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View Diary: Morning Feature: Socializing into Success (plus Kossascopes) (122 comments)

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    NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

    Back in the 70s, I worked an entire year for free, for a quixotic local newspaper enterprise that shut down after the year because no one else was being paid either. I learned a lot in that year.

    (How could I afford to work an entire year for free? Short version, this was the 70s, we lived very cheap, and my wife had a waitress job. That was enough.)

    Then I joined a small-time graphics shop comprised mainly of other folks who had also worked for that newspaper. I learned valuable professional skills.

    Then I got the call from Hollywood. Turns out, one of the women who did occasional typesetting for the newspaper was married to a screenwriter. Because of that, her husband & friends followed the newspaper and noticed my artwork. I guess they also formed some notion of my character. Becaue of that, they wanted me to work on their movie.

    That turned into several years of work at a completely different pay scale. And into a belief on my part that I could work at that level, plus a pretty nice line on the old resume, which, together, led to a career I had not previously pictured for myself.

    You never know, I guess. Work hard, do the right thing, be alert, don't refuse success when it's offered-- but don't accept it either, unless on acceptable terms.

    I would be careful about generalizing my story to others, however. To be honest, I was a success waiting to happen. Pretty good family, always at the top of my class, etc. Not everyone has those advantages.

    At the same time, I kind of think that success, as a socio-economic phenomenon, is essentially fractal in nature. It has a similar shape at every scale (and there are much bigger scales than mine). The society I want allows sucess to flourish at every scale, rather than letting (or requiring) each scale to crush the ones below. I'll coin a term: "perverse fractality"-- a must to avoid. Couldn't really say that the recent bailouts of Wall Street, while millions lose their jobs, homes, and health insurance, meet that standard.

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