Combatting Bullshit in the Workplace

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Listen to "#31 - Combatting Bullshit in the Workplace" on Spreaker. In this episode of the Breaking the Fever podcast, we speak with Ian McCarthy about the many faces of bullshit—how it’s different from lies, the harmless and harmful…

The Double-Edged Nature of Cooperation

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Cooperation is our species’ superpower. The pandemic has been a stark reminder of just how much we rely on one another. Like plagues of the past, the novel coronavirus has exploited our social nature. But our sociality is also our…

Elizabeth Holmes Is a Scapegoat—Even If She’s Guilty

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Reprinted with permission from Luke Burgis' Substack, Anti-Mimetic. Our desire for quick justice can make us pounce on the most visible actors. The criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood-testing startup Theranos,…

Companies Should Measure Their Levels of Workplace Bullshit

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People’s propensity to bullshit increases when the social expectations of having an opinion are high, the audience is unknowledgeable, and the speakers expect to get away with it. Like cheating in school, bullshitting is a way for people…

How to Have Better Conversations About Ethics in Business

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The first step is to make conversations about ethics in business safe, interesting, and normal. It is often difficult, many people would agree, to talk about ethics in business. But why? It’s not because people don’t know what ethics…

Robert Bilott, Author of “Exposure,” Reflects on His Fight Against Corporate Arrogance

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In October 1998, a Parkersburg, West Virginia, cattle farmer named Earl Tennant noticed that his livestock was dying from a strange illness. Half of his cows and their calves had mysteriously died, and the rest had been born deformed and dead.…

The Tricky Role of Loyalty at Work

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The downsides of fostering loyalty don't mean that promoting loyalty is too dangerous. But leaders should proceed with caution. It’s fair to say that, overall, organizations can benefit from loyal employees. Loyal employees stay with their…

Let’s Make 2021 a Year for Self-Honesty

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What if instead of fueling our instincts to be heroic, intensifying our dopamine-drenched feeling of being indispensable that comes from finishing that report at 2 am, we acknowledged that we have limits? 2020’s tumultuous story exhausted,…

American Unity Starts with the Truth

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We now must find the right balance between seeking meaningful accountability for past abuses and building a more inclusive democratic future. President Biden made a passionate appeal for unity in his inaugural address Wednesday, saying,…

The Obscure Medieval Roots of the Modern Psyche

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“The cultural evolution of psychology,” Joseph Henrich writes, “is the dark matter that flows behind the scenes throughout history.” Imagine you are in the city, riding in a car with a close friend, and he hits a pedestrian going…