Lion of the Blogosphere

Trashing the DWYL mantra

There’s an awesome op-ed in Slate by Miya Tokumitsu trashing the mantra of what she calls “do what you love” (as in “do what you love and the money will follow”) which is a similar concept to my own explanation of the bobo belief that the most important goal in life should be self-actualizing work.

Miya is especially angry at the hypocrisy of Steve Jobs who told the Stanford University class of 2005:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Doesn’t Steve know that the iPhone wouldn’t be possible without massive hordes of Asian factory-workers, working in slave-labor-like conditions?

Miya also points out how the DWYL mantra can be really bad advice when given to young people who don’t have parents who are wealthy and willing to support their low-paid or non-paid labors of love. The DWYL advice diverts them from going into practical fields that pay good wages but have a reputation among bobos for not being self-actualizing.

DWYL is an extreme-elitist philosophy, because only a tiny percent of the world’s population can do jobs that they love. Crappy work is what makes the world run.

* * *

Thank you “Fiddlesticks” for linking to the article.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 17, 2014 at EST pm

Posted in Bobos, Labor Markets

98 Responses

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  1. Assume for a second that the job market is efficient. Usually what you love is what you’re best at relative to other people. Since the market is efficient, financial stability comes naturally.

    Zack

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • I love meth? Pay me a**hole

      XVO

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • “I love meth? Pay me a**hole”

        A lot of people love doing meth (competition) and that brings negative value to others. Why would someone pay you? In fact maybe they should pay you for not doing meth, or better yet have laws against doing meth.

        Zack

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • All you have to do is change one letter – from “I love meth” to “I love math”, and sure as hell somebody will pay you, my friend.

        Saskatoon Sammy

        January 20, 2014 at EST am

    • >Usually what you love is what you’re best at relative to other people

      NOPE. Virtually every garbageman would love to have a cushy office job where he smells like Creed Aventus instead of garbage and most of their his work involves taking clients out for long expensive lunches, but he’s just not intelligent or connected enough to do that.

      Gert Frobe Stunt Double

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • This only holds true if what you love is something that is actually deemed valuable by the market and therefore financially compensated. Having a competitive advantage in blogging about Hungarian gymnasts won’t make you shit.

      QWERTY

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • Sure, but Steve Jobs gave that speech to the Stanford graduation class, which (1) have been selected from the kids with potential, (2) finished something (Stanford), (3) have some connections (Stanford network) and (4) have branding. (this goes a long way if you want to raise money for say a tech start-up)

        So, Steve Jobs’ advice is not off in this context.

        Zack

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • Also, when Steve says do what you love, he means do the job that you love. Blogging about Hungarian gymnasts is not a job.

        Zack

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • @zack. If you do a good enough job blogging about Hungarian gymnasts, you might be able to turn that into a coaching/scouting job.

        I personally know three people who turned sports blogging into careers within the industry (baseball front office analytics and one at ESPN) that pay the rent and put food on the table (not 6 figures, they work like dogs, but they love what they do).

        uatu

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

  2. “DWYL is an extreme-elitist philosophy, because only a tiny percent of the world’s population can do jobs that they love. Crappy work is what makes the world run.”

    Thank you. This is just an extension of the earlier feminist lie about the “barrenness” of life for the stay-at-home-mom. Just because a few wealthy, highly educated (and mostly pug ugly) women in the 60s felt less than actualized, they foisted a gigantic lie on the rest of woman-kind. Work has always been drudgery, but men did it because the REAL self-actualization of a man is BREAD WINNER. Whether that’s making artisanal meatballs or fixing carburetors or pushing a broom, it doesn’t matter. Putting food on the table and clothes on the backs of his children is the principal male role.

    Elitist hypocrisy is always with us: “Was it a millionaire who said imagine no possessions?”

    peterike

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • Perhaps, but there are some women who have no business staying home with their kids full time lacking other purpose in life. I’m exceedingly grateful my own mother was not a SAHM; it was rough enough dealing with her post-5pm.

      toomanyspiders

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • Did she avoid making people miserable at work or did you simply shift the problem?

        Curle

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

      • She was universally adored at work. Workaholics tend to be highly functional at work but dysfunctional at home is my impression. In fact there was recently an article on CNN about the high suicide rate of attorneys and one theory is that the profession attracts workaholics. And by workaholic I don’t mean someone with a strong work ethic, but rather someone who is pathological (for lack of a better term) about long hours and commitment to the job at the expense of all else including family.

        toomanyspiders

        January 21, 2014 at EST am

  3. I did what I loved and it’s gotten so I don’t love it any more, and I don’t make a lot of money either. Better might be to do something tangentially related to what you love, that pays a lot of money.

    thrasymachus33308

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • It’s one thing to spend a couple of hours a few times a month doing what you love. It’s another to spend 50 hours every single week. I was a kid the first time someone told me to do what I love. I knew straight off they were full of it. They were just repeating what they’d heard someone successful say. The reason successful people say that is because they’re successful. And it’s fun to be successful. The other 90% who are struggling don’t think it’s nearly as fun.

      I think people who say “do what you love and the money will come” have it backwards. People should do what makes money and the love will come. I love making money.

      destructure

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • I have nothing to add here. I just enjoyed reading that.

        Dan

        January 18, 2014 at EST pm

      • “The reason successful people say that is because they’re successful. And it’s fun to be successful. The other 90% who are struggling don’t think it’s nearly as fun.”

        you’re resentful of your betters.

        “People should do what makes money and the love will come. I love making money.”

        nothing is more vulgar. as a man i admire

        “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.”

        this great man, according to his grandson, thought his greatest accomplishment was the consolidation of a the formerly fractured and inefficient us oil industry.

        i don’t resent him or his wealth at all. but even he wasn’t “born in a log cabin which he built himself”.

        6079SmithW

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • Why is it “resentful” to point out the obvious, that it’s enjoyable to be successful?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • nothing’s more prole.

        “the love of money is the root of all evil”. it wasn’t quite true 2100 years ago, but it’s true enough still.

        that there is a willing buyer is irrelevant. what are you selling?

        jorge videla

        January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • “Why is it “resentful” to point out the obvious, that it’s enjoyable to be successful?”

        because destructure is claiming these successful people don’t understand this or that they’re lying. when they are really just telling the truth, and he resents them for enjoying their work.

        jorge videla

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

      • @thrasymachus, destructure, Dan: Fine comments. That great wit Mark Twain said, “Work is whatever a body is obliged to do, and play is whatever a body is not obliged to do.” Too true, too true. If you “do what you love”, by, for example, transforming a favourite hobby into a paying job, all that happens is that you start to dislike and resent your formerly pleasant hobby. The best advice is to find work that you can tolerate well enough and find at least somewhat interesting some of the time, and spend your time off with family and other activities that you really enjoy.

        Samson J.

        February 5, 2014 at EST pm

  4. I seriously doubt anyone below the 75th percentile for intelligence follows the DWYL advice. Proles are practical people.

    Most people who do a creative endeavor with low chances of success will likely wise up at some point and do something practical. But, yeah, it’s silly to think your going to be in the NBA or be a famous artists whatever, especially if you are over a certain age.

    Kant

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  5. “Doesn’t Steve know that the iPhone wouldn’t be possible without massive hordes of Asian factory-workers, working in slave-labor-like conditions?”

    Steve Jobs was talking to an audience of Americans. We have the luxury to pursue our passions much easier, than let’s say in a nation like China or any other repressive Asian country, including Japan. East Asia has been underdeveloped for much of its history, both technologically and socially.

    If the US gov’t decides on a program such as your proposed guaranteed BI, it would be a milestone for many people, who want to self actualize and not worry about paying for food and rent. Obamacare is a good start, where young people could now engage in more interesting work and not worry about health insurance, otherwise not available to them, if they didn’t have a real full time job that is usually mind numbing and boring.

    Even NAMs and Proles could self actualize if they were smart enough not to have kids out of wedlock. They could draw gov’t subsidy such as welfare, and have access to free education for self discovery.

    JS

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • Let’s not forget Steve gave this talk at Stanford and not Bronx Community College. Kids graduating from Stanford have the opportunity to do whatever they want.

      Kant

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • The same goes for those idiots at Bronx Community. Affirmative action and welfare entitlements, gives them better opportunities to self actualize.

        JS

        January 18, 2014 at EST am

    • Aren’t you from Spain or something? Spain has been underdeveloped technologically and socially as well for much of its history.

      Jon

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • And how was East Asia more technologically advanced than Spain in pre modern times? China is still a developing 3rd world, which Spain is not.

        East Asians are less “pro social”, which has been addressed by some of the commentators in Lion’s old blog and this one as well.

        http://www.livescience.com/19580-niceness-dna-scientists-find.html

        They show lower empathy levels, which means they are less charitable and are less socially engaging, as China during the height of its apex, never developed any established organization to help the poor. The Spanish were one of the first groups of Europeans, who came up with a Church Fraternity Order, which would help the needy during the Middle Ages, when the Spaniards were considered “barbarians”.

        JS

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

      • That’s the point. Both Spain and East Asia have been underdeveloped and backward. Spain was an agricultural country and didn’t even have an industrial revolution until after WWII like most of the East Asian countries.

        Jon

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

      • So undeveloped they conquered an unexplored continent, converted the vast majority of its residents to their religion and indirectly brought the English here 100 years after they arrived when the English set up pirate dens (Jamestown) so they could raid Spanish ships. From my experience Mexicans are more likely to be intimately familiar with the Catholic church than the Maya or the Aztecs. That sounds like success to me.

        Curle

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

      • That was pre-Industrial Revolution. They were undeveloped when they colonized Latin America and afterwards. They were still an agricultural country. And I don’t think Latin America looks like a success compared to North America. The English developed the Industrial Revolution. Spain really didn’t develop industrially until after WWII.

        Jon

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

      • The Spaniards are a talented people who didn’t modernize until recently. I would rather live in Madrid or Barcelona than London, which looks like another multicultural dump like many Anglo-sphere towns. Combined artistic creativity, inherent of all Southern European nations with modern technology, and it’s a winning combination.

        By the way, there are studies shown that eating fish makes your smarter by providing more blood flow to the brain. The Spanish ranks #2 behind the Japanese in fish and other seafood consumption.

        So Jon, how were the English developed before the Industrial Revolution?

        Latin America is underdeveloped because of the inherent lower IQ population of the Amerindians. There aren’t many White majority Latin American nations.

        Advocates for Chinese sophistication over the Europeans cannot provide concrete evidence that the Chinese far surpassed the West. There is anything coming from China such as art, philosophy and science, which would suggest that the Chinese were more developed than the Europeans. Reading comments from other boards, many Asians are over defensive about China and its supremacy over the Europeans before the pre-industrial age, without providing any proof as to why this was the case. Their best motto was that the Europeans lived in dung and squalor during the Dark Ages, while the Chinese had flourishing towns.

        JS

        January 21, 2014 at EST am

      • Lion, you might want to take note.

        According to some, Spain has the best Chinese food.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780655

        Some Spaniards have told me that Chinese food in their country tastes better than those found in the UK and USA, after traveling to these places.

        JS

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

      • The English were advanced before the Industrial Revolution. North America was created by the English.
        Latin America was created by underdeveloped Spaniards in the first place. The Chinese have been underdeveloped and backward in pre-industrial and modern times. They’re still underdeveloped and backward today. What’s interesting is that countries like Spain were underdeveloped and backward until after WWII, when they were modernized under America’s aegis and turned from essentially feudal, agricultural countries into modern, industrialized ones.

        Jon

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

      • The Spaniards were the first to come up with idea of HBD, which would ultimately usher an entire movement of Conquistadors, starting with Columbus, to exploit the Amerindians for their resources and use blacks as slaves to get them.

        http://www.amazon.com/The-Tropics-Empire-Transformations-Technology/dp/0262232642

        JS

        January 25, 2014 at EST am

    • “Steve Jobs was talking to an audience of Americans. We have the luxury to pursue our passions much easier, than let’s say in a nation like China or any other repressive Asian country, including Japan. ”

      Even better, Steve Jobs was telling that to Stanford graduates! They can afford a lot more than the average American… not only that, but they have also been selected based on skills (academic, athletic, etc)

      Zack

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • We would be a country of freelance writers without restaurants or clean public restrooms. If you give people money to sit at home and be movie reviewers or free lance writers, then who is going to get up in the morning and go to work in an emergency room, driving a snow blow, or fix a broken toilet.

      superdestroyer

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

      • Easy.

        Immigrants

        map

        January 18, 2014 at EST am

      • It’s safe to assume that we don’t need any more workers for menial tasks and blue collar professions.

        JS

        January 18, 2014 at EST am

      • Do the idea of DWYL only applies to citizens. I would love for anyone to provide a link to where progressives make that argument.

        superdestroyer

        January 18, 2014 at EST am

  6. The DWYL mentality combines with elites’ belief in meritocracy to imply that those who make their way into self-actualizing careers (for “love”) are morally superior to those who don’t.

    Therefore, economists and pundits like Tom Friedman preach that such careers are the jobs of the future, and in fact the only jobs to which Americans have any moral claim. All other fields are lower on the moral hierarchy, seen as being staffed by unworthies, boring nerds and proles who deserve to be outsourced or replaced by immigrants as rightful punishment for their unenlightened choices.

    Fiddlesticks

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • To a certain extent, Tom Friedman is right. America is too prole, for a technologically and morally superior nation. The emphasis of trying to get into a career that affords you a crass materialistic lifestyle is as prole as a plumbing job, just on different spectrums.

      JS

      January 18, 2014 at EST am

  7. Steve jobs was talking to people who just graduated from Stanford.

    DWYL of course doesn’t apply to everyone, but America is an affluent country. Most people won’t starve because they picked a career they liked. Isn’t one of the themes of this blog is that unproductive people can have so many children? Those unproductive underclass Americans live better than 80% of the world probably.

    AsianDude

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  8. A lot of assumptions are being made here, namely that being told “DWYL” actually makes people– who wouldn’t otherwise– strive to DWYL. How do you know those people wouldn’t have striven for self-actualization even if it weren’t a social dictum? Secondly, those zombifying manufacturing jobs no longer exist in this country, at least not on large scale. Were they to exist at adjusted (US$) wages there would be plenty of people applying for them (and hard labor jobs that still exist are usurped by illegal immigrants– THAT “devalues labor” more than any social more).

    As far as kant’s comment that only the top 25th percentile strive for self actualization, becoming a rap or basketball star is a widespread aspiration amongst innercity kids who openly use this as an excuse to snub school & intellectualism.

    toomanyspiders

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  9. It’s surprising that this was actually posted in Slate. It doesn’t sound like there cup of tea. You know, common sense? No father prior to the 60’s ever told his kid to do what you love and don’t worry about filthy lucre.

    Mike Street Station

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • Advocating for the underclass is a self-actualizing mainstay for progressives. That’s why it appeared in Slate.

      toomanyspiders

      January 18, 2014 at EST pm

    • What toomany said. The article criticized DWYL from the left. Says it promotes narcissism and undermines class consciousness. This isn’t your capitalist father’s criticism of “follow your heart” that says it’s too hippy.

      Dain

      January 18, 2014 at EST pm

    • Our current crop of youths in America do not need to engage in menial work anymore, at least on a large scale contigency. We have enough immigrants and established proles to do the dirty work, for at least 2 more decades, if we are still around.

      Self Actualization is more realizable than ever before, regardless of class. The internet provides an array of infomation at your fingertips, and much of it is free of charge. SWPLs/Bobos seem to enjoy traveling to exotic or status inducing locales, as part of their self actualizing process. But proles can do the same because bargains can be found.

      Most of us (because we have a prole mindset) are still stuck in the old boomer matrix of getting into a career that supports a crass lifestyle of rampant materialism, which has gotten us into this economic mess in the 1st place.

      Nothing is more dispicable to a knowledge driven and morally superior mindset in the 21st century, when one hears “I wanna make a lot of money” or “I’m getting my MBA”.

      JS

      January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • Money has been replaced by status.

        map

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

      • Men are materialists because women are. To get the girl and keep her you need the dough. Indians had things balanced just about right on the self-actualization front. Then the white man came and screwed things up.

        Curle

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

    • The prole equivalent of the Steve Jobs speech is the much circulated story of Elvis’ father insisting he stick with truck driving. And the Lynyrd Skynyrd tale. Tons of musical failures used those stories to justify living a life pointlessly pursuing their dream.

      Curle

      January 20, 2014 at EST pm

  10. “Doesn’t Steve know that the iPhone wouldn’t be possible without massive hordes of Asian factory-workers, working in slave-labor-like conditions?”

    Steve wanted to deny these workers existed period. Telling people to (be like me) do what you love (and become like me, rich and beloved), is more fun than, you know, doing something to make sure the people who make your phones not feel the need to kill themselves. There’s no money, nor prestige in that anyway…

    I thought this was an interesting article as well. I think the author was on to something. There is much work that no one *loves* to do, but it needs doing. And as long as we like functional indoor plumbing, clean neighborhoods, etc, someone has to do them. Maybe the people who do that work should get some recognition too? Makes sense to me.

    DelFuego

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  11. This was long ago addressed by OFFICE SPACE:

    PETER
    Our high school guidance counselor used to ask us what you would do if
    we had a million dollars and didn’t have to work. And invariably,
    whatever we would say, that was supposed to be our careers. If you
    wanted to build cars, then you’re supposed to be an auto mechanic. . .I never had an answer. I guess that’s why I’m working at Initech.

    MICHAEL
    No, you’re working at Initech because that question is bullshit to
    begin with. If that quiz worked, there would be no janitors, because no one would
    clean shit up if they had a million dollars.

    fakeemail

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  12. Remember when the elites thought that factory and mill jobs were just awful, soul-killing work, and that people shouldn’t have to live that way? It’s funny to read some of the earnest scribblings from the 60s.

    What guys here in flyover wouldn’t give now to have some of those good union jobs back. My husband’s last mill job ended in 1983 and he never got up to that income level again. No one cared if you loved the work. That’s what beer was for.

    caroljm36

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • Technically it’s the union and not the job that got him the salary.

      Still, it’s too easy to ship stuff overseas now, so we can’t just repeat the unionization fights of the early twentieth century. At the most we could make McDonald’s and Walmart pay their workers a higher wage, but we’re looking at a mass working class at best.

      SFG

      January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • No quibble that it was the union. The mill processed timber pretty close to the source, and I’m not sure that would be offshored. I think back in the 40s and 50s there were not a lot of able bodies to do the work, here in BFE, so the unions got them to pay a premium. Not sure there’s a shortage of fast food labor in the cities.

        caroljm36

        January 19, 2014 at EST pm

  13. ” have a reputation among bobos for not being self-actualizing.”

    Some professions ARE more self-actualizing than others. For example, I think being a journalist covering economics/politics, being a professor, or anything where you’re paid to essentially engage in mental masturbation is a hands down more enjoyable job. You’re paid to be interesting and you’re not going to get yelled at as much, if at all. Of course, as you mentioned, these are only available to people that have the ability to self-finance (independently wealthy).

    I think the advice should be “DWYL and the happiness will come, but know that in order to even do so, you’re going to need to get the financial situation figured out either via entrepreneurship or low living standards first”. In the long-run, think the ability to engage in meaningful work is a much more sincere impetus for developing future-time-orientation than, say, buying a new pair of jeans. I ultimately think that happiness comes from a) good relationships; b) a cause, and c) spending your day doing shit that’s actually satisfying.

    Also one last thing- it does take a while to discover what you do love doing. Don’t put it off until you cash out because A) that day may never come, and B) you might just forget about it.

    QWERTY

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  14. Crappy work is what makes the world run.

    Inspiring, hopeful words. Now pipe down and prepare to report to your nerd-cubicle at 0800 next Tuesday.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  15. I’ve found that things I “love doing” are things that I’ve developed a competitive advantage in over time. I have a friend that played golf and wasn’t able to go pro. So fucking what? I said. Go teach people how to golf for business and make yourself valuable to them… THEN the money comes.

    QWERTY

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • Teaching pros do not make much and are reminded how poor they are because they are around rich peoplel.

      superdestroyer

      January 18, 2014 at EST pm

  16. the dwyl jive also has an ideological/just-world-phenomoenon purpose. the claim is that man is perfectly suited to the market economy and industrialization, individuals need only find their labor of love, their niche, their “gift”, and bring this to the market.

    needless to say extreme specialization and obscene inequality is not what man or individual men were made for.

    but marx’s “ideologie”/the just-world-phenomenon is a reflex of almost everyone. the cognitive dissonance occasioned by seeing the world as it really is is too much to bear.

    jorge videla

    January 17, 2014 at EST pm

    • BUT!!!

      what people love to do is itself by what society values de jure or de facto. society values fame and winning and maiking lots of money etc.

      in a better society useful labor and what people loved to do would come much closer to coinciding.

      in the us at present what people love to do is usually useless and stupid. this isn’t the way it has to be.

      jorge videla

      January 17, 2014 at EST pm

  17. Article is originally from “Jacobin Magazine,” which proudly names itself after the clique responsible for the original Reign of Terror. I’ve been saying the same thing for ages , but I find it strange to find common ground with such people.

    aisaac

    January 18, 2014 at EST am

  18. The person I know who best exemplifies the DWYL mind frame ended up an assistant professor at a small, poorly known school. He goes through hobbies like Kleenex and has maintained a video blog for three years or so despite the fact that no one watches it. He is 34 and has never been married despite the fact that he is fit and reasonably attractive.

    I think that, in reality, people that gravitate toward DWYL are inadvertently signalling that they consider themselves deeply lacking in some way and must make up for that by adorning themselves with little trinkets–be they objects, hobbies, clothes, or even careers. The irony is that, from the DWYL viewpoint, the focus is not on “you” but in finding something cool/unique/”important” to do.

    DWYL is ultimately a matter of style/fashion. It is more of a command than a suggestion. The sort of feeling that it invokes in me is something like, “If I’m not sleeping in, eating grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and then spending the afternoon freeing entangled whales on a daily basis, I’m doing something wrong.” It’s absurd. I live in the United States, where we are generally given a shit ton of free time and the opportunity to earn enough money to actually do what we want during that free time. Seems like a good deal to me, when you think of how most humans have lived (and still live). If you can make money doing something you’re able to tolerate, great. If you can make money doing something you love…really great. But to take that concept to the extreme that DWYL represents is…well, see my first two paragraphs.

    rbgeorge

    January 18, 2014 at EST am

    • You are being way too hard on your acquaintance. If he is an “assistant” rather than an “adjunct” professor, he is almost certainly on a tenure track, and that makes him among the lucky few in his generation of academics. Most of his peers are still mired in temporary academic jobs that work them like medical interns but pay them like fast-food serfs. As for his “never been married” at 34 – LOL! That’s means nothing nowadays. If he’s fit and reasonably attractive, he’ll be able to find an acceptable bride when he’s ready. At least he isn’t some poor schnook in a cubicle with a fat harridan of a wife and a couple of brats in middle school, which he could easily be at his age.

      As for that “small, poorly known school”, that sounds to me like a small liberal arts college in the boonies, in which case he most likely lives in an area where house prices are far lower than those in the city, where all those “real” jobs are; And as for his hobbies, he sounds like an interesting guy. I wouldn’t mind sharing a beer with him. I might even visit his video log.

      By the way, in regards to SWPL – “Stuff White People Like”. Considering that the vast majority of The One Percent are white, shouldn’t we add the following to SWPL: yachts, Lear jets, private islands, Swiss bank accounts and, above all, Republican fund-raisers?

      And what are you to be so snooty anyway, a bank president married to the homecoming queen?

      Saskatoon Sammy

      January 20, 2014 at EST am

      • SWPL is about a certain kind of white person encompassing BoBos, proto-BoBos and wannabe BoBos, and they hate plutocrats and their luxuries.

        Gert Frobe Stunt Double

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

      • Saskatoon Sammy:

        I think you took me the wrong way. My position wasn’t meant to be “snooty”–I have a solidly middle class income just like the guy I’m describing (although I actually do take advantage of living in a low COL area while this other guy lives is a relatively large city).

        Also, re: never been married, I should point out that this is in spite of the fact that he desperately wants a wife and has for many years. But his stupid, childlike DWYL mind frame/lifestyle keeps women at bay. When a woman finds out that you’ve maintained a video blog for years despite the fact that no one watches it, you pay a price. Trust me.

        rbgeorge

        January 21, 2014 at EST am

      • @GFSD – I know what SWPL is, I was just being ironic (another SWPL thing?)

        @rbgeorge – If the guy really is a doofus with the ladies, he would remain so even if he were on Wall Street angling perpetually for the mega-bucks. The ladies, they likes what they likes, let me tell ya…

        Saskatoon Sammy

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

  19. For a Funny or Die satire of the ‘anyone can do anything they want’ philosophy see the “Don Dolmes Story.” Don is a water delivery man who becomes a porn star without, em, possessing the normal accoutrements of the trade. http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3644d51f87/the-smallest-cok-in-porn-minimovie-from-fod-team
    “I quit my job, I quit school and I quit my family. . . . Don Dolmes gave me a chance for greatness.”

    Curle

    January 18, 2014 at EST am

  20. My first thought was “Brave New World” where everyone was genetically modified to love their work. The assertions of the article seem self-evident to me and yet reading the Slate comments I was surprised to see how stupid they were. They seemed to willfully misunderstand what the author was saying or else would give counter-examples, which prove nothing.

    CamelCaseRob

    January 18, 2014 at EST pm

    • Yeah, counterexamples only disprove ‘All A is B’, which is really only true (and hence asserted) in mathematics and sometimes physics.

      SFG

      January 19, 2014 at EST am

    • The laws of logic apply in no way to the realm of politics…all politics are irrational.

      Kant

      January 19, 2014 at EST pm

  21. has everyone missed that though doing what one loves usually means poverty, that if one loves something which is valued this is the only way to be a great success.

    what one will find in reading the bios of great men, business men or otherwise, what one will find is true of the few great successes he knows is:

    they followed the path of least resistance and were lucky enough that that path lea to great success.

    whatever one’s ability his achievement will be limited if he gets up in the morning to make money rather than something else. perhaps it shouldn’t be this way, but this is the way it is in fact.

    look at those who’ve started companies who’ve made it to senior executive. most will have accumulated enough to quite. BUT THEY DON’T!

    THEY KEEP ON WORKING.

    jorge videla

    January 19, 2014 at EST am

    • Simple, many men, especially those in the major American cities, need to be successful in order to have access to women. Many women flocked to these same cities to have access to those type of men.

      Don’t know why many guys go into Wall St? It’s very apparent and very simple to understand!

      JS

      January 19, 2014 at EST am

      • In other words, don’t “work at what you love” so much as “work at what will get you love”. Correct?

        Saskatoon Sammy

        January 20, 2014 at EST am

      • Correct, that applies to many guys, unless they can capitalize on their looks with their labor of love.

        A few guys I know, who work on Wall St, would have never gotten sex and love from women, because they look like beta chumps without their big bank accounts. This is the United States of female hypergamy.

        Self actualization and success with women, works in only your favor, if you are an exceptional good looking guy with a cool endeavor. Other than that, you simply need to go into a field where women will find you attractive (i.e. earning a large paycheck), if a good sex life is important to you.

        JS

        January 20, 2014 at EST am

      • much better to be a monk than strive and push and get too little sleep just for a girl.

        such men are fags even if they don’t do other guys.

        jorge videla

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

  22. You do have to do something you love, because if you don’t, the people in competition with you for your position who do love the job will eventually take it from you and you’ll be SOL. The group of people who could replace me is relatively homogenous with regards to intelligence and a core work ethic. It’s only at the margins that one candidate is better than another and that margin often comes down to who loves the job more. Obviously, there are “naturals” at any job but the more data-intensive the job, the less that will matter because it takes time to absorb all the data relevant to such jobs and unless you love absorbing that data, you won’t put in the hours.

    So, there is a practical side to “do what you love”, at least in my book.

    BS Inc.

    January 19, 2014 at EST pm

  23. Typical grumblimg from an Asian woman (Miya is a Japanese woman’s name, although it is not clear whether she was born in America or Japan since sometimes Japanese-Americans are known to use Japanese names) with an expensive (UPenn) and useless(art history) degree.

    Art history degrees from fancy universities are useful only for woman who try to sneak into some art institution and use that connection to snag a rich guy. Richer Asians tend to marry with women with connections, not a high maintenance women with expensive degree and corrsponding expectations.

    colmainen

    January 19, 2014 at EST pm

    • Many American women are just culturally void bimbos who are monolingual. Continental European girls show a lot more class, because many of them can speak English at a college level. Studies show that people who speak more than one language fluently, have different brain proccesses. Bimboness and f*cktardness are probably symptoms of our love for monolingualism, which can be considered “prole”.

      JS

      January 20, 2014 at EST am

  24. Peter from Long Island had to like tonight’s Girls.

    Dave Pinsen

    January 19, 2014 at EST pm

  25. DWYL probably made a lot more sense in the 50s and 60s when education was a lot cheaper; there was a rapidly growing number of professional class jobs; and even outside the professional class there were a lot of jobs which paid a living wage.

    Back then it was a lot easier for a reasonably intelligent person from a modest background to first decide he wanted to become a journalist or a professor or whatever; study it in school; and then have a reasonably remunerative career.

    But my impression is that most of those opportunities have pretty much dried up. While at the same time, it’s become a lot more expensive in terms of money, effort, and time to pursue those same opportunities.

    Also, a lot of people who enjoyed the benefit of the golden age don’t seem to fully realize just how much their success was a result of the luck of being born in the right era. So they may preach “DWYL” since it worked so well for them.

    sabril

    January 20, 2014 at EST am

    • The opportunities are more evenly distributed nowadays: free university level courses, lots of places in college, lots of angel/VC money waiting for the right investment. If you’re thinking about say becoming a reporter for NY TImes, then yes, the number of those positions have remained the same, while there are more people competing for them. But here the overall opportunity to become a reporter for NY Times has remained constant — it’s just that the chance of a particular person to become that reporter has gone down considerably. (This competition is actually very good for the consumer, as overall a better reporter will get the job) The same principle applies to every industry that’s not growing. If the new generations want to have a more evenly income distribution, ie, more jobs, then they have to create those jobs themselves. (this happened with the previous generations, see manufacturing and tech) However, from what I see, the new generations of Americans and Europeans prefer to be poor than work hard. Being young and poor in 2014 is not that bad: you still have access to a lot of stuff, like computers, TVs, cheap food, cheap travel and couch surfing. I’ve met so many people that are happy by doing nothing of value to others as long as they can do it — ofc, the parents are “helping out”. But hey, they “do what they love”

      Zack

      January 20, 2014 at EST am

      • Not only that, once Americans get off their over-consumption trip, and guys with their sex and women validation, than all the BS in our society would just fall flat.

        The Alt-Right Blog has written the current paradigm that’s plaguing our society succinctly. The need to become status harlots with the comparsion of Bonobo apes. The need for constant validation from men via women, as the only thing going for them, without much substance is basically turning our nation into a land of useless effeminate men.

        http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2014/01/everyone-harlot.html

        JS

        January 20, 2014 at EST pm

      • “The opportunities are more evenly distributed nowadays: free university level courses, lots of places in college, lots of angel/VC money waiting for the right investment. If you’re thinking about say becoming a reporter for NY TImes, then yes, the number of those positions have remained the same, while there are more people competing for them. But here the overall opportunity to become a reporter for NY Times has remained constant — it’s just that the chance of a particular person to become that reporter has gone down considerably.”

        That’s not quite the right conceptual category. The question is how many job openings there are in journalism which pay a living wage. That number has probably dropped and it’s a distortion to focus on only one newspaper.

        “The same principle applies to every industry that’s not growing. If the new generations want to have a more evenly income distribution, ie, more jobs, then they have to create those jobs themselves. (this happened with the previous generations, see manufacturing and tech”

        How exactly would an unemployed aspiring journalist “create a job for himself”?

        sabril

        January 21, 2014 at EST am

      • “That’s not quite the right conceptual category. The question is how many job openings there are in journalism which pay a living wage. That number has probably dropped and it’s a distortion to focus on only one newspaper.

        How exactly would an unemployed aspiring journalist “create a job for himself”?”

        There are plenty of opportunities in the media. You’re concentrating on the disappearing papers. But people still pay for their news, and ads still pay. What has disappeared is the geographically localized monopoly of small newspapers, which were just rehashing articles and news, adding ads, and charging people. Under competition those people died off. But that business was taken over by others: the magazines that generate news (ie, NY Times), online press (new stuff like huffington post), and frankly Google, craigslist, ebay, wikipedia, etc, for both ads and information. In fact, people consume more information now than before. A data plan for a smart phone is at least $40 per month, and a LOT of people have smart phones now. The opportunities are there — it’s just that, because of more ways of competing, the traditional model is shrinking, and rightfully so. (it was unfair for the small newspapers to exist just because they had local monopoly; they were really not producing anything, and it showed as soon as the competition barrier has lowered)

        What do you think an aspiring journalist does? You think it comes up with original articles? How many of these journalists were there before the internet? Not many. If you want to be a non-original journalist for a small newspaper that just rehashes news, then that jobs is mostly gone. You’ll have to find something that actually adds value. Those jobs have not changed. There were few before, there are few now.

        Zack

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

      • “There are plenty of opportunities in the media. You’re concentrating on the disappearing papers. But people still pay for their news, and ads still pay. What has disappeared is the geographically localized monopoly of small newspapers, which were just rehashing articles and news, adding ads, and charging people. Under competition those people died off. But that business was taken over by others: the magazines that generate news (ie, NY Times), online press (new stuff like huffington post), and frankly Google, craigslist, ebay, wikipedia,”

        I’m not sure I see your point. Are you saying that an aspiring journalist can create a job for himself by editing Wikipedia? By blogging until he develops enough of a following that he will earn a living through ad revenue?

        I’m pretty confident that if you look at (1) the number of people who write regularly online; and (2) the percentage of those people who are successful enough at it to make a living, you will find that the odds of success are better if you apply for traditional jobs at one of the disappearing papers you referred to.

        “Just go and create a job for yourself” strikes me as something that’s easier said than done — certainly in the area of journalism.

        sabril

        January 23, 2014 at EST am

  26. In Scott Adams’ latest book, he said that when he worked for a bank, he was told to NEVER lend money to someone who was “following his passion” trying to open a business.

    ScarletNumber

    January 20, 2014 at EST pm

  27. DWYL can work well if the parents have enough sense to instill the right sense of what is “loved.” For example, middle-class parents with a bright, ambitious child would do well do drill a “passion” for cardiology or tax law into their child’s head. Working class parents with a smart, hard-working kid should encourage a “love” of engineering or nursing.

    Southern WASP

    January 20, 2014 at EST pm

    • What a lad needs, really, is a dad who will lure him into a field like cardiology or tax law with candy-coated visions of Money, Power and Sex. That would motivate the kid whether he finds the subject “interesting” or not. My mom tried to lure me into economics of all things with the suggestion that I would find it “interesting”, but it was probably the dullest course I ever took. If I had known an authentic yen (no pun intended) for the dismal science could have led me into some Wall Street world of big bucks, fast cars and hot chicks, I would’ve jumped that bitch lickety-split. But no, mom just said I might find it “interesting”…

      Saskatoon Sammy

      January 21, 2014 at EST pm

  28. […] brings us to the other bit that a lot of people (including Joyner and Lion) are criticizing, which is that somebody has to do the grunt work – which they are unlikely […]

  29. Just found this article about the pay grades between tenure and adjunct professors and how this has become a divisive issue for the haves and have nots.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/20/22326956-class-divide-on-campus-adjunct-professors-fight-for-better-pay-benefits?lite

    It’s no longer DWYL, when you complain about the lack of money from your labor of love. It’s plain disgusting and hypocritical that everything we do in this country needs to be defined in monetary terms.

    JS

    January 21, 2014 at EST am

    • The anti-thesis of DWYL.

      http://100rsns.blogspot.com/

      Synthesis?
      DWYL + Approaching DWYL with eyes wide open/going the practical route.

      Kant

      January 21, 2014 at EST pm

      • I suggest grad school as a retirement or a semi-retirement gig of your former practical career to ease the peer pressure of being viewed as less successful.

        The one flaw I found on that blog, is that it doesn’t emphasize academia as a lesser of 2 evils when compared to the real world that LoftB addresses. Who really needs a wide social circle these days in America? Most humans or Americans for that matter, come across as boorish and unrefined for an intellectually stimulating person. Knowledge should trump money for an academic, and the petty status worship via money, are for people whom you deemed as morally/intellectually challenged and barbarian prolish.

        Marcus Aurelius and Seneca could have easily succumb to the more primal urges of the Roman Empire, but they didn’t.

        JS

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

      • Well, Marcus Aurelius did not instill his hate of primal urges to his only son Commodus.

        Colmainen

        January 21, 2014 at EST pm

  30. […] brings us to the other bit that a lot of people (including Joyner and Lion) are criticizing, which is that somebody has to do the grunt work – which they are unlikely […]

  31. I find this to be an anomaly. An Anglosphere woman urging us to self actualize. Your typical English speaking lady would only care about your immediate status and how that would change her life.

    http://simonarich.com/about

    JS

    January 22, 2014 at EST pm


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