FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 55: The Bully and Your DNA: Part 2

In Part 2 of this series I dig deep into the link between our ‘ares’ and our DNA.

I am working on a theory, ‘The Uniqueness Imperative’, that describes a link between who we are and our DNA. I’m starting to look at psychology from an evolutionary biology perspective. I guess having a background in the evolution side coupled with an interest in psychology and therapy this is what you get.

In short, I wonder if it is our duty or responsibility to ‘express’ as much of our DNA as possible. A lot of this expression – how our DNA shows up in our individual person – is beyond our control. Most inherited traits just show up. But some traits require an environmental interaction.

Some genes give us a propensity for traits. The DNA provides the machinery and we develop this through practice.

We may grasp music or math better than other people.

We may have a very even demeanor and not react strongly to stress.

There are infinite possibilities.

And this makes sense with our understanding of genetics because there is a definite interaction between our DNA and the environment with respect to how some traits express themselves or develop.

So in the context of the Are vs Should Problem, our DNA becomes a major determinant in our ‘ares’.

In other words, the things we are ‘meant to do’.

Or the things we have a passion for.

The things that motivate us to get out of bed in the morning.

I’m suggesting these things have a genetic component.

Who we are is a big part of what we want out of life.

Original post with links to podcast audio and YouTube video here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/07/23/kew-episode-55-the-bully-and-your-dna-part-2/

KEW Episode 71: Sustainability



From the dictionary:

1: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed sustainable energy resources; a sustainable water supply

2: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources sustainable agriculture/farming/techniques

3: able to last or continue for a long time sustainable development/growth

Have you ever noticed the hustlers around you? You know, the people working two or three side gigs, driving Uber Eats every evening, and staying incredibly busy? Some of these folks get little sleep and are very proud of their ability to work excessive hours and multiple jobs. They seem to have infinite sources of energy and an amazing ability to keep going. These ‘hustlers’ don’t really HAVE to work that much, it’s just their path toward having enough money (whatever ‘enough’ is, see Episode 20: Enough for more on that).

You have probably also noticed the folks who have to work that hard and for that many hours JUST TO GET BY. I have a lot more sympathy for this second group because it’s not their choice. See Episode 13: Slavery for more on THAT.

Regardless of the motivation, be it surviving or thriving, you probably see many of these people doing or achieving seemingly impossible things during the same 24 hour day you and I have.

This is what I’m getting at with this Episode.

To these people I always think to myself, “This isn’t sustainable”.

At first I thought maybe I was just making excuse for why *I* couldn’t achieve as much as these folks in my 24-hour day. These levels of achievement and work hours can make one feel inadequate. But this goes beyond jealousy or envy. My concern is for the long-term.

Because, sure, anyone can hustle on the short term. We have all had short periods in our lives where we have to work extra hard and extra long. The first six months of raising children, for example. That time at work when you’re working toward a promotion. Writing your book.

But with these efforts, we believe the struggle is short-lived and will END in the not-to-distant future. This makes it ok.

What I’m talking about is the people who don’t get this.

So many things are UNSUSTAINABLE. Meaning, they are too SOMETHING (intense, demanding, heavy, difficult, strenuous, etc) to be continued for a long period of time.

Sprinting up a hill

Consuming alcohol

Not sleeping

Carrying heavy weight

It’s just physics. Yet many of us try to beat the system. And not only does this concern me, for our individual and collective welfare, but it’s CHEATING

You heard me. Long-term, life threatening, dangerous sustained effort is CHEATING. It’s Gaming the System (and for more on THAT, see Episode 3: Gaming the System).

When something isn’t sustainable, it is a signal that you’re doing something wrong. Or, you are making a sacrifice over a short-term.

You can’t sacrifice continually. It doesn’t work like that. Once demand exhausts supply the game is over. There is no ‘going into debt’, only bankruptcy.

These are the basic principles of physics, ecology, and economics.

Yet, everywhere you look you will see people undergoing intentionally unsustainable activities. To get richer, prettier, healthier, or more powerful.

We think we are gaming the system, but we are really harming ourselves and others.

I hope you enjoy this episode and choose to like, subscribe or follow. The best place to stay up to date is by following my blog, subscribing to the podcast or the YouTube channel.

Podcast audio download: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9512717-kew-episode-71-sustainability.mp3?download=true

or subscribe via your favorite app. (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.)

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/zeGCtwBmpL0

The podcast and video are identical content if you haven’t figured that out already.

Preview KEW Episode 70: The Great Resignation

Over the last few weeks we’ve been hearing a lot about people quitting their jobs and not going back to work. Some economist coined the term, ‘The Great Resignation’ to describe this more-than-usual number of people leaving the workforce. Also called the ‘Big Quit’, there are something like 5 Million more people not working than there would be without Covid.

And I have been wrestling with what I see as a contradiction to all this unemployment. When I look around I see businesses with more work than they know what to do with. Sure, some restaurants aren’t as busy, but they are the ones complaining that they can’t find anyone to work. And contractors have more work than usual, but no laborers to do it. Something is going on that doesn’t make much sense.

There’s a lot happening, and it could be my own myopic viewpoint, but I think there is great confusion in the US economy right now with so many people ‘not working’ yet so much work to be done. No one’s working but everyone is buying or remodeling a house?

This week I’ll explore my thoughts, share a bunch of links to various articles sharing their thoughts, and ask you what you think. Preview below, full Episodes this Friday at http://www.chrisburcher.com.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel or to my podcast on your favorite podcast app.

KEW Episode 69: People Suck at Their Jobs

At the risk of sounding pessimistic or negative I am sharing my thoughts about a topic near and dear to me. More often than no, I believe people suck at their jobs. I don’t think this suckage is always intentional and I do not believe people WANT to suck at their jobs. I am not here to blame individuals for their suckage nor to suggest this is necessarily related to the individuals.

My point here is to suggest that there is a problem with the SYSTEM of employment, work, the market, whatever. The arena ‘out there’ we participate in from multiple sides. We are simultaneously the consumer, the client, the employed, and the employer. We are the consumer and the consumed. We are supply and demand. We are it and it is us. And so the irritatingly slow service we get at a restaurant is as much our fault as anyone involved.

With THAT out of the way let me list a few examples from my personal life that have happened over the past couple of weeks whereI encountered someone sucking at their job:

-the employee at Home Depot who didn’t feel like finding the ‘customer needing assistance in plumbing’ and either didn’t respond to the request or was going to take an hour to reach me

-the drive thru attendant at McDonalds who thought it was appropriate to share their life story (inappropriate level of detail) with me rather than give me my credit card back

-the general contractor who thought it was cool to tell me, repeatedly, he was emailing me a quote but never intended (apparently) to do so even after multiple conversations and texts

-the electrician who thinks ‘next week’ means ‘whenever he feels like it but much longer than two weeks’

-the state employees who contradict each other about the steps to take to renew a passport and where said steps are to occur

-the bank employee who thinks ‘direct deposit’ means ‘mail a check’

-the bank teller who can’t look up my account from my id (standard procedure and preferred), but requires my account number (normal way I do it)

I could go on.

And a lot of these might be related to incompetence. Often the employees’ misbehavior is a result of simply being disgruntled. And mostly I can empathize and even agree with these sentiments. Many of these jobs suck, convey suckage, and perpetuate that message to the client/customer/consumer. I get that.

And sometimes staff are more afraid of their bosses’ reaction than a customers. I get that, too. While I have seen customers be rude, I have seen more bosses to tyrannical. Again, I sympathize.

And more than anything I get that the work conditions, pay rate, hours, and commute inherent to many of these jobs (especially the hourly pay rate) SUCK so bad that it is nearly impossible to convey positivity to the customer.

I get all that – it’s not that I don’t understand WHY the behavior is occurring. No, what amazes me is that it is allowed to perpetuate. I don’t blame the EMPLOYEE, I blame the SYSTEM.

Call me naive, because I am, but I fundamentally believe there is a solution to this, and really almost any, problem. And if you have listened to my Accountability (Episode 68) episode you know where I stand on this issue. So what gets me, when I see an employee act questionably, is why they persist in the SYSTEM.

Because, checks and balances. Adaptive management. RIGHT? Don’t we HAVE these things? Aren’t we sophisticated human beings that put taxpayers in SPACE and drive around with smart phones?

So when I see misbehavior in the market place, I conclude that the SYSTEM is screwed somewhere FAR upstream from the problem I am observing. And I’m right about that. We SEE the symptoms, not the problem.

And SOLUTIONS to these problems also lie upstream. For a start, how about the whole shareholder model? When businesses exist to profit for shareholders, I don’t see solutions to problems related to employees and customers – because THAT’S NOT WHAT THE BUSINESS DOES.

Seriously.

Full podcast audio direct download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9430016-kew-episode-69-people-suck-at-their-jobs.mp3?download=true

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Link to YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/ybbj9l_ncrM

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