Commuting, aka the eternal drag [Chronicles of Dis/Infection, Mar2016]


 

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For many people, commuting is the worst part of the day, and policies that can make commuting shorter and more convenient would be a straightforward way to reduce minor but widespread suffering. –  Nassim Nicholas Taleb OR Daniel Kahneman [according to brainy quote, hilarious]

There is a good chance, too good a chance, you woke up at an unchristian, unmuslim, unbuddhist, non-atheist hour today, cursing the up-coming commute and, perhaps, if you‘re less fortunate, your entire day of work. The forbidding distance you still have to climb until Friday late afternoon to then dive off the cliff of the workweek into the weekend, a drink in each hand. Say a Shenzen-Mule* and a GILF**-on-the-Beach.
I suppose I‘m exaggerating but the daily commute is an exaggeration too.

biketowork1Whether you wear a fitbit monitoring your sleep-cycle or not, getting up with the crows and hens is an abomination! Every fiber of your body screams at you to stay under covers, to enjoy the warmth and soft comfort for another hour or two. But some mis-programmed long-term reward program in your brain, without even really being activated, hauls you off the mattress. Its arguments are un-argumentable-with: getting fired, not finding another job, possibly never achieving anything in life [a project, coincidentally, in which i am at quite an advanced standing].

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The present-day fact [the social-democratic reality?] of getting up early in the morning has never been particularly understandable to me. A recent study referenced in The Atlantic*** that a few odd-ball characters actually enjoy their worm-catcher‘s commute [notably only if it‘s not longer than 30min and if these people, morning-afficionados, also love their jobs; in which case liking the morning ride could be a collateral benefit {can we make this a thing? collateral benefit? that’d be so cool; I’d get mad props} a side-effect of loving your cushy existence], this study did not achieve much in the way of convincing me that commutes and human nature are not shittily compatible at best. Not to be all SPSS [a statistical programme, horrible] about this but I‘m fairly positive that upwards of 51% people I know f#cking dread the matinal bus or train or bicycle, even their own cars [which with a soft, warm interior are a painful reminder of bed?].

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So here‘s what is inexplicable: A) assuming that a low-ball number of four-out-of-five [sleep-berobbed] people on their way to work bloody despise the morning commute B)….and there is a common-sense mantra about doing 20% of the work in 80% of the time [again more than 51% of folks seem to believe in this; wink to statistic-pros reading this] C) ….and the French do 35h weeks without tumbling into poverty [question: is their average quality-of-life higher than that in the workaholic US?] D)….we live in ever more extensively individualized societies whose clarion-call appears to be to cater to these millions of individuals in every conceivable way…  E) …we also live in an information society which, given its stupendous computing capacities, has been able to coordinate activities ever more ingeniously…..

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WELL, given A to E, I frankly wonder: How in the fuck it could be that so many people still HAVE TO commute at such ungodly hours? Is this the inertia of human institutions? Is it perhaps one of the last outlets to show other people what [involuntary] hard-asses we are? Do we wish to „Call it a day“ as early in the afternoon as humanly possible?

I wish I got to decide which are the correct answers but I‘d even rather not even be able to ask these questions. Because at the next deeper level there is a more important follow-up question: why in a society so organizationally ingenious, so in doe-eyed love with individualization, the morning commute is still a living, breathing, 2 x 45min fuct-of-life?
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*…my twist on the Moscow Mule which seems to be a surprisingly elitist drink, according to google images
**Girld I’d Like to Flirt with
*** here’s the study about the happy commuters http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369847814001107

 

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About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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