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Money Shuffling Companies and Unhappiness

I find great joy doing DIY projects. I get a great deal of fulfillment and happiness from building things with my own hands. Earlier today for example I put on some of the finishing touches on a new flatbow and then took it out to the garage to practice with it (and test its accuracy).

Years ago I worked at a series of what I call "money shuffling companies". They included a pension company, an insurance company, a stock portfolio brokerage and several other companies that don't actually build anything. Each of these jobs were very unfulfilling and regardless of how much money or paper I shuffled around working there, I never felt like I had accomplished anything.

Instead I developed the belief that I - and everyone else working there - was leeching off the rest of society. Syphoning off money as we shuffled the money around, performing a service that could and probably should be done by a computer program.

At least 90% of the work could be done by a computer program. Much of the work I did there was data entry (which could have been replaced by a scanner and a robot to feed the scanner), the sorting of files and folders onto shelves of records (which could have been replaced with digital records), the delivery of files (could be done by a robot with a bar code scanner), and the boxing up of old files (which should just be recycled thanks to the digital records).

The only staff member needed would be a robot repairman and people (lawyers, doctors, experts) that could not be replaced by a robot... Although to be honest, if we replaced lawyers with robot lawyers I think we would be making a great step towards real justice.

There were many other people working there that were likewise unnecessary. Accountants, human resources, management. All of these occupations would be made obsolete if most of the staff were replaced by computers. Accountants doing payroll for hundreds of employees? Not needed. HR for hiring new employees? Not needed. Management for twiddling their thumbs and firing employees? Extremely useless.

And middle management? Pffff!!!

So what would all the people put out of work by computers and robots do with themselves???

Farm, hunt, build things, science, build robots, become astronauts maybe, explore the laws of nature and the universe. Gain a sense of fulfillment by actually accomplishing things instead of just shuffling paper and money around. Imagine all the things society could accomplish if we wasted less time shuffling money and paper around.

Imagine for a moment if you wasted 35 years of your life working for an insurance company - knowing that your job could and should be replaced by a robot - and knowing the insurance companies primary employees are lawyers there to reduce the amount given to people who signed up for insurance. In other words, screwing over people the company rightfully owes money to.
And then one day the company fires you in favour of a younger employee who can be paid half as much.

Wouldn't you feel like you spent most of your life working for an greedy corporation that was solely motivated by money and had no interest in helping customers?

Having wasted your life, you would likely think back to past opportunities where you could have changed your life and found something you know would have been more fulfilling. It might have been paid less, it might have been hard work physically (building things often are), but you would have been happy, physically buff (a nice bonus), and have job security.

 Some people go through many years working in an office and dying of boredom and unhappiness. Such people often dream of giving up the city life, moving to the countryside to become farmers, adopting a nomadic lifestyle, buying a cabin up north - but many of these people never do because of fear, laziness or commitments they are unwilling to break. eg. Taking your spouse and kids and moving to a place far away in the wilderness seems like a huge risk when compared to staying in your comfort zone in the city and working in a concrete office building shuffling money around.

So my advice for those people who seek a life with more happiness and more of the great outdoors? Get a hobby that takes you outdoors. Canoeing, camping, archery, bowhunting, woodscraft, tracking, bird watching, dog sledding, etc. At least then you are only wasting X number of hours per week in an office place and you are finding your fulfillment in other ways.

Mankind wasn't meant to waste their lives away inside concrete blocks. We crave the outdoors. We crave the wind in our face, swimming in crystal blue lakes and the thrill of exploring the wilderness.

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