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(Vox)   Stanford psychologist knows why you're surrounded by assholes   ( vox.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, 2009 albums, asshole, The No Asshole Rule, assholes, If You Have to Ask, asshole survival, asshole boss, Profanity  
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2710 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Sep 2017 at 2:06 AM (34 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-09-26 11:51:14 PM  
The world is full of assholes. Wherever you live, whatever you do, odds are you're surrounded by assholes.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-26 11:51:51 PM  
Keep firing, assholes!
 
2017-09-27 12:08:19 AM  
You accidentally post in a Politics thread on Fark?
 
2017-09-27 12:38:46 AM  
Want to know how to survive assholes? Stop giving a shiat and smile

And when you do start calling people assholes, either aloud or privately to yourself, just remember it takes one to know one and the number of people you refer to as an asshole is inversely proportionate to you being the real asshole
 
2017-09-27 12:39:36 AM  

real_headhoncho: You accidentally post in a Politics thread on Fark?


I don't see any accident.

I once posted an article about why sponges work better wet in the politics tab, and when it went green?  Hoo-boy.  Instant discord.
 
2017-09-27 01:31:47 AM  

rcain: inversely proportionate


Do you mean directly proportional?
 
2017-09-27 02:20:56 AM  

fusillade762: The world is full of assholes. Wherever you live, whatever you do, odds are you're surrounded by assholes.

[img.fark.net image 300x300]


This is almost as perfect as the Humpty Dance post in the Anthony Wiener thread.
 
2017-09-27 03:20:53 AM  
Boy, I sure am glad I got to read this advertisement for the professor's new book.
 
2017-09-27 03:50:45 AM  
TFA got me thinking and I really can't think of anyone I know or associate with that I would define as an asshole unless you include while driving. Then everybody is an asshole, myself included.
 
2017-09-27 04:02:23 AM  
No-one? Really? I guess I'll have to do it then.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-27 04:46:24 AM  
There's this one asshole who follows me wherever I go.
 
2017-09-27 05:56:07 AM  

NotARocketScientist: No-one? Really? I guess I'll have to do it then.

[img.fark.net image 625x335]


Yo!
vignette.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-27 06:07:03 AM  
Because I'm on Fark.
 
2017-09-27 06:22:07 AM  
Broken Hearts Are For Assholes - Dweezil Zappa
Youtube zkiVtfnCupU

NSFW lyrics, obviously.

Bad songs to be caught singing to yourself at school. Exhibit A.
 
2017-09-27 06:30:59 AM  

rcain: And when you do start calling people assholes, either aloud or privately to yourself, just remember it takes one to know one and the number of people you refer to as an asshole is inversely proportionate to you being the real asshole

Either that or you live in America.  When I was in other countries I wasn't constantly thinking "asshole, asshole, asshole" while I was there.  No country's perfect and collectively they may not even be any better but you do get to see what common courtesy looks like.  Here, I live in Boston.  I AM surrounded by assholes; insulting one another is practically the local dialect.

We're off the rails laid down by TFA but this whole "if you think you're surrounded by assholes YOU'RE the problem" shiat has got to stop.  People are literally attacking each other in the streets now because the country woke up and realized it's sitting on a writhing mountain of white supremacists who hate anyone not like them for merely existing.  It's NOT in everyone's head; it's literally everywhere else, right in front your damned eyes.  America is a country of assholes and is on the cusp of having to confront that, possibly with violence or even war, and Farkers are here sitting on their smug asses thinking it's more fun to blindly pass judgement with beard-stroking apathy than get involved with the reality screaming in their faces.
 
2017-09-27 06:46:13 AM  
I read the author's first book 'The No Asshole Rule' it was a really good read. Presents a good case on how assholes hurt teams and companies. It also presents a good argument for companies to work to push negative workers out.
 
2017-09-27 06:53:09 AM  
Am I surrounded by assholes?  I live in Texas.

/'nuff said
 
2017-09-27 07:13:28 AM  

RollingArmadillo: I read the author's first book 'The No Asshole Rule' it was a really good read. Presents a good case on how assholes hurt teams and companies. It also presents a good argument for companies to work to push negative workers out.


I don't think I'll ever understand why disagreeing with an idea or presenting an alternative is always 'negative'.
 
2017-09-27 07:26:24 AM  

Unikitty: RollingArmadillo: I read the author's first book 'The No Asshole Rule' it was a really good read. Presents a good case on how assholes hurt teams and companies. It also presents a good argument for companies to work to push negative workers out.

I don't think I'll ever understand why disagreeing with an idea or presenting an alternative is always 'negative'.


Well that depends. Are you saying, "your ideas is stupid you moron," or constantly being negative towards others ideas?
 
2017-09-27 07:33:49 AM  

Unikitty: RollingArmadillo: I read the author's first book 'The No Asshole Rule' it was a really good read. Presents a good case on how assholes hurt teams and companies. It also presents a good argument for companies to work to push negative workers out.

I don't think I'll ever understand why disagreeing with an idea or presenting an alternative is always 'negative'.


Perhaps negative was a bad word. The author gave an example that an asshole who constantly berates a team will foster less ideas, have increased turnover, and create more stress. Also a coworker who is a jerk and openly hostile to new ideas kills innovation. In a sense, being critical is fine being openly hostile is bad.
 
2017-09-27 07:40:40 AM  
memegenerator.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-27 07:45:56 AM  

NotARocketScientist: No-one? Really? I guess I'll have to do it then.

[img.fark.net image 625x335]


Post #2
 
2017-09-27 07:53:14 AM  

RollingArmadillo: Unikitty: RollingArmadillo: I read the author's first book 'The No Asshole Rule' it was a really good read. Presents a good case on how assholes hurt teams and companies. It also presents a good argument for companies to work to push negative workers out.

I don't think I'll ever understand why disagreeing with an idea or presenting an alternative is always 'negative'.

Perhaps negative was a bad word. The author gave an example that an asshole who constantly berates a team will foster less ideas, have increased turnover, and create more stress. Also a coworker who is a jerk and openly hostile to new ideas kills innovation. In a sense, being critical is fine being openly hostile is bad.


Openly hostile is always bad.

"Hey what if we did it this way?" has been used in a performance review against me once. When I asked what I did that was so wrong the retort was "that comment threw the boss under the bus". I was laneled as negative and not a team player when I earnestly felt like the suggestion would make everyone look good in the end.

That's when I started finding alternatives to corporate whore-mongering that didn't end with me 'earning' a McMansion for some no-talent hack of a CEO.
 
2017-09-27 07:57:23 AM  

Unikitty: "Hey what if we did it this way?" has been used in a performance review against me once. When I asked what I did that was so wrong the retort was "that comment threw the boss under the bus". I was laneled as negative and not a team player when I earnestly felt like the suggestion would make everyone look good in the end.

That's when I started finding alternatives to corporate whore-mongering that didn't end with me 'earning' a McMansion for some no-talent hack of a CEO.


I agree. You shouldn't support an organization that doesn't value your input. Good for you on leaving.
 
2017-09-27 08:00:56 AM  

Unikitty: That's when I started finding alternatives to corporate whore-mongering that didn't end with me 'earning' a McMansion for some no-talent hack of a CEO.

Where'd that lead you?  The challenge in life for me has been finding a place where respect and a steady paycheck can both be got.
 
2017-09-27 08:26:54 AM  
"One of the simplest - but admittedly hardest - things you can do is simply learn not to give a shiat. Not giving a shiat takes the wind out of an asshole's sails."

This works great, and I do it a lot (age and practice helps), but what do you do about those assholes who won't just leave you alone? Really, this guy is a farking psychologist, and he doesn't even recognize those people who are everywhere, who meddle with others just because they enjoy it, because it's the only way they know how to live their lives? They don't go away when you don't like either--they just become more determined to get your attention.
I suppose to this guy, you're either big enough to handle it, or you're the asshole.

Want to hear a therapist joke?
What do you do with a borderline client?
You refer them.

Thanks, asshole, for the advice. I don't get to 'refer' them where I work.
The restraining order doesn't 'restrain' anyone, either.
 
2017-09-27 08:29:59 AM  

dragonchild: Unikitty: That's when I started finding alternatives to corporate whore-mongering that didn't end with me 'earning' a McMansion for some no-talent hack of a CEO.
Where'd that lead you?  The challenge in life for me has been finding a place where respect and a steady paycheck can both be got.


It'd lead me to a lot of start-up companies that eventually imploded from growing too fast and improper allocation of resources, that lasted about 10 years. Then I lucked into an opportunity where I play liason between the dev team and the end users for a website. I just put myself in a position to be noticed by the owner by suggesting changes and fun activities for the site.

 It's okay money. None of us have ever met in person, we skype team meetings a couple of times a week. As long as no one screams at me or belittles me and the paychecks are steady, I'll stay.

All of that said, what worked out was that I was willing to try anything once and I wasn't afraid to exploit connections I already had to get my foot in the door somewhere. If you find yourself drawn to things like nature or writing, immerse yourself in ways that will encourage opportunity to present itself.
 
2017-09-27 08:33:37 AM  

RollingArmadillo: Unikitty: "Hey what if we did it this way?" has been used in a performance review against me once. When I asked what I did that was so wrong the retort was "that comment threw the boss under the bus". I was laneled as negative and not a team player when I earnestly felt like the suggestion would make everyone look good in the end.

That's when I started finding alternatives to corporate whore-mongering that didn't end with me 'earning' a McMansion for some no-talent hack of a CEO.

I agree. You shouldn't support an organization that doesn't value your input. Good for you on leaving.


Thanks. I sometimes have 'survivor guilt' where my stomach just ties up in knots at the thought that some, hell most, people can't do what I did. Especially considering I never went to college and have zero desire to do so.

I
 
2017-09-27 09:13:03 AM  
College, in the American sense of an undergraduate program, isn't for everyone and it's not about training you to work. It's about scholarship, and handy training for scholarship.

College, in the sense of technical training, is very very handy for getting the certificates and official training for a job. I recommend it. My Technical Writing cert. program required a BA, or a BS with permission, degree as a pre-requisite, but that was to ensure we knew how to do the client-facing stuff like spelling words correctly. The program itself was moreso about the business of technical writing. Editing wasn't about knowing mark-up, but communicating criticism to whatever other thin-skinned self-important co-worker needed assistance in not embarrassing the company in front of the clients.

I may not be a great example, but the program was about learning how not to be an asshole to one's coworkers and bosses, so that they would understand our utility to the bottom line.
 
2017-09-27 09:16:42 AM  

Nurglitch: College, in the American sense of an undergraduate program, isn't for everyone and it's not about training you to work. It's about scholarship, and handy training for scholarship.

College, in the sense of technical training, is very very handy for getting the certificates and official training for a job. I recommend it. My Technical Writing cert. program required a BA, or a BS with permission, degree as a pre-requisite, but that was to ensure we knew how to do the client-facing stuff like spelling words correctly. The program itself was moreso about the business of technical writing. Editing wasn't about knowing mark-up, but communicating criticism to whatever other thin-skinned self-important co-worker needed assistance in not embarrassing the company in front of the clients.

I may not be a great example, but the program was about learning how not to be an asshole to one's coworkers and bosses, so that they would understand our utility to the bottom line.


Then it should be required schooling for every high-school senior entering a job market. Mostpeople need help in not being a prick to their cow-orkers.
 
2017-09-27 09:22:09 AM  
Libs on the west and east coasts. Canadians up north, and Mexicans down south, although I'm sure there are some good ones.

Check.
 
2017-09-27 09:32:54 AM  

Unikitty: Nurglitch: College, in the American sense of an undergraduate program, isn't for everyone and it's not about training you to work. It's about scholarship, and handy training for scholarship.

College, in the sense of technical training, is very very handy for getting the certificates and official training for a job. I recommend it. My Technical Writing cert. program required a BA, or a BS with permission, degree as a pre-requisite, but that was to ensure we knew how to do the client-facing stuff like spelling words correctly. The program itself was moreso about the business of technical writing. Editing wasn't about knowing mark-up, but communicating criticism to whatever other thin-skinned self-important co-worker needed assistance in not embarrassing the company in front of the clients.

I may not be a great example, but the program was about learning how not to be an asshole to one's coworkers and bosses, so that they would understand our utility to the bottom line.

Then it should be required schooling for every high-school senior entering a job market. Mostpeople need help in not being a prick to their cow-orkers.


How well it worked, I don't know. I have a co-worker very much senior to me that's constantly apologizing for being stupid whenever I help him.
 
2017-09-27 09:49:52 AM  

Nurglitch: Unikitty: Nurglitch: College, in the American sense of an undergraduate program, isn't for everyone and it's not about training you to work. It's about scholarship, and handy training for scholarship.

College, in the sense of technical training, is very very handy for getting the certificates and official training for a job. I recommend it. My Technical Writing cert. program required a BA, or a BS with permission, degree as a pre-requisite, but that was to ensure we knew how to do the client-facing stuff like spelling words correctly. The program itself was moreso about the business of technical writing. Editing wasn't about knowing mark-up, but communicating criticism to whatever other thin-skinned self-important co-worker needed assistance in not embarrassing the company in front of the clients.

I may not be a great example, but the program was about learning how not to be an asshole to one's coworkers and bosses, so that they would understand our utility to the bottom line.

Then it should be required schooling for every high-school senior entering a job market. Mostpeople need help in not being a prick to their cow-orkers.

How well it worked, I don't know. I have a co-worker very much senior to me that's constantly apologizing for being stupid whenever I help him.


Hmm, that's unforunate. In my experience, senior level employees are terrible at actually doing their job but fantastic at encouraging others and telling them how to do their jobs.

I suppose, he's showing his belly in a sign of both submission and respect.


Or you're doing it wrong? (Probably not.)
 
2017-09-27 10:40:29 AM  

Unikitty: Mostpeople need help in not being a prick to their cow-orkers.

Don't you need to be a prick to be orking cows, whatever that is?
 
2017-09-27 10:55:02 AM  

dragonchild: Unikitty: Mostpeople need help in not being a prick to their cow-orkers.
Don't you need to be a prick to be orking cows, whatever that is?


You've never seen that before? It's in reference to feeling like cattle in the workforce.
 
2017-09-27 10:59:43 AM  

Unikitty: You've never seen that before?

Honestly, no.  Feels like a bit of a reach.
 
2017-09-27 11:05:35 AM  
Because you're at an orgy?
 
2017-09-27 11:09:12 AM  

dragonchild: We're off the rails laid down by TFA but this whole "if you think you're surrounded by assholes YOU'RE the problem" shiat has got to stop. People are literally attacking each other in the streets now because the country woke up and realized it's sitting on a writhing mountain of white supremacists who hate anyone not like them for merely existing. It's NOT in everyone's head; it's literally everywhere else, right in front your damned eyes. America is a country of assholes and is on the cusp of having to confront that, possibly with violence or even war, and Farkers are here sitting on their smug asses thinking it's more fun to blindly pass judgement with beard-stroking apathy than get involved with the reality screaming in their faces.


None of this applies to your daily interaction.  Those are events literary choreographed to create conflict and outrage.  You don't have white supremacists marching through your office carrying tiki torches at Boeing/IBM/Salesforce/Amazon or wherever you work in corporate America.  If your a teacher or in academia, your coworkers aren't goose-stepping while shouldering a confederate flag and screaming at students in the hallway.

This is talking about people being a dick at work.  The guys with temper tantrums that throw papers across the office and call their subordinates morons.  Or the passive-aggressive paper pushers that intentionally make everything as difficult as possible because they're office rules-lawyers, dictating everything they can from their area of control.

The most obnoxious fundy with their one "black friend" that thinks that the ending of Jim Crow was the end of oppression across the nation, but really wants the Puerto Ricans in their neighborhood to move out and totally "gets" and "loves" what Trump is saying is often a perfectly pleasant person to work with/for.  And it's often years of random lunches and outside events before you realize they're a despicable human being.

But that doesn't mean they're an asshole.  Many other labels apply, but that one doesn't hold up.  At work they're collaborative, supportive, helpful, a good leader, cares about their people, pushes them in the right ways, all of it.  And they're good regardless of whatever demographic you're part of.  This is because people typically separate how they act at work or in their friend groups from how they treat nebulous people they see on TV or stereotype in their heads.
 
2017-09-27 11:13:21 AM  
I'm surrounded by assholes because Vox Media and Gawker Media were and are absorbed without filter by a chunk of the population.
 
2017-09-27 11:27:47 AM  

dragonchild: Unikitty: You've never seen that before?
Honestly, no.  Feels like a bit of a reach.


That's the joke. :)
 
2017-09-27 11:30:54 AM  

Khellendros: The most obnoxious fundy with their one "black friend" that thinks that the ending of Jim Crow was the end of oppression across the nation, but really wants the Puerto Ricans in their neighborhood to move out and totally "gets" and "loves" what Trump is saying is often a perfectly pleasant person to work with/for. And it's often years of random lunches and outside events before you realize they're a despicable human being. But that doesn't mean they're an asshole.

Uh?  I worked with a bunch of right-wingers in Ohio.  They were certainly skilled with manners -- being salespeople they had to be -- but it certainly didn't take long for the despicable to come out.  Very shortly after I was hired I was taken out to lunch by a manager who warned me that I shouldn't use "big words" because it offended them.  Sure, that was a discrete way of handling a situation. . . that was complete bullshiat because their anti-intellectualism somehow made for me creating a hostile work environment.

It didn't get better from there.  The dysfunction there was bad enough that there was constant turnover, despite all the nice-nice words exchanged.  And even outside of work that's to say nothing of all the fat, entitled, and downright rude elephants on their scooters making any store or venue such a miserable place that we eventually moved to Boston.  This distinction you're trying to make between political rabble-rousers and asshole co-workers, hey maybe that's your experience so I won't question that, but I'm going counter with my own anecdotes on top of a good ol' helping of "citation needed".  If anything, my own experiences with the myth of the good ol' country bumpkins who are nice and polite and kind and just happen to secretly attend cross-burnings because they're suffering so much got blown up into little pieces interacting with them directly.  Where I work now, there are issues like anywhere but bigotry has no place here (it's way too diverse for it to survive) and the people are far more genuinely pleasant when they're not swearing at each other in traffic.  Why it's almost like good people are mostly good, and bad people are mostly bad.  Sometimes life is simple, despite the moral relativism hogwash America keeps trying to sell itself to give the assholes a place in society.

To your point, yes, there are assholes who wear it on their sleeves and there are assholes who dress it up in formality or beard-stroking, but someone lacking in empathy cannot accurately emulate empathy for very long at all.  I very quickly sniff out the difference between politeness and kindness and the best an asshole can get is polite.  And polite ain't what got your back in a workplace.
 
2017-09-27 11:36:27 AM  
Because you're at Stanford?
 
2017-09-27 12:01:38 PM  
I knew those pervs were tracking my porn habits
 
2017-09-27 01:34:30 PM  

dragonchild: rcain: And when you do start calling people assholes, either aloud or privately to yourself, just remember it takes one to know one and the number of people you refer to as an asshole is inversely proportionate to you being the real asshole
Either that or you live in America.  When I was in other countries I wasn't constantly thinking "asshole, asshole, asshole" while I was there.  No country's perfect and collectively they may not even be any better but you do get to see what common courtesy looks like.  Here, I live in Boston.  I AM surrounded by assholes; insulting one another is practically the local dialect.

We're off the rails laid down by TFA but this whole "if you think you're surrounded by assholes YOU'RE the problem" shiat has got to stop.  People are literally attacking each other in the streets now because the country woke up and realized it's sitting on a writhing mountain of white supremacists who hate anyone not like them for merely existing.  It's NOT in everyone's head; it's literally everywhere else, right in front your damned eyes.  America is a country of assholes and is on the cusp of having to confront that, possibly with violence or even war, and Farkers are here sitting on their smug asses thinking it's more fun to blindly pass judgement with beard-stroking apathy than get involved with the reality screaming in their faces.


As TFA, and the guy's book likely, rightly points out if you want fewer assholes in your life start weeding them out.

People have remarkably good manners when you establish clearly and politely that assholery will not be tolerated. If you do it right it doesn't matter who the person being an asshole is. You have to customize to the situation. The imporant thing to remember is that the temporary assholes will still have a sense of shame; the permanent assholes almost always follow bully rules.
 
2017-09-27 02:05:06 PM  

dragonchild: rcain: And when you do start calling people assholes, either aloud or privately to yourself, just remember it takes one to know one and the number of people you refer to as an asshole is inversely proportionate to you being the real asshole
Either that or you live in America.  When I was in other countries I wasn't constantly thinking "asshole, asshole, asshole" while I was there.  No country's perfect and collectively they may not even be any better but you do get to see what common courtesy looks like.  Here, I live in Boston.  I AM surrounded by assholes; insulting one another is practically the local dialect.

We're off the rails laid down by TFA but this whole "if you think you're surrounded by assholes YOU'RE the problem" shiat has got to stop.  People are literally attacking each other in the streets now because the country woke up and realized it's sitting on a writhing mountain of white supremacists who hate anyone not like them for merely existing.  It's NOT in everyone's head; it's literally everywhere else, right in front your damned eyes.  America is a country of assholes and is on the cusp of having to confront that, possibly with violence or even war, and Farkers are here sitting on their smug asses thinking it's more fun to blindly pass judgement with beard-stroking apathy than get involved with the reality screaming in their faces.


I've worked with a lot of people from many different countries and cultures.  The one thing that is universal is you're knee deep in assholes everywhere.  Now, when you travel you may not be able to recognize an asshole because you don't understand the baseline of their culture but don't worry you'll still be knee deep in assholes.  I was laughing with a co-worker from the middle east when we were talking about people we hated to work with in the past.  We found it funny that despite the differences from language, religion and culture what made an asshole an asshole was still the same.
 
2017-09-27 02:47:13 PM  

dragonchild: This distinction you're trying to make between political rabble-rousers and asshole co-workers, hey maybe that's your experience so I won't question that, but I'm going counter with my own anecdotes on top of a good ol' helping of "citation needed". If anything, my own experiences with the myth of the good ol' country bumpkins who are nice and polite and kind and just happen to secretly attend cross-burnings because they're suffering so much got blown up into little pieces interacting with them directly.


The statistics speak for themselves - the majority of corporate America consists of males on the conservative side.  Maybe just a bit right of center, but very much in the Republican establishment zone.  These are people who support Trump, voted for him, at least passively agree with much of what he said, largely think that racism is an artifact of the past, check their door locks when they drive by a couple of black men on the street, are subtly sexist to every woman they deal with, and crack gay jokes with regularity with lowered tones and chuckles.  They not a fan of the "changing demographics" of their neighborhoods, make sure their kids go the good public school in their town that's "better funded" (code for more white and middle class), and most have no issues with Fox News.

Basically, your standard business professional living in the 'burbs.

And largely, they're not assholes at work.  Some are, definitely, and they make work hell sometimes.  But on the whole, the average white professional male you deal with in a large corporate atmosphere isn't an asshole at work.  My experience is coming from 10 years in the larger side of the aerospace industry (notoriously white, middle aged professionals across about a dozen cities.  Fairly conservative.), so your mileage in sales or finance may vary.  And while some of them will honestly argue that socialism is destroying the country and BLM are a bunch of "violent thugs" while drinking a beer at happy hour, they're perfectly professional and courteous for 9 hours a day at the office.

Again, that's my experience.  But it covers a fairly large cross section of individuals across job functions and geographic regions in 4 very large companies.  Many despicable human beings, but not assholes at work on the whole.
 
2017-09-27 07:35:38 PM  

Khellendros: Many despicable human beings, but not assholes at work on the whole.


If that is your definition of despicable human beings, you must have a very depressed outlook on life.

People are tribal, news at 11.
 
2017-09-27 08:56:28 PM  

Deep Contact: Because I'm on Fark.


Yes. Because you're on this site.
 
2017-09-27 09:12:46 PM  

Khellendros: The statistics speak for themselves - the majority of corporate America consists of males on the conservative side.

In numbers, yes, because they're overwhelmingly hired preferentially.  But it's also my experience that 20% of the employees do 80% of the work, so even setting aside what the 20% is racially comprised of vs. the 80%, because at this point we're talking about fractions of anecdotes, the most entitled ones exaggerate their contributions relative to their peers in their minds, and as such carry far less weight than they think.  They don't think of themselves as assholes, of course, and slap each other on the backs and tell each other they're wonderful people, but that's the thing about entitlement -- it is by definition a lack of perspective.  And entitlement goes hand in hand with conservatism, a dedication to maintaining the social status quo.

Ashelth: I've worked with a lot of people from many different countries and cultures.  The one thing that is universal is you're knee deep in assholes everywhere.  Now, when you travel you may not be able to recognize an asshole because you don't understand the baseline of their culture but don't worry you'll still be knee deep in assholes.

Oh, I'm well aware of that, don't mistake me.  One place I worked at in Japan was flat-out abusive, and even setting my anecdote aside, dat suicide rate is no joke.  Assholes are everywhere.

But you can still learn things by comparing cultures, because some do some things better than others, and public behavior is one area where America is in a vicious cycle of spiraling down a toilet.  It celebrates douchedom.  These people get promoted as "having initiative", get put on TV, and even elected President because he promised to be an asshole.  Yeah, politics in other countries is no chocolate fondue party either, but unless it's a dictatorship, even the slimiest of uber-corrupt politicians have to at least pretend to be grown-ups -- ruthless is OK, even racist, again, not saying they're inherently better.  But still regal in some way, whereas the appeal with Trump was that he's openly a petulant man-child (!!!).
Now, I know I said that I don't make a distinction between an asshole and an asshole with a facade of decency, and I don't -- not at an individual level.  That extends to candidates.  But collectively, most people have some idea of what decency at least looks like, and consider it appealing.  This has social benefits.  When you culturally reject that in favor of douchedom, that significantly alters what society considers normal, and by extension the behavior of society itself.  The infamous "rude American" stereotype is very much a thing, not because Americans are inherently worse, but because they choose to be worse (in this particular regard) even from some hypothetical starting point of baseline morality, because we're raised to believe it's not only OK, but even admirable.  Furthermore, in doing so we marginalize our altruists, who are generally exhausted in any country.  It's in society's interest to get what we can out of these people, so pissing on them has a real social cost.  The best way I can describe it is, everyone poops, for the sake of argument we can say the same amount, but it's Americans who smear the poo all over themselves and think that makes them smell better.  Do that long enough and then everything smells like shiat, to the point that those trying to keep things clean can't keep up.  The same amount of poo can raise much more of a stink if you keep it around.

The point is that there is a difference between all nations being knee-deep in assholes, and the tangible downsides of America's cultural acceptance of assholes.  Yes other nations manifest their douchedom in other ways, and in sum it could be worse, even far worse.  So, they're not necessarily better people.  But in terms of what WE do, we certainly do some things that other nations think are ridiculous.  I think rather than comparing behaviors as a sum to see who's better than who (I can think of no quicker path to bigotry), nations can be improved by looking at each other in distinct parts to see what we do better or worse.  Keep the better, change the worse, and we're all better off.  Not that anyone does, but just sayin', one thing that sure stands out is America's celebration of overt selfishness and persistent denial that this is normal.  It's not, and that becomes apparent when you go abroad.
 
2017-09-28 12:44:29 PM  
A psychologists job is to figure out why you think you are surrounded by assholes. A sociologists job is to figure out why you are actually surrounded by assholes.
The spectrum of definitive-nes by profession
Math > physics > chemistry > biology > psychology > sociology

From a mathematical perspective if 1 in 20 people are assholes and you associate with 40 people the probability is that you deal with 2 assholes in your life.

From a physics perspective: If  an asshole walks around your office at random ricocheting every it encounters an obstacle. Eventually asshole will end up at your cubicle.

From a chemistry perspective: If you are a noble element you won't react with the asshole element.

From a biological perspective: Assholes traits serve a purpose or have an inherent benefit otherwise they would have gone extinct by now.

From a physiological perspective: Maybe you are the asshole, or you think everyone is an asshole because you have a clinical illness.

From a sociological perspective: The current power dynamics inherent in the higher order sociological structures create environments for asshole tendencies to be expressed. Also we have to mention "carl marx" for some reason.
 
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