Fresh Lens Podcast

Bullshit Jobs - Part 2

July 31, 2022 Hirad Motamed & Patricia Veinott
Fresh Lens Podcast
Bullshit Jobs - Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

Continuing from the previous episode, we discuss the latter half of David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs. We discuss why such jobs exist and what we might do to remedy the situation.



[00:00:24] **Hirad:** hey Trish.

[00:00:25] **Trish:** Hey Hirad

[00:00:26] **Hirad:** Hey Hirad we do know what we're reading today.

[00:00:28] **Trish:** We are finishing up our discussion on David Grayer's bullshit jobs.

[00:00:33] **Hirad:** So for listeners the previous episode, we did something a little different. So we broke up the book in two parts. Last time we talked about what bullshit jobs are what they do to a person.

What, what are some examples of bullshit jobs that he talks about in the book. What are some of our experiences with bullshit jobs? And this episode, we're going to get into some of the reasons why they seem to exist.

[00:00:57] **Trish:** Yeah. I'm excited about today's discussion. We'll get into a little bit more of the meat of, what perhaps we can do about this as a society.

Because this book has really resonated with me more than almost any book I've read in the last couple of years and on kind of like an emotional level that I wasn't expecting. Cause I just feel like this phenomenon of bullshit jobs is so pervasive and accepted and it almost, I'm sure you feel the same way where it almost feels like you're living in LA LA land.

The fact that no one else seems to care.

[00:01:27] **Hirad:** Yeah. Yeah. I think this is this is exactly what we wanna go for at fresh lens. Right? It's for me, the, the value of the book is, is in the fact that there were all these unquestioned assumptions that I was just happy to take on and this book just named them and started tearing them apart.

And it, yeah, it's really shifted my mind. 

Drastically. Yeah. 

[00:01:50] **Trish:** So 

[00:01:51] **Hirad:** yeah, that's, that's what makes fresh lens, 

[00:01:53] **Trish:** exciting exactly 

[00:01:55] **Hirad:** what we're after this, this feeling of you just discovered new knowledge, that completely changes your outlook on the world. 

[00:02:03] **Trish:** Yeah. So where should we start? I guess, why are there so many bullshit jobs in the world?

[00:02:11] **Hirad:** Yeah, so Graeber says, there's basically whenever you do this kind of anthropological study, there's many different levels of causation that you can look at, right? So you can look at individuals like why do they accept. 

Bullshit 

jobs. You can look at it at a societal or cultural level and you can you can say why is it that there are all these bullshit jobs out there and we don't see it as a problem.

Right? Or you can also look at it as an economic issue. Like why are we spending all this money on bullshit jobs? So really Graeber looks at three different levels. So he looks at the structural in terms of how did these jobs come about? What was the mechanics that enabled such proliferation of jobs that are not doing any good in the world?

And then he looks at the cultural elements of what is it about our culture that we are so okay with. So many of these jobs being around and then he looks at the political considerations of why these things are around and what we might do about it. Most importantly,

[00:03:08] **Trish:** Right. And so starting at the personal level, that's the easiest level is like, you need to feed yourself, right?

So people seem to accept bullshit jobs because our society says you have to work. That's how you will. Earn money to feed yourself and your family. And so that's the furthest downstream effect. And I feel like you can't fault people too much this is just the system that they're in

[00:03:36] **Hirad:** Exactly. Yeah. 

[00:03:36] **Trish:** In terms of it gets a little bit more interesting, as you go upstream with how he talks about

why out, why

companies are happy, having so many bullshit jobs.

[00:03:48] **Hirad:** Well, I think a huge part of the driver is the fact that kind of like how we've, the reason why we found this book interesting is because it started naming a lot of unquestioned assumptions and opening our eyes to a new way of seeing the world that we weren't used to seeing. , and I think what he's saying in the book is that, that same phenomenon as a reason why bullshit jobs proliferate is because in our culture and in our society, we are not used to questioning certain things about, for example, the market economy.

So we take it on faith that if the market produce it it must not be bullshit. Right. And we take it on faith for also that jobs are good. So if you think about the only thing, one of very few things that all political parties in our societies can agree on is more jobs are always good, but nobody ever specifies that jobs have to be not bullshit.

[00:04:42] **Trish:** Right? Yeah. 

[00:04:43] **Hirad:** Yeah. Whereas like in a imagine in a communist society where like let's say Mao gave a dictat of gives an order that like, Hey, we need, we want every man woman and child employed 

and you kind of know what's going to happen as a result of that.

The order's gonna go down the line to the, to the local officials and they're going to try to meet certain quotas and they're going to do whatever they need to do to fill those quotas. 

[00:05:08] **Trish:** Right.

It's kinda like how they build all those cities that nobody's living in. Exactly. And we look at that and it seems obviously ridiculous, which it is, but at the same time, like you could look at it and be like, well, people have jobs they're employed. Look at, they built this thing there. You have 

[00:05:22] **Hirad:** it.

Exactly. That, yeah, that's actually a really good point because in those cases there is actually a Like a whole city that has gotten built and you can see the 

[00:05:31] **Trish:** artifact 

Yeah. 

[00:05:32] **Hirad:** like how much, like it's empty building so you can see how bullshit it is. But when we do white collar work, that has exactly the same result.

We don't exactly 

see 

it because it's, it's not as visible as a massive empty 

[00:05:44] **Trish:** city. 

[00:05:45] **Hirad:** But so in, in a capitalist society, we don't have that order coming down the line of saying, Hey, go produce a bunch of jobs. 

Mm-hmm . 

But the effect is basically the same. We are valuing job creation. So you, on the, on the one hand, you've got unions that want more jobs and you have, on the other hand, you've got these more conservative parties.

That'd be like, we need to put money in the hands of the job creators. So it's all about job creation all the time, but what are the jobs actually doing? Mm-hmm and nobody's really questioning that at all.

[00:06:14] **Trish:** Yeah. And I think that this assumption that everything will always veer to whatever is the most efficient, . Financially. Is so silly because we know that this isn't how humans operate. And we always have known that this is obviously an oversimplification, but seeing that like, people will care how many underlings they have.

Yes. And this will be a huge motivation to spend a company's money, so I thought that that was an interesting explanation of why we will end up with so many middle managers, because it gives you like more power and prestige.

The more underlings you have. So you don't really care what they're doing. You just care that they're lower on the hierarchy than you. Yeah.

[00:06:54] **Hirad:** I so one thing I found interesting that Greaber talks about when he initially published the essay on bullshit jobs in 2013 within a day and a half, The Economist came out with a, response. So if, if something comes out within a day and a half, you automatically know it's a, it's a rush job, but they, they were quick at recognizing an ideological threat.

And what they basically argued is yeah, all these people that you're talking about, they may not see value in what they're doing because they're just cogs in a machine. But Hey, that's because we have an increasingly complex economy these days and every individual actor may not exactly see the big picture, but we are increasingly getting we're getting more and more sophisticated.

That's why you can have more and more sophisticated goods. And that's, that's basically the driver of this feeling of what you don't understand what the significance of what you're doing. But, and, but you have to be doing it because it's actually, there is, there is a market wisdom in, in, in action here.

And the refutation that Greaber gives about that is if you look at universities and you can, you can actually break this down between public and private 

[00:08:00] **Trish:** universities. 

[00:08:01] **Hirad:** You can. You can see that over time, the number of faculty has changed. The number of students has changed. These numbers go up, but the ratio of say, faculty to students has remained roughly the same over, let's say 50 years.

But the ratio of administrative staff to everybody else has gone up by about 240%. So you've got like over 50 year period that the faculty may have gone up by 50% and students would've gone up by about 50%, but the administrative staff have gone up by 240%. Yeah. And if you look at private universities, that's even 

[00:08:33] **Trish:** worse.

Mm-hmm 

[00:08:34] **Hirad:** than it is at public universities.

[00:08:36] **Trish:** And it seems like they're just kind of creating, make work projects for themselves. Instead of being focused on scholarship and whatnot, it's you know, focused on vision statements and kind of funny other ideological things of

[00:08:49] **Hirad:** yeah. I mean, they're not, they're not scholars, so they wouldn't be , they're not be focused on research and they're just they're box tickers and and duct tapers 

[00:08:57] **Trish:** and 

[00:08:58] **Hirad:** yeah.

All that and flunkies. 

Yeah. 

So I thought that was interesting. And, okay, so this one thing that we definitely have to talk about I think this is the smoking gun of the whole bullshit jobs narrative. If you, if, if by this point listeners, you still question whether bullshit jobs are real and whether they really exist or how pervasive their existence is in our society.

This is a quote from Obama when he talks about the reasons why Obama Care his crowning achievement of his presidency and probably one of the biggest pieces of legislation about healthcare in recent American history. This is when he talks about he's talking about why it has taken the form that it has taken.

So, and this is what he says. I'm just going to read the quote says, I don't think in ideological terms, I never have everybody who supports single payer healthcare says, look at all this money, we would be saving from insurance and paperwork that represents 1 million, 2 million, 3 million jobs filled by people who are working at blue cross blue shield or Kaiser or other places.

What are we doing with them? Where are we employing them? In other words, Trish. The world's most powerful man is telling you that he can't give you single-payer healthcare system because there's 3 million Americans that are doing bullshit jobs that could be eliminated by a better alternative. Yeah. But we just wouldn't be able to employ them anywhere.

Yeah. Therefore we're making everybody's healthcare system worse

[00:10:25] **Trish:** so we can keep these duct tapers around. Exactly. Yeah, yeah. That, that really does says it all. I think that there was another anecdote that I sort of loved where he talked about the Belgian government and I'm not sure exactly how the parliamentary system or whatever of Belgium works, but it seems like they go for long periods without sitting governments, for whatever reason.

Do you remember this anecdote better than I do? There was like a constitutional

[00:10:53] **Hirad:** they go, they go through constitutional crisis pretty frequently. And that leads to oftentimes them not having a prime minister, not having ministers of various sorts.

And I think the longest, he said, they've gone for 500 and something days without a sitting government. Right. And everything keeps functioning as usual.

[00:11:09] **Trish:** Just fine. So yeah, I feel like that should sound some alarm bells that perhaps this isn't the most crucial jobs or, you know, what, what they're doing, perhaps isn't as important as they like to believe, believe. But I think that one thing that I wanna after I was listening to like our last episode again, when I was editing it, there's just one thing that I wanna make clear.

Like people are working in the sense that they feel like they feel busy.

[00:11:37] **Hirad:** Oh, they're definitely busy. 

[00:11:38] **Trish:** Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:11:39] **Hirad:** just that they don't produce anything.

[00:11:40] **Trish:** anything. Yeah, exactly. So like, I wanted to just be clear about this cuz when we see like, oh, they're not doing anything, it's like, they're not actually just on Facebook all day. Like I think some of them

might 

[00:11:48] **Hirad:** some of them might be and I think Greaber , I heard him on a talk where he talks about the fact that.

Back in the day you know, in like the, in the sixties when people would do like produce art and whatever you would have these things like a 30 minute drum solo and and these things that people would spend a lot of time on. And that was like the, the kind of art that they would 

[00:12:06] **Trish:** produce 

[00:12:07] **Hirad:** back in the day.

And the type of art that is produced vastly today is things like TikTok videos, where you can, it's the kind of thing that you can do while you have a bullshit job.

[00:12:16] **Trish:** Yeah. But I do even think that a lot of people who like have maybe upper middle management bullshit jobs, they're working very hard.

It's just that probably the things that they're. Producing are of no value. And don't matter in the bigger picture. Like I think that they're going to meetings or writing emails. They're definitely like

doing

a lot of stuff. Yeah. And they feel busy and they probably feel stressed, but like, I I'm sorry, but I think probably what you're producing is meaningless.

[00:12:41] **Hirad:** So this, this gets back to the, the thing that I was talking about last time, which is, I don't know how many people, , when you're in an environment like that, like I was in a corporate environment and you see these people that seem to be really bought into the system. 

[00:12:53] **Trish:** Right. Mm-hmm 

[00:12:53] **Hirad:** and they're, they're, they're not just working nine to five, they're working beyond 

that.

Yeah. 

But you can look at their output over the course of years and it's basically non-existent

[00:13:01] **Trish:** right. Mm-hmm

[00:13:02] **Hirad:** so they've kind of bought into this cult of work and we're gonna get into this. When we talk about the, the cultural element, we have a culture in which we value work and we value it. It's not just that we value work.

We value work that you don't enjoy. Yeah. So there seems to be in our culture, this inverse correlation between work that is fulfilling on its own. And work that pays 

well. Yeah. And we have accepted that these things are inversely proportional. So the more, any, any job that is fulfilling on its own will not be compensated well.

Yeah. And vice versa, and we have accepted that this is morally right. That this is exactly how things should be. So if you're a teacher you're supposed to get that find that job fulfilling. Right. And therefore you're not supposed to be expecting higher pay, but if you are a executive at, or like you're part of this, like managerial feudalist system then, you will be getting paid a lot, but you're not gonna be enjoying it and that's expected.

Right?

[00:14:00] **Trish:** Yeah. I think that that's a good segue into this idea of what we put value on and what type of work we value as a society. And it seems like in general, things that we deem to be low skill or anyone could do, which is like a lot of caretaker work.

And a lot of looking after children or looking after the elderly that doesn't have much of a societal value. I mean, maybe we do value it in a feel good way. Be like, oh, they're very important, but we definitely don't value it enough to pay these

[00:14:28] **Hirad:** people. Absolutely not. Yeah. And if they do start asking for higher 

[00:14:32] **Trish:** pay, 

mm-hmm, 

[00:14:33] **Hirad:** the answer is, well, your job can actually be automated away. And I thought it was a pretty interesting anecdote that he talked about where there was a, I think it was in London. It was, it was tube workers that had gone on a strike mm-hmm and Graeber being Graeber.

He kind of has one foot in the capitalist world because he has to, and he's got one foot in the, in the Marxist world. And he was saying that at both worlds ,

[00:14:54] **Trish:** I don't think he's a Marxist. I think he's an anarchist.

[00:14:57] **Hirad:** No, I don't think he is, but he is definitely exposed to them. Like, like he, he hangs out on their forums probably way more than you and I hang out on their forums.

But he was saying that because like capitalism, Marxist, what they have in common is they actually do see everything in economic terms. 

It's just, they disagree about what to do with that. Right. , and so in, in the case of the strike, what they had in common was they were both thinking like, these guys are not really producing anything because they, again, they, they see everything in terms of consumption and production.

Yeah. And therefore, like their jobs can just be automated by, by machines. And the response that the union had to this, this idea was, that's fine. You can have ticket vending machines. Yeah. 

[00:15:35] **Trish:** Yeah. That's not actually what our job is

[00:15:37] **Hirad:** exactly. Right. So like next time you get lost in, or you lose your kid in, in the tube.

And if you've been in the London underground, you will definitely get lost or lose something in there. It's not a very easily navigatable 

[00:15:49] **Trish:** system. 

[00:15:49] **Hirad:** Or, or you have to deal with the drunk person that is there. Right. These are the kinds of things that we don't really see as work. Right. Because we have.

[00:15:58] **Trish:** this, 

[00:15:59] **Hirad:** We're locked into this consumption and production 

[00:16:01] **Trish:** model. 

[00:16:02] **Hirad:** And what he, he calls this class of work. He calls it caring, labor mm-hmm . So that kind of falls into anytime where human needs are being met. 

[00:16:10] **Trish:** Right. 

Yeah. So 

[00:16:10] **Hirad:** if 

you, if you are lost in the tube, if you lost your kid in the tube, if you're dealing with someone who's being problematic, if you're a teacher, if you're a nurse in all these cases, you're, you're doing caring labor.

Right. And we don't actually, because that's not either consumption or production, we don't really think of that as labor or work worthy of compensation. Yeah. Or high 

[00:16:34] **Trish:** compensation Mm-hmm 

[00:16:35] **Hirad:** Mm-hmm

Often 

[00:16:37] **Trish:** it's worth noting is a lot of the things that seemed to be not valued very highly was viewed as things that women would take care of in society.

Traditionally, which I thought was, I don't normally play that card, but I was like, man has a point.

[00:16:49] **Hirad:** no, he's absolutely right. It's it's like, and it actually, like, I think this is something feminists should really jump well, the feminists can jump on this because they would have to tie it to the identity of being a woman is what has 

disadvantaged 

[00:17:01] **Trish:** Right. We're not going there.

[00:17:03] **Hirad:** But, but, but what's actually working here is like, there is this gender, like now, now I'm like doing, saying all the cancelable things. There, there is a gender disparity about the types of work that men and women take on. Right. And it just so happens that in our society caring labor, 

which 

women tend to gravitate towards more, is not viewed as worthy of compensation 

[00:17:23] **Trish:** a lot.

Yeah. and I would totally 

[00:17:25] **Hirad:** on, on board with feminists trying to change that. Yeah.

[00:17:27] **Trish:** Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

[00:17:31] **Hirad:** So I thought going back to kind of these structural forces of Why these bullshit jobs have come to proliferate. Graeber paints this picture of this feudalist system that has come up and, and we are kind of blind to it, which I thought makes a lot of sense. So again, kind of thinking about a corporation is this for-profit entity and it's supposed to be maximizing shareholder value.

Why are they paying all these people that are doing not a whole 

[00:17:57] **Trish:** lot? Right. Mm-hmm 

[00:17:58] **Hirad:** So to explain that question, we gotta go back a few a few to a few anecdotes. One was he recounts this this account that he received from a person that was part of a bureaucracy that was whose job it was to allocate a certain financial sum that in a court ruling was like supposed to go out to a, to a class of people.

So it was like a class action lawsuit. Hundreds of millions of dollars were were supposed to be returned from a company that had illegally taken it to a certain class, a large class of people. Right. And so a bureaucracy pops up in trying to allocate this money. And of course the money that the bureaucracy gets paid from is the same money that is going to be allocated to.

To the people who won this settlement. Yeah. And so this account that someone wrote into Greyber and told them about this bureaucracy and how it works, essentially, they charge by the hour, which incentivizes them to set up all kinds of stupid practices to try to maximize the number of hours that they can, they have billable.

Yeah. So think really insane processes that make mistakes inevitable. So they create a lot of do over work, or they will create offices in different towns that are very far from each other. So people have to travel between them and all that traveling is considered billable hours. They will frequently switch the processes so that everybody gets confused, makes even more mistakes and then they have to do do over again and on and on and on.

So essentially this world bureaucracy whose job it is to allocate the money to its rightful recipients is siphoning it off. To themselves with a plethora of bullshit 

[00:19:33] **Trish:** jobs.

Yeah. Yeah.

[00:19:36] **Hirad:** So thinking about that model, that's exactly what a lot of these corporate parasites, which are the, the middle managers are doing where there's some profits are, are there to be distributed and they're essentially siphoning it off to various people that that the managers would be siphoning it off to various people that serve the benefits of 

[00:19:58] **Trish:** the managers.

Instead of the 

benefits

you'd want a bigger team. You would want more like funding for whatever projects you're working on or whatever.

I know. And I think that necessarily, like people don't even have to see it in those terms. Like, I, I don't think necessarily people explicitly like are doing this explicitly on purpose. You know what I mean? Like, I think that like, it's the game and that's what people are playing. I don't, I don't, I wonder how aware people are of like,

[00:20:25] **Hirad:** I think people become aware of it. They just accept it as like, this is how things are done. I, but I do think people become aware of it very quickly when they go into that system.

Right. 

[00:20:34] **Trish:** And it's the same in government as well. Like, I, I was just reading like some other book about the bureau of reclamation in the American west. And basically like, they, their whole thing, they like would build dams to like, so farmers could irrigate their land or build hydroelectric projects or whatever.

But like when you're a whole department is just about building dams, it doesn't matter. Like if you need a dam, they would just go looking for anywhere. They could build a dam and like build a dam. You know what I mean? And cause like, that's just like what they do and these are their jobs. And like, if you want like to keep getting paid, you gotta like keep building dam.

So like America like threw up something like insane, like, like literally tens of thousands of dams it's like everywhere they possibly could. And so you kind of look at something like that and you're like, this is just like people trying to maintain their livelihood, you know? So

[00:21:28] **Hirad:** I really wonder if like, you know, those dams probably stand a long time.

Right? Imagine like, in a thousand years you've got like future archeologists, like uncovering all these dams, what are they going to think about the American civilization? Like they really needed a lot of water or a lot of electricity or logical

[00:21:46] **Trish:** disaster. perhaps that's a different episode, but yeah, I think that there's this like, idea that like, once you have like a job, you're just gonna like, keep trying to do it, whether it makes sense or not, whether it's really needed, whether it's contributing anything to society, it's just kind of like, that's how you're making your living.

[00:22:05] **Hirad:** Yeah. One of my favorite examples was there's a, there's someone who wrote in to Graeber who was working in risk management at multiple large banks. And. his job was to identify the ways in which employees could abuse banking systems. And so he starts his, basically his job is having a God's eye view of all the systems that are in place and for all the different employees and whatnot, and immediately what he learned was most people have no idea why they do what they do.

Like they know that, for example, if to follow a certain process, they need to like select a certain thing in a dropdown field and like press a certain button, but they don't actually understand what any of it does. So that was the first thing that I thought was really interesting. He estimated that probably 80% of the workforce at these banks are bullshit jobs.

So out of like a 60,000 person bank, something like 48,000 of them were unnecessary employees and And he, he also realized over time that his own job was bullshit because he would make these recommendations about process improvements that would never get implemented. And he recounts one story of going to an executive with a proposal of Like improvements to be made.

And the executive brings his whole cohort of flunkies and I've worked in this kind of environment. So I know exactly this kind of thing I've been in those meetings. So to, in this one meeting where he wanted to talk to one person about improvements, he wanted to implement 25 people showed up to the 

meeting and he had never, he, he was in this account.

He was saying he never received as much hostility in any other meeting in his professional life because he realized as he was giving the, the presentation that if his proposal were to be implemented, all 

of these 

people would lose their jobs. Then none of them were really happy doing their jobs, but they wouldn't be happy about the prospect of losing them either.

[00:23:58] **Trish:** Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I think that like, that's the problem is like people, like at the end of the day, you need to work right.

To make money. 

[00:24:07] **Hirad:** Exactly.

[00:24:09] **Trish:** but then Graeber asks well. Why do you need to work to make money?

[00:24:15] **Hirad:** and that brings us to...

[00:24:18] **Trish:** the next point, which is where we as a society, like where we came up with this idea of deriving value and

[00:24:27] **Hirad:** value

[00:24:28] **Trish:** wealth from work only.

[00:24:31] **Hirad:** right.

[00:24:31] **Trish:** I mean, I guess this is the question that comes from all of this. If you're saying that like it's soul crushing and terrible to have a job and to do work that's of no end, the alternative will be like, well, maybe people shouldn't have to work or shouldn't have to do this.

And this is where it really like butted up against like my like underlying assumptions that I had. Because if you had asked me, I was like, yes, people should work. You should have to work to earn money. Like I buy into this like Protestant work ethic, like framework that we like to talk about, but this book has been very problematic in sort of making me reconsider. The inherent virtues in work. And I think that you have to like Graber, I think dismisses that I think that you have to like, look at the like work itself. I don't think is virtuous I've changed my mind. I don't think work itself is virtuous anymore. I think that like work tied to an outcome or tied to like a production or tied to like some ends that bring value.

And I don't even mean like economic value. It could be like emotional value. It could be like

mm-hmm 

[00:25:43] **Hirad:** that's so for, so one of the things I don't think I've ever shared this on the podcast before, but, but, so I, right after university, I started working for myself, essentially. I wanted to start businesses and I started doing that.

And one of the things that I remember my parents telling me, and a lot of other people telling me was, no, you, you need to go work somewhere to just learn how to work. 

[00:26:04] **Trish:** Right. 

Mm-hmm , 

[00:26:05] **Hirad:** we've seen that 

sentiment yeah. In this book as well. And so there was always this like nagging thought in the back of my head that like, Hey, maybe I actually don't know how to work.

And one of the things that I, like I figured out as I was like trying to do my own thing was exactly what you just said, which is that you need to be very clear about what outcome you're pursuing at any given time. Right. And. then as I was like transitioning into like working for a big corporation, I realized like these outcomes are not, nobody knows what outcomes are or like the outcomes that are there are so detached from the work that you do, right.

Your work is never, ever, ever going to make a difference towards the outcome you're actually pursuing. Yeah. And those outcomes, you know, they, they liked putting all these like really grand visions out there. None of them ever actually 

[00:26:52] **Trish:** materialize anyway. Right. 

[00:26:54] **Hirad:** so nobody actually takes them seriously, even though 

[00:26:56] **Trish:** they 

[00:26:57] **Hirad:** in your like performance management system or whatever, you're going to pay a lot of lip service to that 

stuff.

Yeah. But those are not actually tangible outcomes you're actually working 

towards mm-hmm . And 

so I, I have way more respect for people that are, have clear outcomes in anything they do. Even, even if it's something that doesn't make money. So what's interesting to me, like in. Just in the last week I spent a lot of time in, in like a rural community mm-hmm and one of the things that you're exposed to there is there's a lot of people that do a lot of work for each other in that place.

So like there might be someone who is very good at operating tractors. Mm-hmm, , in a way that nobody else knows how to do it. And this person is like the go-to tractor person and there's another person that's like the go-to you know, find the lost cow 

[00:27:41] **Trish:** yeah. Uh, person. Yeah. 

[00:27:42] **Hirad:** And so the whole community is kind of like, are they, do they have jobs?

No, they're all retired. Most, a lot of 'em are retired, but they're all working and they're all maintaining this community and that's valuable. And that's something that's completely outside the purview of our normal economic system here. But I think that's the more authentic one 

[00:28:00] **Trish:** yeah, than 

[00:28:01] **Hirad:** than the one in the city.

[00:28:02] **Trish:** Yeah, exactly. Whereas like, if you, you would categorize all those people as like, oh, they don't work.

[00:28:08] **Hirad:** Exactly.

[00:28:08] **Trish:** Which is funny.

[00:28:10] **Hirad:** They're all retirees. Yeah. They're just stay at home. 

[00:28:11] **Trish:** I know exactly it don't work. And it's also just like a funny thing where too, where, like, I feel like we buy into it in that when we talk about like our working life, it's so terrible.

And you're just gonna have to like slave away for hours and years and decades of stuff you don't like. And then when you get to retirement, you're gonna do nothing. Right. Which is like, you know, and people be like, oh, I'm just gonna like lie on a beach somewhere. It's like, that's not gonna be fulfilling.

It's like, so that, just this whole idea that, you know, like doing nothing is the dream or something. And or that, this is what, like, you know, your vacation should be, you go somewhere and just like lie on a beach where someone brings you my ties. I was like, is that really like, what is going to be like a fulfilling

[00:28:52] **Hirad:** right.

[00:28:53] **Trish:** life?

It seems funny.

Yeah, 

[00:28:55] **Hirad:** totally. Yeah, I

[00:28:56] **Trish:** I don't know that. I just feel like there's something that's like, once you mess up the concept of work, you mess up the concept of leisure as

[00:29:01] **Hirad:** Well, but yeah, that's, I, I, I've always had, I think this, one of the things that always motivated me to to start my own businesses was exactly this, like knowing that this model of retirement was broken.

I think that was one of the first things that I realized was broken. Right. This idea that you're supposed to, I didn't, I mean, I didn't even know that the jobs were bullshit back then. Yeah. But I knew that if this idea that you're supposed to work hard and then, and then retire and do the things you enjoy didn't make 

[00:29:26] **Trish:** sense.

Yeah. Um, 

[00:29:28] **Hirad:** So my vision, I got this from Tim Ferris back in the day, was to do these mini retirements. And my vision was to be able to travel the world and do the things I wanted to do while having my job, or like, while being able to like take three or four months off of 

[00:29:41] **Trish:** work 

[00:29:42] **Hirad:** go do 

something 

else. But I actually realized like, that's even, that's not really like the, the right model, cuz you're still having this, this.

Distinction between your work life and your non-work life, it's all your life. It's one bucket of time out of which you allocate to different things that you need to do, 

[00:30:01] **Trish:** right? Yeah. 

[00:30:02] **Hirad:** So this distinction is really not that helpful if you wanna know how to live your 

[00:30:08] **Trish:** life mm-hmm 

[00:30:09] **Hirad:** live it in a, in a fulfilling way.

[00:30:12] **Trish:** Right? Yeah. 

[00:30:12] **Hirad:** Yeah. So the distinction is really, yeah, it's not, it's not helping us and like being able to navigate 

[00:30:17] **Trish:** that. Mm-hmm 

[00:30:18] **Hirad:** so, and people end up wasting their time. And that was, to me, that was the saddest thing that I observed when I was in, in my version of bullshit jobs was like, how many people, how much human capital is being poured down the sink in this place.

And it's just,

[00:30:34] **Trish:** yeah. Terrifying. And to me, it's like heartbreaking. I remember talking to a guy who was working for like one of the big accounting firms and, you know, like the, the model was always, it's like, you know, you get your, you know, your BComm degree or whatever, and you go work for one alike, the accounting firms.

And then you, after you have like, cut your teeth there and have some good job references, you can go get a job with like some semblance of like work life balance or whatever. And I think he didn't stay for as long as he had originally planned because he heard one of his coworkers saying goodnight to his son every day.

Like while he was at the office, just over the phone. And this guy was just like, I'm not gonna live my life like that. Like, I don't wanna have to say goodbye, like goodnight to my children over the phone every night. And just the fact that spending time with your kids has no value whatsoever. Like we, as a society don't value any of those things, which is like, it makes me very angry.

Yeah.

On some level. So that's not direct. That was a little bit of attention off what you were saying, but it just, yeah. The idea of what other things in life have value that might not be part of the economic system. Yeah.

[00:31:47] **Hirad:** I think but I think that really gets to the heart of what matters is human flourishing. 

[00:31:52] **Trish:** Right? 

Yeah. 

[00:31:53] **Hirad:** And, and that, if you like talking about outcomes, that is the outcome that we should be driving 

towards. And then all of the other things that we, we value in our culture and our society and our economic system, it has to work back from that.

[00:32:06] **Trish:** Right. Mm-hmm 

[00:32:06] **Hirad:** and we seem to have taken on these dogmas that don't really help that outcome at all. One of the things that stuck stood out to me from the book among many was this experience someone was recounting about going through this process of adopting a foster child and forget which country this was in.

But essentially the government would give you a whole bunch of benefits. If you were willing to adopt a foster kid and the, these benefits. I think this person sat down and started doing the math. They, they came to, I think it was $13,000 per year. And what this person realized was if the family that the foster kid came from had that $13,000, the, the kid would probably not be in foster care in the first place.

[00:32:48] **Trish:** Right? Yeah. That's something 

[00:32:49] **Hirad:** that, to a poor family, that is a significant sum of money, but they're willing to give that money to someone who is not a poor family. So one of the things that themes that comes through in the book is how much. how much effort we're willing to expend both in terms of time and resources to make sure that poor people feel bad about being poor 

[00:33:11] **Trish:** yeah. 

[00:33:11] **Hirad:** yeah.

And 

not get the helps that they need. So for there's all this bureaucracy filled with bullshit jobs that have popped up to make sure that poor people are not getting government money because there's this huge fear that they would be taken advantage of. Meanwhile, we have this whole bureaucracy of people doing fuck all

Yeah. 

In order to make sure that some poor person doesn't end up taking advantage of the system.

[00:33:34] **Trish:** So I'm very torn. Like this is, this is so interesting. Because like, I think that there's something like deeply adaptive, like going on in our minds that like things have to be fair.

Right? Like, I think that this is like a deep-rooted from when like humans started living in groups that this idea of like fairness and sort of egalitarianism is like really, really baked into the human psyche. But like, it's now become like this like warped thing where we can only then justify some people having more than others.

Like I said, like, you have to put in this like tremendous amount of work and then we're maybe okay with you being rich. And if you're poor, well, we'll like give you money, but you still have to like jump through all these hoops. And like, we're not happy about giving it to you because like we're so. just preoccupied with potentially like cheating the system or people being free loaders.

And I'm not really sure how you get a around that, because, I mean, I think that, like, we all obviously sort of feel this way because I think like a lot of people do have this notion. It's like, well, I wanna help like the deserving poor, but there's definitely some like undeserving poor. And there's like all these kind of messed up narratives that come out of it.

And I'm not really sure what to do with it all.

[00:34:49] **Hirad:** Yeah.

[00:34:50] **Trish:** Because part of me definitely does feel like this like idea of fairness and that like people should, you know, I, I was gonna say pull their own weight, but that's not really what I mean, but that like, you know, you have to contribute something.

[00:35:04] **Hirad:** Oh yeah. I, I think you're touching on what is going to be the, the really the emotional impulse that is going to be really hard to get over if we wanna get rid of these 

[00:35:13] **Trish:** bullshit 

jobs.

[00:35:14] **Hirad:** Right. Yeah. Because part of what it entails is being willing to see value in things that may not be immediately visible. Right. Right. And what that means is there will be free loaders for sure. But I think this alternative of this, like hellscape that we've created for ourselves, so we're supposed to be toiling day in and day out for things that benefit.

Absolutely nobody is not really good alternative,

[00:35:40] **Trish:** Yeah.

[00:35:41] **Hirad:** better that if like, I mean, we, we kinda actually have this in our justice system. I think one of the things, if you, if. Like I, I come from the middle east and 

this 

is like 

a concept that doesn't exist because their people are so worried about fairness.

Right. Criminal systems in many parts of the world are more worried about making sure that everybody gets all the punishment that they deserve. And, and they're anxious about never letting someone who is, who should be punished get away. Yeah. Whereas like in, in Western societies, like we are way more worried about mistakenly, punishing someone who should not be 

[00:36:14] **Trish:** punished.

mm-hmm 

[00:36:14] **Hirad:** So we have all these checks and balances in place and one, and a lot of times people get frustrated because people who should be punished aren't. But we take that trade off. Right. And I think we need to just make that leap in, in the economic arena as well, where sometimes you will compensate people who don't deserve to be compensated and that's okay.

But I actually also think that. For the most part, the more we keep things local, the more people will know. 

[00:36:39] **Trish:** Right? Yeah. 

[00:36:39] **Hirad:** If, if these things get administered at a, at a level of government that is way too detached from people's communities, then you won't know who's getting 

what 

[00:36:48] **Trish:** money. Right. 

[00:36:48] **Hirad:** But if you keep it local, people will know who different people are.

And in all sorts of other non-financial elements come into play, which is like your reputation, you're standing in the community and that's exa that's actually the thing that moderates human 

impulses, right? Yeah. 

A lot. And a lot of times the, the, what we really work for is our standing in the community is not the money.

Right. Yeah. So yeah, I think I've been thinking about this theme a lot, one way or another. I, I really hope that we have a future where it seems like the, the, the system that we have right now is decaying. Anyway, I hope that this, the future that we have is one where we bring governance more down to local community levels, as much as 

[00:37:28] **Trish:** possible.

Yeah. Federalism. 

[00:37:30] **Hirad:** And, and yeah, get rid of the central planners as much as possible.

[00:37:34] **Trish:** Yeah. I completely agree with this, but I also, I mean, I might disagree with you a little bit in that I really. The thing that when I was really like chewing on bullshit jobs and maybe like how we could change the system that we're in is I kind of, don't like the idea of government changes and I kind of am resisting the idea of like a UBI or something.

Like, I kind of want the changes to be more cultural. And I just want people like to think about, you know, like the hours where they spend the hours of their day and like doing what and what matters. And I think that like you can shift it cause you look at like different places around the world. Like they do have different work cultures.

Like Asia seems to be like, maybe like the hardest core. Yeah. Like maybe like, you know, like the hardcore, like you devote your life to like Samsung or something. And I was just like, no, that is, you know, clearly the wrong direction. And, you know, people always like, sort of talk about Europe is this utopia where you, you know, get five weeks vacation a year or something.

So

[00:38:35] **Hirad:** not even that I, I wanna go to Spain and have siestas.

[00:38:38] **Trish:** I know. Right, exactly. So it does feel like you, we are able to like, as a society, make a cultural shift, like, I don't know, besides like pontificating to our few viewers, like you really like change that, but I don't like, would you like to see something more structural change? yeah. So

[00:38:58] **Hirad:** Uh, Yeah. So I think Graeber has completely won me over. I'll just accept everything Graeber says. I do think something like a universal basic income makes sense if we guarantee people I mean, like we have. technology, right? We have increased productivity. We are not at subsistence level. I do see how this stuff doesn't work when you are at subsistence level, because like, then you need to be producing the things you consume.

Right. 

But given that we are in the, in the wealthy environment that we are in, I think we talked about this in the last episode. I think if we unlock the human 

[00:39:32] **Trish:** potential, 

[00:39:33] **Hirad:** that is locked up in the bullshit jobs of today and like estimates are upwards of 40% of, of the labor market. Right. I think we're going to see possibilities unlocked that we would otherwise never have access to.

And I think that's a risk worth taking. I think I would, I would definitely like. Again, like a very small percentage of nearly half the, or a third to half of the, of the workforce doing something meaningful with their lives instead of the drudgery that they're dealing with 

right now, I think that will be a net benefit to humanity.

They'll probably produce a lot more than what we're producing right now. Anyway. Even if most of these people would get UBI and then not do anything.

[00:40:16] **Trish:** Yeah. And it probably would like help contribute with, you know, like healthcare and people like mental health issues. It just, you just kind of feel like you hear a lot about like people dealing more with anxiety and stuff that I feel like could potentially like, like the, the bullshit jobs thing can only be exacerbating sort 

[00:40:38] **Hirad:** of

things.

Absolutely. 

[00:40:39] **Trish:** And if you give people, like, I don't know, time to bring their dog to the park, like, they might, they might be slightly happier. And that is a win all around. I'm not sure about the economic arguments of like UBI. I feel like I read something in my like, you know, very. Small government past about how that would affect.

Like, if you give everybody money, doesn't like do to all the boats kind of float up and things just get more expensive. Like, do you know anything about the economic arguments of why I meant to look into this before

[00:41:11] **Hirad:** addressed it, he did address it. He addressed it in the

book. did he,

Yeah. I think the key thing is to, is to detach livelihood from work. Right. So really the only like two things you need in your life is like, you need shelter and you need food. Right. And you gotta, like, let's make sure that everybody has those two 

[00:41:29] **Trish:** things. 

Right. So you have 

[00:41:30] **Hirad:** place to come home and you have food to eat regardless of what you do.

[00:41:35] **Trish:** Mm-hmm 

[00:41:35] **Hirad:** I mean, I think if you are someone who's living a lifestyle of, like you're making $200,000 a year, the extra $25,000 is not going to really make that much of a 

[00:41:46] **Trish:** dent. Yeah. 

[00:41:47] **Hirad:** Yeah. And realistically, I mean, like, I mean, we, I don't really know about the implementation details. Like it 

[00:41:53] **Trish:** could 

be yeah. 

[00:41:54] **Hirad:** if you have an income tax like it'll probably push you into a higher tax bracket anyway.

So probably your $25,000 that you get will probably get cut in half. Yeah. Whereas like for someone who is making no income, that $25,000 will be all in their pocket. Right. So I I'm, I don't know exactly how that system will, will work, but I think the, the key thing for me was realizing that we are paying those people.

[00:42:17] **Trish:** already. 

[00:42:18] **Hirad:** Like, that's the part that like, let's not, let's not pretend like we're not paying them, we're paying them often. We're paying them exorbitant salaries. Like I had a bullshit job and I, and I was not getting paid $25,000 a year. Right. I was getting paid way more than that. And I would quit that job to go, to have $25,000 a year, if it meant that I could do something more meaningful.

[00:42:38] **Trish:** Right. Right. 

[00:42:39] **Hirad:** So the difference is right now that universal, basic income. So on the one hand we've got like people that are like on the dole that we like, like gray describes we do. We put them through all the, like the ringer of like making sure 

[00:42:53] **Trish:** that yeah. 

[00:42:54] **Hirad:** humiliate them as much as possible by the time they get any of the 

[00:42:56] **Trish:** benefits 

that they're supposed 

[00:42:57] **Hirad:** to collect from the government.

But on the other hand, we've got this like 40% or 37% of the workforce. 

[00:43:02] **Trish:** that is 

[00:43:03] **Hirad:** Doing this daily drudgery, 

[00:43:05] **Trish:** right? Yeah. 

[00:43:06] **Hirad:** And they're often getting paid white collar salaries. So we're talking like $70,000 to like, depending on where you work, there's like $200,000 sometimes even more if you're an executive and, and that money is not really coming out of the government coffers, it is coming out of shareholders of these 

private 

corporations that are essentially being robbed by these like corporate 

[00:43:28] **Trish:** parasites.

But could you make the argument? Cause I feel like the argument to this would be, well, you might not value what these like middle managers, white collar guys are doing, but someone else does. And that's just how the market works. Like you might not appreciate someone's art, but someone else does, they say it's valuable.

Like that's just the market. You can't like go around kind of imposing your value structure on everything.

[00:43:54] **Hirad:** I don't understand the. 

[00:43:54] **Trish:** don't understand the. 

[00:43:55] **Hirad:** so what do you mean by someone's art? Like,

[00:43:58] **Trish:** like, okay. Like I might, like if someone produces a piece of art, I might be like, that's trash. That's literally worthless. Someone else might love it.

They're like, no, no, no. This is worth $10,000. It's kinda like if someone else says it's worth $10,000, it's worth $10,000, right? Like that's what somebody values it. And so the same for a job, like if someone says a middle manager is worth $150,000 a year, like we, you, and I might say it's bullshit, but like someone's willing to pay them that.

So

[00:44:24] **Hirad:** There's actually, there's two things to, to realize the part of it. That's not fine is they're not paying it that out of their own 

[00:44:29] **Trish:** pockets. Right. They're 

[00:44:31] **Hirad:** taking the money. There's somebody else taking somebody else's money and paying them $150,000.

So that's 

[00:44:35] **Trish:** the 

best. It is the most fun money to spend to someone else money . So like

[00:44:38] **Hirad:** right. So like this, let's not get this moral argument around, like the, the, this, these managerial feudal system is like taking somebody else's money. And if you're a capitalist, you should be outraged by this, like this, this money that the, all these bullshit middle managers are siphoning off.

It belongs to the shareholders of those companies. And it should belong to the workers that are actually doing the real work that produces the wealth 

of these 

companies. Right. 

So right off the bat, these middle managers are not spending their own money to, to like hire their flunkies. They're spending somebody 

else's.

Yeah. 

So of course they would spend any amount of 

[00:45:14] **Trish:** money. Right. 

[00:45:14] **Hirad:** And then the other question is like, give them the right of give the employees the right of exit. If you, if you, as an employee know that your livelihood is not going to be jeopardized by giving up your job, Great. Like now you actually have economic freedom to go and pursue something that you deem valuable.

Whereas what we have done is we've created this environment where we've shackled people to these drudgerous jobs. Mm-hmm 

and we're 

not giving them an alternative. What I'm saying is like in, in support of UBI is let's give them choice. Let's see if they do walk away or not, let them vote with their feet.

If the, if the, if the place that they're working at already is so great, let them stay there. They will stay there.

[00:45:54] **Trish:** Yeah. I like it. So I was just curious what us, what. You would say about this because, you know, I, one of the hardest things that I found to swallow from the book is this idea of like moralizing work, which we like talked about.

So I still feel like people should work and that like work is actually maybe one of the, like, things that does make life fulfilling. I feel like I just wanna be clear about what we're saying. Like, if we're like, oh no one should have to work. They should literally just like sit around and do nothing. I kind of still like personally do moralize.

It's like, well, you should work. I just don't think that like you, like, it should be moralized to the point where like, it doesn't even matter, like what you're doing. Because that's like, where we've gotten to as a society is we're like, it doesn't matter what you're doing. You

[00:46:48] **Hirad:** sit at your desk.

[00:46:49] **Trish:** yeah. Even if you're like doing nothing there, like a receptionist is not answering phones.

So like, I was like, obviously we shouldn't be doing that. But part of me does feel like you gotta do something. Do you feel the same way or no?

[00:47:01] **Hirad:** I think it's basically impossible for most people to do literal nothing. I actually think this is, this is something that's not like people will. cook for their family.

Right. People will do things with their friends. 

[00:47:18] **Trish:** Okay. But like, just to like push back. So like, I mean, what you're describing is like literally how I live my life. So like I'm on board with it, but like, you know, you've talked about. the economy in the middle east. We can, we can cut this if you want later.

So whatever, and you're like, no one does anything. They might have money from like, whatever, like legacy things. And like, you've definitely been very judgemental about like what you perceive and like, is that not kind of what Graeber is talking about? Like, do you, do you

see where I'm getting 

[00:47:49] **Hirad:** of the, of, I mean, tho the like people, like, I mean, yeah, you're right.

I think like, first of all, I made those comments prior to reading bullshit jobs. So like my, my perception 

[00:47:58] **Trish:** Okay. perception, your perception Should we say like what, like what our discussion was before when you like, would that be useful?

[00:48:05] **Hirad:** yeah, I think that was, I think, I, I think the conversation you were talking about was I was making observation that a lot of people that within my circles, in like in, in where I come from was like, they, they didn't actually have jobs.

But somehow they always were, had had money. And one of the things that I realized was

[00:48:25] **Trish:** cause like they were like landlords or like, you know, had a little bit of like

[00:48:28] **Hirad:** bit of money and, and I'm, they were not wealthy by any means. Like they were, they were like, they, like, they had to really measure what, how they were 

living, but they had money without going to work.

And I'm talking like people who were like also like single some single moms and, and stuff like that. And I, I realized as involved, like where this is coming from is like, there is, there was a few things, actually. I think one was the fact that. At some point in my family's past, somebody did have 

[00:48:57] **Trish:** money.

Yeah. 

[00:48:57] **Hirad:** And a lot of that is like someone owned, like this big piece of land, and it's been getting carved off into like these tiny little pieces now. And, and so that's how, like, people just sell land or like they buy, they buy like enough, they have enough money to like buy two homes and just live off the rent of 

[00:49:13] **Trish:** one.

[00:49:13] **Hirad:** And, and so that was like, that was one thing a lot of the times is people who have at some point worked for the government, they get to collect a pension. Yeah. So it's a lot of things like that, but people, a lot of people don't actually don't do anything. They just rely on these means of,

[00:49:26] **Trish:** and you and I are both like, kind of derisive about like, living like that, even though we both kinda live

[00:49:33] **Hirad:** yeah.

So that, so there's two elements about being derisive, but one is that you don't perceive the things that they do as being. Work 

[00:49:41] **Trish:** right. 

Or 

[00:49:42] **Hirad:** valuable 

or valuable. Right. Which I think is now something that we need to readjust. So one is like, if you are, if you are raising your kids, 

like that's 

perfectly legitimate as like, that is what you're supposed to be doing as a 

[00:49:52] **Trish:** human.

Yeah. 

[00:49:53] **Hirad:** Yeah. Right. It's like, why, why are we thinking of like going to an office and like laboring from nine to 

[00:49:58] **Trish:** Yeah. To get someone else pay for someone else to raise your 

[00:50:01] **Hirad:** kid. Exactly. And so, so that's, that's one element of it. The other element is like again, like community involvement I think is like, just like raising your kids.

That's another element of work. But the other thing was like specifically in the context of an economy, like Iran, there's often not something to do anyways. 

so so, I mean, it's, it's a good thing that they have, the things they have to rely on. I think part of my observation was that a lot of people like that was actually, I hate using this term, but that was actually me realizing like, The privileged position that I was in because that's, those were the types of people that I was surrounded 

[00:50:33] **Trish:** by Mm-hmm 

[00:50:34] **Hirad:** that even without working, they could still make like, get by.

Right. Like several generations on. I was like, well, what if your like great grandfather didn't didn't know a big piece of land, 

[00:50:45] **Trish:** Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:50:46] **Hirad:** like, like what are you doing if, if you're there. And I, I, I, I don't really know, cause I was never there as an adult, 

[00:50:51] **Trish:** but like, I 

[00:50:52] **Hirad:** suspect that if I go back and like, I'll have a very different view specifically.

Like I also like follow some people on like social media where they're like, they're in Iran and are like helping people like who are like in deep poverty. And I think it's like, there's a state of poverty that like is not thinkable if you, if you haven't 

[00:51:13] **Trish:** been around Right. 

[00:51:14] **Hirad:** Right. Right. Yeah. So that, that was kind of my realization was that like, I think if you, like, if like maybe if I wasn't part of that class, like I would be part of the solid 

[00:51:22] **Trish:** class mm-hmm 

[00:51:23] **Hirad:** and I think.

That's probably still. Right. But, but I think the part of the problem there is like, the economy is so broken that there is like, nobody can really do a whole lot.

[00:51:33] **Trish:** Yeah. Uh, And I'm not, I'm not trying to like put you on blast for this. Cause I definitely like a lot of my family comes from the east coast of Canada where like often a lot of work is seasonal and like unemployment is just a way of life.

You know what I mean? Is that like you would work when like your seasonal job is working and then just, yeah. Like kind of SCR by, on unemployment. And I always also felt like, kind of snobby about that, that like, you kind of like shouldn't and yeah, like Gray's making me like reassess kind of like a lot

[00:52:02] **Hirad:** I do, like, I'll also, I'll tell you this.

I, I do know people who do game the welfare system and there's, there's definitely something very icky about 

[00:52:13] **Trish:** it. Yeah. Like 

[00:52:14] **Hirad:** people who do know that, like they, they will just not. get work because they know that one way another, they can game the system. I think partly it's like the system that we have right now is not universal, basic income.

So even just because I, I think now universal basic income makes sense. Doesn't necessarily mean that like abusing the thing that already exists, that is not universal based 

income also justified, 

[00:52:40] **Trish:** right? Yeah. 

[00:52:40] **Hirad:** Yeah. Like one, whatever you think of, like, it's merits like that money is not set aside for you to be gaming it.

Like it's, it's set aside for you under certain conditions 

and 

if you're gaming those conditions, then I think you are a little questionable. Yeah.

[00:52:55] **Trish:** Yeah. Yeah. I think that's fair. Is there anything else you wanted to hit from the book?

[00:53:01] **Hirad:** No.

I think that was I think we hit on most of the important stuff. Really good book. I, I, I know I like constantly kept referring to the different anecdotes, but I, I still think we didn't really do them justice. There's a lot of anecdotes in these in this book. I know.

[00:53:16] **Trish:** I feel like whenever I listen to our episodes, I'm always like, oh, like this book was so good.

We didn't represent it well enough. And this is just, I know I'm gonna feel that way about this guys. Like you should really at least go read the essay that he wrote, but the book is, it's not that long. It's really a great read. I like, oh, I guess that would take us to our rating scale.

Exactly.

So one was don't bother.

[00:53:38] **Hirad:** Pour it down the train.

[00:53:39] **Trish:** So in our beer analogy, dream, pour two. I'll drink it. If it's free three, I'll pay money for this four. It's one of my favorites. Where does it land on 

[00:53:50] **Hirad:** yours?

I think this is definitely four for me.

[00:53:52] **Trish:** This is a four for me too. Like I would actually. 

[00:53:54] **Hirad:** like 

[00:53:54] **Trish:** If I come across this book and a used bookstore, it's getting a spot in my bookshelf and there's basically no higher praise in my household than a physical spot on the bookshelf.

Yeah.

[00:54:06] **Hirad:** Yeah. I think this is exactly the kind of book that we wanna go for in, in fresh lens. Like talking about ideas that change the way you see the 

[00:54:13] **Trish:** world. mm-hmm 

[00:54:13] **Hirad:** and to me, this definitely qualifies, like, and especially just is things that, you know, with, with like the selfish gene, like you're not really exposed to like molecular biology, like on a regular basis.

Right. This is something like we are, we are swimming in these waters and we just don't see what's around us and Graeber just puts such a new lens on it. And it's just, it's a fresh 

lens. 

[00:54:38] **Trish:** is It's great. And I mean, teaser, we might, Graeber does have a new book he's since passed away, which is tragic, but I think we're gonna, his new book is a tone, but I think we're gonna work on it.

[00:54:52] **Hirad:** So yeah, the, the multi episode series, maybe, maybe here to stay for a while, just so 

[00:54:58] **Trish:** for sure. 

[00:54:59] **Hirad:** can, break up that. I, I actually bought this one in a, in a physical copy. 

[00:55:03] **Trish:** Me too. 

[00:55:03] **Hirad:** Yeah. It's a, it's a great weapon for self 

[00:55:06] **Trish:** defense. 

[00:55:07] **Hirad:** someone breaks into your house.

[00:55:08] **Trish:** A literal brick. well, thanks. It was a lot of fun.

[00:55:12] **Hirad:** Yeah. Thanks everyone for joining us.