Work









Even more possible evidence that the weirdos of the world provide crucial social utility! Researchers at Wichita State University have published their findings in the Journal of Social Psychology. Via Discover Magazine‘s Discoblog:…


Kottke on the indigenous Baining people of Papua New Guinea, who when awake scarcely do anything but work, out of the belief that unstructured fun is a waste of time. One wonders…






ProductionVia Modern Mythology:

In the wake of yet another collosal political and social disappointment, I’d like to touch on an issue which, frankly, could be the topic of a book. And it’s a book that, if it hasn’t been written already, should be written. It needs to be written, and more importantly, it needs to be talked about.

Every culture has myths about work. What is acceptable for an employee or employer, what the nature of that relationship should be. It is in the benefit of the employer to have myths throughout the workforce that tie their very identity and sense of self worth into how well they meet that employers demands, and if there aren’t forces in place, either enforced through government oversight or the unionization of the workers in some configuration, these myths can run rampant. There is, after all, a word in Japanese for working one’s self to death. (They also apparently have a word for eating one’s self to ruin. But that’s another story.)

(Matt Damon speaks out on the importance of teachers):

This process is not inherently good or bad. As I said in the chapter on initiation in The Immanence of Myth, the prescriptive nature of indoctrination may sound ominous, but many of us know what humans become when left to be feral creatures. They can hardly be called human, at all.

However, this process can still break down in any number of ways…





Mike RoweWrites Tim Barribeau on io9.com:

Being unemployed is generally regarded as detrimental to your mental health, with the prevailing wisdom being that gainful employment will fix you right up. Unfortunately, according to research published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a crappy job can be just as bad — if not worse — than unemployment.

Analyzing more than 7,000 working-age Australians across a great number of data points, the researchers found that people defined good jobs as ones that provided a defined social role and purpose, friendships, and structured time (among other things). Being hired into these kinds of jobs resulted in an overall improvement in mental health. Conversely, those in jobs that offered little control, were very demanding, and provided little support and reward lead to a general decrease in mental health.


Religious discrimination and sexual harassment are, sadly, nothing new to the workplace. When your boss tells you “to attend the prayer meetings or find another position,” getting transferred may be the best…



“Thinking outside the box” and “Let’s touch base” were the most hated buzz phrases among the 1,836 people surveyed by Opinium research. Nearly two-thirds of them said their stress levels had been increased by office irritations and one in 10 had left a job because of them. The survey found the Top 10 office annoyances were:

1. Grumpy or moody colleagues (37 percent)
2. Slow computers (36)
3. Small talk/gossip in the office (19)
4. The use of office jargon or management-speak (18)

The most annoying jargon:

1. Thinking outside the box (21 percent)
2. Let’s touch base (20)
3. Blue sky thinking (19)
4. Blamestorming (16) (sitting down and working out whose fault something is)


A Stanford professor advocates World of Warcraft or Second Life in the workplace to hone skills like teamwork, leadership, and data analysis – and even suggests putting online gaming experiences into your resume! “There’s just so much that gets done [in a virtual world] that’s just right on target with what happens in real business.”

And meanwhile, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt now claims that multiplayer gaming also provides good career training, especially for technology careers. “Everything in the future online is going to look like a multiplayer game. If I were 15 years old, that’s what I would be doing right now… It teaches players to build a network, to use interactive skills and thinking.”

Maybe this article asks the ultimate question. “Is the corporate world beyond Google and IBM ready for legions of dwarves, gnomes, night elves, orcs, and trolls competing for leadership roles…?”