robertogreco + lying   16

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us | Paul Verhaeghe | Comment is free | theguardian.com
"We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

There are certain ideal characteristics needed to make a career today. The first is articulateness, the aim being to win over as many people as possible. Contact can be superficial, but since this applies to most human interaction nowadays, this won’t really be noticed.

It’s important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you’ve got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That’s why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

On top of all this, you are flexible and impulsive, always on the lookout for new stimuli and challenges. In practice, this leads to risky behaviour, but never mind, it won’t be you who has to pick up the pieces. The source of inspiration for this list? The psychopathy checklist by Robert Hare, the best-known specialist on psychopathy today.

This description is, of course, a caricature taken to extremes. Nevertheless, the financial crisis illustrated at a macro-social level (for example, in the conflicts between eurozone countries) what a neoliberal meritocracy does to people. Solidarity becomes an expensive luxury and makes way for temporary alliances, the main preoccupation always being to extract more profit from the situation than your competition. Social ties with colleagues weaken, as does emotional commitment to the enterprise or organisation.

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace. This is a typical symptom of the impotent venting their frustration on the weak – in psychology it’s known as displaced aggression. There is a buried sense of fear, ranging from performance anxiety to a broader social fear of the threatening other.

Constant evaluations at work cause a decline in autonomy and a growing dependence on external, often shifting, norms. This results in what the sociologist Richard Sennett has aptly described as the “infantilisation of the workers”. Adults display childish outbursts of temper and are jealous about trivialities (“She got a new office chair and I didn’t”), tell white lies, resort to deceit, delight in the downfall of others and cherish petty feelings of revenge. This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults.

More important, though, is the serious damage to people’s self-respect. Self-respect largely depends on the recognition that we receive from the other, as thinkers from Hegel to Lacan have shown. Sennett comes to a similar conclusion when he sees the main question for employees these days as being “Who needs me?” For a growing group of people, the answer is: no one.

Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens. An increasing number of people fail, feeling humiliated, guilty and ashamed. We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal. For those who believe in the fairytale of unrestricted choice, self-government and self-management are the pre-eminent political messages, especially if they appear to promise freedom. Along with the idea of the perfectible individual, the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age.

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: “Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless.” We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference. Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, “make” something of ourselves. You don’t need to look far for examples. A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master’s degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only changed. And that is precisely what has happened: a changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us."
neoliberalism  economics  politics  psycopathy  paulverhaeghe  2014  capitalism  ethics  behavior  identity  zygmuntbauman  power  freedom  meritocracy  responsibility  society  hegel  lacan  richardsennett  roberthare  impulsivity  markets  privatization  articulateness  boasting  personalbranding  lying  dishonesty  personality  bullying  parenting  priorities 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Lying is the best and often also the most ethical way to get a job. at Everything In Between
"For $150, this guy bought a fake résumé & callable references in an industry he’s never worked in. And got hired:
For a small fee, CareerExcuse.com promises to not only craft an elaborate lie based on your exact job specifications but to see it through for as long as necessary. The site will provide a live HR operator and staged supervisor, along with building and hosting a virtual company website—complete with a local phone number and toll-free fax. CareerExcuse will even go so far as to make the fake business show up on Google Maps.

William Schmidt started the site in 2009, after being let go from his job in a round of layoffs during the lowest depths of the recession.

“While we were all unemployed, a couple of my former coworkers asked me to act as their reference for job interviews,” Schmidt recalled. “I did it for free for my friends, but then I realized that this is some there’s a pretty big demand for. It was something I could take to the public.”

He was right. Within the first 24 hours of launching the CareerExcuse site, Schmidt had already received multiple order for his services. He’s quick to brush off ethical concerns, citing horror stories from his clients about being mistreated by their former employers (and thus being unable to acquire a reference) and noting that it becomes more difficult to land a job the longer someone’s been unemployed.

Employment is a racket. So is college.

I dropped out of middle school and never went back to any educational institution, because they’re liars and thieves. All “employable” skills I have I learned while on the very same jobs that I told my hiring managers I already knew how to do, but didn’t until after I got hired, of course.

My first job was in telemarketing, and I was terrible because I spent most of my time trying to find ways around the Windows kiosk so I could play minesweeper. Then they “promoted” me to the office, and I automated my admin assistant job to the point of the push of a button. I’d come to work, press my “do my job” button, and spend the rest of my day reading programming books and learning about Web servers.

I never told my boss that I had automated my job. Why would I? Jobs are intended to take the one thing that’s most valuable away from you: your time.

Eventually, of course, my bosses were finally so impressed with my “efficiency” that they wanted to promote me to an Assistant Database Administrator position with the actual IT department of the company, as opposed to the administrative office assistant position. They thought they were offering me something awesome: a decent raise and a lot more “challenging work.” So, obviously, when presented with the promotion opportunity, I quit on the spot.

The look of surprise on their faces was absolutely priceless.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now I live out of my car because I recognize that jobs are fundamentally unethical and coercive way of organizing human labor. Jobs are what people do when they are being crushed by the system. Jobs don’t produce social value. They’re a starvation mitigation strategy."
meitarmoscovitz  2014  employment  jobs  education  liars  lying  capitalism  efficiency  productivity  work  labor  resumes  jobapplications  williamschmidt  careerexcuse  dropouts  unschooling  deschooling  learning  automation 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Save The Data Drama
"Place



A location rife with beautiful signifiers of gentle exclusion seemed an ideal place for a conference like this. Within a few minutes of Friday's talks beginning, it became clear that almost everyone at this event knew each other, and if they didn't know the speakers they were probably grad students. I came to this thing from a periphery: close enough to some of the speakers to not be totally isolated, making work that's relevant to the topic, but not transactionally useful to the majority of the people there.

I admittedly have a knack for showing up in places where I am out of place. I tend to show up to such places bearing a massive, posture-ruining, class warfare chip on my shoulder. Some of this comes from the fact that being alive feels like being out of place, because honestly I wake up every day amazed that I'm still alive after an unrelated incident in 2009 that I don't really want to talk about.

One side effect of my terrible posture is that I'm a terrible liar. When faced with the elaborate theater of someone trying to convince me that this is the hippest data center ever or that he is the Most Important Man In The Room, I kind of just start laughing. And when I start to get worked up about how out of place I am in a given situation, I get defensive and snarky.

This isn't necessarily an apology (I don't think I have to apologize for for thinking that careerism is silly or for having reactions to however unintentionally hostile spaces); just context on the off-chance any of the Serious Important Men of Data Drama (who perhaps hereafter should be called the Data Drama Queens) who were probably annoyed with me read this. Don't worry guys, I'm just a silly woman living paycheck to paycheck, don't mind me.



Privilege



Honestly, I don't really like being the person at a gendered, privileged event talking about gender or privilege, because I know that I have so much privilege, and I don't want to claim to speak for the marginalized who are not in the room. Hell, we didn't even really get into how deeply white the conference was (in both speaker and audience makeup). There was a uniquely awkward moment when, during a Q&A session, filmmaker Ben Lewis complained about the difficulty he encountered finding people to interview who were concerned about or negatively affected by surveillance--this after James Bridle had given a talk about British citizens stripped of their citizenship essentially so they could be droned. The anger at Lewis' apparent ignorance was palpable, but not necessarily productive--while yes, someone probably should have said "Ben, perhaps you should consider speaking to people who don't look like you", there weren't that many examples of such people to point to in that conference room at Princeton.


When Data Drama Queens talk about the risks being faced in our new data age, the future adaptations of cyborg humans, the potential of World 2.0, who is actually being spoken about or spoken for? To what extent are these speculations of the future posed more or less for people like them?



Magic

The aesthetics of the slide talks and much of the work presented varied--from Metahaven's seapunk-Geocities collages to Adam Harvey's apparently oblivious fashion magazine-glossy male gaze--but there was a frequently ambivalent return to a rhetoric and aesthetics of awe. Despite ourselves, we are kind of in love with the technology, even if it is in the hands of the oppressor, and that's hard to reconcile.

Early on during Saturday's talks, a Q&A got into a discussion of magic, and that's the thing I keep coming back to. I'm not sure what that's going to look like, but I think it's got a lot of potential. I am for a dialogue on technology and society that allows for weirdness, allows for vulnerability, allows for humanity, requires a certain amount of faith, and isn't about pure mastery. I think there's more space for that in the language of magic, I don't know. Mostly I wanted to know how many of the people at that conference listen to Welcome to Nightvale."
ingridburrington  datadrama  2014  data  privilege  place  conferences  magic  nightvale  mastery  usmanhaque  katecrawford  cv  honesty  lying  class  classwarfare  liamyoung  jamesbridle  benlewis 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Stop Lying About What You Do | booktwo.org
"I have to confess too, to stop lying.

I don’t read like I used to—although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I rarely finish books. I’ve always had a habit of abandoning novels 50-100 pages before the end. I don’t know why, I’ve always done that. I think I’m doing it more and I don’t mind because I think my critical senses have improved and by eradicating book guilt I’ve reached a point where I am happy to cast things aside. I read 5, 10 books at once. I read them on paper and electronically as the mood takes me.

I read with continuous partial attention and I don’t care that I am frequently interrupting my own reading. I despise the discourse that says we are all shallow, that we are all flighty, distracted, not paying attention. I am paying attention, but I am paying attention to everything, and even if my knowledge is fragmented and hard to synthesise it is wider, and it plays in a vaster sphere, than any knowledge that has gone before."
psychology  future  lies  learning  perception  lying  honesty  ebooks  books  online  web  howweread  attention  2011  jamesbridle  continuouspartialattention  cv  reading  culture  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Dr. Dobb's | Interview with Alan Kay | July 10, 2012
"Childhood As A Prodigy

Binstock: Let me start by asking you about a famous story. It states that you'd read more than 100 books by the time you went to first grade. This reading enabled you to realize that your teachers were frequently lying to you.

Kay: Yes, that story came out in a commemorative essay I was asked to write.

Binstock: So you're sitting there in first grade, and you're realizing that teachers are lying to you. Was that transformative? Did you all of a sudden view the whole world as populated by people who were dishonest?

Kay: Unless you're completely, certifiably insane, or a special kind of narcissist, you regard yourself as normal. So I didn't really think that much of it. I was basically an introverted type, and I was already following my own nose, and it was too late. I was just stubborn when they made me go along.

Binstock: So you called them on the lying.

Kay: Yeah. But the thing that traumatized me occurred a couple years later, when I found an old copy of Life magazine that had the Margaret Bourke-White photos from Buchenwald. This was in the 1940s — no TV, living on a farm. That's when I realized that adults were dangerous. Like, really dangerous. I forgot about those pictures for a few years, but I had nightmares. But I had forgotten where the images came from. Seven or eight years later, I started getting memories back in snatches, and I went back and found the magazine. That probably was the turning point that changed my entire attitude toward life. It was responsible for getting me interested in education. My interest in education is unglamorous. I don't have an enormous desire to help children, but I have an enormous desire to create better adults."

"The best teacher I had in graduate school spent the whole semester destroying any beliefs we had about computing. He was a real iconoclast. He happened to be a genius, so we took it. At the end of the course, we were free because we didn't believe in anything. We had to learn everything, but then he destroyed it. He wanted us to understand what had been done, but he didn't want us to believe in it."

"A lot of people go into computing just because they are uncomfortable with other people. So it is no mean task to put together five different kinds of Asperger's syndrome and get them to cooperate. American business is completely fucked up because it is all about competition. Our world was built for the good from cooperation. That is what they should be teaching.

Binstock: That's one of the few redeeming things about athletics.

Kay: Absolutely! No question. Team sports. It's the closest analogy. Everyone has to play the game, but some people are better at certain aspects."
alankay  programming  childhood  learning  education  unschooling  lying  2012  adults  children  society  deschooling  unlearning  beliefs  groupwork  competition  coding 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Self-Interest Spurs Society’s ‘Elite’ to Lie, Cheat on Tasks, Study Finds - Bloomberg
"The pursuit of self-interest is a “fundamental motive among society’s elite, & the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” Piff and his colleagues wrote yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The “upper class,” as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, the research found. The solution, Piff said, is to find a way to increase empathy among wealthier people.

“It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused,” Piff said. “You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others. That may not be their default, but have them do it is sufficient to increase their patterns of altruistic behavior.”"

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/27303050411/ ]
altruism  empathy  ethics  lying  dishonesty  upperclass  self-interest  inequality  rich  1%  wealth  psychology  greed 
july 2012 by robertogreco
On Making Yourself Right - Ta-Nehisi Coates - National - The Atlantic
"Publicly, he lived to make himself right -- a tradition that is fully empowered in our politics. Breitbart didn't invent the art of making yourself right. But he embraced it, and then advanced it.

That is what took me to sadness. I have experienced curiosity as a primarily selfish endeavor. It originates in the understanding of the brevity of life, and the desire to see as much of it as possible, from as many angles as possible without doing too much damage to my morality. The opposite of that -- incuriosity, dishonesty, the opportunistic deployment of information -- is darkness. Breitbart died, like all of us will, in darkness. But as a media persona he chose to also live there, and in the process has impelled countless others to throttle themselves into the abyss…

It is wholly appropriate to be sorry that Andrew Breitbart died. But in the relevant business, it is right to be sorry for how he lived."
history  journalism  us  race  politics  society  mediapersona  persona  media  lies  lying  naacp  acorn  death  life  ethics  morality  values  charlessherrod  shirleysherrod  truth  wrong  right  2012  andrewbreitbart  ta-nehisicoates  from delicious
march 2012 by robertogreco
Thrall « Snarkmarket
"The last one is my favorite (so far)—not because it describes my own experience (it doesn’t) or because I agree with it (I don’t quite), but because it’s a great example of someone thinking out loud—working something out in words. And also because it seems to evoke this great line of Lincoln’s, from his Second Inaugural:

"As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

Yeah, I think that’s actually what I like about Bridle’s post: it seems to be about thrall and how to get out of it. It’s a concept I am always sometimes obsessed with and always sensitive to; there’s a lot of thrall out there and you have to be careful or it seeps into your clothes, your skin.

I think you can actually finish Lincoln’s line with a lot of different words—industry, company, family—and it stays true."
snarkmarket  robinsloan  thrall  abrahamlincoln  change  lying  deception  self-deception  yearoff  stasis  deschooling  unschooling  servitude  bondage  power  control  freedom  independence  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Do you swear to tell the truth? - The Boston Globe
"Motivating kids to learn is at the heart of education. According to a new study, there is a simple but effective way to encourage kids to want to learn on their own: give them a choice. In an experiment, high school students who were allowed to choose their homework assignments (covering the same material) reported more interest, enjoyment, and competence regarding their homework, and they scored higher on a subsequent test of the material."
teaching  parenting  learning  schools  choice  motivation  lying  truth  discipline  tcsnmy  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
My Favorite Liar | Zen Moments
"What made Dr. K memorable was a gimmick he employed that began with his introduction at the beginning of his first class:
pedagogy  lectures  learning  economics  education  psychology  lying  lies  teaching  classideas  truth 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Doing School - Pope, Denise Clark - Yale University Press
"follows 5 motivated & successful students through school year...students work hard in school, participate in extracurricular activities, serve communities, earn awards & honors, appear to uphold school values...on other hand, feel that in order to get ahead they must compromise values & manipulate system by scheming, lying, & cheating...they “do school...are not really engaged w/ learning nor commit to such values as integrity & community.
success  schools  society  integrity  values  education  standardizedtesting  grades  grading  learning  unschooling  deschooling  lying  cheating  tcsnmy  doingschool  schooliness  denisepope  books  2001  materialism  stress  curiosity  cooperation  scheming  assessment  evaluation  lcproject 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Falsebook ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
"We are told repeatedly - most recently by President Obama - that we should watch out what we put in Facebook, because future employers may be looking. My own advice - that we should refrain from actually doing stupid things - doesn't get any airplay; people are far more concerned about the recording of stupid things than the doing of them. But this approach does suggest, as Alan Levine demonstrates, an effective strategy. Create a fake Facebook page, where we blatantly lie about our past. After all, since employers will be looking at these uncritically, this tactic is guaranteed to be successful. isn't it? "Who in their right mind will weigh your current achievements with the same consideration as what you were doing 20 years ago?" asks Levine. "It makes no sense to me.""
facebook  falsebook  stephendownes  society  truth  ethics  lying  documentation  morality  parenting  advice  youth 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Seven Lies About Lying (Part 2) - Errol Morris Blog - NYTimes.com
"RICKY JAY: When you’re talking about Kant and trust, it made me think of one of the ways I tell people about the con game. I say, “You wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can’t be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That’s the price you pay for trust, is being conned.” And it’s very easy to substitute being lied to. Right?"
rickyjay  errolmorris  tryst  lying  truth  lies  morality  psychology  deception  society  religion  myth  illusion 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Matthew Yglesias » Lying About Books [via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2008/12/reading-and-bluffing.html]
"I wonder if you see a substantial difference based on educational attainment here. It seems to me that college (at least as we did it at Harvard) largely consists of lessons on how to pretend to have read various books. How many section discussions of British Moralists 1650-1800 (by far the best introduction to the subject!) did I bluff my way through?"
playingschool  understanding  schools  education  universities  colleges  honesty  cv  reading  knowledge  bluffing  lying  schooling  deschooling  unschooling 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Are Kids Copying Their Parents When They Lie? -- New York Magazine
"Kids lie early, often, and for all sorts of reasons—to avoid punishment, to bond with friends, to gain a sense of control. But now there’s a singular theory for one way this habit develops: They are just copying their parents."
children  parenting  education  lying  psychology  society  discipline  corruption  lies  learning 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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