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||the worldly core of my humanity
Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they're doing but with no idea why they're doing it.
Not being an entitled little shit is an admirable goal. But in the end, the deeper issue is the situation that makes it so hard to be anything else. The time has come, not simply to reform that system top to bottom, but to plot our exit to another kind of society altogether.
Robert Pogue Harrison:
There would be reason to applaud the would-be world-changers and start-up companies of Silicon Valley if they made it their business to resist or reverse this process of planetary upheaval, the way environmentalists seek to do with the wounds we have afflicted on nature. Sadly they have no such militancy in their souls, nor much thoughtfulness.
In truth Silicon Valley does not change the world as much as it changes my way of being in it, or better, of not being in it. It changes the way I think, the way I emote, and the way I interact with others. It corrodes the worldly core of my humanity, leaving me increasingly worldless.
Arthur C. Brooks:
The Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues measured the "negative affect" (bad moods) that ordinary daily activities and interactions kick up. They found that the No. 1 unhappiness-provoking event in a typical day is spending time with one's boss.
In politics, there are three basic categories. There's campaigning, there's governing and there's talking about it. The easiest of the three is talking about it. It also pays the best.
The problem, in general, is that managers reflexively attempt to pay their employees the minimum necessary to prevent them from leaving, while at the same time making every effort to maximize their own income.
Deflation is only a problem if you're the one trying to sell the cheap thing, or if the incredibly cheap thing is your salary, and your boss can't decide between paying you peanuts and finding someone else who will do your job for even less.
At most large Japanese firms, around a third of permanent staff are surplus to requirements, yet cannot be fired due to the country's unclear labour rules.
Had lay-offs been easier, Panasonic, Sony and others would have had far greater financial flexibility to cope with changing market conditions. Instead, their limited voluntary severance packages, typically offering two to three years' pay, are cripplingly expensive. Those who accept them are often the most talented.