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Friday, April 24, 2020

Do Police Departments Unwittingly Attract an Aggressive Mentality?

Might the personality type most excited by inflicting pain on others be drawn to “serve” on a police force?  Might force itself be an allurement to such a personality? Moreover, might organizations populated by the personality be inclined to set up defenses against being held accountable either internally or by other organizations? At the very least, deference ought to go to the victims rather than the “officers.”

The full essay is at "Does Lawful Power Attract Criminals." 

Putin’s Pals: Billionaire Junkies

Arkady Rotenberg, a former judo coach, became a billionaire industrialist by selling pipe to the state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom. Meanwhile, owning a minority state in a small bank in St. Petersburg that won control of another of Gazprom subsidiaries, Yuri Kovalchuk gained a net worth of $1.5 billion. Gennady Timchenko, “once the little-known sales manager of a local oil refinery,” went on to become one of the richest men in the world by co-owning “a commodity trading company that moves about $70 billion of crude oil a year, much of it through major contracts with Rosneft, the Russian national oil company.” What these billionaires shared besides getting rich was a certain connection—namely to Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin arrives for a campaign rally in Moscow.  Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The full essay is at "Putin's Pals."

Monday, April 20, 2020

Major Cracks in Human Resources and Management in the American Grocery Industry Exposed during the Coronavirus Pandemic

For a certain personality-type, character, or mentality, it is easy to blame other people while remaining silent on one’s own mistakes (and mentality). This approach can be particularly harmful during a pandemic, for one’s own mistakes could be passing on the infectious illness. Such mistakes include refusing to maintain a physical distance from other people in public places and retail stores. As noxious as the blaming is, a more significant anthropological point may be that as a social and habitual animal, the human being may not be mentally advanced enough to keep a distance from other such animals even for self-preservation. I don’t think the instinctual urge for socializing exhausts the explanation, for the failure (and even refusal) to respect others enough to keep at a distance even when they ask surely involves weakness that manifests psychologically beyond merely having a bad attitude. Not even the artificial organizational-management systems our species has established are a match for the toxicity of a weakness that is even just passively aggressive toward other people. I contend that American management is susceptable to an even more severe weakness; one that foists organizational power as a club even on customers.