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  1. #71
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    A scriptorium is a factory for making manuscipts.

    So manuscripts had all the status of factory produced products.

    And it was only when printed books were invented that manuscripts rose in status.

    And manuscripts rose in status because they became unnecessary.

    And just as manual scripting of manuscripts rose in status, so manual work today has risen in status because it is unnecessary, and so is enshrined in high tech, upmarket gymnasiums.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its going to be time you wont get back, there were parts of the world in which it was the habit of workers, skilled and hard working workers, that once they had earned enough they wouldnt work anymore, whatever the incentive.

    All of which is pretty different from the work ethic these days, I sort of think people need to work wiser and be happier than work harder and longer.
    Yes, it was the Protestant Work Ethic and Capitalism that made it a virtue to live to work rather than work to live.

  3. #73
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    It certainly reflects the economic realities of the various people's lives, which I suppose you could call their socioeconomic status. When I think of people doing something for status, though, I think of people motivated by a desire for others to think well of them, or to view them in a specific way (wealthy, educated, cultured, etc.) In your examples, though, the people's choices reflect either economic necessity, or personal values, none of which seemed at all like keeping up with the Joneses or looking for social approval.

    As for poor people and mending, my parents told me stories about their parents and the depression, and mending clothes and even making them was the order of the day, as was repairing most everything else to extend its useful life as long as possble. They also had crazy quilts, braided rag rugs, flour sack dresses, and lots of other homemade stuff, and learned many useful skills through making and fixing them. Being poor doesn't make you stop caring about customizing your environment. It just means you have to be very resourceful and clever in doing it, and won't wind up with the same results as Happy Rockefeller. Granted, not everyone, rich or poor, is up to the task.

    Bottom line: not all lifestyle choices are made to enhance one's status.
    I'd say it's more reflective of one's status rather than to enhance one's status and that skills are sometimes used because they have been learned, not learned because they are used and when you have certain skills, they may be a result of your status. If, during the depression, sweatshop labor from impoverished countries made it cheap or free to replace things, they'd have likely done things differently, especially if sewing was not a skill virtually every female was taught at a young age. IMO, you've got to be more than resourceful and clever when customizing your environment when there are bedbugs going around: you've got to be lucky.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  4. #74
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, it was the Protestant Work Ethic and Capitalism that made it a virtue to live to work rather than work to live.
    Most people are going to spend the majority of their waking adult hours working (for profit or otherwise) in any conceivable culture or economic system; having a work ethic simply means that they will be happier and more productive in their work, leading to greater individual happiness as well as greater material benefits for all. Hence, a work ethic is a timeless virtue, at least until we have an economy based on genies or replicators.

  5. #75
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Most people are going to spend the majority of their waking adult hours working (for profit or otherwise) in any conceivable culture or economic system; having a work ethic simply means that they will be happier and more productive in their work, leading to greater individual happiness as well as greater material benefits for all. Hence, a work ethic is a timeless virtue, at least until we have an economy based on genies or replicators.
    Yeah but there's a difference between meaningless toiling or working to earn money to subsist and being really productive.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Most people are going to spend the majority of their waking adult hours working (for profit or otherwise) in any conceivable culture or economic system; having a work ethic simply means that they will be happier and more productive in their work, leading to greater individual happiness as well as greater material benefits for all. Hence, a work ethic is a timeless virtue, at least until we have an economy based on genies or replicators.
    Oh please! The Protestant Work Ethic is a religious doctrine only a couple of hundred years old.

    The Protestant Work Ethic is a religious docrtrine of Protestant Predestination.

    And Protestant Predestination is a doctrine of the Elect.

    And the doctrine of the Elect says that private prosperity is a sign from God that an individual is one of the Elect and predestined for Heaven.

    And the corollary of the doctrine is that hard work will make you prosperous. And indeed hard work is a virtue in itself, and so we live to work.

    To learn more about the Protestant Work Ethic a good place to start is, "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism", written by Max Weber in 1905.

  7. #77
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I'd say it's more reflective of one's status rather than to enhance one's status and that skills are sometimes used because they have been learned, not learned because they are used and when you have certain skills, they may be a result of your status. If, during the depression, sweatshop labor from impoverished countries made it cheap or free to replace things, they'd have likely done things differently, especially if sewing was not a skill virtually every female was taught at a young age. IMO, you've got to be more than resourceful and clever when customizing your environment when there are bedbugs going around: you've got to be lucky.
    The first part of the highlighted is certainly true. But having the option to buy new clothes whenever one wants, or to run the air conditioner or to find a better apartment is what indicates someone's socioeconomic status, not whether they choose to avail themselves of those options. As you say, it comes down to how broad a spectrum of realistic choices one has. Which choice one makes among available options says more about one's values, as well as one's upbringing/"education" (meaning here the sum total of what one has learned). Some poor people buy the cheapest clothes they can find in places like Walmart or the dollar store. Others instead find used clothing of much higher quality at a thrift store, understanding it costs no more, will last much longer, and be more presentable. Some people take whatever apartment they can get, and leave it as it is. Others quickly put their own stamp on it, even if they have to pull fabric scraps and half-dead houseplants out of the trash to do it. It helps to be lucky; it helps even more to be alert to "luck" and able to capitalize on it. There are poor people who are very good at this, as well as rich people who are not.

    As for the second part of the highlighted, the word "may" is critical. I don't know why someone would learn a skill if not to use it. Skills are often passed down in families because the family has had to use it. Sometimes this need disappears as the younger generation grows up, due either to greater income or technological developments. There are many reasons for learning skills, making it hard to generalize about status or motives. My own reasoning often goes like this: I want a specific thing. I shop around for it, and realize that the ones available for purchase don't meet my wishes in some way. I research how difficult it would be to make it, or modify one that can be purchased. If I can learn that skill, I do so in order to make my customized item. I often do save money, but I always get a more suitable product.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #78
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    The minimum wage in the USA is exploitation of the vulnerable.

    The minimum wage in the USA reflects the Protestant Work Ethic.

    The minumum wage in the USA reflects the Protestant belief that money is proof of God's favour.

    And the minumum wage reflects the bourgeois Revolution of 1776 and the triumph of Capitalism.

    We have had no bourgeois Revolution, and rather than the Protestant Work Ethic we have Utilitarianism. And as a result we pay a living minimum wage.

    Of course it is more expensive to live in Austalia than the USA, but we are happy to pay more so our fellow Australians get a living wage.

  9. #79
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The minimum wage in the USA is exploitation of the vulnerable.

    The minimum wage in the USA reflects the Protestant Work Ethic.

    The minumum wage in the USA reflects the Protestant belief that money is proof of God's favour.

    And the minumum wage reflects the bourgeois Revolution of 1776 and the triumph of Capitalism.

    We have had no bourgeois Revolution, and rather than the Protestant Work Ethic we have Utilitarianism. And as a result we pay a living minimum wage.

    Of course it is more expensive to live in Austalia than the USA, but we are happy to pay more so our fellow Australians get a living wage.
    You know Victor i'm always learning the value of you.
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    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
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  10. #80
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The Protestant Work Ethic is a religious doctrine only a couple of hundred years old.
    As opposed to the generic type of work ethic I was referring to....which, incidentally, I justified on a utilitarian basis.

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