Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Problem is Right in Front of Your Face

Training to be a waitress 

I had been considering writing a piece about EliteDaily, a popular nonsense website made up of predominately American Narcissists under the age of 30. Similar to ThoughtCatalog. Rather than write that I went another way instead. 

The main observation was going to focus on the fact that EliteDaily doesn’t pay any of its writers. Yet each ‘writer’ churns out 4 to 5 posts a month, and lets EliteDaily soak in the benefits/clicks/revenue. For reference, EliteDaily seems to post 70+ pieces day.  With no compensation, why would anyone write for it?

Even more bizarrely their main competitor, ThoughtCatalog, has even written a post about why you should write for ThoughtCatalog instead. I had trouble focusing on its insanity, but their argument seems to be “We won’t pay you either, but we’re nicer about it!” I think? Maybe you’ll have better luck deciphering it. This piece on EliteDaily’s history is worth a look too. 

But really, this psychological problem of working for free on the internet is already covered over at TheLastPscyhiatrist in Alone’s last ever post.  So why rehash it?

Instead I was struck by a random piece by a young lady on EliteDaily titled The Foolproof Way To Orgasm: Stop Sleeping With Douchebags(spoiler alert it has nothing to do with orgasms. I know, I was disappointed too.) - Like nearly every post on the site it’s not actually a helpful how-to guide (as the title implies), but it instead reads like a journal entry; an overly personal live-journal post for those who remember live journal.

The young lady author (who you can find on Linkedin if you’re so inclined) rants about some douchebag she used to have relations with, and then congratulates herself because she claims she is no longer perusing douche-y guys. I’m not convinced, but more power to her.  
Why am I not convinced? Despite insulting her former flame as a “narcissist”, “self-serving”, “manipulative” and “psychopath” she also calls him her “counterpart” - her words.  Huh.

The most interesting part of her post was a throwaway line that I doubt struck her as odd or important. The start of her ‘how I met the douche’ story is this line:
“Immediately following my college graduation, I accepted a position as head hostess of a local chain restaurant.”
And there you have it folks. Again, you can find her Linkedin page.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Slate is Wrong / How to Cure Authoritarianism

Wait, they let babies into college now?

There is an article making the rounds right now that was initially posted on Slate.

In it, a Law Professor at U of Chicago, Eric Posner, argues that college students (he interestingly doesn’t specify age, just college students) should be denied most rights (such as free speech) because they are too immature to handle having rights and freedom.

The initial reaction, one would hope, is to decry this faux-intellectual milquetoast as an authoritarian monster who is damaging children. Don’t bother. took that tactic already. 

While (and I’m sure other sites) has pointed out that Mr. Posner has issues, let’s agree on three things.
  1. Yes. Mr. Poser is an authoritarian monster.
  2. Telling Mr. Posner that he’s an authoritarian monster isn’t likely to stop him from being an authoritarian monster.  So why bother telling him?
  3. Why can’t we persuade Mr. Poster that he’s a monster? Have you ever known someone to give up power willingly because you asked them nicely? Being in charge of thousands of college-age adults is essential to Mr. Posner’s identity. He needs to think of them as children so he can think of himself as an adult; even if he’s accomplished nothing of note that would otherwise signify adulthood. The childhood status of these legal adults is how Mr. Poser brand-identifies himself as an adult by proxy.

So, Mr. Poser is not going to have his mind changed on this issue. And regardless I’m sure many other people have written enough hate-pieces on him/to him. None of that helps solve the problem.

What we need to focus on is people who are persuaded by Mr. Posner’s arguments, and look to persuade them away from Mr. Posner’s arguments.

The person who reads Posner’s piece and thinks “He’s got a point. College kids today do seem awfully immature. ” –  Those people. How can we persuade them? How can we persuade them to reject authoritarianism and instead invest in the future of our younger generations? They are our only hope after all; who else is going to pay for our/Posner’s Social Security?

So these people who are sympathetic to Posner’s view point. How can we construct an argument to ‘save’ them?