Bonum Certa Men Certa

24/7 Work Discipline

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jun 18, 2024

Beautiful summer blue sky with a little white cloud background wallpaper

"Human ability to experience negative and positive emotions has an evolutionary perspective and the presence of feelings designed to influence behavior should thus be reflected in physiological and immune interactions. The complex interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system have been studied extensively in schizophrenia and depression. On the other hand, effects of positive human emotions, especially happiness, on physiological parameters and immunity have received very little attention. Emotions are intimately involved in the initiation or progression of cancer, HIV, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders. The specific physiological responses induced by pleasant stimuli were recently investigated with the immune and endocrine systems being monitored when pleasant stimuli such as odors and emotional pictures were presented to subjects. The results revealed that an increase in secretory immunoglobulin A and a decrease in salivary cortisol were induced by pleasant emotions. The mechanisms by which positive as opposed to negative states are instantiated in the brain and interact with the immune system are not yet understood. The present review investigates relations among physiological measures of affective style, psychological well-being, and immune function. There is data to support the hypothesis that individuals characterized by a more negative affective style poorly recruit their immune response and may be at risk for illness more so than those with a positive affective style." -The immune system and happiness, 2006

It's no secret that like many other Free software aficionados I work almost all day long, from morning till night. I take breaks to feed the fish and the birds (they're now confident enough to come next to me), I occasionally go out for runs and errands, but a lot of the time is spent coding, reading, and writing. I don't consider this unhealthy as long as I am generally happy, I do occasional exercise, I sleep well at night, and I consume vitamin supplements every day.

Overworking as a concept typically describes people who do jobs they hate just to hoard money or keep up with a mortgage on something they otherwise cannot (or can barely) afford. Such people are sometimes overdosing on energy drinks or caffeine derived from plain coffee. They trade their health for "monies".

Overworking kills. Even in Debian.

We covered this months ago in relation to the EPO and volunteers in Debian, where there's a suicide cluster (both the EPO and Debian had frequent suicides).

Working a lot doing something one enjoys (with very low stress levels and no demands from above) is probably OK. The founder of WordPress spoke about this almost 20 years ago and Susan Linton, the founder of Tux Machines, said something to the same effect when interviewed by Seopher (about 18 years ago). Happiness boosts the immune system, so do what you love, the health will come (forget about money, it usually cannot buy health or get converted into health).

If this site is very active, it's because it's the product of joy and happiness, not because of some dark rebellious spirits. The subtle humour in the details ought to illuminate the sarcastic nature of some criticism - we try to be positive and soft-spoken. Shouting at people isn't likely to change their opinion.

In terms of productivity, we've not hit the "sweet spot" yet. We can produce even more material and I'll soon have even more available time, as the censorship attempts will die down (we're clearly struck some nerves).

Working all day long is probably OK when one takes breaks to stretch, do exercise, get some fresh air outside. My stress levels are near 0 and my blood pressure is considered ideal despite my age.

The bottom line is, it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it.

Some Free software developers say that they feel burned out. Some hang out in the wrong communities or expose themselves to social control media (bad idea). The moment it stops being fun is probably the time to walk away.

Sunrise at Jenny Dixon Beach, Central Coast NSW

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