Showing posts from August, 2022

Of Tall Tales

Of Tall Tales and Stupid People. Be warned everything you hear is a story. I have spent the better part of my career working with stories. We academics call it "narratives." And the more I look at the World around me I realize that I have lost the ability to enjoy a story. Because it is always, oh so predictable, and always, oh so false. You see the tall tales and you see the stupid people who believe the stories they are told and walk around in blissful ignorance of the fact that they have just been taken for a ride. It is easy to find the holes in a story - it is just that you have to look for them. And you only look for them when you accept that everything you are hearing is a manufactured tale with some bits of reality and truth to lull you into comfort and the rest is just fabricated. One then asks why? Why do people pepper their stories with the fictional and the fabrication. The unfortunate truth is that people have things to hide. People are in places of vulnerability

And You I Trust

And You I Trust. Really? After about five years of focused research on surveillance and the resulting book, I am doubtful. Trust is a disappearing element in a World that has become self-centered and willing to risk a lot for the thing we want to do that others want to deny us. Trust rests on the assurance that you will not be judged. Trust assumes that you are accepted as you are. That it requires no pretense, it requires no secrets. But we know that is a myth. In reality, the reverse of trust - suspicion - is what often runs our lives. Every action is worthy of doubt. And sometimes rightfully - because things may not be as they appear. The apparent innocence is only the "public face" that the thinker Goffman taught us about. We present the public face. We lie. Blatantly. Because it suits our purpose. Because we hope we will not be found out. Because we know that we are trusted. And we abuse that trust. In our circles of trust we find the comfort of knowing that we can lie,

Money for nothing

Money for nothing and the chicks for free. Remember that song from Dire Straits. They were talking about work, if you follow along with the lyrics, it also says, "That ain't workin', that's the way you do it." And indeed, what is work? I am on my first research leave of my academic career this semester. For those who do not know, academics are offered a few breaks from teaching which are called "sabbaticals." Derived from the old Hebrew word, " shabbāth" the term refers to a point of rest when you rejuvenate and return to work with renewed energy. In the American academic system, a faculty member can become eligible for the sabbatical every 6 to 7 years. In my career, I never asked for rest and finally, it felt it was time. But it is not really rest, it is a time to explore work options that are connected with your profession, and you spend the break from classroom teaching to do work that might have some value outside of the classroom work. Bu