Work/life balance, and what do you do when you've got more money than you need?

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Adam Martin

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Jun 30, 2009, 7:17:32 AM6/30/09
to Game Studio Manifesto
I'm reading The Black Swan at the moment, and there's an interesting
passage where the author describes the point where he became rich from
Investment Banking, and was able to semi-retire (while remaining at
the company) and devote a large chunk of his time to what really
mattered to him, within the sphere of work: his theory of The Black
Swan:

"if my employer, First Boston, and the financial system survived until
year-end, I would get ... "fuck-you money", which ... is not so large
as to make you spoiled-rich, but large enough to give you the freedom
to choose a new occupation ... It shields you from prostituting your
mind and frees you from outside authority - any outside authority. The
designation "fuck you" corresponds to the exhilarating ability to
utter that compact phrase *before* hanging up the phone.

So I stayed in ... trading ... and organized myself to do minimal but
intense (and entertaining) work, focus only on the most technical
aspects ... avoid the company of "achievers" and people in suits who
don't read books, and take a sabbatical year for every three on
average to fill up gaps in my scientific and philosophical culture.

I wanted to become ... a professional meditator, sit in cafes, lounge,
unglued to desks and organization structures, sleep as long as I
needed, read voraciously, and not owe any explanation to anybody."

Does a life-leaning work/life balance mean you spend less time in the
office? A lot of people I've spoken to in the last year or so seem to
think "not necessarily; it just means that you get as much as you want
of each".

I disagree; I feel that it *does* mean you spending less time at the
office. Whether you're at the office to suit your employer, or to
pursue your own work-related projects (like Nassim above), that's
still "work". IMHO. Even if you love it to death, and choose to do it
when you don't even need the money (like Nassim) ... it's still work.
Work doesn't have to be bad, a chore, or "for someone else's benefit
instead of my own".

Anyway. I thought the passage from the book was interesting enough to
share, the rest is just a random related thought :).

Adam

Michael Lubker

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Jun 30, 2009, 10:21:28 AM6/30/09
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What if you already work at home predominantly? (I spend maybe 8 hours a month in the office at the moment)

~M
--
~ "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin

http://zeolitestudios.com
http://tinyurl.com/movenrace

Darius Kazemi

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Jun 30, 2009, 10:58:03 AM6/30/09
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On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:17 AM, Adam
Martin<adam.m....@googlemail.com> wrote:
> I disagree; I feel that it *does* mean you spending less time at the
> office. Whether you're at the office to suit your employer, or to
> pursue your own work-related projects (like Nassim above), that's
> still "work". IMHO. Even if you love it to death, and choose to do it
> when you don't even need the money (like Nassim) ... it's still work.
> Work doesn't have to be bad, a chore, or "for someone else's benefit
> instead of my own".

Indeed, work-life balance and the quality of your work life are
separate things. The quality of one's work life is super important --
Marx's theory of alienation from labor, which is pretty much his only
theory I wholeheartedly agree with, applies here. But it doesn't mean
that work is life.

As to working at home... I feel like that's dangerous. I grew up in a
house where my dad owned his own accounting business, and his office
was in the house. It became essentially impossible for him to not be
at work, largely due to his workaholic tendencies. But I feel that
it's a positive feedback loop: if you're just barely on the side of
workaholic, working at home will amplify that. If you're just barely
on the side of lazy, that too will be amplified and you'll just dick
around all day instead of getting work done (I am speaking from
experience here, this is why I have an office!).

-Darius

Wendy Despain

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Jun 30, 2009, 4:08:00 PM6/30/09
to Game Studio Manifesto
Ok, so here's a question. When you guys are talking about work/life
balance, are you considering tasks like laundry and vacuuming to be a
work thing or a life thing? I mean, for some people (granted, not in
this
industry) those things are their honorable, paid employment.

So are those kinds of tasks part of the "personal projects" Adam was
referencing?

If writing my novel is a personal project, but also something that
feeds my soul - is that a work thing or a life thing?

I know it can be counterproductive to devolve into defining common
words, but I'm not entirely sure what we're talking about anymore. :-)

Wendy Despain
quantumcontent.com


On Jun 30, 5:17 am, Adam Martin <adam.m.s.mar...@googlemail.com>
wrote:

Richard Brown

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Jul 3, 2009, 9:25:06 PM7/3/09
to game-studi...@googlegroups.com
Just read the indie google group thread about you wanting a coder for th
ePBS gig.

Julian Rex - julia...@gmail.com He's released a few iPhone games and
has a solid background, tech lead at Climax and then at Sony in the UK and
now freelance work. He went to the BPM the last time it was at the
Skellig, don't know if I introduced you guys, but he's another Brit who
had just moved into the area at the time.

I'm sure he'll be interested in this.

If there's any paying art gigs going, I'd be interested in that too :)

R.B

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