29 ianuarie 2015

plutarch - viata lui licurg (lycurgus)

The second and the boldest of Lykurgus's reforms was the redistribution of the land. Great inequalities existed, many poor and needy people had become a burden to the state, while wealth had got into a very few hands. Lykurgus abolished all the mass of pride, envy, crime, and luxury which flowed from those old and more terrible evils of riches and poverty, by inducing all land-owners to offer their estates for redistribution, and prevailing upon them to live on equal terms one with another, and with equal incomes, striving only to surpass each other in courage and virtue, there being henceforth no social inequalities among them except such as praise or blame can create.
Putting his proposals immediately into practice, he divided the outlying lands of the state among the Perioeki, in thirty thousand lots, and that immediately adjoining the metropolis among the native Spartans, in nine thousand lots, for to that number they then amounted. Some say that Lykurgus made six thousand lots, and that Polydorus added three thousand afterwards; others that he added half the nine thousand, and that only half was allotted by Lykurgus.
He desired to distribute furniture also, in order completely to do away with inequality; but, seeing that actually to take away these things would be a most unpopular measure, he managed by a different method to put an end to all ostentation in these matters. First of all he abolished the use of gold and silver money, and made iron money alone legal; and this he made of great size and weight, and small value, so that the equivalent for ten minae required a great room for its stowage, and a yoke of oxen to draw it. As soon as this was established, many sorts of crime became unknown in Lacedaemon. For who would steal or take as a bribe or deny that he possessed or take by force a mass of iron which he could not conceal, which no one envied him for possessing, which he could not even break up and so make use of; for the iron when hot was, it is said, quenched in vinegar, so as to make it useless, by rendering it brittle and hard to work?

After this, he ordered a general expulsion of the workers in useless trades. Indeed, without this, most of them must have left the country when the ordinary currency came to an end, as they would not be able to sell their wares: for the iron money was not current among other Greeks, and had no value, being regarded as ridiculous; so that it could not be used for the purchase of foreign trumpery, and no cargo was shipped for a Laconian port, and there came into the country no sophists, no vagabond soothsayers, no panders, no goldsmiths or workers in silver plate, because there was no money to pay them with.

cum e viata (unora) pana la 40 de ani

Mi-a placut mult povestea asta a programatorului american Eric Scott care-a facut cam ce-a vrut si cand a vrut. Cititi si invatati ceva din asta...


I'm 40 already, apparently with one foot in the grave, lol.  My best jobs were ones I took pay cuts for.

The 20% Pay Cut
When I was much younger and wanted to play outside more than work, I made a deal with my boss.  "Boss", I said, "I'll give you 20% of my salary back, in exchange for Fridays off."

Boss, probably figuring it would save him time dealing with the hyperactive kid programmer that couldn't sit still, eventually agreed.

To this day I have fond memories of almost two years of Friday's off spent sleeping in, skating for miles and miles, learning tricks on my rollerblades, and whiling away warm sunny days with a book under a tree.

Unemployed for 8 Months
An unusual opportunity presented itself when I learned that my wife's new job came with a 6 month training period and relocation to a new city.  We'd be packing up everything we own, and I'd need to find a new job.

"Wife", I said to my beautiful wife, "How about we quit our jobs a few months early, stash all our stuff in a storage unit, and go on a 2 month road trip across the county?  Then, while you're off training, I'll go somewhere warm and live out of my car for 6 months on a beach?"

"Are you crazy?", she asked with her hands on her hips.

"Yep, so how 'bout it", I replied with a grin.

I'll never forget the time we spent together on cool mornings cooking breakfast on our camp stove, spreading out all our gear to dry in gas station parking lots, and the audio books we listened to as we drove.

How About $10/Hour?
Turns out after a month or two on a beach, sleeping in a tent and living out of your car, you get antsy to get back to work.  So I called up my friend. 

"Friend", I said, "how about I do some programming for you?  It's been over 6 years since I've written a line of code, and I need something to do."

"I've got some things that need building", he said, "but your skills are a bit rusty and I don't think it would work out."

"What if I only charged you $10/hour?", I replied.

So every morning, I'd eat my cereal, pack my tent in my car, and walk across the highway to the library with their free internet and comfy table and chair, and sling Java code all day for $10/hour.  

I still chuckle thinking about the luxurious, cold, coin operated camp showers I'd spring for on occasion, and the night it rained so hard, the floor of my tent was literally floating all around me while I watched an episode of Lost on my laptop before the battery died.

So...what about those Silicon Valley jobs?
A small bump in pay at a new job, in a new city will only make you feel young again for 6 months to a year.  

At 40, you've got 30 to 50 more years of productivity and life ahead of you.  At $135k a year, you alone make over 2.5x the average American family's salary.   If you're any good at programming, you could quit that job today, disappear for a year, and have another job just like it within a few months of getting back.  

Don't worry about the money.  Find something interesting to do with all that time.  The rest will figure itself out.

(via Quora)