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Escape vs. responsibility (Gaming)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 10:14 (44 days ago)

I found this article fascinating.

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/escape-to-another-world

I know I don't represent the average demographic here--I'm much closer to the end of my professional career than the beginning, but this was a compelling read for me regardless. I have to admit that I'm glad my obsessive phase of gaming (which might be ending?) didn't really begin until my mid forties.

Interested in your thoughts, but hope we can stay off of the political rail.

Kermit

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Korny ⌂ @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:11 (44 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by Korny, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:15

"What these individuals [men in their 20s without a college education] are not doing is clear enough, says Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago, who has been studying the phenomenon. They are not leaving home; in 2015 more than 50% lived with a parent or close relative. Neither are they getting married. What they are doing, Hurst reckons, is playing video games. As the hours young men spent in work dropped in the 2000s, hours spent in leisure activities rose nearly one-for-one. Of the rise in leisure time, 75% was accounted for by video games. It looks as though some small but meaningful share of the young-adult population is delaying employment or cutting back hours in order to spend more time with their video game of choice."

Unemployed people might live with their parents?
People with more time out of work play video games more than those who work?
It's gotta be the video games themselves!

The writer seems to barely acknowledge the economical issues that have narrowed the job market for young people looking to enter the work force (and the shock that men in their 20s aren't being homeowners or living on their own), and in fact, implies that the job market is better than ever ("That was in 2015: when the unemployment rate nationwide fell to 5%, and the American economy added 2.7m new jobs. Back in 2000, less than 10% of such men were in similar circumstances.").

And then the writer heads overseas to a health-care contractor (in England) for his thoughts, and the guy spends a whopping 100 hours over the past year playing games.
He then gets the perspective of a 26 year-old whose parents not only funded his schooling (including graduate school training), but continue to provide financial support for him, and whaaa? The guy doesn't want to get a job? Jesus.

And I won't even discuss his implications about good gamers being held back by the way a game provides assistance to worse players as symbolic of the current state of society.

tl;dr. This is a pretty dang Retarded™ article, but thanks for the perspective, Kermit.

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:17 (44 days ago) @ Korny

"What these individuals [men in their 20s without a college education] are not doing is clear enough, says Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago, who has been studying the phenomenon. They are not leaving home; in 2015 more than 50% lived with a parent or close relative. Neither are they getting married. What they are doing, Hurst reckons, is playing video games. As the hours young men spent in work dropped in the 2000s, hours spent in leisure activities rose nearly one-for-one. Of the rise in leisure time, 75% was accounted for by video games. It looks as though some small but meaningful share of the young-adult population is delaying employment or cutting back hours in order to spend more time with their video game of choice."


Unemployed people might live with their parents?
People with more time out of work play video games more than those who work?
It's gotta be the video games themselves!

The writer seems to barely acknowledge the economical issues that have narrowed the job market for young people looking to enter the work force (and the shock that men in their 20s aren't being homeowners or living on their own), and in fact, implies that the job market is better than ever ("That was in 2015: when the unemployment rate nationwide fell to 5%, and the American economy added 2.7m new jobs. Back in 2000, less than 10% of such men were in similar circumstances.").

And then the writer heads overseas to a health-care contractor (in England) for his thoughts, and the guy spends a whopping 100 hours over the past year playing games.
He then gets the perspective of a 26 year-old whose parents not only funded his schooling (including graduate school training), but continue to provide financial support for him, and whaaa? The guy doesn't want to get a job? Jesus.

And I won't even discuss his implications about good gamers being held back by the way a game provides assistance to worse players as symbolic of the current state of society.

tl;dr. This is a pretty dang Retarded™ article, but thanks for the perspective, Kermit.

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Korny ⌂ @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:23 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.


Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 11:29 (44 days ago) @ Korny

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?

I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did. And I did see a lot of myself in the testimonials, and I've had my own difficulties finding balance. I'm very happy for you and Sammy if you don't find that to be a struggle.

Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by EffortlessFury @, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:00 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?


I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did. And I did see a lot of myself in the testimonials, and I've had my own difficulties finding balance. I'm very happy for you and Sammy if you don't find that to be a struggle.

Actually, interestingly enough I felt like the author directly acknowledged the impact the economy has on this type of issue. They mentioned that wages have stagnated or dropped for "younger positions" and even in the summary paragraph at the end notes that the world may seem more rigged to those of us who play games than the games themselves.

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:07 (44 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?


I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did. And I did see a lot of myself in the testimonials, and I've had my own difficulties finding balance. I'm very happy for you and Sammy if you don't find that to be a struggle.


Actually, interestingly enough I felt like the author directly acknowledged the impact the economy has on this type of issue. They mentioned that wages have stagnated or dropped for "younger positions" and even in the summary paragraph at the end notes that the world may seem more rigged to those of us who play games than the games themselves.

Yeah, I thought he did, too.

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by Cody Miller, Dinklebot - Never Forget, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 18:08 (43 days ago) @ EffortlessFury
edited by Cody Miller, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 18:11

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?


I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did. And I did see a lot of myself in the testimonials, and I've had my own difficulties finding balance. I'm very happy for you and Sammy if you don't find that to be a struggle.


Actually, interestingly enough I felt like the author directly acknowledged the impact the economy has on this type of issue. They mentioned that wages have stagnated or dropped for "younger positions" and even in the summary paragraph at the end notes that the world may seem more rigged to those of us who play games than the games themselves.

So then start your own business and pay yourself what you want if your wages aren't to your liking. There are a serious lack of entrepreneurs coming from millenials, which is ironic because it's so cheap to borrow money these days. Blaming the economy won't help. You have to forge a path and change your own environment.

My best friend had a shitty job in data analysis, so he quit and started a cider company. Never looked back.

Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by EffortlessFury @, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 18:51 (43 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Thanks for yours, Korny. Hoping for more thoughtful responses.

Sammy and I both attended college, and both lived with our parents until I was almost in my mid-20s. Neither could afford to finish a higher education, and now we both hold full-time jobs, with Sammy occasionally selling arts and crafts as extra income. It feels like the article is written to pander to the folks who would still look down on us because we don't own a house and have the audacity to spend our leisure time playing video games.

Those dang millenials like us, huh?


I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did. And I did see a lot of myself in the testimonials, and I've had my own difficulties finding balance. I'm very happy for you and Sammy if you don't find that to be a struggle.


Actually, interestingly enough I felt like the author directly acknowledged the impact the economy has on this type of issue. They mentioned that wages have stagnated or dropped for "younger positions" and even in the summary paragraph at the end notes that the world may seem more rigged to those of us who play games than the games themselves.


So then start your own business and pay yourself what you want if your wages aren't to your liking. There are a serious lack of entrepreneurs coming from millenials, which is ironic because it's so cheap to borrow money these days. Blaming the economy won't help. You have to forge a path and change your own environment.

My best friend had a shitty job in data analysis, so he quit and started a cider company. Never looked back.

...You talking to me? lol I personally have no issues what soever. Great job and all that. I do acknowledge that the economy hasn't been kind to many. And yes, I'd agree with you that there are plenty of pathways for people to consider that are advantageous, like the one you mentioned.

Aside: Though I could counter-point that while the risk of being an entrepreneur might be lower now than it was then, the risk is still higher than many types of work that could be seen as fall-back work in case of failure. The point the article makes in these cases is that lower paying positions have been pushing out lower skilled workers due to trickle down and lowest skill workers (usually the youngest, newest hires) face less options for stable entry-level work.

That aside, as it's a whole separate issue: like Kermit said, the article talks about many different angles on the gamer lifestyle and how one would arrive there. One of them was that the idea of spending time gaming might be more alluring than spending time procuring a job that would provide more money and luxury when the gaming lifestyle wouldn't require much money or effort and has greater psychological returns on investment.

Which begs the question, does it really matter if the person isn't doing something "grand" that society deems acceptable if the person is taking care of themselves and is happy? Which the article discusses a few points and counter points.

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I guarantee that best friend was flush with cash when he did

by kidtsunami @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 06:14 (43 days ago) @ Cody Miller

My best friend had a shitty job in data analysis, so he quit and started a cider company. Never looked back.

Data Analysis jobs have solid salaries

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I guarantee that best friend was flush with cash when he did

by Cody Miller, Dinklebot - Never Forget, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 10:08 (43 days ago) @ kidtsunami

My best friend had a shitty job in data analysis, so he quit and started a cider company. Never looked back.


Data Analysis jobs have solid salaries

Not really. ~30K. That's why it sucked. He definitely needed to borrow money from the bank.

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I guarantee that best friend was flush with cash when he did

by MacAddictXIV, Seattle WA, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 10:32 (43 days ago) @ Cody Miller

My best friend had a shitty job in data analysis, so he quit and started a cider company. Never looked back.


Data Analysis jobs have solid salaries


Not really. ~30K. That's why it sucked. He definitely needed to borrow money from the bank.

The job makes a difference, but it also really depends on where you work.

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a Data Analysis job ~30k... wow

by kidtsunami @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 11:04 (43 days ago) @ Cody Miller

- No text -

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a Data Analysis job ~30k... wow

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 11:55 (43 days ago) @ kidtsunami

I thought it was low for a salary, too, which is why I thought he might be talking about the sum he had to start the business. 30K isn't that much to start a business, depending on the business.

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a Data Analysis job ~30k... wow

by MacAddictXIV, Seattle WA, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 12:21 (43 days ago) @ Kermit

I thought it was low for a salary, too, which is why I thought he might be talking about the sum he had to start the business. 30K isn't that much to start a business, depending on the business.

Making booze is really cheap. Well, I know it's cheap illegally :P

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That would make sense

by kidtsunami @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 12:21 (43 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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I started my plant distribution service for $250 and Ziplocs

by Funkmon @, Friday, March 17, 2017, 07:33 (42 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by squidnh3, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 16:56 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

I didn't perceive the same judgmental tone that it seems you did. I thought the writer was going there, but I never perceived that they did.

I didn't either. I thought the author did a good job of presenting several different gaming oriented lives, and how one might arrive or choose to be in that situation. What judgement there is seems to be entirely from the subjects themselves.

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Whoah, plenty of crazy assumptions in the article...

by ShadowDancing, CA, Sunday, March 19, 2017, 16:03 (40 days ago) @ Korny

In a lot of areas of the country, not owning a house is one of the best financial decisions you ever made.

There are a lot of sacred cows in American responsibility mythos. Most of their are from people who want to sell you something. The job market when you first enter it (or graduate) has a huge impact on your career. And that's just luck when you were born. There's clearly an over supply of labor, which drives down its (your) worth, and the country's tax policies redistribute gains to the very richest.

Millennials didn't screw themselves.

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Escape vs. responsibility

by Cody Miller, Dinklebot - Never Forget, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:25 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

Interested in your thoughts, but hope we can stay off of the political rail.

As games improve, the terms of this trade-off change. Among those predisposed to the leisure-luxury life, better games mean people are quicker to swap working hours for gaming hours; given nes-era gaming technology, a twenty-something might decline an opportunity for overtime work to have a little longer with Mario and Luigi. Now, a part-time job might be all they are willing to do, so good are the worlds and characters waiting at home. For those with the means, any hour on the job is an hour too much.

This is curious because there are a multitude of other experiences that are far more engaging and rewarding than video games, yet people don't seem to be eschewing work to experience those.

It is either a misunderstanding of the actual problem, or the investment systems and fake achievement in modern video games is worse than we thought. Notice how he said Mario is not as appealing. Could it have to do with the fact that Mario has no investment system?

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Escape vs. responsibility

by dogcow @, Frog blasting the vent core!, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:36 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

One hears this regret in talking to older gamers. “Of course gaming has interfered with any attempt to look for or do any serious work,” says Arturo, 29.

LOL. I wouldn't call 29 an older gamer. I'd put 29 firmly in the middle of the first standard deviation, certainly not "older".

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Escape vs. responsibility

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 13:17 (44 days ago) @ dogcow

One hears this regret in talking to older gamers. “Of course gaming has interfered with any attempt to look for or do any serious work,” says Arturo, 29.


LOL. I wouldn't call 29 an older gamer. I'd put 29 firmly in the middle of the first standard deviation, certainly not "older".

Yeah, I wondered if that was a typo.

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Escape vs. responsibility

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 14:57 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

I'm struggling to figure out how I feel about this article. Probably because the author wanders between a few different perspectives. But this whole thing gets at a central question in my life, that I think I made a decision about pretty early on. That is, how much time to dedicate to work.

In my view, there are 2 groups of people. Those who dedicate a large amount of time to work (working late evenings frequently, etc.), and people who only dedicate as much time as is strictly necessary. Maybe it's genetic, maybe it's the way I was raised (neither of my parents are what I would call "career people," and family time/church activities/seeing friends was always a bigger priority than promotions or buying a boat), or maybe I just watched "Office Space" too many times, but I've always looked at the former lifestyle as more of a dreary death sentence than a desirable existence. Not to disparage those people - I think it does work for some. But for me, if I'm working past 5pm, a little voice starts screaming "your REAL life is ticking away."

So in my case, I do play a lot of video games in my spare time. But if I'd never gotten interested in video games, I'm certain I would still be a person who works just enough to pay the bills and save for retirement, and I would have some other hobby or hobbies taking up my evenings. It's inconceivable to me that I'd be working late all the time or planning out career goals.

Note that I'm currently unattached to anyone else, so priorities for me right now really are a binary choice between work and play, unless some work needs done on the house. Shit, my garage door opener just broke (seriously). :(

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Escape vs. responsibility

by Claude Errera @, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 16:23 (44 days ago) @ Kermit

I rolled my eyes a lot during the reading of that article. :(

This, to me, was the crux of it:

"Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective."

(I'm not sure I agree with Korny's perspective of a completely negative-towards-young-gamers viewpoint... but the article was definitely slanted towards that argument, to the point where the paragraph about Dads of Destiny was a standout "here are good things that can come from gaming" bit.)

I think life is definitely harder for new-to-the-workforce people than it used to be, and I think games are definitely better than they used to be. I think, more critically to the author's point, gaming is probably the cheapest way to fill leisure time in large blocks for most people. (Reading is cheaper, especially if you use your local library - but there aren't a huge number of multi-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week readers left any more.) That games are becoming more sophisticated at manipulating their players is an oft-heard argument around here, so that adds to things, too.

I dunno. I don't know a lot of people who've 'dropped out of life' to play games all day - and I know a LOT of gamers. ;) I think this article is more negative than it should be, in terms of what evidence it shows to back up its point.

Escape vs. responsibility

by EffortlessFury @, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 18:54 (43 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I rolled my eyes a lot during the reading of that article. :(

This, to me, was the crux of it:

"Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective."

(I'm not sure I agree with Korny's perspective of a completely negative-towards-young-gamers viewpoint... but the article was definitely slanted towards that argument, to the point where the paragraph about Dads of Destiny was a standout "here are good things that can come from gaming" bit.)

I think life is definitely harder for new-to-the-workforce people than it used to be, and I think games are definitely better than they used to be. I think, more critically to the author's point, gaming is probably the cheapest way to fill leisure time in large blocks for most people. (Reading is cheaper, especially if you use your local library - but there aren't a huge number of multi-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week readers left any more.) That games are becoming more sophisticated at manipulating their players is an oft-heard argument around here, so that adds to things, too.

I dunno. I don't know a lot of people who've 'dropped out of life' to play games all day - and I know a LOT of gamers. ;) I think this article is more negative than it should be, in terms of what evidence it shows to back up its point.

I feel like maybe the author might be of the mindset (that they themselves mention) that looks down at gaming as a less worthy use of time. Perhaps the author is struggling to see the other point of view. Would explain the bias, and if that's the case it's commendable that they are able to accept the possibility that they are wrong.

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Escape vs. responsibility

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, March 27, 2017, 14:17 (32 days ago) @ EffortlessFury


I feel like maybe the author might be of the mindset (that they themselves mention) that looks down at gaming as a less worthy use of time. Perhaps the author is struggling to see the other point of view. Would explain the bias, and if that's the case it's commendable that they are able to accept the possibility that they are wrong.

I've been thinking about this thread for a while now, and I think you're on to something, except I don't think the author is of the mindset you describe. I do think that he's aware that that is likely the mindset of the majority of his audience (this is The Economist, not Polygon), many of which probably have a standard outsider bias against gaming. So is his name-checking of the usual prejudices a way of acknowledging his audience before leading them to a different perspective or does it only reinforce those prejudices? I wouldn’t presume the latter. Let’s face it, we’re inside the gaming bubble, and when we read his description of the Dads of Destiny anecdote, his praise might seem sarcastic for a story so common or mundane to us, but for non-gamers, hearing of such bonds formed through gaming is probably revelatory.

He’s woven several ideas together—most of which I’ve seen elsewhere but not put together in this way: namely, the economics, and the discussion of the recession’s disparate impact on different populations, and viewing the economic challenges faced by young people through the prism of good game design. The more I think about the article, the more I think it’s rather brilliant. It repeats harsh criticisms of gaming, but never without a counter. The trends he mentions are backed up by scholarship, and he takes great pains never to lay blame on gamers or games. That would be beside his point, which is that society may not be providing opportunities for young people to have rewarding, challenging careers.

I don’t blame anyone for having a reaction to my post and what they think I think about this, but their version of what I think might be inaccurate. I posted this on heels of Mid7night’s “goodbye for now” post, and I saw a lot of myself in the stories recounted in the piece. Escape vs. responsibility is a choice I wrestle with often—gaming has brought me great joy (a lot of it through this community), but I feel constantly frustrated by my lack of time for it vs. the time I’d like to spend on it. (It's gotten worse as the games have gotten more expansive--another central idea of the article.) If I’m honest I know there have been periods when gaming has not been the healthiest choice for how I spend my time. I didn’t expect everyone here to wax on about their similar struggles, but I guess over all the response to the article was more negative than I hoped it would be.

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