April 26, 2011

History of working hours

Back in the day, even the women were hotter.
Working time is the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor. Many countries have regulations for a duration of work week, and for example in Finland the maximum hours of work week is 40. In 2008 Finnish people worked 40,3 hours a week which means that supposedly we love working overtime. Still we work less than Europeans in average (41,8 hours a week in 2008). Austrians work 44 hours a week and Irish for only 40 hours a week. Well, this seems decent, right? Let's look some figures outside Europe - Chinese work for 2200 hours a year, Japanese around 2000 hours. Now I'm going to make a guess how this will affect these countries. China will have (and probably already has) a lot of problems with depression and stress. Japanese already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and this is mainly because of depression and social pressure.

For long time anthropologists thought that hunter-gathering of our ancestors was a full day job. Actually these people worked less than five hours a day, while dividing the day to approximately 2 hour periods of gathering food or hunting game. "Nine-to-five" mindset wasn't invented until this fucker called George F. Johnson announced  that no American should have to work more than 40 hours per week. At the industrial age there was no regulation on work week and it could be anything from 2 hours to 16 hours per day. So why this system doesn't work anymore? Work has changed. Less and less people are working at mass industry, doing repetitive jobs at the assembly line. Today you have to be CREATIVE. This is so essential at the IT sector that it's sad when executives and managers don't realize this. You can't force creativity. 

I would like to see a person who writes good code 40 hours a week. These freaks probably exist, but I've never met anyone. I don't know how good point examples from movies make, but I'll use them anyway. In 'Social Network' by Fincher, Facebook was invented over time. It was not big fucking 'Eureka!' moment after tedious sitting at desk, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. All those ideas came from real life situations.

I really think that we should re-think the idea of work week and use hunter-gatherers as a good example. Work when you feel like it, have a break - be it long or short, and keep on working when you feel like it. Of course you must have some kind of deadlines but make them flexible. No one will die if your software is launched one week late. 

Check out docStout's blogs too, he writes a good (better!) blog about the same things. His blog can be found here.



April 23, 2011

My thoughts on the future

As someone mentioned, now that I actually enjoy my work the name of the blog has lost some of its power, but let's keep it that way since I believe there will once again be a day when I will hate my job! Here's why: future is gonna suck for the most of us. Since the Industrial revolution of the 18th century we have been building our society on one principle - growth. Everything must grow, be it productivity, salaries, personal wealth, etc. Capitalism is system where EVERYTHING is based on that. It is like a religion where talking about downshifting or slowing down is forbidden. If you're not contributing to this system, you are considered a parasite who sucks on capitalisms big titties and give nothing back.

So what would happen if we stopped buying new cars, toys, tv's, computers, gadgets, etc.? The system would collapse. We already saw a glimpse of this collapse few years back when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy  - it affected the whole world. Many American citizens who didn't have the money wanted to buy a house and banks gave out crappy subprime loans to them just out of greed. Same thing would happen if people stopped buying stuff all of a sudden. Country's import/export would go stagnant and there would be no growth which is key element to success in capitalism. Of course this will happen eventually since resources on this planet are limited. Read this great comic by Stuart McMillen:

St. Matthew Island

'What's the solution then?' one might ask. I have no fucking clue. People have been advertising many solutions for me, one being the Zeitgeist Project, which is communism with technology sprinkled on top. I really don't believe that humans are capable of acting in large communist societies because of our greed and selfishness. We are also grasping too tightly for life of hedonism and NEVER want to give out the benefits we have. Some individuals can do this, but most of us can't. I'm very pessimistic about our future on this planet and therefore try not to take part of the rape of it that's happening at the moment. I've been giving out gained benefits and would eventually want to shift to simple life like this Finnish guy: Pentti Linkola.

April 22, 2011

Responds to comments

A dialog
I think that blogs should be dialogue, not a monologue. I just realized that mine has been the latter one and I want to fix that now. Here are some comments to your comments:

"i have heard these type of stories every now and then. i dont know how a little incidence changes lives of people and how do meet their dream. it does not happen with me. i am really stressed. i dont know what to do. people get oppurtunities. i have not come across even one. what should i do ? :'(" -Anonymous

Well, they happen to some people. It probably won't happen to you, unless you do something about it. If you're stressed, you should find out the reason for that. Is it because you hate your job? Is it because it's too time consuming or too challenging? If it is, quit. I know this can be difficult specially if you live in a country with no welfare or other source of income other than work, but think it like this: It's your fucking life and you can do anything you want with it. It may take you a while to fulfill your dream but with hard work it's possible (unless you want to be a supermodel and are ugly as fuck... or professional basketball player as a white guy). I used to do things the way I thought other people wanted me to do them, and that caused me a lot of stress and headache. Now I do what I WANT to do and am quite happy. Fuck everyone else!

"How hard is to a brazilian get a visa to live in your country?" - Eu otro Eu

You're probably just joking with this question but because I'm such a nice guy, I'll answer anyway: it's fucking hard! It's kinda ironic that coming to work to Finland is a lot harder than coming as humanitarian refugee. When you come to Finland to work you actually have to have a nice chunk of money at your bank account, and you have to prove that you get more of it from somewhere (can be work or your relatives). Language is very hard to learn and althought people speak English quite well they usually communicate in Finnish. There's also the problem with qualifications - Finnish people don't like qualification papers from abroad and it can be difficult to prove that you actually know how to your job. We are also somewhat racist.

"Have not seen you post a new blog for a long time, I hope you did not lose your job HA!" - #19

I've had some motivation problems lately with this blog but I'll try to write more in the near future! I actually suffer of this thing called Borderline Personality Disorder where I get very (too) excited about something for a while and lose interest soon after. I have many sites I have created in the past (most of them porn, actually!) and I'm starting to update that shit again, including this blog.

April 18, 2011

My dream job

It's easy as ABC
Ok, so people have been asking me why I don't just quit my job and look for a better one? Actually, I already did that. Reason for not writing in a while is that I've been doing some work, designing some new web concepts and also planning my wedding. But about my job - I quit my well paying job few years back and decided to go back to study some more computer science. In Finland state pays you small amount of money per month if you study, so that you really don't need any savings for that.

I studied for one year and it was the most relaxing thing in years. I just went to courses that I was interested in and I wasn't responsible to anyone but myself. After studying a year I applied for a position at the university. Salary was very bad but work was everything I could hope for - the working hours were very flexible and I didn't have to make money for the evil stockholders and other rich people. During my studies I really learned to live with less, and even this crappy money was enough to get me enough food and drink, even luxuries.

I'm still working at Uni and I love it! Our projects are way cooler than elsewhere, we can do stuff with new technologies that aren't used anywhere else and people who work there are actually interested in their jobs. How do I know this? Well, they are very competent people and still work for crappy money. They could go to top notch jobs anytime they wanted, but they decide to stay because the work is so much fun.

So, at least to me the key to happy working was to find the right job - surprisingly it had nothing to do with money. I just had to realize that I don't have to buy a "50 plasma tv, a fast car, big house etc.