Open Forum!

Once again, I won’t have time to get a full post up before an early morning program, so I’m relying on you, intrepid ethics explorers, to keep the flame lit.

Feel free to open new threads on some of the recent posts as well, particularly some of the ones buried in the usual weekend wasteland, like The Theater World Shows How To Embolden White Nationalists: Discriminate Against Actors For Being White,Are Men Really Supposed To Accept Misandry And Anti-Male Bigotry? I Strongly Suggest That They Don’t…and even older posts, like The Absurd Media, Feminist And Progressive Hypocrisy Regarding Joe Biden’s Sexual Misconduct, PART I: Why My Head Exploded.

But it’s up to you. After all, you’re on an ethics blog. I trust you.

97 thoughts on “Open Forum!

        • In the words of Tom Clancy (via Cathy Ryan) if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Or, if you prefer Virginia Woolf, nothing has really happened until it has been described.

          History may be written by the victorious, but imagine how much easier it would be to implement major societal change if history is never written at all and you can just make it up as you go along. Oceana has always been at war with Eastasia! They had to pass a constitutional amendment to keep FDR from running for president again! Dresden was the single city in the German heartland not totally occupied with war industry in the early 1940s! The possibilities are endless.

          Of course, this is just my take on it, and probably colored somewhat by my disdain for the people running mass media these days; I suspect that not only do they think along similar lines, but they also see it as a useful tool. Why focus on records, data, and other verifiable things when you can just quote an anonymous source quoting an anonymous source? Or even better, just don’t report it? After all, as evidenced by the tweet above, if you insist they write it down, you’re obviously a white supremacist. And if they don’t report it, well, it never happened.

                • No, that is good old fashioned deception, and the de facto prerogative of victors from time immemorial. Progressives are using that power illegitimately, and history, like God, will not be mocked: there is a price to pay for violating natural law, and mother nature doesn’t give a crap who you are.

                  Progressives are writing their own obituaries, and are too willfully blinded to see it.

                  • See also: “1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual!”

                    For my part, I agree with you, and hope we’re both correct. Or, more to the point, that we both live long enough to feel somewhat vindicated and see things set right. Correction certainly won’t be quick or easy, when it happens.

      • This might be a perfect example of halon’s razor.

        I’m willing to bet Mr. Zhang from Beijing, China might be equally slighted when he goes to give a foreigner a business card with both hands and the card is received with one and immediately put into a pocketed instead of examined front and back.

        Or maybe not. It isn’t done by everyone, but it is considered polite, like I don’t know, maybe writing a thank you note?

        • His complaint was that some people’s interviews were disregarded because they didn’t show gratitude in a very EASY manner.

          Unless Chinese culture doesn’t value gratitude (and I think it does), Mr. Zhang is complaining that it’s a demonstration of white racism to value gratitude.

          • I understood this one. I was being sarcastic. I gave the example of a Chinese custom of what do to when you get a business card. It is considered polite to give and take the card with both hands. If it is given to you, you look at both sides before putting it away. Chinese culture is very much about saving face or applying the niceties. it is one of the first things expats learn while living in the country. His comment is rather bigoted without knowing where he comes from. Knowing where he comes from, it makes him a hypocrite.

            • It doesn’t necessarily make him a hypocrite. He could just be bigoted. He could feel that the customs of his ancient and glorious civilization are very important and all the world must follow them and feel that the customs of all inferior civilizations are a trifle and actually offensive to him.

      • Writing a thank you letter or email is standard recommended practice after a job interview, from all the advice I’ve read or received from others for years. This wasn’t something that I just innately knew because I’m white. I had to seek out advice and learn it.

        Even then, I had an embarrassing experience trying to get the spelling of an interviewer’s foreign name, because he hadn’t provided me a business card (he probably didn’t have one), and the staffing agency that had arranged the interview mdidn’t have his information. So I had to guess the spelling and rely on the staffing agency to get the letter to him. I guessed the spelling wrong, and the thank you note turned out in that case to be entirely unexpected. But I got the job.

        Anyway, does Mr. Zhang have any data whatsoever to show that Ms. Liebman’s rule of thumb is discriminatory against non-white candidates? Or is he just shooting from the hip?

        • 1) His unspoken argument is that this particular manner is taught by white parents to white children, and that this unspoken practice is then used to decide which candidates “know the secret white person handshake”.

          2) His unspoken argument essentially claims that non-whites do not teach their children manners.

          3) His argument, whether he realizes it or not, infantilizes non-whites.

          4) I never knew to write a thank you email. But I didn’t have to look it up. My parents (just like my non-white friend’s parents) taught me to show gratitude for opportunities given to me. I learned *from the greater culture* (just like my non-white friends) that continuing to engage opportunities is how you pursue them. ON MY OWN, I put those two skills together to figure out that thank you emails are incredibly appropriate and very mannerly.

          5) If someone doesn’t send a thank you email. It isn’t because they are ignorant of “white supremacist code”, it’s because they are rude or lazy, and a great clue for why hiring authorities ignore applicants who don’t send thank you emails.

          • 5a) and if any particular candidate can honestly demonstrate that they are neither rude nor lazy, but indeed their own particular parents didn’t teach them manners, there is certainly NO correlation between race and that upbringing.

            • I deny that sending thank-you notes for job interviews is a matter of “good manners.” It is purely a matter of custom, situational and only for certain jobs — full-time, white collar jobs, especially for management-track positions. Nobody is expected to send a thank-you note after interviewing for a job as a fry cook or a carpenter. Did their parents not teach them manners? Is an actor expected to send thank-you notes for an audition? Is he being rude if he doesn’t? As a lawyer, I was interviewed by potential clients all the time. Nobody expected me to send them a thank-you note.

              The sending of thank-you notes is much more an issue of power dynamics than of courtesy. Why is the interviewee the one who should be expressing his gratitude? He is considering the interviewer as a potential employer, just as the interviewer is considering him as a potential employee. Why isn’t the interviewer the one who should send a thank-you note? As a matter of fact, when I was in law school, potential employers flocked to campus to interview students, and many of them did send us notes thanking us for talking to them. They did it not out of courtesy but because they needed young associates and students had many choices of employers, which is the opposite of the usual situation.

              • I agree: thank you notes would have COST you the opportunity in engineering related job interviews: you would have been seen as a suck up, a toadie, and the only reason to do so is you lack the skills to land the job based on your resume and interview.

                Different job types, different customs.

            • I seldom wrote a thank-you letter, and as an interviewer I never expected one. As I have suggested in other posts, I’m doing the interviewer a favor by giving that organization a chance to hire me. A lot of actors sent post auditions thank-you notes Just a suck-up move…wasn’t even worth a brownie point.

          • I don’t think the step from expressing gratitude as a matter of good manners to writing a post-interview thank you letter is an intuitive one. Why shouldn’t it be enough, manners-wise, to thank your interviewer in person before leaving? However, it’s something that’s customary and widely recommended. If you search for “what to do after a job interview” on Google, every single result on the first page recommends a thank you note or email. So this definitely isn’t some kind of hidden knowledge, and I don’t see any reason to believe that it functions as a structural barrier to entry for non-whites.

            • I really hate writing cover letters, by the way. It’s too bad I can’t claim that I’ve somehow been structurally disadvantaged by the expectation of a cover letter.

    • Of course not. In fact, the Red Sox Principle [“The Boston Red Sox are most certain to lose when victory seems certain, and most likely to triumph when defeat seems inevitable”] suggests that the start is good news.

      • Exactly! Why didn’t I think of that! They rested everybody during spring training so they could use the first part of the season AS spring training and save themselves for September and October. Losses Schmlosses! Thank Got they won’t be ten games up on the division by the end of June! That was a close one! Whew! How can you fold if you’re way behind! Brilliant. All these years, Mrs. OB has never articulated this to me.

        But seriously, aren’t you at all concerned that Tony LaRussa evidently has Dave Dombrowski’s ear? LaRussa is absolute organizational Kryptonite.

        • I wasn’t kidding. I can’t explain why the franchise has always behaved like a Bizarro World team, but it has, but I defined the RSP in 1978, and it has seldom failed me. Example: I bet I am the only person you know who predicted, in print, that the fact that the Sox were down 0-3 in the 2004 ALCS meant that not only would they become the first team in MLB history to win a seven game series from such a deficit, but that it also meant they would go on to finally win the Series, since the only way this could ever occur would be when everything indicated it was impossible.

          The Red Sox have the best team in baseball. They’re just setting you up. Not me! I’m on to their game…

          • Any team can go three and nine at any point in a season, of course. We’ll see how the Sox do. They lost some big pieces over the winter. Could also be WS hangover.

            • They lost Kimbrel. Joe Kelly was no big piece—he was an intermittently impressive retriever who has never been consistent. The supposed weakness of the team was the bullpen: it’s been terrific so far. I wouldn’t be worried even without the RSP to fall back on.

      • Jack: “The Boston Red Sox are most certain to lose when victory seems certain, and most likely to triumph when defeat seems inevitable.”

        Love it.

        As an avid Minnesota sports fan, the first clause of that statement could be applied to almost every team here, while the second clause is demonstrably false.

        -Jut

        • Funny how fan cultures crystallize. Two of my college roommates were die hard NY football Giants fans. This was at a time when my Miami Dolphins were ascendant (and Nick Buonoconti was turning his brains into mush). I noticed that to a Giants fan, the Giants were never defeated by a superior team, the Giants just screwed up and lost as a result. It was always the Giants’ fault. The opposing team never had a thing to do with the outcome. I think this is more an east coast/Acela corridor thing. Midwesterners are more earnest, loyal and forgiving of their teams. That explains the usual mediocre teams they get. The fans always show up.

      • The Boston Red Sox are most certain to lose when victory seems certain, and most likely to triumph when defeat seems inevitable”

        If you replace the Texas Rangers in for the Boston Red Sox, it sums up my observations. Except for that clause including the word triumph…

  1. Yesterday I taught an ethics course for a group of thirty corrections officers at a local sheriff’s office detention facility, and will teach the same class tomorrow for a second group. The attendees ranged from veteran staff, with ten or more years of service, to recent hires just out of basic training. Ages ranged from early 20s to mid 50s. Due to medical/surgical issues I have recently been “out of the saddle” as a trainer for two years and had not taught this particular course for nearly four years. As we discussed ethical considerations in the corrections context, I was struck repeatedly by one thing: The older, more experienced officers, who one might have expected to be quite jaded about their role, duties, and in their outlook toward professional / occupational ethical issues, were instead the most thoughtful and consistent in their ethical logic as we dissected various scenarios and case studies involving the application of ethics -or the lack thereof, and they displayed the greatest understanding of ethical concepts and principles. Conversely, the younger and less experienced officers’ reasoning was tilted toward ethical contingencies and excuse-making, and in some cases the idea that “what is acceptable to my peers is ethical.” As I always do, I posed Michael Josephson’s somewhat rhetorical question, “How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?” To my consternation, some of the younger people seemed to think that the answer could be quantified!

    Of course, I have no delusions that any instruction by me can correct an adult’s ethical deficiencies, but I always endeavor to at least provide a fairly comprehensive summary of ethical decision-making principles and processes, the legal and ethical duties of the job, the standards of the institution, and the likely consequences for failing to meet those ethical and legal standards. Based on their responses, I was not encouraged about the future of many of those younger officers. I recalled my own daughter’s experiences with “character education” in school, and our many related discussions about character and ethics, and wondered if these young officers hadn’t shared that educational experience, being of about the same age. If so, I saw little residual evidence of it.

    This particular detention facility is seriously overcrowded (nearly 25% over designed capacity), chronically understaffed (no staff positions added since the facility was at 60% of capacity), and has about a 40% annual staff turnover (mainly newer hires leaving for better-paying, less stressful jobs). A round of retirements about five years ago decimated the ranks of the most experienced staff. Over 50% of staff have less than four years experience. The corrections officer’s duties include a multitude of low-visibility discretionary decisions that often involve the use of coercive authority, and making ethical decisions is essential.

    • That sounds like a psychology experiment on ‘how to create a hellhole”. I have noticed that the phenomenon of ‘be understaffed’ and ‘get rid of experienced workers for inexperienced workers’ is now the rule, not the exception. Usually, it isn’t even a matter of the money. There is usually plenty of money in the overall system, it is just that very little gets allocated where it is needed.

      When I look for a root cause, it seems to be the death of capitalism is the cause. There are very few capitalists left. Who owns GM, GE, Pepsi? Retirement funds own them. Who votes the stocks for the retirement funds? Wall Street does and it votes as the board recommends. The actual owners have no say. The boards are now stocked with the CEO of the other boards (who do you think thought it was a good idea to stock your board with the CEO’s of your competitors?). The CEO’s do what they please with other people’s money. Their goal is to get the other CEO’s to vote them big bonuses (in return for voting those CEO’s bonuses on their own boards) and get a big golden parachute if things go badly. Forget about profits, forget about building the company, and forget about the workers. This may be oversimplified, but about 7 years ago, I voted against the Coca-Cola board proposal to give over 20% of the value of the company to the top managers as bonuses for LOSING MONEY THAT YEAR. Almost every stockholder voted against it, but it wasn’t enough to offset the Wall Street vote.

      You could really see the difference in the auto bailouts. GM got bailed out, Chrysler was left to rot, but Ford got to work. Ford sold off assets, concentrated on their core markets, and rebounded without taxpayer help. Why? Ford is owned (substantially) by the Ford family and they aren’t going to let THEIR company fail. Capitalists don’t want their companies to fail or do poorly. Successful capitalists will pay good wages for good people if it makes their company better. They keep experience around, they reward loyalty. They may not be nice people, but they will be as nice to employees as they need to be to make their companies succeed.

      I worked for a capitalist once. He was probably the best manager I have ever seen. He had really high goals, made people work like crazy, and paid them well for it. He paid what everyone else paid, but he had a work quota 50% higher than everyone else. Why would people work under those conditions? Well, a 100% Christmas bonus if you met quota, that’s why. He gave good raises for good work. He sided with good employees over bad. He demoted his own daughter-in-law for firing the experienced hourly workers and replacing them with lower-paid replacements. He wanted to make money. If you helped him get more money, he didn’t mind letting you have some for your trouble. He paid $1.25 million for 5 fast-food restaurants. He made $5 million/year in profit for 20 years on those restaurants, all the while paying managers double and paying hourly employees up to triple the minimum wage. When he was bought out by a big corporation, those stores made a combined $500,000/year paying half of what he paid. That man was a capitalist. He didn’t pay me double minimum wage as a high-school student out of the goodness of his heart. He paid me that because I could cook $500 worth of food/hour for him.

      Capitalists like that used to be fairly common. I knew of 5-6 in town when I worked in high-school. How many are there now? In many respects we are the bosses now, the public either owns the businesses (like a prison) or owns the stocks in our retirement accounts. We hire professional managers to run them. We theoretically oversee them. However, it turns out that we are much worse to our ’employees’ that the capitalists are. We already live in the socialist utopia and it looks understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and corrupt.

      • ”I worked for a capitalist once. He was probably the best manager I have ever seen.”

        Reminds me of one of Bill Gates’ 11 Rules of Life, falsely attributed to (and this is where it gets good) none other than Bill Gates!

        RULE 4–If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

  2. I don’t remember if this was discussed, but I saw this come up in the news again recently. Amazon discontinued its AI hiring program because it was reportedly sexist. It kept hiring men when the humans would have picked a female candidate. The Amazon programmers input thousands of manual corrections (you can’t take X into account, you can’t use Y), but the problem persisted until so many exceptions were input that the poor AI just selected resumes randomly. In other words, you can’t make an AI that chooses female candidates as often as the humans do. The news articles all blamed male domination of the tech industry, but why would the AI care? Why did everyone assume the AI was discriminatory and the humans weren’t? The AI looked for patterns in resumes and work evaluations of Amazon employees to learn. What if the AI was identifying the disparities caused by affirmative action?

    The AI doesn’t know male from female, so how did it ‘discriminate’ against women? Well, it downgraded candidate’s who put down they were in ‘women’s’ activities (women’s chess club, women’s debate team), it downgraded the graduates of women’s colleges, etc. How did it know they were women’s colleges? It doesn’t. Just like it learned that a 3.5 GPA from MIT or Cal Tech is better than a 4.0 from Central Iowa State U. based on the performance of the employees, it learned that graduates of those women’s colleges aren’t as capable as graduates of other schools. Why did the humans rate those colleges so highly anyway? Overall, the AI didn’t find that female candidates were unqualified, it just found that female candidates are not nearly as capable as the hiring managers think they are. So, an alternate explanation for the results are that female candidates were overrated and human hiring discriminates against men.

    Why didn’t this happen with minorities, just women? Well, we don’t know it didn’t. However, it is probably easier for the computer to distinguish female from male than white from racial minority. There are a lot of minority groups (each different), so the AI would have a harder time recognizing that black, African-American, hispanic, latino, latina, latinx, Native American, Indian, American Indian, etc are all one thing (minority).

    Overall, I think this may be an indicator of how much affirmative action has affected education and society. The losers in the Amazon AI mess are male and truly qualified female applicants. It seems that so many of the women had inflated credentials that the AI was not able to distinguish a truly qualified female applicant from one with inflated credentials. Grade inflation at a variety of schools causes the same problem.

    • Well, if it were looking at employee evaluations, then the AI would only spit back any biases of the evaporators.

      In Civil Engineering, we have a saying that high speed limits are correlated with safe roads (because the engineers will lower the speed limit on an unsafe road).

      • *Evaluators. (I may have 1984 stuck in my brain from another comment. Presumably, poorly evaluated candidates have a less drastic fate…)

      • In texas, we say that high speed limits correlate with decreased revenue for speeding tickets mandated by the Legislature.

        Amazing how speed limit increase objections went down when speed traps became less lucrative locally.

  3. The Netflix conversation and a private conversation I had last week I wanted to ask this question: Is it wrong to take advantage of someone based on their own insistence?

    I was talking with a friend of mine last week. He told me he watched the new Wreck it Ralph movie with his family and he laughed when he saw the old AOL (America online) symbol at the bottom of the internet. This prompted a discussion on back in the day when we both had AOL. He told me in the 3 years he had it, he never once paid for it. After further inquiry, he said he signed up for a free trial, and after the trail period was over, he attempted to cancel. He did this every month for three years, where every month they insisted he take another month free trail (I asked him if it was him just getting a new trial disk, and he said it was always done through customer service). He finally stopped when he wanted faster internet.

    A second example:
    I read a story of a man who would take weekly flights for work. When he was scheduled to fly back, it was normally during a time where the flight was overbooked and they needed volunteers to take a later fight that evening. He said he would wait until they got desperate enough to offer better compensation. This happened frequently enough he was basically flying free anywhere in the world all the time, so much so the gate staff pretty much started asking for him to give up his seat by name.

    A third example:
    Two weeks ago my boss was telling me about a new chainsaw he had. He said he basically got it for free because the previous owner claimed it was broken beyond repair. Before buying it, he examined it and determined that it could be fixed quite easy. Being a great guy, he even offered to fix it for the man. The man insisted it was only good for parts. My boss said he took it home, fixed in 10 minutes, and later that day, used it to cut down a tree.

    • JP, I find no wrong in any of these examples. I have been a beneficiary of your third example several times, because so few people know how to fix anything and tend to discard things that don’t work, rather than repair them. Case in point, I saw my neighbor carrying an expensive drip coffee maker to the curb for trash pickup. It turned out to have a damaged power cord, which I offered to fix. He said no, he had already bought a replacement and didn’t need a second one. He gave me the “old” one, refusing my offer of payment. I repaired it and subsequently used it in my workshop for ten years. I gave it to a friend when I bought a Keurig. Similar scenarios have played out the same way numerous times. It is easy to see how people get “fleeced” by unethical repairmen, who depend upon their lack of knowledge.

    • 1) If your friend did his due diligence, I’m not sure he was unethical in taking advantage of what amounted to a promotional offer that someone hadn’t realized was a mistake. Having done his due diligence to inform them of their mistake (which it seems like he did according to your anecdote), what else is he supposed to do but take a great offer?

      2) I’m not sure yet about this one.

      3) Again, this is basic due diligence. Was your boss obligated to inform someone they were making a mistake? No, but there is a strong community need to ensure we are all as informed as we can be about decisions we make, so I’d say your boss was only a half a notch shy of being obligated to let the former chainsaw owner know that his chainsaw was easily reparable.

      Having done his due diligence, he was free to take the chain saw at the former owner’s insistence.

      • 1. This one bothers me the most. While my friend might have done his due diligence, the company is still being hurt by their own bad business model. Does seem to be a betrayal of Kantian Ethics. He could refuse the service despite their insistence or pay for it.

        2. I’m not sure about this one either. It seems like simple game theory. Both sides are conceding something to get something else they want. I’m incline to say it isn’t ethical. I’m guessing since he was flying for work, that work was paying for his work plane tickets, so he was basically getting the other tickets to wait a few hours.

        3. I think Jack wrote something to this effect a while ago about a car. I wish I could fine it.

        • 3. I can’t tell you where it is, but it was his son who fixed a car he bought from a guy who refused to believe it was…spark plugs, if I recall correctly…and there was an ethical dilemma as to whether or not to tell the guy he fixed it. Added to the mix, the guy had been a jerk about Grant’s suggested – correct – solution.

        • Regarding number 1, AOL would lose both the subscription fee AND ad revenue if they lost the subscriber, since more subscribers lets them charge more for ads. Giving him the free trials, they only lost the subscription fee. It was a calculated, if desperate, business move.

    • AOL used a subscription model similar to magazines. They told advertiser’s they had X customers and got Y=f(X) in advertising revenue (where f'(X)>0). Offering him unlimited “free trials” was a deliberate (and desperate) choice on the company’s part.

    • I find no problems in any of your scenarios, ethically speaking. The last two are totally acceptable ‘contracts’ in which both parties were fully aware of the value being traded.

      The AOL issue was as described by others, coupled with a ‘the more subscribers we have, the better our Wall Street investors like it.’ Before the ‘Dot Com Bubble’ burst, many telecom companies ran the same model: no revenue (or a loss) per customer, but only tell Wall Street about the number of customers. It worked until investors got wise, then the market collapsed.

    • I’m a day late and possibly a dollar short, but…. in regards #3 I saw no mention by commenters that there might be a responsibility, if not moral or ethical, at least practical for someone, everyone, to have some knowledge about how and why some of the mechanical devices actually do what they do; how they work. Maybe its just generational. I recall, as a very young child, watching my father replace power cords on irons, vacuums, mixers, etc and his replacing door latches and building cabinets for things…. I don’t know if tha happens any more. I’ll spare you folks my “great laptop adapter saga”, pt and pt 2.

      • As an engineer, I used to work on my own computers/phones/technology. As my time has gotten more valuable (I get paid much more now than in years past) I have simply gotten the Geek Squad to fix things, paying for expertise. I still can call them on bullshit, most of the time, so am more comfortable these days paying and trusting strangers on my devices.

        I also no longer keep things I would not like to go public* on such devices, so the trust issue is MUCH easier to swallow. (My rule is: “if the device touches the Internet, it is not secure. This is why God invented thumb drives.”)

        Not sure how the little engineer who lives in my head has taken this compromise (he is jumping up and down and yelling right now) but the older, wiser Project Manager understands risk-to-reward analysis, and allowing subject matter experts to do their jobs.

        I do not think this makes me less ethical, from a societal point of view, but admit to confirmation bias here: it is FAR less effort this way, with similar results.

        * tax returns, banking information, personal family information, private photos (policy: don’t take ’em), secret analysis of NSA monitoring (I see you guys), my grandmother’s recipe for Fruit Fried Pies, and so on…

        A notable exception is a password vault that is 4096 bit encrypted using a somewhat-more-than-18-character password hash that the providing company itself cannot break: lose that password, lose the vault. Oh, the NSA could crack it, under brute force, but they would simply torture it out of me if they really wanted it. Everyone else, Russians included, are pikers. Hmmm… now that I think about it, I cannot remember the password either (It is recorded in a safe deposit box somewhere in the southern USA requiring my biometric data to access… no, really): I use my thumb print to bypass for daily use. Torture is off the table, NSA guys.

    • I’m fairly sure the subreddit you linked is a parody of another, far more popular subreddit which also exists to mock unsuccessful people (for a different value of success).

        • Well, the subreddit they seem to be targeting (by their own admission) is the IncelTears subreddit – which, fairly or unfairly, pillories self-described incels who bemoan their inability to woo the fairer sex (and are, therefore, involuntarily celibate). A quick read through some of the comment threads leads me to believe they’re possibly ripping comments straight off their target subreddit:

          “His personality needs work

          He needs to watch three movies about work to start then he should start college or go back because it is like the gym for your career, he needs to buy a suit so he can show the employer how dedicated he is to work like a slave, get a haircut etc that makes him look like everyone else and remember he needs to work on his personality because employers can sense he looks at company reviews online ”

          Does that sound like job-hunting advice? It strikes me as a poorly-cribbed comment on someone with trouble getting a date, but your mileage may vary.

          And then there’s this gem from a frequent commenter, in response to someone asking if it’s a joke sub in a thread from about four months ago:

          “it’s a sarcastic parody about how dumb the users of IncelTears sound and how reddit finds it “okay” to bash people.”

          That was really the one that tore it for me – your mileage may vary.

          • I have an idea of why incels think and feel the way that they do.

            Consider the National Basketball Association (NBA)

            The NBA has the Most Valuable Player award. This award is only awarded to one person, per season.

            And some players receive an award multiple times, over multiple seasons.

            And performance in basketball games relies on luck as well as skill.

            No doubt many players would feel a bit of envy against a player who received an MVP (like LeBron James did four times).

            But very few NBA players would feel alienated from the NBA due to not receiving the MVP.

            Even fewer would feel alienated from humanity.

            And the reason so few players would feel alienated due to the lack of an MVP is because the MVP is so rare. It is issued only once per season.

            Most players, upon hearing someone else got the MVP, would think, I played well, I practiced hard, maybe I could have done better. Failing to receive the MVP would not make most players think there is something wrong with them as players, let alone people.

            Because of the rarity of the MVP, almost no NBA players would feel entitled to an MVP.

            What does this have to do with incels?

            Look at the contrast.

            Only one player per season gets the MVP.

            By sharp contrast, almost everyone gets to be in sexual relationships.

            Incels feel alienated from humanity because they feel they are being excluded from something everyone else takes for granted. They observe friends and family, including those they grew up with, go into these relationships.

            That is why so many of them feel alienated from humanity.

            That is why so many of them feel ashamed.

            And many of them feel entitled to sex, because literally everyone in their lives is getting it. They feel it is unfair that they are not getting what everyone else gets, that they are being unfairly excluded for no good reason. many of them think, What is wrong with me? Everyone else has had sex. Everyone else has had a relationship. What did I do to deserve this? Why me? It’s not fair!

            That explains their feelings.

            • I think we agree – although were I in a similar position, I wouldn’t use it to define myself.

              Something else that factors in here is the “Disney mentality.” There’s always a happy ending! Every prince gets a princess and vice versa! You deserve it, and if you’re not getting it, you’re either the villain, or you’re not trying hard enough. When kids grow up having this message hammered into their developing minds, well, what do we expect? Is it really so surprising that we have adolescents and young adults who feel deprived and cheated when it turns out that life isn’t a fairy tale? See also: go to college! Get a degree! Or else you won’t be able to land a good job! Do you want to end up flipping burgers? It’s a similar mentality, isn’t it? Expectations built up by our culture, and then dashed to pieces on the rocky coast of reality.

              It’s because this similarity in theme is so easy to spot that this subeddit exists. The basic premise is: why does a popular subreddit exist solely to mock incels? And so, in parody, they mirror the mocking of incels who feel entitled to a relationship by mocking “unemployeds” who “feel entitled to jobs.” Obviously that’s a caricature, and if we take them seriously, our reaction is “well, that’s entirely uncalled for.” Which, I submit, is the point.

              On the other hand, things like this take on a life of their own, and there may actually be participants taking it seriously. Anonymity offered by the internet breeds edgy positions.

              • I don’t entirely disagree here, but many incel posts do reflect an entitlement to sex, not a relationship. There’s a scary dehumanization of women as providers and with-holders of sex, rather than real people who are worth relating to on other levels. That’s one part that inspires a lot of hostility from others, which leads to subreddits like IncelTears and creates a vicious feedback cycle.

                Online, it’s hard to tell which poster is a scared, lonely young guy who needs some encouragement that sex isn’t always the be-all end-all and recommendations for good coed boardgame meetups in his area, and who might be planning to shoot up a women’s gym next month. People like to assume the latter because it’s more dramatic and because they’re scared the former might hit a little too close to home.

                • I think you hit the nail on the head. Most people want to empathize with your first example, but no one should want to have any sort of association with the second.

                  However, a community that exists to mock and demonize the entire group regardless of which category the individual may fit strikes me as a good way to create more of the latter out of the former.

                  Interestingly, it seems like that phenomenon could be a part of how we ended up with President Trump, as well.

                  • I think you’re right about the last point, and Reddit is an excellent microcosm of that phenomenon in general.

                    Not unrelated, I gave up large swathes of Reddit for Lent, and my outlook has been so much more positive since then.

                    • Something else that factors in here is the “Disney mentality.” There’s always a happy ending! Every prince gets a princess and vice versa! You deserve it, and if you’re not getting it, you’re either the villain, or you’re not trying hard enough. When kids grow up having this message hammered into their developing minds, well, what do we expect? Is it really so surprising that we have adolescents and young adults who feel deprived and cheated when it turns out that life isn’t a fairy tale? See also: go to college! Get a degree! Or else you won’t be able to land a good job! Do you want to end up flipping burgers? It’s a similar mentality, isn’t it? Expectations built up by our culture, and then dashed to pieces on the rocky coast of reality.

                      That does explain it in part.

                      A fairy tale ending to the story of an NBA player is winning the MVP.

                      A fairy tale ending to the story of a U.S. military serviceman is receiving the Medal of Honor.

                      However, incels see practically everyone else getting their prince or princess in their context. Very much unlike NBA players, or U.S. military veterans.

                      I don’t entirely disagree here, but many incel posts do reflect an entitlement to sex, not a relationship. There’s a scary dehumanization of women as providers and with-holders of sex, rather than real people who are worth relating to on other levels.

                      True, some of them feel entitled to sex, just like some NBA players may feel entitled to an MVP, or some U.S. military veterans feel entitled to a Medal of Honor.

                      I suspect what most of them want, what most of them feel entitled to, is equality.

                      They feel alienated from humanity because they are being excluded from something almost all of humanity takes for granted. They do not want to be an inferior outlier.

                      NBA players who do not get an MVP, and U.S. military veterans who do not receive a Medal of Honor, are far from outliers.

                      And these incels are condemned to be an inferior outlier for no good reason.

                      I mean, why can’t girls and women just share their vaginas with them, they ask. I mean, those girls and women will still have their vaginas after sharing them, right. It is not even as big of a deal as employers having to pay a living wage (which means less money for the employer).

                      Most of them just want to be like everyone else.

                      And they resent everyone else because they feel unfairly excluded from what everyone else gets to have.

                    • And they resent everyone else because they feel unfairly excluded from what everyone else gets to have.

                      … without having to do what everyone else does to get it. (learn to talk to women, learn to bathe, learn to work for a living, make yourself an attractive mate, not just a loser interested in sex…)

                      Sounds like they are just good little socialists to me.

                    • They feel it is unfair they are not getting sex, just as others feel it is unfair they are not getting a living wage, or that they are not getting health care coverage that includes contraception without co-pay.

                      Here is an interesting comment relating socialism and incel ideology.

                      http://old.reddit.com/r/stupidpol/comments/b2dpew/brainlet_questions_ii_are_incels_wrong_and_why/eis5bcm/

                      The distribution of “sexual capital” is entirely parallel to the distribution of wealth.

                      A small group of people at the top hold vast amounts, enormously disproportionate to the actual size of their group

                      Most people are in the middle and are going “just ok”

                      A certain chunk of people are at the bottom and have little to no sex/money in their lives.

                      Now, for those people at the bottom, for those people who are socially isolated, we see them fragment into different groups depending how they respond. This is just predicatble human behavior.

                      Some are slightly bugged by it but other than they don’t really care and don’t delve into the issue. (“I’d like to have sex but eh, it’ll happen when it happens”).

                      Some respond with desapir and sadness (/r/foreveralone)

                      Some respond with frustration and try to formulate a worldview to explain what is happening (/r/braincels)

                      What’s particularly amusing is that when it comes to money, a certain number of poor people absolutely refuse to hear any explaination of how they are victims. In fact it makes them angry. They are “proud poor people” who detest the idea of support or handouts. This group also exists when it comes to sex in the form of /r/inceltears/

                      Now, the term “incel” been overused to the point of losing all meaning. Kanye West gets described as an incel. The NZ shooter is called an incel. It’s almost become a catch all term for “a guy doing something anti-social”. However for a true discussion we should keep the term “incel” to it’s true meaning: Anyone who cannot find sex despite wanting it. The “angry incels” are just a subset of the overall group of incels. If you would like sex but do not have it, you are involuntary celibate, you are part of the group of “incels”

                      Anyway, looking at the “frustrated incels”, is their worldview correct? Put it blunty, I can summarize it as

                      Looks are the prime factor in your sex appeal to women. The worse you are in the looks department, the more you have to “make up for it” in other areas (be it charisma, charm, confidence, wealth, ambition etc)

                      So a guy who has the body of a greek god and the face of a male model needs little else to be able to get sex. He will be able to get sex from his looks alone. In fact tinder experiments prove that a literal child rapist, woman beater can get sex with ease, so long as he looks good.

                      Guys who are perceived as “attractive” need just a little bit of charisma to get it. So long as they aren’t actively weird, they will be ok.

                      Guys who have average looks need some defining marker to get sex. They need to go through the “courting” process which they may or may not fail.

                      Guys who are perceived as ugly need to be exceptional in other areas. It will be a challenge for ugly people to even be given a chance in the first place, let alone actually make it through the courting process. Any “mistake” he makes will be judged much more harshly than a guy of higher attractiveness. The ugly guy has much less room to slip up. Despite this, some guys will have the tools to make up for being ugly, but the reality is most will not and it is simply unrealistic to expect them all to do so. “I saw an ugly guy with a girlfriend” when talking about incels is like saying “I saw a black man being successful” when talking about racism. It’s just idiotic.

                      In all honesty the worldview runs entirely parallel to a leftists world view of social mobility: The worse your starting conditions, the more “perfectly” you need to play through life to escape poverty. A person born poor needs to work much harder to end up wealthy than a person born rich. And any mistakes the poor person makes will be punished much more severely than a rich person doing the same thing. Now, some people born poor will make it out, but it simply unrealistic to expect them all to do so.

                      What’s annoying to me is that people on the left, who are able to view most issues in society as the structural problems that they are, suddenly turn into Ben “Just pull up your bootstraps” Shapiro when discussing incels. At least the right are consistently stupid, I don’t expect any different of them. But the left have double standards, they absolutely REFUSE to give any charity to incels, but will bend over backwards to defend other marginalized groups. Most likely the reason is that most on the left are so entrenched in their “women are victims, men are persecutors” worldview that is impossible for them to accept anything which does not fit comfortably into this narrative.

                      Will better distributions of resources alleviate sexual inequality to a tolerable degree?

                      Absolutely not, and hear is why.

                      As I laid out above, guys who are ugly need some tools to make up for it. One of these potential tools is wealth. However, if everyone is more or less equal, this avenue disappears. Being a stable provider is a way A LOT of guys are able to find a girl as she approaches 30. If the role of a stable provider was not needed, more of these guys would miss out.

                      In fact, throughout the history of our world, a large number of men and women have been able to pair off. This is actually not normal, and we really take it for granted that this should be the case. 8,000 YEARS AGO, 17 WOMEN REPRODUCED FOR EVERY ONE MAN. We see this in the animal kingdom also: One single male, or a small group of males, take all the females while the rest get nothing, so it really is exceptional that we have managed to produce a culture where so many males are able to pair off.

                      What is the reason for this? It is likely that patriarchy and cultural monogamy is the reason.

                      Patriarchy and cultural monogamy ensures a system where women cannot sleep around with high status men. They must save themselves for one man and one man only. And since women had little capacity to provide for themselves, they had no choice but to save themselves for their future provider.

                      This system ensured that, so long as a man was working and earning, he was in a position to pair off with a woman.

                      Now that women can provide for themselves, now that the cultural shaming of having casual sex has been largely reduced, the tools that allowed all men to have a chance has disappeared.

                      The removal of these structures is giving us more freedom, certainly. Women are very free now. Free to follow their natural desires, unrestrained by patriarchy or sexual shaming. But what is “natural” in terms of sex is that some men take everything, while most get little to none. That is the trend we can see ourselves heading down now. The number of incels is rising and will continue to rise. Whether you think this is worth the freedom is up to you.

                    • Michael E’s point is taken, but it brings up some major fallacies incels seem to hold to, which media reinforces and which I wish I could convincingly debunk for them:

                      -Relationships are equivalent to sex
                      -Literally everyone else is having sex except for them
                      -Not only that, literally everyone else is having amazing consequence-free sex all the time except for them

                      Not having sex or a romantic relationship (and again, many incels are fixated on the sex) doesn’t make someone an inferior outlier in an otherwise equal society, it just makes it hard not to see themselves that way. That’s an understandable viewpoint but it’s one to be adjusted, not indulged.

                    • Michael E – I don’t understand whether you’ve been trying to prove that these ideas exist, or that they’re valid.

  4. I subscribe to 30-40 various YouTube channels. Many are politically critical and some deal on non-PC ideas (similar to what I often talk about).

    Reviewing my subscriptions yestereve: 5 have been eliminated (banned, all their content gone, removed 100%).

    A message appears about having “violated terms of use” for “hate speech”.

    [i]First they came for “so-and-so” and I did nothing ….[/i]

    Just the beginning: The Great Erasure.

    • The new progressive totalitarian tactic does seem to be stuffing uncomfortable history and content down a memory hole.

      You have to be careful how you source things online more than before.

          • Gee, that was perfectly fine as long as progressives had access to the levers of power. Color me shocked! that such might be used on our rightful overlords when non progressives are in power.

            They are right, by the way. They are just now worried about the fact because they may be victimized by it themselves. Progressives never intend to live under the rules they impose on the peons, er, serfs, er, deplorables.

        • Can I get a translation?

          Hmmm… I will try a couple of tactics to get my point across.

          If you cannot compete on the playing field of ideas, make the field a parking lot, shoot the ball, and declare that there never was a game in the first place.

          Delete any reference to a past we currently find distasteful (even if we are the ones being edited) in the name of keeping the narrative pure today.

          Change the definitions of terms we use, without notice to the reader, in order to deceive and support the cause. The same should be done to facts that are currently unfortunate for the cause.

          Nesting suggests you were not talking to me, but the email said you were replying to my post. I apologize if you were not talking to me.

  5. From an article on Counter-Currents: Trump’s betrayal of White America:

    “Trump has kept some of his promises. So far, he has kept every promise that he made to the Jewish community. Yet he has reneged on his promises to white America – the promises that got him elected in the first place. It is a betrayal of the highest order: millions of white Americans placed their hopes in Trump and wholeheartedly believed that he would be the one to make America great again. They were willing to endure social ostracism and imperil their livelihoods by supporting him. In return, Trump has turned his back on them and rendered his promises void.”

    Sounds accurate.

    And so it goes . . .

    • No, it sounds idiotic, and also counter-factual. The President made no promises to “white America,” he made campaign promises to the whole country, sometimes incomprehensible ones, and Presidents are not kings. I won’t list the successes and defeats, but by historical Presidential standards, Trump’s three year record is better than most on promise-keeping, certainly better than the man he replaced.

      • That makes very good sense, as seen from your perspective. Your perspective would be the proper one in a non-divided country, and one that is not on the verge of a profound political crisis.

        However, since I accept that there is now a ‘war on Whites’ (and ‘whiteness’) and that this is extremely harmful and detrimental to the white demographic, and therefore to the nation, and since I am also aware (it is generally speaking what most say and most believe) that Trump was elected by Whites and through the white vote; and since the article referred to is from Counter-Currents which has established itself as a white advocacy media source, it is important even for those who don’t like what is said there, or don’t agree with it, or who oppose it even in absolute terms, to understand what some factions within America are thinking and why they think it.

        1) I would say that Trump was, in fact, elected by white America. You could also say that the ‘interior’ of the country elected him in opposition to the ‘coasts’. I suppose this is a somewhat complex issue. I would also say that Trump is a symbol of a new populism that will take shape through ethnic identification. Trump is just the beginning. This is just a fact. This is coming about as a result of choices made: i.e. the deliberate choice to alter the nation’s demographics and create situations that lead to conflict. Post-Sixties radicalism is now maturing into an ugly, virulent form, and it will keep moving along exactly the trajectory we notice: until it is opposed successfully.

        2) White Identity needs to increase thousand-fold. I understand what that is. I understad what the arguments are. It needs to become active and militant. It needs to say “No!” to those who denigrate Whites and ‘whiteness’. It needs to develop the will to ‘take back the country’ which also means to claim it. Very difficult, possibly impossible, but it needs to happen. The white demographic needs to recognize what is at stake, recognize that ‘America is theirs’, and needs to reclaim power politically and socially. It gave away its power and ‘White America’ became cowardly and cowed. After 5 years of pretty careful study I have made my decision. This is what I think. No one else has to agree. I am not alone though. And my choice, my understanding, is 100% in conformity with sound ethical reasoning. I will defend my views against anyone, anywhere. If it wasn’t ethical, I would have to modify my views.

        3) It is true that a president is not a King. I do understand what you are saying. And I do notice and respect your views about America and what you feel it is supposed to be. These are, I think, noble sentiments. But that ‘America’ has passed. It was destroyed by those who made bad choices. A new situation has manifested. What this means politically and nationally is hard to say. I suggest that the meta-political reality created a situation where views and decisions of a somewhat drastic nature are called for. That is pretty much all that I write about and all that concerns me.

        4) The white demographic needs to a) empower itself intellectually and spiritually b) get out from under the PC control of guilt-mongers and the Marxian egalitarian regime-of-thought c) define its interests as distinct from the interest of others through cultural and ethnic identification d) organize to oppose the immigration policies of the present regime (because ‘demographics is destiny’) and e) over decades begin to reverse the ‘browning trend’ and augment the super-majority status that is ‘white America’.

        I am comfortable — not happy, but comfortable — with my role as *Cassandra*. What I ‘predict’, I propose, will come to pass.

        • 1. “I would say that Trump was, in fact, elected by white America. ” This is a result of simple demographics, and not necessarily in the way you are thinking. Most people in America (especially in the ‘interior’) are what the left would call ‘white.’ So the statement is true, but misleading in implication.

          I agree somewhat that we are headed to battling ethnic identity groups, as ‘whites’ recognize that they are to be destroyed. This is a self defensive reaction, not the surge of white nationalism the progressives would have us believe. Progressives needed an enemy, and are creating a monster they will not be able to control. Since they are willfully ignorant of history (‘whites’ are holy terrors when threatened as a group) they think we will roll over and die. My money is on history: Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and so on.

          2. Self defense is ALWAYS ethical. I cannot find fault with your conclusions, here: the facts are plain to see. Progressives want us dead, in the end, and have said so on many occasions. More and more common Americans have come to the place where I have stood for a decade or more: I believe progressives when they say so. Socialism, progressivism, communism: all have a track record in world history, and it ain’t good for the chosen enemy of the ‘Peepul.’

          3. Again, the facts are with you. We HAVE become the world’s police, often against our better interests. We have no good reason to occupy territory (or have bases) in countries who take advantage of our protection to undermine us (I am looking at YOU, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey…). We have no business sending money to our enemies, who would destroy us given half a chance. (Why are we supporting countries who always vote against us in the UN?) Imperial America is not an unfair term for this, and this policy needs to be moderated or completely undone.

          4. Replace ‘white demographic’ with ‘culturally common American demographic’ and everything else is more or less agreeable. In my estimation, this is less about skin color than it is about culture. American culture works.

          We are headed into some harsh times. Progressives are going to the mat, and it will take HARD lessons (some in blood) to teach them that they are not entitled to destroy what America stands for. They will be hit back. They will fold, having never been opposed in their lives.

          Progressives never intend to pay a personal price for their ideology, and thus have no backbone when credibly threatened.

    • Ahem…

      As a member of ‘white’ America (whatever THAT is) I distinctly remember the campaign promises I based my decision to help elect Trump (The biggest implied promise was ‘i am not Hillary,’ but YMMV).

      Trump has exceeded my wildest expectations of any politician since Reagan. My standards were lowered even more because, well, it was TRUMP, so expectations were not high, except for the biggie mentioned above.

      The Swamp is feeling the pressure, as water levels fall. This is why the desperate, frenzied accusations continue: our erstwhile aristocratic rulers are finding things not to their liking. Nothing testifies to promises kept like Trump’s enemies befooling themselves as they have.

      • Sure, I understand I think quite well where you stand and how you view things. It is non-useful to critique or even to comment on what you say. You won’t be moved. You certainly won’t believe me.

        But history is looooonnggggg. And over the next 5-10 years we will be able to ‘compare notes’.

        I am also aware that having solidified my own views, that my general ideas may now be perceived as unsavory, un-American, undesired, destructive — not good for this Blog, not good for Jack essentially.

        These ideas are now being suppressed by the Information Lords, as I assume you are aware. I have always said “Just tell me to go away and I will”. I meant it then and I mean it now.

        If you want any clarification however of any particular point I make, just ask!

  6. I know it’s yesterday’s, but just came upon this article about New Zealand and their recent vote on gun control.
    https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2019/4/10/18304415/new-zealand-gun-control-mosque-shootings-assault-weapons-ban
    What got to me more is their implied criticism that our government is so bad because laws can’t be passed on a whim. They have to go through both houses of Congress and get signed by the President. Also, how the Senate is so bad because every state has two senators, instead of population representation, like the House

    • New Zealand’s opinion is less important to America than, say, who will win the next World Series (Go Rangers! Alas…)

      If not for America, they would be speaking Japanese, if they survived at all. They are less than a client state: they are traitors to the history and common success our countries both stem from (as are most commonwealth states, Britain included)

      Our system is the most successful ever created, for all of our flaws, so the best answer to such hubris is ‘BITE ME.’

    • The true irony here is how badly New Zealand apparently abused their own established parliamentary process to get reactionary and punitive legislation passed based solely on a major statistical outlier (an outlier committed by an individual whose stated purpose was to trigger this exact reaction).

    • The New Zealanders may be on the right track.

      I mean, there was an assault weapons ban in the U.S. on April 20, 1999. Imagine if there were not. there might have been a school shooting that day!

  7. I was thinking of these Red Flag laws and realized they do not go far enough.

    People subject to red flags should have more restrictions than not having guns.

    -Any medical or legal licenses should be suspended.
    -They should be prohibited from any form of intimate relationship or contact.
    -They should be required to wear a distinctive badge (perhaps an emblem of a red flag) when out in public.

    • Nah, hard to represent a flag in two dimensions and make it easy to implement and recognizable. We need something unusual enough in shape, color, and design as to be instantly recognizable even at a distance and with less than stellar video surveillance, yet easy to make and attach to clothing of all sorts.

      I know: a yellow star!

      #NothingNewUnderTheSun
      #ProgressivesAreTheTrueFacists

  8. I am done with the illegal immigration issue!

    There is absolutely no acceptable reason for any person(s) to illegally cross the international border of a sovereign nation unless those persons are actively fleeing from immediate threat of physical harm.

    It’s my opinion that President Trump should publicly state that the United States of America will enforce our immigration laws to the letter and anyone that’s currently in the United States illegally will be deported when they’re identified, no exceptions! As for the “dreamers” (faux propaganda term) that are not currently in the process of becoming a United States citizen, tough luck, you’ve had your chance, you and your parents are outta here too.

    Anchor children, you’re citizens, you’re parents are not – they’re outta here too! If you want to stay make arrangements or go with them.

    It needs to be made perfectly clear to the entire world that ANYONE that crosses the United States International Border illegally will be deported immediately and their right to enter the United States will be permanently revoked. If immigrants want to come to the United States or claim asylum then they need to do it the legal way.

    The United States has been and is being invaded by illegal immigrants.

    I’m done. This is my hill to die on.

    Invasion: an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity.

  9. Ethics poll:

    When they rebuild the Notre Dame roof and spire, should they-

    a) do their best to replicate exactly what was there before?

    b) build a new style roof and spire with modern architecture?

    c) blend the two?

    • Many. Thanks MW. We have covered all of these phenomenon using different terms and illustrations.
      “Omnipotence” is the King’s Pass on the Rationalizations list. Cultural numbness is an awkward description of the effect of the Big Yellow Circle in the Three Circles diagram that doubles as the ProEthics logo.Much of the rest is discussed in detail by Philip Zimbardo in his “rules”.

      I’ll link to it in teh warm-up.

    • The article poses this question, “If you were present at that dinner would you let the CEO know that you disapprove of his language and behavior? Would you try to better a better example? Or stay silent?”

      I’ve been in countless similar situations to what was described in the dinner story. I would have made a general statement to the group “I for one I’m here to have a good time with everyone and I don’t care about the surroundings, let’s enjoy ourselves in-spite of the surroundings. Who’s with me?”. Sometimes I’d switch the word “care” to “give a damn” depending on the group gathered. Yes I’ve done this way too many times to count, it just seems like there’s always someone in a group that is a petty whiner.

      In my opinion, it’s very rare that the setting itself will ruin the gathering unless petty people are allowed to continue their whining.

      • I’d strike up as much of a conversation as I could with the waiter and ask probing questions, the answers of which and the banter back and forth should amply demonstrate the waiter’s fellow humanity with the waited-on, and hopefully quietly shame the verbal bully, CEO or not.

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