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  • Chapter 1: Why do we have to work? Play all

    A discussion of Chapter 1 of my book "Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames."

    This chapter looks at the history of why we've *always* had to "go to work": from the prehistoric hunter and gatherer to today's videogame programmer.

    From the book's back text:

    The common conservative answer to the question "Why do we work?" is that it's to pursue maximum wealth and status, regardless of personal fulfillment. The common rebellious answer, on the other hand, is that work is for pursuing one's inner calling, regardless of financial consequences. This book was written for the philosophically-minded teenager and young adult struggling to make sense out of these contradictory approaches.

    PART I: WHY DO WE HAVE TO WORK? looks at the history of why we've always had to work, tracing the common link between the workday of the prehistoric hunter and gatherer, the first millennium B.C. farmer, the first century A.D. pottery-maker, the nineteenth century assembly-line worker, and today's videogame programmer. Included in this overview is an explanation of why we use this odd thing called "money": why the complications of bartering inevitably lead communities with multiple goods and services to use some type of medium-of-exchange (be it beads or dollar bills) to solve their trading problems.

    PART II: WORK, WEALTH, & STATUS focuses on today's world, and contrasts our culture's guideline for happiness--the wealth, status, and identity we derive from our careers--with a guideline that instead aims for a balance of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
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  • Chapter 2: Why do we have to use money? Play all

    A discussion of Chapter 2 of my book "Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames" - http://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Gathering-Videogames-Allen-...

    A chapter-by-chapter summary of "Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames" (and thus an overview of the entire video series):

    PART I: WHY DO WE HAVE TO WORK?

    Chapter One
    *Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames* gives a historical overview of why we've always had to "go to work," tracing the common link between the workday of the prehistoric hunter and gatherer, the first millennium B.C. farmer, the first century A.D. pottery-maker, the nineteenth century assembly line worker, and today's videogame programmer.

    Chapter Two
    *Surgery & Dental Floss* spells out the complications of bartering, and explains why communities with multiple goods and services always end up using some form of money (be it beads or dollar bills) to solve their trading problems.

    Chapter Three
    *Penguins & Peacocks* is about why the changes in our workday--the transition from hunting and gathering to the ages of agriculture, industry, and information--took place, even though some aspects of these changes were for the worse. It looks at the parallel between the history of our workday and the way evolution works in nature: how change is driven by the demands of the immediate environment, not by concerns for future repercussions.

    PART II: WORK, WEALTH, & HAPPINESS

    Chapter Four
    *Emperors & Emptiness* gives an overview of three drawbacks of our modern work system: the alienation, the perception of deprivation that can come from being in a society overflowing with goods and services, and the way our increased number of career options has opened up a large window for failure--particularly when we tie our occupation to our identity.

    Chapter Five
    *More vs. Enough* offers an alternative to the unattainable American financial goal of "more is better" by outlining a flexible but precise definition of how much income is "enough."

    Chapter Six
    *Measuring Success* contrasts our culture's guideline for happiness--the wealth, status, and identity we derive from our careers--with a guideline that instead aims for a balance of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
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  • Chapter 3: the 'evolution' of our workday

    A discussion of Chapter 3, *Penguins & Peacocks,* of my book "Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames."

    *Penguins & Peacocks* is about why the changes in our workday--the transition from hunting and gathering to the ages of agriculture, industry, and information--took place, even though some aspects of these changes were for the worse. It looks at the parallel between the history of our workday and the way evolution works in nature: how change is driven by the demands of the immediate environment, not by concerns for future repercussions.
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