in the US is that it
00:12:09makes them more cruelly rest after becoming a mother so I do think that there is this that this this idea is is sore spreading from no just Richmond to all of the elites and then I also think that the concept of work isn't the idea that work should be a centerpiece of of our society is visible in our public policy it's visible in the way that we should have made sure that welfare is attached the labor force that healthcare's attach the labor force if there aren't nearly as many Universal benefits in the US is there are in similarly rich and similarly Advanced European countries and so icy work is am not only as this individual phenomenon that's happening among the elite but also as a public policy phenomenon that is affecting all of us so what are the things I was thinking when I was re-reading your article
00:12:59that statistic about how it's the rich men and maybe increasingly rich women who are working where I thought to myself I was like so maybe with the rich women are not their stats aren't quite as much as men but that discounts how much work they are doing in the home in addition to all of us hours that they are doing in the office right so like let's say you know a rich man is putting in a 60 hour work week and a rich woman maybe is doing like 55 but then she also is still carrying what's called like the mental load which means keeping everything that needs to be done for the house in for domestic duties in her head and this is you know I'm I'm generalizing sometimes I'm sure a man takes that responsibility or in a same-sex household it's different but that to me like this is part of the reason why this article I think of it like I think I'm talking about burnout as a feminist issue is because women are carrying an incredible amount
00:13:59mental labor in addition to all of these increase workloads so to me obviously both gender many that you can burn out and any sort of identity but women are operating with more cute levels of burnout and don't know how to phrase it because it's just like this is just life like this is just what contemporary mother had looks like yeah I'm so glad that I made that point I do think it's essential to say that a society that celebrates idolizes success at the office
00:14:35he's almost destined to undercount work that doesn't take place at the office like most advanced countries give new parents paid leave the US the federal level guarantees no such thing like many Advanced countries do ease the burden of Parenthood in some way with national policies that US public spending on childcare and Early Education is near the bottom of international rankings so I think in many ways would I'm pointing out is an emphasis on celebrating success at work and celebrating definition of work that overlooks the very fact that is and just said there's a lot of non-salaried work that is taking place that I don't think we dignified nearly as much as we should I want to try to synthesize it to things that you guys were we're both bring up in in different ways there cuz it cuz it's purple I want to have you both on the show the same time
00:15:30at what are things really struck me about that your peace and is a way in which it conceptualizes a much larger space of what people feel to be work than the conversation often does and I think that goes to to your point about the the labor share at home but also goes to this idea of your doing a kind of work when your on social media creating a public place and identity you're doing a kind of work we're just doing the the day today Aaron's of Life fry when you're going to the post office when you're you know getting getting shoes fixed and that there's this way that as work becomes an identity it's on a job it's work right it's not a it's it's not how you make money it's how you prove that you have worked in the world that once I haven't been everything can get filtered the same lens and I've been thinking a lot about part of the ear piece and the edge of boundaries that as work becomes start puts it up play some meeting in place of identity will be no boundaries on that there's boundaries on a job but there aren't bound you summon identity and the part of why Everything feels so grueling and why we sing don't feel connected is that the way we
00:16:30come touch we conceptualize this has just taken all the boundaries off of it and so now people you know they have like household a sauna what we call the sauna is it like being a productivity software do not like like on it is only what they have to do for work both have to do for the kids and for themselves and go to the doctor and everything becomes part of the same thing and once it does that then it's an endless then there's two then there's no place to escape yeah and one of the things that people describe to me in that I even applied to how I was feeling is that it all becomes this endless to do list it becomes flattened and so nothing feels joyful nothing feels like the worst it all just is like a feckless that you have some type that kind of sounds like a description of depression but I actually think it's In and Out gross turn everything into work which turns everything into identity which also means that all of those things can be optimized and so like even when you're taking your shoes to The Cobbler which is like
00:17:30struggle to do you like how can I optimize this like what is there was an app that would make it easier for me to take my shoes of the gobbler when really a lot of things don't need to be optimized like they're just part of your life you know what the people have said to me like what is burnout what's the line between burnout and just like being an adult and I think that a lot of the burnout that comes from adulthood is derived from this feeling that like you know not only do we need to be responding to emails and slack messages at midnight but we also need to be doing everything is efficiently as possible about this is that work and Leisure have both become leaky
00:18:15is it there used to be an office wear when you left the office there was no way to bring homework there's no way to to build a model T at home like you had to leave that stuff at the Rouge in Detroit and at the same time you don't Leisure also had its own boundaries that it didn't make any sense to bring a book to the factory or to bring your entire your radio set to the factory but now both things are really really leaky you can have semi Leisure at work on Gchat going on Spotify looking at a YouTube video but at the same time you can also you can't fully extricate yourself from the tentacles of work wherever you go with your smartphone you are somehow bound to that world of white collar labor honestly the first time and I thought about writing this piece of work is them was
00:19:15toward the end of last year in about November and I remember I was sitting on the couch and having a really familiar experience a really common experience I'm sitting on the couch and I'm watching television and my computer is open and I'm telling myself I'm going to have the TV on and a half watch TV and I'm have my computer on and I have to work in this is going to be great because the Leisure watching TV is going to take the edge off of work and also like the presence of work is going to mitigate the guilt of watching Arrested Development for the 7000 time to the whole thing's going to feel very symbiotic and like at one point I had like this moment I was like you looking at my computer looking at the at the television screen and thinking what the hell am I doing this isn't restorative I'm spending my downtime work today but it's also not productive because it's fundamentally downtown in a larger sense I suppose I had a realization that was somewhat akin to and switches that I felt like I had forgotten how to do Leisure like the very concept
00:20:15Alicia had for me become just a part of an equation to maximize productivity hours that I should have internalized this lesson of the reason to spend time restoring yourself watching TV is going to become productive work the reason to go on vacations is then to clear your mind so that you have better ideas when you come back to work and this is a fairly gutting thought the idea that at the right side of the equation sign of my calculus of Life sat productivity hours must maximize them opened up a new Mac and the Lost Art of leisure and I close my laptop and that was sort of this the idea that was spinning around in my head this idea that I had forgotten how to do this thing called Leisure which should be the easiest thing in the world to do so you have this idea that you forgotten how to do Leisure and your initial impulse is to
00:21:15write down an article ideas
00:21:22yeah it is
00:21:24Santa's your energy red eye Grill Satisfied by speaking of of religiosity I'm practicing a semi Catholic moment within the peace and and on this podcast I I am a work at least I am trying to find my way out of this problem and ironically the only way out is by writing about it and my job is to is to write so there is that there's there's a talking to a group of grad students on campus in and one of the professors said to me you know when I read your stuff it's very clear though that you actually take out a lot of pleasure and writing and it's true like writing for me it is not the reading is not the work and if anything sometimes the writing in this is why I have a newsletter to the kind of like a release valve like the Rye
00:22:24can be the therapy can be the leisure in some ways but at the same time I'm like so what it what is the work and it's that cluster of of spr ocracy that's around for me it's like my inbox has to work late so I'm actually so glad you said that if you have the privilege of your work at least in theory describes something you love doing I mean I wrote about politics for free long before anybody paid me I never had the expectation I would get paid to do it I love writing I like thinking about dishes I get to the right about but there's all this other stuff and some of it is important but a lot of it isn't everything it also connects to what I was saying about working Vici book I came across a couple years ago called fake work and like a lot of business books it it has any one of these ideas that you can like almost get from the book jacket but it's you know whatever 250 pages but it's about all these things that feel like work but don't actually Advance your goals in any real way and I think about
00:23:24these particular around things like slack slack to me like I'm on the people agitated to bring stock to my organization I've had Stewart Butterfield who's the CEO of that company on the show and it initially emerges as this communications platform for for pork places and ideas that it's going to get rid of email soon I can have to be checking the email all the time it's a little bit more social since going to be more culture and in and just it's almost so good at doing that that just becomes much much much more overwhelming than email ever-wise there's much more flow of discussion like it it follows you everywhere there notifications are much more intrusive than the email notifications to show you know something about my day I'm just keeping up with slack and psyche is paid for by my office it's like the Box media slack and my colleagues are there and it feels like I'm working but I'm actually not I would not do sock for free like if you see this kid didn't know if I bust my job I would not stay on the slack and nobody's paying me in theory to Beyonce but it feels like there's a ton of stuff like that and
00:24:24taquitos to you both identify social media as part of his phenomenons you're you're you're pulling out here but there's a huge amount of everybody always feels behind because there's so much stuff they're doing that feels like work but isn't actually quite getting anything done and so you're always behind and you're always working and you're always a little bit addicted to these communication patterns and the whole thing just gets into this unbelievable morass where there you know if you were lucky there's something you love to do with the Corvette but 5 10 15 years and you find yourself doing less and less of that core thing yeah I think of my friend calls LARPing your job is for people who don't know it like performing that you are checking in or I like that you are part of a conversation and I feel that compulsion sometimes I'm like oh I should like it say something in slack just to let people know that I'm actually working in this is especially true
00:25:24I live in Montana and don't come into the office so I have to find somewhere like perform that I am working but I don't understand that compulsion in myself because shouldn't my output underlined that I'm working shouldn't that be the evidence and I think that like part of letting people work remotely work on slack that sort of thing is you are ostensibly trusting that that person can work as much as they need to work in order to get the work done that I need to do but then for me on top of that I still feel that compulsion to to learn my job others can see me working is actually I think I love the idea of loving your job I think it's really important to be clear about why are jobs need to be alarmed and it's that the white hear the caller the more invisible the product sometimes that like a lot of White Collar jobs are marketing and advertising and stinking just just
00:26:24thinking is a huge part of our job but there's but there's not really like a visible product that comes from just thinking or from your working on these sort of pieces of code that are going to eventually become product several several years down the line and so I think that visualizing work for our individual Piers has become an almost mandatory part of our job so that we can visualize for ourselves what we're doing and in a weird way maybe they're not weird way in a depressing way that takes away from what makes a job fulfilling like I read right after I finish the work is peace Flow by the psychologist me high she send me high I think that's how you pronounce his name
00:27:23J. C. And then Joy from work and Joyce many activity is is is internal it it's it's the love that we get from the pure Act of doing and all social media is this brutal force for external ization that like for a lot of people the work isn't real until you slack about it the vacation isn't until you Instagram about it the job accomplishment isn't real until you link in about it that the engagement or the babies and real until you put it on Facebook like we've come to expect that the truth Finishing Touch on all these different projects of Our Lives both actual work and just life is the public demonstration of that fact on social media but the sheer pressure of having to external eyes your entire life I think inherently takes away from the thing that has been
00:28:23scientifically proven to make us happy which is just a pure active enjoying it and in a way I think that this is just a sort of implicit crime of social media is that it forces us to be external forces us to to always be out of the moment so that we're constantly thinking how is this going to play among other people and I I I think that that is really depressing aspect of the intersection between between work and social media let me offer a I think a related Theory but but but slightly different on that beat you were using the term visualizing your work and I don't think it's about visualization I think that a lot of work practically some forms of creative work but other kinds too they don't have easily built-in feedback you're not talking to a customer regularly you're not making something that you can hold and what people want a lot of the time is feedback and the reason to think things like Twitter and slack and others are addicting
00:29:23is it the creation feedback Cycles instant if I have an idea and I want to write it into a piece like the the amount of time is going to lapse between be having that idea and be hopefully getting some feedback on that did I do a good job do people like it is blog next time I make calls I get edited I have to think about a headline on slack is instant on Twitter is instant I mean in in this is a particular pulp or journalist who are or feedback machines but but I think it is true for a lot of different people in different ways and I feel like I have a brand new sun and I thank you and we're not putting anything about him on social media but I find that I sent out a lot of pictures to my family and then why the reasons is that he's not going to tell me I've done a good job if he ever tells me that for a very long time my mom will tell me that now which is what you're trying hard important here because he want some love or trying to do
00:30:23this very fundamental unbelievably deep human need to have an identity in to carry that identity and what kind of saying is that the identity is controlled by other people and its social media API Denny's work it that that's controlled by their people right I mean if your identity is it you're Catholic right. That's something you know about belief at least in in in theory but if it's work you know if you got your work other people need to say that to you your boss your customer somebody is social media story projector identities then the success of us identities has also decided by other people's feedback me to get likes to get retweets whatever it might be and so I just had wondered reading both of your pieces poldark is bad if it's a problem here is that our identities to become sort of too big and too difficult to manage and 2 depending on factors and people who are outside of us and it's like a constant state of anxiety about your own identity and whether not you have value in the world that creates has been that you can never stop
00:31:23you're always trying to get somebody to give you this feedback that it makes you feel like you're you're you're real person in the world and in the end like they actually can't I connect it to the bowling alone phenomenon which is a reference to an important book that talks about that basically the decrease in loose social ties within our communities and what that refers to is both decrease in things like church membership but also decrease in belonging to like rotary or the PO or Elks club like all sorts of different fraternal organizations that found people into social groups that you know most of them launched in the 19th century and experienced phenomenal growth over the course of the 20th century especially after World War II and then have slowly declined over the last 50 years and I think that there is this desire for some sort of
00:32:24validation or external affirmation that for a long time you got simply by feeling like you belong to something and whether that's an identity like being Casa Grande identity like being Norwegian American and identity that have a lot more to do with an actual and spiritual relationship so I think a lot of people would say like oh you know where I get my value it is through like trying to be a child of God write like trying to follow Christian ethics or Buddhist ethics or any of those more internal understandings of like am I a good person am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing in the world and now those forms of validation instead of seeking them through a constant self-questioning it's more fit we're trying to question others constantly with each Instagram with each tweet like how am I doing am I a good person and I think that that is over
00:33:24and that's always going to be on satisfying thing I think is interesting about that is I guess it goes back there to what you were saying about Leisure because let me look at you take the other side of the argument this is how am I being totally blunt about my weekends that goes for me before I'm a kid which does give you an interesting ways a different Source meaning but it isn't that I don't know how to have Leisure like I enjoy playing the new Spider-Man game like I think that's a great video game on the PS4 I bought it a couple months ago I think it's really fantastic but it doesn't there's a part of me that if I'm sitting there doing that feels that I'm being worthless right that you know what I'm lucky to have a job that least sometimes in theory if I get it right there some idea that I can do some good in and it's so if you're not doing that then what are you doing like aren't aren't you being like a wasteful like terrible person and so I think it's part of it is not the people don't know how to do Leisure but that if you're looking for meaning in a world where can be hard to find
00:34:24find and we do not ascribe Leisure with meaning I mean it best we call it now self care to give it to sort of kind of like bank-shot meeting that it's making a possible for us to work and do the other things we need to do later on but I do think that the issue is not is not about what we know how to do it but what we believe it's worth doing if you're trying to be a person whose time is worth something someday you're here for some reason I it can be hard to get away from the mental constructs be always have to be trying to create something that can last that the first thing is that in a weird way
00:35:01video games should provide precisely what we seek in the ideal activity that as she send me hi or whatever his last name is Road info he said the best sort of activities provide competition chance and a little bit of transcendence they take you out of your Ordinary World a little bit and this is precisely what video games do and I remember when I wrote my piece or slightly criticizing people who should have withdrew from the economy and play video games not to buy into the thesis that video games are entirely responsible for the drop-in they participate in the labor participation rate but just be critical of the idea that we should be excited about a world that was pure Leisure and a lot of people including some psychologist told me you know you shouldn't send video games so much there's a lot of people who get very very pure joy out of playing video games and this shows and the research so too
00:36:01this kind of funny in end in fitting that you mentioned I'm playing Spider-Man because divorced from that sort of you know met a voice in your head telling you that you should be more productive there's lots of evidence that says that you know video games provide exactly we should seek a lot of activities the bigger question that I think you're after and then maybe I'm after 2 is this question of like what makes a good religion
00:36:24I'm not particularly religious I was brought up sort of secular reform Jewish I celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas it was extremely confusing on a religious from religious standpoint and I really thought a lot about
00:36:37and weirdly I thought more about the benefits of believing in God more writing this piece and I have ever reading any other piece and part of that was because of this idea of it maybe you can help me with fine it falsification that if you place the weight of your Steam on Twitter
00:36:59it's going to be falsified and if you play if you place the weight of your esteem on work purely it's going to be falsified you're going to be disappointed from time to time you're not going to get some rays you're not going to get the traffic that you wanted from some article you're not going to be able to finish some project on time work falsifies our hopes and dreams all the time they that's just that's just how the external World works but kind of a nice thing about a belief system that is oriented around a spiritual being is that God never comes down to fire people it's a purely unfalsifiable belief and there's something really beautiful about unfalsifiable beliefs and falsifiable belief systems and I do wonder whether one of the issues with work ISM and by extension the need that our society seems to have for external indicators of success is that which is destined to
00:37:59disappointed by them
00:38:01the last point that you made that Leisure I try to think really hard about what kind of activities make me feel sort of the most restored and the most at peace and weird way writing this article helped me ReDiscover novels in a really clear way that I realized it when I am in the middle of like an absolutely fantastic reading experience is particularly novel it's far enough for my work that I can be totally immersed in it but at the same time I can feel like I'm participating in the story in the end of the storytelling even more than I and then when I'm watching television and I feel like it's much more of a lean back experience and I think that it's kind of interesting to think about like what kind of leisure experiences are the most restorative but that's that's a big part of the of the questions that the dad and I are asking
00:38:56this episode is brought to you by the American Beverage Association America's beverage companies are working together to support families as they reduce the sugar in their diet coke dr. pepper and Pepsi are providing more great-tasting options with less sugar or no sugar at all smaller portion sizes clear calorie labels and reminders to think balance more choices smaller portions less sugar learn more about how they're working together at balance us. Org that's balance us. Org
00:39:30and think about Apple it was capitalism and I feel like we've kind of hit that point of the conversation where if we're beginning to talk about religions I think that's the religion and the belief framework that is at the core of a lot of this and I'd like it does here the way you think that interacts with the the the idea of burn out of the other ideas were we're talking about here reading these pieces like Derek's was that there was this dream that if we got more efficient LED or through employer robots whatever it is the dream was then we will work less right that we that capitalism taken to its endpoints will mean people will have more freedom and will be less beholden to the market in some ways and that is slick improving just incredibly false right like the more efficient that we become
00:40:30the more we work it just creates more time that we can then work in the way that I think of it as like I moved to Montana in part because I wanted to get away from some of the more burnout components of living in New York freed up two hours of my day that I wasn't committed on the train anymore and originally I was like this isn't be great I'm going to use that as as Leisure Time like really live in Montana but instead I just use those two hours and I work tomorrow and I had one of the most productive years of my career after leaving New York after leaving the office and that was in large part because of what was freed up for me in terms of of time and also feeling like this since I'm not at the office I need to prove that I am also working more producing more and I just think capitalism is not going to save us like we're not going to get to this point we were like well we reached Peak capitalism I guess we don't have to work anymore and it has created especially things like Venture capitalism
00:41:30just the logic of how companies have to make money even BuzzFeed even box like places where you are expected to create notches profit but more profit every year. Just going to mean that we're just going to have to optimize ourselves and work more every year so the only way I think to push back against that logic is to really try to fight to orient ourselves as workers towards the expectations of Corporations but also just of society in general I think that the solution at least at this moment is unions and More Union Station and more labor awareness but there's a whole other component that we have to have discussions about just in terms of like is work is on our new God and if it is like how do we have a healthy relationship to that just may be the only issue and I come at it from several different angles we may all totally agree at the end I just
00:42:30show me different way of conceiving it perhaps so my issue in general with Landon capitalism for pretty much anything and everything capitalism is blameless many different things that I see it's really important to be confused about what exactly does they were blaming and has a really strong critique but only in this piece but throughout her work about the effect of student debt on this generation the rise in student loan debt has clearly introduced millions of Millennials and gen Z years to the kind of Charity that might have been previously reserved for poorer classes I think that's true but why did student debt increase increase because States cut their support for higher education increase because of some administrative bloated public university is it increased because of lack strangulation at for-profit universities that essentially larded up lots of Young Americans actually middle-aged Americans
00:43:30call with student loans and didn't graduate them from from quality programs all those things are clearly clearly but none of them are mandatory components of a free market system several European countries for example offer free college several European countries offer free tuition but they also have a lot of the features of capitalism and so I do think that Judy said they were blaming capless am I want to be specific about what it is exactly about the system that is causing this obsession with work or this burn out and said for example that the more efficient we become the more we work that's not entirely true in some countries in Europe for example in Germany the number of hours worked for years Falling by 50% in the last 70 years we can work less under capitalism we just need to make different political choices and I think unions are a really big part of this unions are fantastic it advocating
00:44:30afford a better compensation for their workers I would love an emphasis of the labor movement of the future to be not only better compensated work also less work I think we can do it I think we are rich enough is a country to have extraordinary Universal benefits for health care for child care for tivity existence of Shield just a a simple cash benefit for the very existence of a new of a new child and that we can use that to subsidize few or working hours such that work by definition will become a less central part of our life because it will become a less central part of our week and we can really learn to re centralized leisure in our lives and find identities that don't flow so exclusively through the eye disc through the office and through our jobs so I agree with so much of this but I do think alike especially for the nation as a whole
00:45:30will look for us it's very normal Ted talk about capitalism as one of the root pills but I think most people and if you look at the vast majority of self-help book blogs whatever that is trying to approach this idea of burnout or work is them they don't want to name the actual they don't want to think about the fact that like our economic system is part of the problem I ate so it's all of this neoliberal ideas like how can you modify yourself to better adapt to the system that exists instead of helping the system change to actually fit you know how humans survive on the world and so I think that like you know we have to remind ourselves that saying the c word actually has value and even in my peace I was careful and her because it was intended for a very Mass audience just in terms of like what buzzfeed's audiences is always going to be slightly
00:46:30different than what the Atlantic Sciences but I do know why I wanted to talk about maybe there's a reason why Millennials are really interested in Bernie Sanders right but not kick people out of the Peace by being like capitalism is evil here's the problem Marxism is the way for where it's like unions all the way right like so how do we say the c-word while also pointing to the fact that like I'm not saying we need to have a Marxist overthrow but I am saying that like art the primary relationship that needs to be altered is our relationship to work and I think one of the ways as you point out that unions can do this again not just higher compensation because like for me I get paid more on that doesn't mean that I worked that I work last it means that I want to work more to be no merit what I'm being paid but small things like one thing that we're discussing as our Union is still struggling to be recognized but one thing that we would like is something like mandatory time off after
00:47:30reporting a tragic event and it has to be mandatory because so in my case I would happen to be in Austin when the Sutherland Springs shooting happened and I was was there on vacation and someone called site can you go down there I said of course and went down there and covered it for three days and then you know of course my manager was like if you need some time you can take it but what has Workaholics are as burnout Behavior I say of course I don't need that right like a way to demonstrate that you are stronger worker is by not taking the time that is offered to you and the only way that you can kind of force people who have internalized that logic to take that time is by making it mandatory and that's something that a union can advocate for one thing that I think this guy said is this is the way my thinking has changed a lot in the last 5 or 10 years is it when were talking about capitalism
00:48:30talking to cure Point talk about different systems that can be oriented different ways were actually talking about different things are we talking about the tool of markets are we talkin about a philosophy and one of the ways in which I become a little more capitalism skeptical is be another for a lot of my time is journals to cover you cannot Mix-A-Lot I thought of capitalism primarily is covering markets in Market mechanisms and you know it. That you could tweak the policy using the rules of the road and regulations shape markets and all of that I had become more skeptical that you can separate some of the philosophy and the world view from the the tools in the mechanisms and so you know I think the thing that is coming up a lot in here and I think comes up both in in in your piece ending and in yours is that we've developed party lead in the absence of countervailing forces like religion a capitalist view of what makes a person worth while and that view is its productivity and so he fell through a lot of things to it not just work but not work being at home being with your chill
00:49:30but you know trying to life hack your way to not just living longer but sleeping better I mean there's an incredible and I'm part of it right eye I consume Ike Hoover this stuff up his productivity hacks and you know it now this all the stuff about limiting your social media time in meditation as okay to as a way to increase your ability to focus and do psychedelics not to not to experience new ways of sensory perception but because you can microdosing increase your creativity a little bit and it part of the thing that I think it's hard to sit all of these decisions we make decisions about what kinds of policies working to implement and what kind of jobs are going to take it wasn't working to ask for that time off they happen within this overarching structure and belief system and its that ends up shaping the decisions and so yeah we can make a lot of the decisions differently but I think the thing that Deeds challenge here I needs to be to tan your point surfaced is his idea that we bought in alongside the way running the Arcana me into a way of viewing ourselves and if it used to be that you
00:50:30good person because you were following the dictates up your brand of Christianity or Hinduism or Judaism or you're good person because your community which is where you were routed you know you you were following the rules there now and I'm cured, or a lot less religious it's really a lot less religious in an organized way in a lot less rooted in individual places I think the thing that is swept into give lives MTG is this a capitalist inflected idea of your productive and to me like it's all just getting supercharged right I think social media supercharged is it an interesting and weird and unexpected ways and the globalization of everything but protective culture does it I mean and imparted all does it by knocking down these other ways of giving meaning and other ways of judging ourselves but as it becomes like the last thing left it becomes the only way we think about the world, we don't call it that right we call it meaning or we call it doing good we call it being successful but it is his way of measuring what kind of people we are and then it's within that context and every other decision gets made
00:51:30and to me you say I'll try this is Derek. It to me that's the that's the hard thing here there's a lot of places where I can apart on individual policy questions and mechanisms with people who I think to my lap but the place where I think I've become a little bit more radicalized is the idea that got a lot of argument about policy but if you can't ever get out of his way of viewing the what gives people's lives value and worth then your Mill trouble and maybe you can't if your continuously constructing everything around the same set of policy mechanisms I hate it so beautifully said and I just I couldn't agree more I think it's really important to point out that this war has been fought before in the Gilded Age there was a really robust National conversation around essentially work ISM and the battlefields were divided between Gospel of work people and what you might call the gospel of play that is Phalanx of marxist and socialists and Christians and politicians all the food
00:52:30looked at the mainstream political and social establishment which argued that industriousness was the same as ethics and said the pendulum has swung way way too far toward work we had day if I'd work in a way that is dangerous for our souls and I spoke about this and really religious tones and out of this fight between Gospel of work people and gospels play people that's my turn I don't know if that's a historical term came not only laws about the work week in about child labor but also a kind of Cambrian explosion in ideas about Leisure it was during this time in the late 19th century when you had the birth of the modern amusement park Coney Island was built in this. You with the birth of YMCAs athletic clubs you have the rise of gymnastics and bodybuilding bicycles were mainstream during this time
00:53:30basketball was literally invented baseball and croquet we're taking off and you know this might be unrelated almost certainly is be also had the invention of a film Indies 20 years so ironically what do you want to relax inside or outside today I suppose like shoot hoops or stream Netflix you are sampling from the same generation of leisure invention which is this. For the end of 19th century early 20th century and I would love to have this conversation again I would love for the forces of the Gospel of play to come together and Avenger Style just take on the fan hosts of work is and say we can do we can build a better world we are so much richer and so much smarter a little bit smarter than we can find and build new laws that can limit the work week that can make work more Equitable and we can be a little bit inventive and maybe invent new ways of play and new activity
00:54:30the new clubs that can bring us together in in in new ways like it it's happened before and it can happen again and I just think it's it's important so to say like we between three can't do this this this is possible we don't just have to live and salt in the world that we've been given what are referred to as cheap amusements there's a great book by Kathy peiss about the rise of amusement parks and public spaces that likes those activities were assailed as like places points of like potential sin and so part of that had to do with like women being able to like hang out with men in public places part of that had to do with the fact that like a lot of these places where I started and owned by a Jewish people or populated by immigrants and he stinks it like there
00:55:30still even at that time there was this real idea you have sublimated and in ways that ledger in some way LED to send a letter was like a Gateway towards it and even though we don't I don't think we would have this same explicit codeine of these behaviors at this time I think they're like they're still would be this idea and you see it across the Spectrum in politics even in phrases like the Dignity of work right that like if somehow there were people who were saying like actually we should work less like actually what about a three-day week that somehow The Ledger activities that would arise in that place if you like there would be a lot of anxiety or like what what are the kids going to do I mean the same thing that they did for years and that we did when we are growing up which is like right around in circles on your bicycle at 8 but I still think that there is a centuries-old understanding that more free time leads to an idle mind no go
00:56:30all these other things that part of your interest in writing that piece was explaining you know why now why is Bernie Sanders coming up now why is there all this joking about late capitalism now and I did interview actually yesterday don't be out on bail be upset that comes out before this one was Sheri Berman and she's a scholar like European social democracy parties and I was asking how you know what is the difference between a Social Democrat and You Know It Go a liberal or Progressive as we think of them here and she said well I'm policy is often not that much difference the difference is that the progressives the capital is basically good and the social Democrats think it is basically bad. It's like getting to Super different places on what to do about it but there isn't a quite different orientation it just how you should think about that fundamental economic system like are you at war with it and politics are you working with it and politics and I do think that one of the the really positive things about the rise this Lefty moment is that
00:57:30there's an effort to push back on some very awful long time on exam attendance went much too powerful assumptions about capitalism in a bunch of things were talking about here the thing go to tierpoint just there that that I wonder about is I think there's a lot of interesting discourse right now about how the government should value people write as a fight between the idea that government should all you people for the work they do and they would you like people because they're people ride maybe you should get a universal basic income because you were alive and it is like worthwhile to just be able to be alive in to exist and you don't need to do anything in the richest I do to earn that like just like it's great that we got this point in human history we can provide that but what I don't know that there's as much conversation about it we said I see is about how you should value you and I think that's a little bit of what you're talking about that like how should you think about whether a Tuesday that you weren't working with a good Tuesday for you you know what what gives that meaning and again that feels like a place religion used to be and it had to sort of worried about your Idle Hands dimension
00:58:30but water interesting political conversation but again like you when I look at the self-help literature it's it's all this kind of productivity stuff and you know how to better yourself it doesn't seem to me that we have is robust a conversation about you know how you should value you even even in a world where we did have Universal basic income even or world we were more decent to people like how you know how should how should you organize food and I'm curious in your work on this a lady different thoughts on a door or to see different thinkers on it has totally of people who have left Academia and one thing that a lot of them have been talking to me about is the revelation of what happens when you kind of decouple yourself value from your career or from your vocation or however we want to talk about it and that you know it when you stopped getting all of yourself value from whether or not you are a
00:59:29selling in your workplace opens up this whole new paradigm of thinking about like who I who am I as a person in and what what makes me feel good about myself one thing I always think about my partner is a journalist as well and so this and that kind of exacerbates her burn out and it doesn't you there it's rare that I had it's like I'm able to have someone do you like you are working too much or like you always shouldn't be doing this and you know on a Saturday at 7 p.m. because he two bags of that is like normal behavior but
01:00:06Roseville will be like on a we go on walks together with our dog and will be like I just didn't have a very productive day and what for me at least you don't expect me to say that is oh well like I read a bunch of stuff on the internet like I stared into space a lot I didn't really write anything but like that's productive God is part of the word but because there is no quantifiable like I wrote three thousand words today makes me feel like I value it less or even sometimes it again because we don't go into the office sometimes you put in just two hours on a particular day and another day you'll put in 10 or 12 hours and that should be part of the liberty of no no wait okay I'm doing good work right now and what if I didn't do any work for the rest of the day wouldn't that actually make me a much better worker tomorrow or feel better about who I am and I let him but it's it's hard to take
01:01:06perspective
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01:01:58something this brings up for me that that I've been thinking about a bed is how much boundaries in containers are actually important I feel like there's been a discourse or promise maybe he's a better way to put it that there be Freedom as the boundaries for dissolve protected by technology so you know you can work at a company is based in New York for Montana isn't that great and you can communicate with people from home isn't that great and you can be in touch with your office you know on the go from your phone wherever you are isn't that great and it all kind of seemed to grade and it would be much more free cuz we wouldn't be yoked at our desks and I think in reality everybody's just much less free and I think a lot about how much some of these feelings are just the fact that nothing is contained anymore that there is in these transitions from from one motive Bean 2 to another and end end because Timmy part of the issue here is that as it got it gets in your words more leaky it also gets more omnipro
01:02:58send and then you're in this thing where wherever you are the question is what is like the strongest force pushing you at that moment and work is a very strong force it is often stronger than the other things and it just seems to me that we are promised that we'd be able to telecommute and we be able to do all these things in all be so much easier and there'd be abundance end and that would like shrink worked out and instead as all the boundaries of dissolved it's expanded it way way way out because now it gets to now it gets to go to war with everything else and it has all these tools from feedback and colleagues to assignments and deadlines that the other parts of your life don't yes man I think about this a lot first I want to talk about our jobs because I do think that our jobs are a little weird and it's important to be estranged are working
01:03:48lots of White Collar jobs are leaky nothing is leap year than writing I mean the boundary between work and Leisure in writing is so porous it doesn't even exist when I'm watching television or the news and my relaxing or am I gaining or forgetting information and I write about entertainment I can even know when I'm taking a mental health break a my restoring myself for myself what am I restrained myself so that I maximizing my productivity hours for work hard to know when I'm reading a novel even sometimes and it's a novel by an author who I think is such a brilliant Pro stylist and a part of me is thinking isn't reading sentence by sentence Oh my God I wish I could steal that metaphor I wish I could steal that simile a small part of me is that I want to steal that simile so that I can put it into my salary job like our jobs are so strange and impassa is it is impossible to escape from that thing that is what we
01:04:48and we're both very lucky because of that very very very lucky to do something that can be so sort of permanently inspiring and permanently with us and yet it is an in a small way curse I don't know how to get out of it to two it to be quite honest in a way it except to well I suppose there to pass out of it my son would include potentially answer for the pads out of work are marks or Buddha bear sound like strange genres but basically you can either try to solve the problem structurally in in a Marxist way say we have to do this by passing laws we have to do this by shorten the work week we have to do this by increasing Aid to non-working adults by adding a basic income a welcoming robots into the dreary office because after all they're replacing driness if they come into the jury office and that's going to make us happy it's going to free us from from the worst worth we had to solve this one public policy standpoint
01:05:45best top down or you can kind of go buy them up and say look
01:05:51it's impossible to separate ourselves from the saddest seeking world it's impossible to sort of remove all sense of insecurity that suffering is sort of by Nature the artifact to experience of life and Universal basic income isn't going to change that fact and shorter work weeks are going to change that fact all you can do really is cultivate The Garden of your own mind and whether that's true meditation or therapy or some of their practice or through love you have to make peace with the fact that the Machinery of her mind was built to Keep Us Alive and to keep us working towards something not just to keep us happy so I'm struggling frankly or at least Torn Between the solutions because I do think that these two options that I provided a solution in the bottom of solution aren't aren't totally separate you can work on them together but it's not entirely clear to me what's going to unyoke us from the expectation to be to be successful I'm too certain extent
01:06:51it probably involves something very individual very deep and very core to to truly are and how we choose to take meeting from life
01:07:00the Buddhists have been co-opted by capitalism in some ways right like we just there are water down ways that we try to think about it if I don't actually solve the core problem or academic self that just stinks in hypotheticals in like just wants to diagnose and not come up with policy decisions so though I think that it's it's actually very smart to think about this in terms of what are the structural things that we can do and then also one of the things we can do on the part of individual because it's both right like it's not it's not exclusively that late-stage capitalism has done this to us like we are participants in this schema I just think that sometimes that can translate into Lake okay what are my life hacks like what if I figure out how to color code my email better like that will somehow fix the situation I just read about some
01:08:00has like 60 color codes for her email and I was like maybe you should do that myself and then I realize she has an assistant who does it for her to all of these things you don't like all of this labor that we think of that will fix our lives like so much of his is contingent on offloading that labor on to someone else and then the other thing that I keep thinking about is like do we as like knowledge workers of the upper-middle-class like are we just suddenly experiencing life as it has been experienced for a very long time for people who are from the working-class like just got both interpret already in terms of just like the route shittiness of words like is are we just suddenly thinking this is a thing because it is experienced for the first time and it a real and prevailing Way by us and so I want to be wary of that I don't know cuz like if that's the case like what if life is just suffering under work and trying to make it as lovable as possible that seems like a pass
01:09:00aren't you wanted to go in that direction though I do want to separate the idea that I do think there's a lot about there are certain kinds of jobs and doing kinds of a privileged opposite that were talking about here and also I don't think the kinds of feelings that bit that you diagnose or order cat you talk about our sort of the natural state of things like I figure I actually sent a very modern Affliction having to do with like information overload unlikely keenness and you know I'd I don't think that was true but I do really want to focus on this point you just made an about I wonder if part of the problem is just expectations I mean how much it is a what I read your piece originally I was thinking about you know my kind of grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents in and what I know about their lives just the unbelievable roughness of it right the kinds of work they did and how much work they did and how many kids they were taken care of on how little money and I think about how tired I am I think about
01:10:00pirate they aren't I I like I feel like a shit and M on the other hand want to think that I I do think sometimes is that we operate now under this idea that it is supposed to be okay then if life doesn't feel good if it doesn't feel fulfilling it doesn't feel happy and there's something profoundly wrong you need to fix and you know what I read back history Zendaya reason and other religious tax in that kind of thing that doesn't seem to meet up in the prevailing view a lot of it was at this life might be pretty bad on the Brightside later on if you're good at did things are going to get a lot better but there are a lot of different ways of looking at it but I don't think people thought it was going to be good and and I wondered and in some of the burn our conversations how much the the specific versions of millennial frustration have to do with a feeling that there was a way to get it right that there was a way to win the game and then it just turns out that there isn't that you know as opposed to the light modified version of Buddhism the actual version of Buddhism which is it life is suffering
01:11:00and wanting craving attachment be things that are incredibly difficult to forget radio self-love even less in a little bit I'll bring you constant suffering so basically every dimension of The Way We Are The World is making us her all the time and I just I don't know there's ideas of answers in those ideas of expectations and I just wonder how much all of you know that but this Coruscant and it is in some ways I kayak apples inflected discourse if you just work hard enough at it like you can win is is part of the problem too because I'm those is huge this huge constant sense of failure and the sense that you know shouldn't it be different and if it is a different aren't I feeling we think there's two things going on the 1st of that are millennials in particular and I think Generations before us to some extent were raised on this golf Gospel of meritocracy which is that if you worked your butt off in every single way then like yes you would have the good life and it doesn't matter that there are all these examples of that undercut that ideology that you would say
01:12:00I'll be able to triumph over a system that is makes most people unhappy and some ways like that still was held forth as a possibility so for me and Academia like I knew that the market was turn into absolute shit but I was like if I work hard enough maybe I will be that winter and so my incredible heartbreaking disappointment you know it was with myself and it was all like that promise that I had bought that like it doesn't matter how broken the system has become I can still beat it and I think a lot of Millennials internalized that that same idea and it's heartbreaking anytime you realize that and ideology is completely false since it's heartbreaking and then the other thing that I think about just in terms of like previous generations and work Montana there's this story labor history which is part of the reason that Montana is reliably purple something that like really confused as a lot of people who own who don't know about this history
01:13:00it was mostly around my name in the town which is about 2 hours away from me and not tradition is still there today but the thing about these miners like they were doing this incredibly dirty hard painful backbreaking work and it wasn't that they stopped at work shouldn't be hard it was that they didn't think they should be treated like animals while they did it or expendable labor or sacrifice all of those things like physical and mental effects years of their lives in order for people who are not them in any way to profit and incredible ways off of that labor and so that I think is at the heart of what a lot of us should be thinking of is that like it's not that we should just be like Blissful all the time while we're working but at the same time we do deserve the right not to have that Labour and our willingness to do that way we're even when it's hard being
01:14:00voided yeah it's right when you were talking about expectations the idea came to mind for me is this this concept in sociology of the revolution of rising expectations I think it was a sociologist named James Davies picking up with this idea who said that if you look at some of the history of political revolutions it's typically not the poorest to start them or the richest but rather that the conditions for Evolution 10 most ripe what do you have this long. Of economic and social development that's followed by an Abrupt reversal a recession a downturn a disappointment and he's racist across the French Revolution the Russian Revolution and I think it's absolutely applicable today that if you look at what's happened with Millennials is a group that came of age came of awareness of the economy of the nation in the 1990s and then in early 2000s into labor force that was being gutted by the Great Recession and at their disappointment and there
01:15:00interest in revolutionary ideas comes not only from the circumstances on the ground today that also circumstance of the ground today juxtaposed with the hope that they have been given in the 90s, 2000s and I do think that there is a way of putting together the story of this generation that on the one hand you know yes Millennials are coming of age at a time when there is less violence when there is less war least here in the US when there's lots of material conditions that are better than they've been in decades and centuries at the same time to sit a group this kind of done so much right only to be screwed that took on debt to graduate from college that graduated this labor force and then food is lessons over and over again to follow their passion and do that which like you to find their calling
01:15:55and it just seems to me like there's something just slightly dystopian about the picture of a generation of Young Americans that takes Undead graduates into economy and then is told that it's all right that they're not making a traffic amount of money because no job is just a job in the only real reward in this world is the reward that comes from finding your purpose in finding your passion that creates a system that creates a kind of game where young people feel like they're never winning but they have to keep playing because their passion is out there their they're they're calling is out there and they're going to feel disappointed if they don't find it and so I do feel like what we're seeing is sort of a classic violation of rising expectations that from a certain historical standpoint you would say would of course create the conditions for some kind of social Revolution well so the so the revolution
01:16:55then I guess let me close with her the question why was he was which is you know what a couple books you recommend I guess I'll ask you each for two and you start well there's no the book that was just so Central to my thinking on burnout is Malcolm Harris's kids these days which I just can't recommend highly enough and it does say the c-word a lot I think that it's a great continue to I reading if if someone enjoyed or felt connection with my peace the second one has nothing to do with burned-out but I think it's just like one of my foundational text and it is the book White by Richard Dyer and it's very similar in a lot of ways to other books that have been written about whiteness and how is kind of a lighted as a race the works at white people have done to try to Deer a sitz themselves within Society but it is taking them much more art history and film
01:17:55perspective Richard diaries that is a film in cultural historian who is also coming from the cultural critic Tradition at the Birmingham School in the UK so he is coming from the cycling Mark suspend Service as well but he's just an incredibly accessible writer in terms of academic writers and it is a text I return to again and again by Philipp Lahm it's a history of Europe between 1900 and 1910 that's probably my favorite history book that I've ever read and is protecting remarkable because it just shows you the history of flat circle we have the same debates over and over and over again and that's not proof that we shouldn't have those debates it's proof of how important those two dates are it's so much the conversation about around work and anxiety and speed there was this Obsession in the early 20th century that the world was moving too quickly cuz you have the invention of airplanes and cars
01:18:55totally transform the idea of how people can move through space and people feel like their nerves are being shattered and they invent the rising anxiety of the time neurasthenia it appeared in enhance at 1 full essay Ashley fantastic book that the does a beautiful job at teaching you about these sort of Eternal returns of history and then the second book is a visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan this is not have bucket at work and the reason that I wanted to name this book was I wanted to name the. Shortest leisurely joy that I spent in the middle of another culture product and I just remember being so rapturously happy with how good a visit from the Goon Squad was as I was reading it but it was just the right amount of challenging and and and VRBO stand and just the right amount of smart it was
01:19:55it was a perfectly sure the flow do not send on a purely positive psychology notes and piece made me want to find more maybe want to be better at is is understanding how to disappear and Leisure and then leave the Working World Behind and help you to send thank you very much thank you thank you too dark Thompson at the end Helen Petersen Blackberry conversation thank you for being here to Nino moschella for engineering to jeffie Gallo producing theater Klein show is a box me to production that almost never really feels like work
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