Archive for January 21st, 2009

Work It

Today we have chosen hope over fear – US Elections – Independent.ie

Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over work

Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus)
Image via Wikipedia

The most important thing about work, for me, is that I don’t want to do any. When I say ‘work’, I mean those tasks I am compelled to carry out in order to buy food and keep the wolves away from the door, which is what most people understand by work.

It’s worth pointing out that work, in the sense Obama uses it, is an abstract idea, but he talks about it as though it exists as a concrete reality (the same would apply to leisure). To illustrate, let’s test his statement with a few examples of things reasonably described as work:

It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over carrying out their duties as a concentration camp guard.

It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over having sex with drunken men in exchange for cash.

It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over playing snooker at the Crucible.

It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over shovelling pig slurry.

The process by which an abstraction is treated as though it had concrete form is known as reification. This is not a word you are likely to hear in an inaugural presidential address, for fairly obvious reasons.

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Update: Harry Browne has more on this.

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