Shackled to problem-solving

| November 10, 2007

This article in the Times provides a brief introduction to a fad that’s sweeping through Silicon Valley these days: escapism.

Timothy Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, promotes “pulling the plug” on your fast, information-driven life (though no one, it seems, has actually read the book).

I admit, it sounds exciting, but then the details start to come to light: hiring personal assistants in India (who tells them what to do?), outsourcing your relationships, primarily getting your news from waiters – it’s obviously a very different kind of life.

While self-help gurus come and go, the impulse to “escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich” never seems to wane. But, for me at least, the thought (and details) of actually succeeding serve more as a grim reminder of how much fun it is to solve real problems. Sure, there’s plenty of ways to live off the fat of the land in modern times, but isn’t it more fun to try and work in an area where the impact of creativity and hard work is important enough to persevere for more than four hours each week?