Monday 15 December 2014

Only When I Laugh ; No degree doesn't mean you won't be happy, Keeping too busy & Money for old silicon rope

When you add up the number of years in education, what comes to mind? Is it a single figure? In which case I'll hazard a guess that you're still young enough to be a millenial. For most, a decade plus is likely the norm.

I've done the whole primary school, secondary, college, university journey, and gone beyond it in the name of work and also interests. Even as far back as the late 1990's when I graduated, having a university degree really meant something, in terms of leverage in the job market. But in the last decade or so, that's not as relevant anymore.

The rising cost of education, particularly in the UK, has put paid to the slew of pre-grads rushing to get entry into the university system every summer. And in some ways, that's not a bad thing. From my own memories of the initial foray into the job market, experience counts more than anything. More importantly these days, it appears that the younger contingent in the job market tend to be more mobile, not just in terms of location but also in terms of career switching and choices made.

For a generation, it could be argued that there is more of an emphasis placed on being happier at work :-

The 10 Happiest Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree. 

Looking at all these jobs also reminds me that none of these were obvious titles in job advertisements when I was fresh out of university. More importantly, there was a slight sense of overwhelming bewliderment when you graduated and walked into your first job. From then on in, you had to make real world choices, and not just rely on the memory of some analytical paradigms and theories to carry you though to the next year.

With our lives now seemingly becoming increasingly more packed in with activities that don't consitute what is known as 'downtime', there seems to be a different sort of overwhelm that occasionally comes upon us. Or maybe it's all in the mind? :-

The Cold, Hard Truth: You're Overwhelmed Because You Want to Be

It makes for pretty sobering reading in places, and I can confess to being quite obsessed with work at times. However, I think that everyone's idea of downtime is different. Although it can be seen of as passing the buck a little, we're all too engrossed with our smartphones, tablets and laptops, to really notice what we're missing. For example, I make it a rule to break my day up into chunks and have at least one day in the week where I'm NOT using interactive technologies as much, or even at all.

As an aside, I think we have become more unsociable in the physical sense, due to some subliminal level of dissatisfaction somewhere. That's because we're not getting the fuller 'reality based nourishment' from actual human interaction. I've talked about this at length before on here and in other places, so I won't recap in full. But it's safe to say that I chose to spend my off peak or 'downtime' time with other people actually talking to and engaging with them, rather than perpetually checking everything on a smartphone as often as possible. And ultimately it's good for the mind, body and soul.

Keeping grounded in the midst of all this technological maelstrom, is an essential act of survival these days. But in the past, the technology itself was sometimes buried deep into the ground, because it was felt to be the only way to dispose of it quickly and cheaply. Especially when the item in question, was a big mistake to make :-

You Can Buy a Buried E.T. Atari Cartridge for a Few Hundred Bucks

I'm too young to remember the sociological impact of the video game crash of 1983 . But I can remember that in the years afterwards a lot of gaming systems of the time (consoles) were reduced to silly amounts of money for retail. And E.T. on the atari 2600, was supposed to be the one game that broke the camel's back.

I've not had the pleasure ( or pain) of playing it , which isn't surprising considering how many copies Atari had buried into landfills, thereby preventing them reaching the shops. But there are a number of videos of the game on YouTube, which you can view at your own pleasure (or pain).

Speaking of pleasure and pain, I'm off to the gym later. That's all about a lot of effort, for a lot of reward, both over the short and long term.

Or is it the other way round?

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