haidut

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This is an essay from 2015 by Nicholas Talleb, famous for publishing the book "The Black Swan" shortly after the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008. He has had quite a few politically-charged publications since then and often brings up topics that are considered taboo in corporate or government circles. The essay below (also attached) is on one such topic. While it does contain some quite overt nods towards autocratic rulers, it describes quite well the reality for most modern corporate employees and government workers.

http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/employee.pdf
 

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lollipop

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LOVE Taleb. One of my favorite minds alive today. If you follow him on Twitter, he always posts his first drafts for new works for people to comment/criticize. Great reads including the comments and criticism.
 
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Can't say I need an essay by this guy to know being an employee sucks...
 

Regina

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I think this essay underscores Peat's observation that "mindfulness" is not possible in modern corporate environments.
 

yerrag

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With his analysis, it is no wonder Western democracy can't do anything right. It's catching up with Trump, but really not by much, because he's being weighed down by all the ballast. He even looks weak against Kim. Never mind Putin, or Erdogan, or the Chinese. How true it is that English manners are for the middle class. Ir gets drowned out by the bellicosity. A weak beta president can't possibly put a stop to all the displays of seemingly righteous protests by pandering to them, out of fear of being called crass or impudent, because the language isn't adorned by the trappings of politically correctness.
 

meatbag

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This is very interesting I'm gonna check out this guys work some more, thanks for posting it!
 
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Taleb is fantastic, albeit a bit pretentious.

A lot pretentious, but that's okay.

Fooled By Randomness is the book that utterly changed my world view. It remains to this day because it communicated a truth that I would never have noticed before. I highly recommend that book in particular.

As for "owning another" there are numerous ways someone today can avoid a corporate job and not deaden themselves. Of course government infringes on our small freedoms, but freedom is done from the inside not the outside. The more I read of history the more I realize that we really live in the best world EVER. EVER.

People had such miserable lives in the old days, and still do to a large extent. But today in the Western world we have so many wonderful options.
 
L

lollipop

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Taleb is fantastic, albeit a bit pretentious.

A lot pretentious, but that's okay.

Fooled By Randomness is the book that utterly changed my world view. It remains to this day because it communicated a truth that I would never have noticed before. I highly recommend that book in particular.

As for "owning another" there are numerous ways someone today can avoid a corporate job and not deaden themselves. Of course government infringes on our small freedoms, but freedom is done from the inside not the outside. The more I read of history the more I realize that we really live in the best world EVER. EVER.

People had such miserable lives in the old days, and still do to a large extent. But today in the Western world we have so many wonderful options.
+1
 

raypeatclips

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The more I read of history the more I realize that we really live in the best world EVER. EVER.

People had such miserable lives in the old days, and still do to a large extent. But today in the Western world we have so many wonderful options.

I completely agree and feel this too, but for some reason the media presents a bleak image of the world every day, which is easy to accept.
 

Lejeboca

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I completely agree and feel this too, but for some reason the media presents a bleak image of the world every day, which is easy to accept.
This is the mission on mass media, and not only on Halloween, alas.
I guess, good news are simply not sensational because they don't scare the audience. :wideyed:
 

chispas

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So many faux taboo breakers on this forum, reading their utopian Taleb. Meanwhile, still feeling helpless.
 
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lollipop

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So many faux taboo breakers on this forum, reading their utopian Taleb. Meanwhile, still feeling helpless.
Curious @chispas, what is not being met in your world that you would feel a need to add this comment in? What does this comment and the right to offend bring you internally? What are you craving to feel a need for this type of speech? Where has this forum or Ray offended you so much that you feel a need to “set everyone straight” and see you and your viewpoint? Where are you feeling so slighted that you need to demand attention?
 

Makrosky

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Taleb is fantastic, albeit a bit pretentious.

A lot pretentious, but that's okay.

Fooled By Randomness is the book that utterly changed my world view. It remains to this day because it communicated a truth that I would never have noticed before. I highly recommend that book in particular.

As for "owning another" there are numerous ways someone today can avoid a corporate job and not deaden themselves. Of course government infringes on our small freedoms, but freedom is done from the inside not the outside. The more I read of history the more I realize that we really live in the best world EVER. EVER.

People had such miserable lives in the old days, and still do to a large extent. But today in the Western world we have so many wonderful options.
I kind of agree with you. They were very miserable materially speaking, no doubt. But today we are missing very important things that they had in the old days. Of course you can still get them today, but they are not granted and very difficult to obtain, specially if you don't realize what the problem is and even then, it is still difficult. I am talking about psychological things, like the sense of community, the sense of pertaining to a group, the sense of an ordered cosmos that has a purpose and a sense, the sense of living close to nature, to animals, the sense of God, the sense that they were not destroying the planet, that their work was meaningful and useful, etc... We are missing all these things and they are equally important for wellbeing as the material ones.
 

dfspcc20

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I kind of agree with you. They were very miserable materially speaking, no doubt. But today we are missing very important things that they had in the old days. Of course you can still get them today, but they are not granted and very difficult to obtain, specially if you don't realize what the problem is and even then, it is still difficult. I am talking about psychological things, like the sense of community, the sense of pertaining to a group, the sense of an ordered cosmos that has a purpose and a sense, the sense of living close to nature, to animals, the sense of God, the sense that they were not destroying the planet, that their work was meaningful and useful, etc... We are missing all these things and they are equally important for wellbeing as the material ones.

I think a common fallacy is people see things have been improving in (most) peoples' lives over the past century (which they have) and extrapolate that to all of history. When in fact it's only true going back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Hobbes and the "Nasty, Brutish and Short" notion of hunter-gatherer and subsistence agriculture life unfortunately lives on.
 

haidut

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Can't say I need an essay by this guy to know being an employee sucks...

You'd be surprised at how many people in the US would (violently) disagree with you if you say that being hired labor sucks for most people. And you'd better not bring this up at work...which proves yours/his point, but the irony is somehow lost on the poor souls slaving away every day.
 

chispas

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You'd be surprised at how many people in the US would (violently) disagree with you if you say that being hired labor sucks for most people. And you'd better not bring this up at work...which proves yours/his point, but the irony is somehow lost on the poor souls slaving away every day.

It sucks worse to be on a zero hour contract. At least salaried workers have benefits.

I work in Australia. I have a high salary. My boss is pleasant. I work from home when I want. There's a lot of flexibility.

Most days I sit in the sun, earning my full time wage. It's great. I have a son and I do a lot as a parent while managing my work role. Flexibility like this is becoming more common.

Of course I still work hard, but my colleagues love my work and they are very rewarding to work with. That's why they give me the freedoms and benefits that I enjoy.

Articles like Taleb's breed helplessness by focusing on the negative without offering hope of a way forward. Empower yourself to do what you want, seek out others to help you, and live the life you want.

There was a book from a few years ago, Smile Or Die by Barbara Someone - can't remember the name. Treads similar terrain. Corporate culture can be very self serving and hollow. That's why you should always have a good resignation letter ready to go!
 

chispas

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Curious @chispas, what is not being met in your world that you would feel a need to add this comment in? What does this comment and the right to offend bring you internally? What are you craving to feel a need for this type of speech? Where has this forum or Ray offended you so much that you feel a need to “set everyone straight” and see you and your viewpoint? Where are you feeling so slighted that you need to demand attention?

Probably too much sugar to be honest.

TBH, I feel dissatisfied in the quality of critical opinion on this forum. Critical views lead to diversity of opinion. My writing is terse and sharp, but not designed to insult. Why not just admit you think I'm wrong? I would be interested in your view. I'm not committed to any position, least of all my own. I prefer others to disrupt my ideas.

It also gets repetitive reading deferrals to conspiracy theories as a means of legitimising a singular reading of a text, it's very easy to do. Texts have multitudinous readings. I'm just trying to show that even "outsider" thinking can position you back into the "inside" you are trying to get away from.

This is a very real syndrome. Read Stuart Hall on hegemonic codes.
 

yerrag

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I can say I don't exert too much effort in trying to be critical. Being critical for its own sake isn't worth the time and the trouble for me. I rather cross off on some areas I'm deficient in, such as the effect of electrolyte imbalances on my metabolism, the role of fats and protein in oxidative metabolism, among other things. This way, I can be less critical of Ray Peat for my inability to draw a complete picture of my own struggles with health. When I have excess energy after I'm healed, I can afford to dwelve deeper into topics of less consequence to my survival.
 

haidut

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It sucks worse to be on a zero hour contract. At least salaried workers have benefits.

I work in Australia. I have a high salary. My boss is pleasant. I work from home when I want. There's a lot of flexibility.

Most days I sit in the sun, earning my full time wage. It's great. I have a son and I do a lot as a parent while managing my work role. Flexibility like this is becoming more common.

Of course I still work hard, but my colleagues love my work and they are very rewarding to work with. That's why they give me the freedoms and benefits that I enjoy.

Articles like Taleb's breed helplessness by focusing on the negative without offering hope of a way forward. Empower yourself to do what you want, seek out others to help you, and live the life you want.

There was a book from a few years ago, Smile Or Die by Barbara Someone - can't remember the name. Treads similar terrain. Corporate culture can be very self serving and hollow. That's why you should always have a good resignation letter ready to go!

I think a work-life balance like the one you have can certainly happen but it seems to be becoming harder and harder to find, at least in the US. There is a reason the country is very polarized and people now (indisputably) do the work for more than one FTE compared to what they were doing pre-recession in 2008. Maybe they were slacking off before 2008 so now is the realistic work load. I don't know. But to me the main message of his essay is not so much on learned helplessness (which I of course discourage as it leads nowhere) but rather that a large corporation (Fortune 500) is designed to make people docile and unemployable outside the company so that they are loyal but dispensable, and not really capable of much on their own. By extension, if the same is happening in the government then no wonder it is dysfunctional. Not sure the solution is for everybody to have a zero-hour contract as like you said that could mean you are technically unemployed most of the time. He even said that because the world has moved towards independent contracting now a single glitch is so much more disruptive and harder to fix. I think he is indirectly proposing that the people running the government should only be the ones who had survived and thrived in the world of zero hour contracts. But if that tends to generate only leader like Putin and Erdogan, then I am not sure this is a good solution either...
 
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lollipop

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Probably too much sugar to be honest.

TBH, I feel dissatisfied in the quality of critical opinion on this forum. Critical views lead to diversity of opinion. My writing is terse and sharp, but not designed to insult. Why not just admit you think I'm wrong? I would be interested in your view. I'm not committed to any position, least of all my own. I prefer others to disrupt my ideas.

It also gets repetitive reading deferrals to conspiracy theories as a means of legitimising a singular reading of a text, it's very easy to do. Texts have multitudinous readings. I'm just trying to show that even "outsider" thinking can position you back into the "inside" you are trying to get away from.

This is a very real syndrome. Read Stuart Hall on hegemonic codes.
I did mention in the other thread a conflation I think you are making. I did point out where I think you were wrong - the info you said about Peat was simply false. Even Roddy did not move to Mexico to be “near” Peat. He said he moved to experience Mexico as Peat had with great fruits etc available there. He explained it in a post on his Patreon page.

I actually enjoy challenge and where you started out in the challenge was interesting. You started with concepts and science questions. Very cool in my mind. Where it went off track is when you began personal attacking both of Peat and members of the forum.

I think if you step away and look at the 50,000ft view of this forum and the types of conversations and challenges that actually do occur, I think you will see members openly challenging Peat and certain principles. That is why I asked you what ultimately was bothering you, because it seems to be clouding clear perception about the multifarious threads on this forum.

PS - I like Stuart Hall and his ideas of hegemonic codes. It seems to me this situation of a master and slaves began with he beginning of human existence. I actually feel it is beginning to break down now as the awareness of people is gradually growing. Once it reaches a certain quantity of people aware, the whole system will break down (not anytime soon to be truthful). I do feel the consciousness of the planet is moving towards a sort of freedom.
 
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