The Blood-Letting Model for Curing Laziness - In the 1700′s Doctors used leeches to treat illnesses. Their theory was that sickness was due to an excess of “bad” blood – so, they attempted to treat the underlying condition by removing blood with leeches. They called this “blood-letting.” From the perspective of modern medicine, we now know that this treatment probably killed many more patients than it cured. Hence, even without having any medical training, a uneducated lay person from 2011 would be able to improve the medical treatment of patients in the 1700′s simply by recommending that they get rid of all of the leeches. (Perhaps by just squishing them?) //// People Against Laziness has an analogous “treatment” to reduce the severity of Laziness in a patient. Even though we do not have a specific medicine that we can “add” to the patient (in the sense of a pill to cure sloth), we can at least recommend that patients “remove” their faulty, life-blood-draining excuses for being lazy. In this sense, removing irrational excuses for laziness (even without adding a replacement treatment) will tend to improve the patient in the same sense that removing leeches would have been an improvement for patients in the 1700′s (even without adding a replacement medicine.)
Discouragement: When does it make sense to give up? - This article explores the difference between “admirable determination” and “wrong-headed stubbornness” among goal seekers. The question is: What is the point at which circumstances and intermediate results indicate that the sensible course is to change course? Job-seekers often report a sense of burnout in their quest to find work. When this stage occurs, they will sometimes slow-down or just stop looking entirely. When asked about the rational for their decreased efforts, they will sometimes respond with statements like: “I am beginning to wonder if it makes the most sense to just give up!” Our premise is that, for the day-to-day goal of becoming self-supporting, the rational decision is to continue to make a full-time effort to find work. The point at which it would make sense to “just give up” is, in modern society, not even remotely approached.
Encouragement vs Pestering - PAL counselors work with clients by encouraging them to continue in their efforts to become self-supporting. This article examines the fine line between encouragement and pestering (or nagging). What is the optimal frequency of contact between a counselor and their client? Experience shows that this is partly a judgement call and partially something that can be agreed upon (via contract) between a counselor and client.
ACS and PAL - Explores the differences and similarities between the ACS (American Cancer Society) and PAL (People Against Laziness.) Part of the motivation for this article is to respond to the frequently offered criticism of PAL that: “There is no possible cure for Laziness!” We show that Cancer and Laziness are similar in that there are:
- Some cases which are curable
- Some cases which go into seemingly spontaneous remission,
- Some cases which are (currently) not curable.
Another similarity between Cancer and Laziness is that both conditions annually cause many billions of dollars of economic damage, as well as incalculable loss in terms of human suffering. Just as the ACS would be wrong to use those cases of incurable cancer as a justification to abandon their research into curing cancer, so PAL continues our research even in the face of some (seemingly) incurable cases of Laziness. This article is partially written, already.