Monday, April 14, 2008

Opposites don't attract

Dillow to Oakham, Devil to Ockham...

That Chris is going to live and work in Oakham whilst this Chris has started in Ockham.

Of course, the motivations are different. Chris Dillow maintains that he is leaving London in order to embrace freedom.
In leaving London, I'm leaving all this and seeking—and expressing—freedom.

Of course, I'll still have to work. But in working from home, it'll be proper work, done for its own sake and not as a means to climb any ladder.

This is not a question of improving the "work-life balance". The very phrase captures one of the evils of capitalism - that work and life are opposites. Instead, it's about integrating work into life; in not having to travel into an office, I'm smashing one of the big dividing walls between the two, and moving towards the Marxian ideal of unalienated labour.

Ironically, your humble Devil is moving from self-employment and working from home to an office environment but is also doing it for freedom. The stricter framework of an office environment and the knowledge that there will be money at the end of the month (without me having to spend three months cajoling, appealing to and, finally, threatening clients) actually gives me more freedom to concentrate on doing what I'm good at (and what I enjoy): being creative.

And the collaborative environment of the office also sets me free; it allows me to talk over ideas with other creatives and advance my coding knowledge, thus allowing me to create better designs. And this, in turn, satisfies me far more than any compromise would do.

So, whilst Chris Dillow is leaving London and the office environment to find his freedom, your humble Devil is returning to that very same environment in order to find a different type of freedom.

And I guess that the moral of this story is that only you can decide what you want out of life and, in a free society, you have the option to pursue said desire.

So, if I hear just one more fucking government arsehole wanking on about "a work-life balance", I'm going to physically assault the fucker with a nail gun and a rusty bicycle chain...

7 comments:

Bishop Hill said...

Used to have my school carol service in the village church in Ockham. (I was at prep school in Ripley).

And presumably you know about William of Ockham (of Razor fame)?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Work-life balance, heh heh, that's what blogging is for, to even it out ...

xoggoth said...

Seem to recall that the country most noted for having a lot of workaholics and a poor "work life balance", Japan, is also the one with the lowest crime so it can't be all bad.

Also men, more often than women, tend to know most of their friends through work, so it is a bit simplistic to draw a sharp distinction between work and social life anyway.

Vindico said...

Ah, Ockham. You are but a mere jaunt through the countryside from me! I hear the broadband is terrible there and the guardian's techie journalist lives there. Am trying to look at getting a wireless network up an running in the area.

Unsworth said...

Ockham's Razor, then.

Still let's not confuse leafy Surrey with the fleshpots of the Metropolis, eh?

Welcome back to 'civilisation'....

Longrider said...

I'm planning to leave Blighty for rural France. I'll be travelling back for about twenty weeks a year to work. With fewer outgoings, we can live on that. I'll be sliding into semi-retirement. That is my freedom. Similar to Chris Dillow's, I guess.

Roger Thornhill said...

I wish you both well.

As you say, freedom is about choice, and the choice to succeed and to make mistakes - but a mistake is not in vain if one learns from it.

Having been in the Corporate meatgrinder, working from home, working for myself, in a partnership and as a freelance hired gun, it is all about the mix and that is something best left to the individual.

You can have the nailgun when I return it. Sorry about the blood.