10 reasons why socrates is still relevant today

Leaders in Europe and America have to take out dusty books of philosophy and check why Socrates and his ideas are still valid today:

  1. They’ve Never Been Rendered Obsolete
  2. He Taught Us to Question Everything
  3. He Taught Us That Life is Worthless Without Happiness
  4. He Taught Us to Ask if There’s Such a Thing as a Just War
  5. He Advocated True Freedom of Speech
  6. He Invented Philosophical Ethics
  7. He Was a Champion of Human Virtue
  8. He Warned Us of the Follies of Materialism
  9. He Taught Us the Value of Civil Disobedience
  10. He Taught Us to Stand Up For What We Believe

To work or not to work

Work brings a sense of content and fulfillment, or so claims the traditional wisdom. Those who have work seem happy or satisfied or both. Those who are unemployed usually have an air of depression, despair, and one can always tell there is something “missing” about them. But there also those who work but, besides financial and other inherent benefits of having a job, do not get satisfaction.  As one such person confessed (back in November 2007) – he knew full well that there are many who starve and die every day – he has a work but he considers himself a failure at work

…which is not to say that I can’t do my job – I’m actually quite good at it. But work, as a lifestyle, eventually wears me down. In the past I have started out at each new job with optimism and pleasure. After a few years working in the same location, I am completely burnt out. I have no desire to go to work, when I’m there, have little desire to do anything but go home early. I am a bear of very little ambition.

When I took my current job, I had decided to finally ‘grow up’, settle down, and stop looking for the perfect job. All it would take, I thought, was an attitude adjustment and 150 mg of Effexor/day. I’d stay in my job and enjoy the fruits of stability, for a change. I would focus on my personal life (another area where I am kind of a failure, but that’s for another, longer, more irritating post.)

In the 90’s I took a brief stab at being self-employed, but I was completely unsuited. Not only am I bad employee, I am a terrible boss. I lacked the confidence and skills needed to carry it off. I eventually went on strike, and finally had to let myself go.

So I’m caught on the horns of dilemma, as they say. I have a job I no longer want, and no longer want any job. On the other hand, I do enjoy the benefits of having a job. I’m not sure whether I should take the plunge and do something incredibly out of character, or hunker down and stop whining.
In the mean-time, millions of people around the world are being tortured, starved, and dying from lack of drinking water. I hope none of them read this post, I would die from embarrassment.

Nearly a year later, in the wake of the current economic crisis raging all over the world and America not in the least, he wrote a sequel to his original post.

The more I observe the workings of the average administrator, the more convinced I am that the concept of competence in the American business is a myth.  For instance, administrators in my workplace do little but attend meetings all day long.  When I express my opinion that meetings are mostly a waste of time, they agree heartily.  They don’t seem to worry that what they do all day is waste time.  Why should you?

The current state of American business is a perfect example of why the lowly worker should relax and go with the flow.  Corporate CEOs are raking in millions in bonuses without any proof of competence.  If they are fired, they will easily find a similar job elsewhere.  How?  Because other CEOs and future CEOs sit on the hiring committees of American corporations.  These people certainly don’t want to start a trend of businesses demanding results as a condition for gargantuan golden parachutes.  To do so would be to ensure smaller payouts for them in the future.

So administration has the game rigged.  Workers do not enjoy the same power.  So the least you can do is stop believing the lie, the lie that you are somehow required to attain a level of competence unnecessary for your “betters.”  All they have that you don’t have is a $1000 suit and an old-boy conspiracy network.

What he says, especially about CEOs and their disproportionate salaries and bonuses versus their overly long time spent in meetings half in slumber half in dream, rings true to my ears from the personal experience and from what I have read and seen.

To work or not to work, this is the question.