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The easiest way to miss a point (on purpose or not), is to take a metaphor literally.

I see a lot of this here on HN, and I think it is a common vice among people with strong knowledge in the hard sciences but with a rather narrow scope of interests outside of it.

I believe that the point was that sovereignty over how one spends one's time is more important than material possessions, beyond what is strictly necessary. Surgeons can save a lot of money and retire early, probably are less restricted by managers than the typical wage slave, have a very meaningful job (something quite rare these days), etc.

Most people's lives today are not like this. They are stuck in a hamster wheel that they cannot jump out of without becoming homeless.

You make it sound as if even if not intentional, misunderstanding someones point in this way is as a result of negligence ("vice").

If you express yourself in metaphor, it is reasonable for someone to ask you to expand upon or specify your views, so they can build a more accurate model of what you're trying to express. This could be because of simply not understanding fully what's being said, or being unwilling to assume that what they mean is what you think they mean.

Asking for clarification is one thing, immediately providing a counter-example to the most literal interpretation is another.

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