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Is it everyman for himself? Why do anything?

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It concerns me with society. That what the first thing people tell me when I tell them
what I pursue (Computer Science), they say something along the lines of: "you're in a field that pays good money".

If always for money why do anything? For example, what If tomorrow was the last day for one to live if they could not find a way to escape to a moon colony from an asteroid? Its funny because scientists didn't even know that their were meteorites going to hit Russia a year ago, until they landed. I guess in the short term, money is ok. But in the long term you are going to need more than that.

I don't just program for the money, I do it because it is somewhat enjoyable, and I can create things with it. I don't just watch the news to hear about politics, I watch to see what stuff might effect me later, even if I'm not apart of the decisions in this country.

But most people in this country are concerned about going to eat out, what girl they want, why they can't get a girl, why they've been betrayed (all the worldly things). It seems that people are unaware and even detached from reality.

But what is reality? The big reality is that this country is being lead by people who don't care about the little people too much. They are trying to raise the retirement age 5 years to squeeze more money out of the population. The dollar is inflating. Several countries are borderline bankrupt. The government has shutdown because the congress can't agree because of conflicts of self interest. Elites are talking about population control as by 2050 there will be 10 billion people, assuming that humans don't kill each other. We could've been a type 1 civilization 20 years ago, if businesses weren't so corrupt (monopolies on oil and natural gas). Is America too big to fail? People are obsessed with reality TV and who is who?

Its like the 1920s again. It seems like the people who don't have to do anything are winning.
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I am extremely underpaid (ie, ~30K less than average) for what I do. I don't mind because I like my job (well enough, anyway) and I make more than enough to live comfortably. I don't have aspirations of moving up in the company because I don't gain anything out of it other than a bigger paycheck (which I don't need) and more stress (which I don't want).

I don't have debt because I don't believe in spending money I don't have. As a result, I don't own a new car or own a house. Instead, I have a beat up old used car, and a small apartment. But it also means I do not have stressful obligations. If I lose my job tomorrow, I'll have 10+ months where I look for another job stress-free (probably longer if I apply for unemployment -- last time I was out of work for 7 months I didn't apply, and I was just fine).

On the other hand... someone with bills and debt they're paying off might be freaking out after a few days.

My brother works maybe 25 hours a week as a server in a restaurant. He makes enough to scrape by, and he really only does it to support his lifestyle as a musician. His first priority is to his music.



My brother and I are generally happier than most other people I've met in my life. I don't think it's a coincidence.



People concerned with making more money are generally miserable. People involved in the "rat race" seem to hate their jobs/life more than others. My personal experience and life choices have put me to a place where money means very little once you have enough to pay your bills.

It's easier and more satisfying to live poor with no stress than it is to have stress so you can buy nicer things.







Of course... neither my brother nor I have kids. Kids would change everything. I honestly don't understand how people would want to have kids. A kid would ruin my life.
I personally do not have any children, but I am a young adult.

I think having a child can be very fullfilling, assuming you want to spend the time to develop the child. If you do it right, your child can accomplish more than you, have almost as much knowledge as you've accumulated, and have good values. But yeah, having children and a wife to manage would be complicated, and it might be tiring. But I wish more people like you existed in the population, the non-supermaterialistic ones, the none-greedy ones.

But its very screwy, because people who are concerned with self-development such as scientists often do not have as many children, which is a problem with how this world runs.
If you assume that those who are most greedy are more likely to reproduce, then you get a world full of materialists. The materialists are living off the work of the non-materialists and the non-materialists are failing to realize that you should take a fairer share, (not a super greedy share), but a share that doesn't give away all of your power in the relationship. But yeah, I personally believe that the worship of the dollar is leading to the faults in our country.
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I also believe that people shouldn't do things just because they can. I believe in personal limits to set for yourself. As the inability to set personal limits is why I think sin, hamartia, bad karma, or whatever people call it...exists. I think a sin is a sin because it hurts someone in some way. I think the only reason a nuclear war (WW3) hasn't yet happened is because it would kill everyone involved. I think we had better watch out for when there becomes commercial space travel.
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I have always headed for job/interests because they are enjoyable to me, not because of how much money they make. I can think of numerous jobs i could have taken to make a lot more money and be well off finacially, but i would of lost my sanity. I would hate life if i go to work for only the money, and count the 8 hour shifts down every day. Been there done that, the more money didnt make a difference, i still felt miserable.

Unlike you guys, I do have children. 2 in fact and i am married. This has never changed my opinion in making more money. I can do OK with $15K a year, and always have. One year i made $30K, and i could of sworn i felt rich. I owe on credit cards and am unable to make my student loan payments. I live an apartment with a beater car. I have even had a history of homelessness in the past, sleeping in my car when i lose a job, but still have a car. (I am glad that has not happened since my kids though). None of this makes me want to up and find the highest paying job i can get though.

My dad just retired as a corrections officer making 60K a year. Yes i could folllow in his foot steps, but I would hate that job. The money is not worth it to me. I would much rather enjoy my job at 15K than hate my job at 60K.

I just teach my kids not to be greedy and be greatful for what we have. They know they can not have the fancy hip latest fashion clothing, but we aquire our clothing from second hand stores for a lot cheaper. We teach them a Christian basis on Christmas, so they know that they are lucky if they get more than 1 present on Christmas. We have to keep correcting them, as other classmates will try to push upon our kids the fact that they must have the most expensive latest and greatest fashion crap. I wouldnt want my kids to be little snobby brats anyways. Thats exactly what they would be if i bought them everythign they wanted.

We live quite a happy life. In fact a couple a few months ago commented on our status of how happy we are but yet we never have money to go out to eat or go anywhere. Our response is money DOES NOT make the world go round.

But you are not alone. I feel like the majority of people around me base their status on how much money they make, how much crap is in their house, how expensive that crap is, put on a show, etc. It is simply just not true. A friend of mine quits his job every couple of years to go for another job that pays a little better, only to be layed off a year later fro mthe new job, leaving him living with his mother in his late 20's. This process has reepeated over and over and over for as long as i knew him. He looks more like a mouse trying to grab a piece of cheese
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I think having a child can be very fullfilling, assuming you want to spend the time to develop the child.


Our societal structure isn't built for it. Children need their parents around to develop their intelligence and social skills. In modern America, the parents have to work. So what you get is a bunch of kids raised by daycare and TV.

My sister's husband is a stay at home dad to their 2 kids (he has like a side job where he fixes cars for people out of his garage). Those kids are 2 of the smartest kids I've known. Again... I don't think this is a coincidence.

But yeah, having children and a wife to manage would be complicated, and it might be tiring.


Well... you wouldn't have to "manage" your wife. Hopefully she'd be able to take care of herself. =P

But its very screwy, because people who are concerned with self-development such as scientists often do not have as many children, which is a problem with how this world runs.


There was a movie loosely based around this concept called "Idiocracy". My brother keeps trying to get me to watch it, but I'm not a movie guy.

The general idea is that a guy gets launched 500 years in the future, and he suddenly turns out to be the smartest guy alive, because only the stupid people were having kids.

I don't really think this reflects reality, of course... I just thought it was a funny concept. And it seemed to be somewhat related to this idea you had.


But yeah, I personally believe that the worship of the dollar is leading to the faults in our country.


I could go on a rant of all the flaws of capitalism. This is merely one of them.

A capitalistic society is doomed to plateau at a certain point. The US has been at that point for a while. We're not prospering anymore, and we haven't been for a while. We've barely been keeping pace with the rest of the [developed] world in terms of innovation and general quality of life.
I say let people choose to live the lives THEY want to live. If they prefer to work at a job that they love but get paid less more power to them. If they want to work at a job they don't really like but they get paid more which allows them to do the things they like more power to them also.

I think there is just to much of other people trying to tell others how they should live their lives going on now days.

I personally would much rather work at a job I am happy at then get paid more but that doesn't mean someone who chooses different is less of a human being then me and that he/she is making the wrong choice. That is their choice and isn't for me to make.

Just because something makes one person happy doesn't mean it will make everyone happy.

Also before I go would just like to point out that yes while it would be nice for everyone to be able to work at a job they love and still be able to make a living in reality that just isn't possible. Sometimes they have to work jobs they hate to make a bit more money so they can fulfill their obligations.
So I just started watching Idiocracy.

Here's the opening scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icmRCixQrx8

@DeXecipher: You might appreciate it
I'm married, have a son with special needs, and gave up looking for programming jobs about two years ago now. We make it by from month to month. I've taken down my sites, changed emails, and been happily taking care of wife and son so I don't program for a living at all. I just do what I like and make things work. I don't eat out much because I like to cook dinner for my family. I'd say I'm happy.
Our societal structure isn't built for it. Children need their parents around to develop their intelligence and social skills. In modern America, the parents have to work. So what you get is a bunch of kids raised by daycare and TV.


It is true, Americans want to live too fast or beyond their means. Celebrity and fame is all that is on everyone's mind. There are consumers and producers. The consumers (materialists) use or exploit what is produced by the producers to their advantage. We are seeing that with the amount of ultrawealth that exists in this world.


I personally would much rather work at a job I am happy at then get paid more but that doesn't mean someone who chooses different is less of a human being then me and that he/she is making the wrong choice. That is their choice and isn't for me to make.

Just because something makes one person happy doesn't mean it will make everyone happy.


I agree with all of that until the person does a job (selling-out) contradictory of their moral values just for money. To me, happiness comes in levels, and highs are temporary. Basic needs are enough, but so if I lost those auxillery needs, such as a laptop, the ability to create, entertainment, etc. I'd still be fine. I'd rather work doing what I love than something I abhor just for a paycheck.


I think there is just to much of other people trying to tell others how they should live their lives going on now days.


I wish more employers thought that way, instead of wanting ultra-dependant people (Corporations). If I found an employer that understood that people have ambitions and would be willing to help me out I'd want to work with them for a very long time, possibly my whole life if they stayed with the value of the worker as a person and not just a cost or resource.

@Disch I'm not a movie guy either, but I think you showed me a movie I'd actually want to see, thanks.
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I'm married, have a son with special needs, and gave up looking for programming jobs about two years ago now. We make it by from month to month.
I've taken down my sites, changed emails, and been happily taking care of wife and son so I don't program for a living at all.


You had a website, why did you take them down? I'd be willing to read your website(s). If cost is a problem, then their are free web hosts/servers such as Angelfire, etc. The only thing I think that will cost at a rate is the registered domain name.

I have an idea that might help you, one that I have thought about testing myself. My hypothesis is the problem is not that anyone here is not skilled. But you/i are not making our presences known. If you help people out then they are more willing to help you out, but to do that you must make yourself more public (visible). The question then becomes "is it worth it", that is up to us all.

Salman Khan, the man who made Khan Academy, and was invested in by Bill Gates, started out just making videos to help his neices. But he was so good and GENUINE at what he did he attacted a larger audience. He almost quit making videos because he and his wife were in financial difficulties, but he got a random email from a lady who asked him how he was making a living, and she made a DONATION (act of good will) to him for 10k.

But yeah, acts of good will, good content, and accessibility is the formalae. Education is another factor, and there are a lot of other variables...but those come to mind.
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Money isn't everything, but it is something when your 70 year old father is still working on a roofing crew with no sign of retirement in the future. The problem with capitalism is that there's an end-game. I wonder what the rich will do when they can no longer get any richer? I think we're going to find out in our lifetimes. My guess is that it won't be pretty.

Actually, my guess is that to save itself prolong itself, the US will continue on the path toward socialism.
I still have the domains, but I just never felt I had anything worth the hosting space so I shut down the sites, kept the domains, and moved on. Sadly, web archives only have any information on my sites for when I wiped them and started messing with new themes (which sucked). I don't care about making my presence known anymore, I help where I can, but otherwise I sit back and just do whatever.
Disch wrote:
I honestly don't understand how people would want to have kids. A kid would ruin my life.
For a long time I thought having a kid would ruin my life, and for many of my friends who had kids in junior high and high school it did severely limit their opportunities. But for me it was different, my son saved my life, he has given me something to live for. He is the only reason I went back to school, I want to better myself for him (and myself, but he's my motivation). But to each his own, I completely understand some people just don't want kids and live very happy lives without them.
who had kids in junior high

Those kids probably have a bit more wrong in their life than just limited opportunities.
Disch wrote:
I honestly don't understand how people would want to have kids. A kid would ruin my life.

I swore I wasn't going to bother being married or have kids and focus solely on becoming the next great game developer. You can't help who you fall in love with. Two years after meeting my wife I married her and two years after that we had our son. Those who never want kids don't realize the joy they can bring to your life because they always focus on the negative things they see in family members around them. Now, I don't care if I ever even become a game programmer because, I don't consider my life ruined, but rather having my son put my life into perspective and made me realize there are more important things in this world than worrying about my needs and wants.
This is very interesting as I have just posted something in the lounge recently. Money is not everything, it seems human happiness revolves around these nine things:

subsistence
protection
affection
understanding
participation
leisure
creation
identity
freedom

I asked people to organize these things according to priority. If you are wondering the purpose of life and whatnot, the purpose of life is to live. If you want to know why you shouldn't buy a gun and blow your brains out, then you should understand that we still don't know what's on the other side. Okay, so you're alive still. You feel like crap though, just look at this list. What are you missing in life?

You feel like crap though, just look at this list. What are you missing in life?


I'm missing achievement/mobility/participation/ability to do more things. I don't feel like crap, I'm just ambitious. Ok, maybe I feel a little crappy. I could go work at McDonalds for the next 30-40 years, but I would kick myself if I didn't explore opportunities I've worked toward (academically/personally) since grade school. Whats the point of knowledge if you don't use it and it doesn't benefit people outside of yourself?

And don't let me get started about bloated corporations in America, hence why I would be reluctant to work for them.
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Maybe you need to be more realistic about what work is and why they pay your for it and why you need money.

Everybody cannot just do what they enjoy doing and get payed for it. People don't pay you to have fun, they pay you to do stuff that has value to them.

You're damn lucky if you so happen to be able to make money doing something you enjoy, but if you can't, you still need to eat, and you still need a place to sleep.

It's a sad fact that most people can't just live care free comfortable lives without doing any work.

Anyone who doesn't care about money must already have enough of it, or they are being supported financially by someone else.

If you want a family, then money becomes even more important.

Even if you don't care to live in luxury, you could still do a lot of good with any extra money you earn.

No matter which way you cut it, making more money is way better than making less money. Doing something you don't like for the money is tough, but more noble (depending on how you spend it) than doing something you do like for less money.

In the long term, especially, you need money. It's foolish to expect an apocalypse
to happen in your lifetime, or to factor the possibility into your outlook on life (until it is literally happening).
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In the long term, especially, you need money. It's foolish to expect an apocalypse
to happen in your lifetime, or to factor the possibility into your outlook on life (until it is literally happening).


While I agree with most of what you said, I disagree with that. And more frankly much of the population believes the contrary to your assumption (religious), but that is another matter. There are issues such as global warming (human accelerated climate change), a possible nuclear war (still possible), Ozone loss, terrorism, mass surveillance (*cough NSA), nuclear meltdown (examples: fallout from Fukushima, Cherynobyl). It is not foolish, very unlikely, but not foolish to account for possibilities (unless it consumes your life). World war 1 was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

In just 50 years humans tore a hole in the ozone layer bad enough to melt the polar ice caps more than they have ever been in 1000s of years and let more radiation into the earth:
http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/sc_fact.html

Fact is, humans are consuming the planet. Its just a matter of how good we can be at regulating ourselves, therefore it is not foolish to expect a disaster. It only took 30 years from WWI for vietnam (the draft) to happen. It only took 20 years from wwI for wwII to happen. It only took the end of WWI for the cold war to begin. It only took about 50 years from the end of the revolution to wwI.

Aside from this, I've worked doing none engineer/math/tech work before (not too long ago), it was ok. But far from challenging. But I did help people in several ways or another. I learned alot about people, that I would not have if I had not worked in that setting. I learned that people generally appear to be good. Some people are in unfortunate situations (requiring food stamps/young parent(s)/aid/and so on). Some people are elderly and just want to talk to people or have a good experience. I also learned that some people are lazy, lol, just wanting to work for a paycheck and doing the absolute minimal for greater or equal pay (socialism).
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