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Conspiracy Thinking in the Workplace Isn’t Harmless Gossip

There was a moment, in our recent Breaking the Fever podcast episode, when I felt compelled to pause the recording. I wanted to linger on what our guest, Robert Brotherton, an expert on the psychology of conspiracy thinking and author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe in Conspiracy Theories, had said. Today, in America, he […]

The C.R.A.P. Framework for Addressing Workplace Bullshit

Call me naive but I was shocked as an undergraduate to see, in a serious book about George Orwell, an unserious profanity preceding the table of contents. Within the first few pages I read that the author, Christopher Hitchens, dedicated his book “To Robert Conquest — premature anti-fascist, premature anti-Stalinist, poet and mentor, and founder […]

The Philosopher-for-Hire Who Says Meaningful Work Is an Illusion

Over the last decade, Andrew Taggart has made a name for himself. Outlets like Quartz and Big Think have described him as a gadfly-for-hire, a practical philosopher who offers his conversational and philosophical acumen to the likes of Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, among others. He told The Guardian that he has executives question whether the existence […]

Is There a Problem with Meaningful Work?

The eminent philosopher Bertrand Russell, who died exactly 50 years ago at the impressive age of 97, once penned a polemic lauding laziness. Beginning on a humorous note—he wrote of having hopes that, after reading his essay, the leaders of the YMCA would “start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing”—Russell went […]

Meet Alison Taylor, Ethical Systems’ New Executive Director

Over the years I’ve found it common, interviewing people, to hear that their line of work wasn’t what they envisioned for themselves. A game theorist I spoke to not too long ago, for example, had originally planned to study spacetime but now he models cooperation. Recently, I was curious about the sort of response I’d […]

The Psychology of Ford’s Fiesta and Focus Cover-Up

It started with a trail of car owners bringing their Fords to repair shops. Eventually, it escalated to an out-of-control hemorrhaging of warranty costs and legal bills. Now Ford faces a federal criminal fraud probe into its conduct. Did the company know that the DPS6 dual-clutch “PowerShift” transmission it installed in its Focus and Fiesta cars […]