Category Archives: amphetamine

Postcards from Welwyn Garden City

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-11-42-58Dalrymple points out (from 4:10) that boredom is a way of life in Welwyn Garden City, which, he notes, is

a pretty terrible place.

The worst thing that can — will — happen to you there

is that you have nothing to do. That is the permanent condition of the people of Welwyn Garden City.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-11-55-33Dalrymple divides British towns

into those where the population takes heroin and those where the population takes amphetamine. You can tell by the housing. If it’s Victorian housing or tower blocks, it’s heroin. If it’s small houses in suburbs, it’s amphetamine.

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The ludicrous cult of long hours

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 07.50.56Dalrymple’s principle states that

efficiency declines as the number of hours worked grows.

Dalrymple himself is at his best, he explains,

for about two hours a day—shortly after waking—and it is downhill all the way thereafter.

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 07.55.05

The suddenly and unwontedly efficient and alert essayist

Only one thing restores his efficiency or alertness, if not his soul:

the prospect, previously unexpected, of earning a good sum of money. This acts on my brain in the same way as amphetamine.

(Johnson: No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.)

Young lawyers, Dalrymple points out,

are expected to examine documents and research precedents for hours on end, though nothing is easier than to overlook the single key fact in a case in which there are hundreds or thousands of pages of dreary documents.

OBBB (overworked banker behaving badly)

Machismo in the empire of imaginary money

For the macho workers in finance,

their absurdly long hours are a source of pride, a seeming justification for what they earn and an excuse for behaving badly once the pressure is relieved. Perhaps there would be fewer financial crises if financiers and their junior aspirants worked fewer hours.