The only thing work has that I want is money. I have a better chair in my private office, better coffee and food, and zero commute at home. I do not want to go back.

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COVID isn’t gone, we just implemented a government sponsored policy of social amnesia. Dead people? What dead people? It’s just the flu, Long COVID is made up, back to “normal“!!! You must have such a policy in order to push people back into offices and public spaces with no mitigation where they will be infected over and over until they are disabled or dead. Like with climate change, the capitalism must flow now regardless of what it means for later.

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"Tech’s valuations have been utter bullshit for over a decade"

They've been utter bullshit since about the 90s LOL

Starting in September my company is doing a return to work for most employees, 2 days a week, any 2. My group will pick 1 specific day for everyone to be there. For ME personally I love the idea because I miss the social interaction a LOT. But I understand it will be tough and a big adjustment for many people.

The last 3+ years have been such a anxiety-filled depression for me that the thought of more social interaction makes me feel more positive. Regardless where you all fall I wish you all positivity and good fortune in the coming years.

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+1 for the new QOTSA song reference.

Also count me in on the ones that have lost hope. Between runaway climate change, antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and good old fashioned human on human violence, it's just a question of what's going to kill us first. Are there ways out of this hell? Possibly, but the High Priests of Capital have successfully brainwashed enough people, including themselves, into thinking that they will be spared, and that can take their money with them to buy a seat in Heaven next to Steve Jobs and Ronald Reagan, while all those who say otherwise will burn the Hell that they created.

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Don’t forget “green economy” President Joe Biden’s return to office mandate for federal workers.

It will put 1 million gas cars unnecessarily back on the road and is the single largest carbon emissions increase ever performed by a federal action. It also emits so much surplus carbon that it more than erases the positive impact of every single American EV on the road today.

But hey, the EPA is looking to ban gas stoves, which will have about 3% of the impact of a federal “get back to gas guzzling” employee mandate.

We live in a world completely bereft of leadership.

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I don’t think there was an ever “a pre-2019, pre-pandemic economy that sort of worked.”

I think when future historians look back on this era the consensus will be that we’ve been living through a “Lost Decade” since 2008, the result of never actually having recovered from the 2008 financial crisis in any meaningful sense. Instead the policy response amounted to little more than sewing a patch on the bubble and letting it re-inflate, giving all the grifters, rent-seekers, con-artists, and other varieties of socioeconomic parasite who caused the problem in the first place a second chance to entrench themselves deeper.

I think all this is reflected not just in the fact that we’ve created an economy that, rather than innovating and producing things people actually need or want, relies instead on financial “engineering,” marketing hype, price gauging, and rampant cost-cutting to transfer wealth from the pockets of the poor and middle classes into the coffers of the mega-rich—but also why it seems everything just kinda sucks these days: Why the arts and culture are endlessly lame, repetitive, and derivative; why there’s hardly anything new or innovative music, movies, literature coming out; why design, fashion, and aesthetics are basically stuck in the late ‘90s…

At the end of the day I think we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking everything’s just grand by hyper-focusing exclusively on the absolute (rather than the relative) performance of a handful of economic indicators and irrelevant crap like stock market returns to gauge the health of the economy. But this is akin to stepping on the accelerator of a car in neutral and assuming the car must be moving because the needle on the speedometer is going up—without ever bothering to look out the window.

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It is astounding that companies can go public and have never shown even a single dollar of profitability. This caused me to dig a little into Hashicorp (my company likes to talk about how game changing their solution is). I thought VC and the MBAs were smart enough to see through lousy business models and balance sheets that are swiss cheese, but alas, I was wrong (n.b.: that last was sarcasm)

Great post Ed!

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Between Covid, the deteriorating jobs situation, the disappearance of my social media networks and the political situation in my unnamed home which I can’t talk about for fear of being caught under certain laws... yeah, I’ve lost hope too. My mood is basically Obi-Wan in the first episode of the Disney+ show: “The war is over. We lost.”

I appreciate you carrying on the fight, Ed. It means a lot to hear and I aspire to join you in it. It’s all just a bit crushing right now, though.

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...all that, and the pandemic didn't actually end. The same forces telling us that we need to go back to the office are telling us that "COVID is over" (even as we move into another big wave) and burying the true toll in death and disability.

(You probably know someone who has Long COVID, and there's good odds that they don't even know it, having nary a clue about why they can't climb a flight of stairs or remember things properly.)

And, yes, both are based on the desperate desire to go back. Maybe not to 2019, but certainly to 2013-2014, before the Trump candidacy (and maybe Gamergate) caused everybody to lose their fucking minds.

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