If you are a well-compensated tech worker, you probably have some measure of control over what you work on, even if that occasionally means voting with your feet. And you are probably able to save enough to leave and arbitrarily pursue your passions at least once a decade, whether that means going back to school, trying to start a business, getting more involved with your family, or just escaping a toxic environment.
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that not everyone has those sorts of choices available to them.
You're reply is basically an example of survivorship bias.
You can take a similar path in retail, manufacturing, construction, or any other number of industries that don't even require degrees.
But you can't just do the minimum and do it poorly and expect to advance. It's not a bad thing that the system works that way. Rewarding hard work, and smart work, is what we want in an economic system.
There's such a thing as affordance.
You're a qsort implementation who wasn't so unlucky as to be spammed with only pathological inputs. There are heapsorts who will fare worse for no other reason than being matched up with workloads that would've choked you, too.
If you have a job, you have something to be grateful for, first if all. Secondly, you always have free agency in a free country. If you don't like it, move on, but don't project your own self loathing or dissatisfaction onto other people. Plenty of people get a lot of satisfaction out of their jobs and provide for their families from 9-5s and don't look at it from this pessimistic angle.
Those patterns of thought are either great if they inspire you to move onto other industries or toxic and bad for you if they cause you to become cynical.
I was actually disagreeing with the idea that 9-5 jobs need to be soul-sucking, and speaking from the perspective of someone who is able to decide what I work on.
But it's important to understand why some people hate their situations and feel unable to escape them. Poverty traps are real, especially in the United States, and we should be doing more as a society to help people escape them.
Also, I disagree that having a job is inherently something to be grateful for. Having a job is something to be paid for.
9-5 three days a week.
40 hours labour just isn't necessary for all of us.
We need to work to actually produce things like food and transport and so on. Services.
The vast majority of people I know are not working for that. It's a side effect. We're in this absurd zero sum race to outbid each other for housing (and not just in SF/London, it's all over nowadays).
Like, come on. Once you have an income at a level sufficient to spend, say, 50% on a house, get a mortgage etc, you have truly terrifying amounts of funds left over in terms of normal material goods in the prosperous towns.
I like stuff. It is fun to play with.
Of course you don't need the things, but they are enjoyable. I like to live a life beyond bare necessities.
Of course I may be wrong here but it sure doesn’t feel like that; I’ve had the blessing to be able to compare my life with a lot of money closely with my life with very little money.
I have also lived having money and not having money. It is way better to have money. Not having to stress about bills, not having to stress about things breaking or needing repair, being able to eat good food when you want... it makes life better. The stresses of figuring out how to get by when you are poor really hamper your ability to enjoy life.
I tend to bounce around from low to high cost of living locations. My mindset changes a lot without it really being under my control.
In a high CoL area the limits to what you want can be truly absurd because there's so much wealth swimming about. It's normal.
It takes some grounding, but also interaction with a community that accepts you for who you are, to temper that.
I am not sure how that changes me liking to play with gadgets.
But it's no problem of course if you're happy as you are. Good for you. The problem is society expects everyone to work 9-5, 5 days a week, 45 to 50 weeks a year. That's a little insane, and for many people, intolerable.
I would be ashamed to have written on my tombstone "worked 1/3 of his life as a sys admin".
There is no meaning in that. Just an empty job to have money, for what? For more stuff? To teach your children to do the same? Keeping materialistic corporations afloat with me taking care of the servers and stuff.
Or if you insist on keeping 9-5, then why not do it 4 days per week? After all, why do we only work 5 days/week? Could it be that maximizing the output of corporations is not the sole priority of a country?
"In 1908, a New England mill became the first American factory to institute the five-day week. It did so to accommodate Jewish workers, whose observance of a Saturday sabbath forced them to make up their work on Sundays, offending some in the Christian majority. The mill granted these Jewish workers a two-day weekend, and other factories followed this example. The Great Depression cemented the two-day weekend into the economy, as shorter hours were considered a remedy to underemployment." - https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/where-t...
Then, influentially, Henry Ford dropped it down from six days of 14-16 hours, in 1926. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2016/09/five-day-wor...
And, for most of us, "less hours" is going to equal "less pay". How do you imagine that we should deal with that? Or do you imagine that the corporations (or the country) are just going to pay us anyway?
Most people earn enough to live, and would do if they worked 20 hours less, it's just sucked away with various zero sum games like rent.
Imported goods make up a fairly small fraction of the average person's budget with the exception of stuff like, a German car say.
This is precisely what "cost of living" is; in higher competition areas, everything is more expensive.