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Burnout: Burnout (n.) A post-traumatic stress disorder caused by excessive investment in an imbalanced project.

Most individuals who undertake significant projects undergo burnout, though few would formalize their symptoms as such. The stages of burnout, from start to finish, are expressed by clear emotional states as follows:

  1. Naive enthusiasm, in which the individual undertakes a project of heroic impossibility. This phase can last for a year or so.
  2. Brave optimism, in which the individual works on the project, understaffed and undercompensated. This phase can last for a few months to several years depending on how successful the project is. Note that project success often just makes the burnout deeper.
  3. Cynical abandonment, in which the individual suddenly and without warning abandons his project. At the least, the individual "drops off the radar" with no explanation. In the worse cases the individual tries actively to destroy the project so that no-one else can take it over.
  4. Active disinterest, in which the very mention of the project raises urges to vomit and break things. This usually lasts about the same as the period of brave optimism.
  5. Cautious reawakening, in which the individual tries to re-engage, hopefully with some new knowledge of wtf happened.

Rules for avoiding burnout:

  • Don't work alone on killer projects.
  • Delegate so you are replaceable.
  • Take breaks when you feel you need them, don't be a hero.
  • Don't work with or for exploitative b*!*!*!ds.
  • City: City (n.) 1. A large urban center that is built by successive waves of upwardly-mobile immigrants and run by generations of political elites that hate immigrants. 2. A large collection of buildings maintained at expense to be optimal homes for cockroaches and rats. [power society trade]
  • Music: Music (n.) Acoustic vibrations that resonate pleasurably with the brain. [mind]
  • Survival: Survival (n.) The art of so far, so good. [epicfail]
  • Government: Government (n.) A social structure that regulates trade and punishment. [ethics]
  • Monopoly: Monopoly (n.) The resting point of unchecked corporate interests. [money power]
  • Tolerance: Tolerance (n.) Acceptance of self. [you]
  • Money: Money (n.) A token representing a share in a social contract between state and citizen. [money power]
  • Silence: Silence (n.) The sound of something really terrible just about to happen. [epicfail]
  • Time: Time (n.) The difference between yesterday and tomorrow. [chaos]
  • Software: Software (n.) The expression of human stupidity in computer-executable form. [stupidity toys]
  • Civilisation: Civilisation (n.) An extended holiday. [epicfail oil]
  • Pessimist: Pessimist (n.) Someone who fears that life does have a point, but does not get it. [you]
  • Optimist: Optimist (n.) Someone who either understands that life is pointless, or hopes that it is. [you]
  • Pension: Pension (n.) Something your parents got. [greed money]
  • Derivative: Derivative (n.) Maths used as economic warfare. [greed violence]
  • Investment: Investment (n.) A form of wealth redistribution in which the rich convince the middle class to hand over their life savings in exchange for a temporary adrenalin rush. [money stupidity]
  • Panic: Panic (n.) The realization that the bear is catching up on you. [food]
  • Africa: Africa (n.) A large continent that acts as a prison for most of the world's poor black people. [disease power prison trade]
  • Football: Football (n.) A primitive form of soccer. [sport]
  • Fishing: Fishing (n.) A sport that unites the world's richest and poorest in pursuit of the same aquatic prey. [food sport]
  • Insurance: Insurance (n.) A form of gambling in which the house always wins, even if it burns down. [money]
  • Success: Success (n.) A temporary stay of defeat. [epicfail]
  • Friday: Friday (n.) One of the greatest achievements of the modern trade union movement. [beer]
  • Free Trade: Free trade (n.) An ideal economic system in which the powerful are free to define the terms of trade. [economics]
  • Motherhood: Motherhood (n.) In which a woman gives up the stress and loneliness of a career for the comfort of family and children. Considered to be a state of failure by many feminists and politically correct thinkers. [female power]
  • Feminism: Feminism (n.) The belief that women can be free only by being more masculine than men. [female power]
  • Committee: Committee (n.) An organizational structure designed to prevent distressing amounts of initiative and change. [groups stupidity]
  • Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence (n.) The extension of collective intelligence using technological solutions. [mind society]
  • Us: Us (n.) Everyone except you. [you]
  • Internet: Internet (n.) A bunch of tubes, run by pirates, which strangled the music industry. [communications mind]
  • Truth: Truth (n) That which, when the lies and inaccuracies are removed, remains. [truth]
  • Random: Random (adj.) Measured with insufficient accuracy. [chaos truth]
  • Journalism: Journalism (n.) A form of fiction in which the lies are well disguised. [fiction]
  • Unemployment: Unemployment (n.) A type of social exclusion that is worse than some forms of slavery. [money society]
  • Employment: Employment (n.) A form of slavery that is better than most of the alternatives. [money]
  • Guilt: Guilt (n.) An illogical regret at having gotten away with it. [stupidity]
  • Battery: Battery (n.) Portable civilization. [technology]
  • Car: Car (n.) The best argument against economic development. [stupidity]
  • Backup: Backup (n.) Like experience, something you don't have when you actually need it. [stupidity technology]
  • Computer: Computer (n.) A convenient place to store all your precious data, before it crashes. [technology]