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  1. #41

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    This whole thread with the separation of physical and mental work is depressing. Marx was right about one thing capitalism destroys craftsmanship and physical skill in the workplace.

    In Marx's view, alienation is a symptom of the industrial age and of capitalism. A worker on a production line sees only the part of the work that he is involved with. He has no knowledge or control over the final product that is produced and sold. Man specifically the workman has no relationship with the goods that he is producing. He is alienated from his own labour. He works purely for the money. There is no satisfaction in the work that he does.

    By contrast a craftsman such as a traditional shoe-maker is involved in every aspect of the production process. He may even make shoes for a specific individual. He will select the leather, measure the feet, and lovingly make the pair of shoes. He is proud of his work and enjoys handing over the finished goods to the new owner. Contrast that to the worker in a shoe factory. In all probability, he is involved in only one part of the production process. He rarely gets to see the whole shoe and never sees the people that buy the shoes. The skill or craftsmanship required to produce the shoes is almost gone

  2. #42
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I'm not finding the subject depressing (actually it's interesting to me) but I'm finding some of the responses a bit melancholy-making.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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  3. #43

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    It is interesting. It's interesting to read peoples perspective on work. Depressing was a bit strong.
    I just think the loss of physical skill in the workplace is sad.

  4. #44
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I agree on your last point, Wolfy. I'm no Marxist but the devaluation of real craft/real hands-on skillz makes me a bit sad, too. I often find myself thinking it's all about context anyway. If nature decided to kick our collective ass tomorrow (disease, global-scale natural disaster etc.) we would find ourselves in a situation where people like me and those around me, who have some pieces of paper from higher educational institutions but NO skills when it comes to actually surviving/attending to basic needs - shelter etc. would find themselves on the lower rungs of 'worth' pretty damn quickly.

    It also amuses me sometimes to see people categorizing themselves as 'thinkers' or 'works-with-hands-ers'. Just as not every construction man is going to do a good job putting up your house, not everyone with a degree is going to be a *good* thinker.

    The arrogance of "I feel myself to be above x, y or z" group also strikes me. It just comes off, to me, as ill-thought-out and a little immature.
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  5. #45
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Ive never had a situation where physical labor was more exhausting for me than Mental labor.

    I've worked 12-25 hour days no fail, and even if I was exhausted, it took all day to get me there.

    I can be drained, spaced out, exhausted, and lethargic after mere hours of homework. Wednesdays kill me because I have college from 1-4 and 6-9.
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  6. #46
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I've worked 12-25 hour days no fail


    Seriously, that's the opposite experience to mine, Kyuuei. Physical labour is MUCH harder for me to deal with than mental. To the point where I am fairly convinced I'd have to have a gun to my head to ever do it.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Expending emotional energy is more difficult than either physical or mental. Physical being the most easy.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    I agree on your last point, Wolfy. I'm no Marxist but the devaluation of real craft/real hands-on skillz makes me a bit sad, too. I often find myself thinking it's all about context anyway. If nature decided to kick our collective ass tomorrow (disease, global-scale natural disaster etc.) we would find ourselves in a situation where people like me and those around me, who have some pieces of paper from higher educational institutions but NO skills when it comes to actually surviving/attending to basic needs - shelter etc. would find themselves on the lower rungs of 'worth' pretty damn quickly.

    It also amuses me sometimes to see people categorizing themselves as 'thinkers' or 'works-with-hands-ers'. Just as not every construction man is going to do a good job putting up your house, not everyone with a degree is going to be a *good* thinker.

    The arrogance of "I feel myself to be above x, y or z" group also strikes me. It just comes off, to me, as ill-thought-out and a little immature.
    I'm no Marxist either. I agree with what you are saying here. It's a real pity that there is no space to climb careerwise without getting into knowledge work. Management seems the only step in most physical skills now. There is almost no space for the kind of person who would simply like to refine their own craft.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I've worked 12-25 hour days no fail, and even if I was exhausted, it took all day to get me there.
    25 hours! That's crazy!
    My record is 15 hours baking. I thought that was long. Man...

  10. #50
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    You've worked 25 hours in a day?
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