Perused Internet Episode 2: meaning, joy, and detrimental individualism

You’ve been waiting for this and it’s here: the second post in my new series, based simply on what I find and spend time reading online.

Waiting for the OS to load on a giant monitor (okay, it’s actually a 40″ TV on the office wall).

A formula for finding meaning

This is another post from Daniel Messler, who I mentioned in my first post in the series. He’s a deep thinker and this article has some interesting thoughts and ideas about why living in the US is too easy and thus, leads to depression.

What do you think? Do you think it’s hard to find meaning in your life because things are too easy to accomplish in the United States? As one who’s struggled from depression, I had it hardest in college when I figured my meaning was to get a degree from a good school. Maybe I got the wrong degree (don’t tell my parents).

The relationship between hardship, struggle, and meaning

But I think a big part of it comes down to the lack of hardship, the lack of struggle, and the lack of appreciation for how easy it is to live in the US compared to most of the world.

daniel messler

Experiencing the ups and downs and still finding joy

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and this is a YouTube video from the Relief Society organization. This is the organization of women in the church and it’s led by a general R.S. president and board, all volunteers. Sometimes in the church, we tend to put our leaders (even though they voluntarily serve for a time frame then the next volunteers are called to take over) on a pedestal and assume that they live in a rose-colored world.

This isn’t true and this video is a good reminder that these women, incredible and loving as they are, have hardships as well. I like it. Also, I look up to these women. When I’ve had the chance to listen to them speak, they share messages of love about Jesus Christ, but also messages about being strong women and leading.

Just Like You YouTube Video

No matter what we have suffered, He is the source of healing… We must come unto Him and allow Him to work his miracles.

jean b bingham, relief society general president

The cost of running a massive state

This Forbes article picks apart the salaries and pensions of employees of the state of California, including athletic directors, college football coaches, and a crappy public works director in San Francisco. I’m really not surprised by the salaries nor would I say they are outrages. Why?

Have you seen how expensive it is to live in California?

These kinds of salaries might be extreme for Utah’s cost of living, but in California, they might still require living on two paychecks with both spouses working. So I don’t think you could simply cut salaries and pensions and get the budget of California under control. People couldn’t afford to live there with the cuts.

Of course, I recently read that rent in San Francisco dropped more than 30% this year (for a studio apartment). That probably means people are moving out of the expensive city. Where are they going? According to my sister-in-law, all of the families that looked at the house for sale next to them in Holladay, Utah, were from California.

Why California is in trouble: 340,000 public employees with $100,000+ paychecks cost taxpayers $45 billion

In a move praised by fiscal reformers, Gov. Newsom proposed a 10-percent across-the-board reduction in state employee salaries along with state agency budget cuts of five percent.
However, the governor admitted that if the federal government sends states more aid, then the salary reductions will be restored.

adam andrzejewski

Oh look: here’s where I read about San Fran rents crashing

I first read about the San Francisco rents dropping a ton this year from an email from Chartr. They make pretty charts. They are nice. And made with data. Data is good although I understand it’s easy to use data to tell the story that you want.

The interesting bit about the San Francisco rents to me: it still costs over $2,000 a month to rent a tiny, studio apartment there. Crazy, right?

San Francisco apartment rents crater up to 31%, most in U.S.

Renters are likely heading to more-affordable areas where they can get more space at a cheaper price. The future of rents in many of these cities will depend on whether companies require employees to work from the office or continue to allow remote work.

danielle hale

You can’t just blame Donald Trump

With the election happening right now, the liberal argument against Trump is that he’s made the last four years worse for the country. Whether you agree or disagree is your prerogative. In this article, it’s basically a review of a book. That book, The Upswing, gathers data on American social trends, and argues that we’ve been experiencing 50 years of social decay.

I friend of mine recently mused that perhaps we’re seeing the end of the American experiment. If history teaches anything, it’s that no society/country stays on top forever. Has America overstayed its welcome?

I was 20 years old when the jet engines crashed into and destroyed the World Trade Center towers. Shortly after it happened, society changes. For a time. We become united again. We supported our political leaders. They made speeches of unity and rebirth. We talked about the strength of the country standing together.

For a very brief time, we seemed to come together when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, shutting down businesses, schools, churches, gatherings, etc. Perhaps we would be united again. Perhaps this would help the extreme divide in our politics.

Boy were my hopes and dreams crushed.

How to actually make America great: reversing 50 years of social decline

The story of the American experiment in the twentieth century is one of a long upswing toward increasing solidarity, followed by a steep downturn into increasing individualism. From ‘I’ to ‘we’ and back again to ‘I’.

robert d. putnam and shaylyn romney garrett

Vocabulary: susurrus

Here’s your new word. Have you heard it before?

SUSURRUS: a whisper, murmur, or rustle

The susurrus of autumn is one of my favorite sounds.

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