Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Slacker Ethic or Why Ben Franklin is Awesome

So I found this article a few years ago and only recently decided to purchase this book.
Check out hilarious article about the history of the Slacker Ethic, and its most famous characters such as Benjamin Franklin.

Excerpts from the article:

To prove his point about Franklin's laziness, Lutz highlights a passage in his ''Autobiography" in which Franklin suggests that it is more important to appear industrious than to be so. The book also mentions Franklin's habit of lounging around in the nude-taking an ''airbath," as he termed it-and quotes some snarky comments about the great man's ''dissipation" and lack of punctuality made by colleague John Adams, who was posted to Paris with Franklin in 1778.

By the way John Adams sounds like a HATER.

Brown University professor Gordon S. Wood, author of ''The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin," notes that the lifestyle Adams took for dissipation was simply Franklin's judicious strategy for wooing the French. The goal at the time was to extract the maximum amount of assistance for America, and Franklin ''did not believe that shuffling papers and running around was the secret to that," Wood says.
''He's not a slacker!" Wood adds, good-humoredly. ''Effectiveness is what counts."
Of course, a key point in ''Doing Nothing" is the idea that the loafer and workaholic paradigms are not mutually exclusive. Franklin, like most of us, probably combined a bit of both.

By the way, the AIRBATHS make more sense if you understand that he always had big entourages paying him visits... predominantly attractive French women.

Here is an article from Time Magazine expounding on Ben's Game.

Excerpt from the Time Magazine Article

More than two centuries after his death, people are still trying to figure out how a paunchy, balding, bifocaled septuagenarian managed to get French ladies in a flutter. From his days as an ambitious young printer in Philadelphia to his years as a diplomatic superstar in France, Ben Franklin surrounded himself with adoring women, often much younger, usually attractive and preferably intelligent. For the most part, his loyal wife Deborah tolerated these dalliances. As she probably knew, most were never consummated. In fact, Franklin was a master of what the French call amitiƩ amoureuse, whose English translation, amorous friendship, gives only a hint of its true meaning: a delicious form of intimacy, expressed in exchanges of teasing kisses, tender embraces, intimate conversations and rhapsodic love letters, but not necessarily sexual congress. A peek inside Franklin's not-so-little black book:

UPDATE

Excerpt from article:

Managers at Google HQ in California have been working to harness the creative power of this phenomenon for six years by telling their engineers to put aside assigned projects for 20 per cent of their time at work and to pursue their own creative schemes instead.
The company wants them to use this time to work on pet projects - ideas for new search, e-mail and other services that they couldn't otherwise work on because of workload pressures.
Google's head geeks believe that the policy has paid off, spawning some of the company's most successful services, such as Google News and Gmail.

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