Interesting thread in regards to the quality of life. The culture of ID is something I've been ruminating on a lot lately.
As an ID-ish student who has degrees and many years experience in other fields, I really feel like ID has a harsh and psychologically rough culture.
One issue is the long hours. I understand that turnaround time is important in this industry, but it's important in many industries and I don't see them fixating on it as much. Even software dev, which I used to think was terribly demanding.
Another is the psychological games. In an industry where you have to watch ideas you've nurtured get killed off on a daily basis, you'd think we'd be aware of the negative psychological ramifications, and try to mitigate them. But it seems like tradiation not to...
I had lunch with a designer who works at a very big consumer appliance company, and one of the things that came up in conversation was that every friday, he was worried about whether or not he would have a job on monday. This wasn't an intern. It was a guy who had been there many years, through several divisions, worked his way up, and was even named on some of the patents used in the products.
It's the same in my academic program. I had a talk with one of my profs about it. He basically said that negative feedback _ONLY_ is just the way he does it.
Whats the deal with this? is it tradition? Do companies and design schools look for authority figures who will continue this cycle? I don't get it. I think it's one of the biggest problems facing design. Currently, a lot of design education is having an identity crisis in the face of DIY, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and other technologically aided stuff. It's steadily slipping into the process flows that were traditionally "professionals" only. A harsh attitude is going to turn armchair designers away to do it on their own. That's bad. We need to be advocating good design, not keeping it to ourselves.
sorry.. a little bit tangential.