Sep 16, 2014

u2 and the currency of outrage.

I am still seeing people complaining about this Apple U2 thing. Because free stuff is an imposition on our privacy. We've been violated. I'm a victim. We like getting outraged don't we? You can tell by the lede's on most 'buzz' journalism now.  And certainly by the comments sections or much of the Twitter landscape.

"You won't believe what this mother did to her daughter?"

We just have to click on that article and zoom right to the comment section without reading it and attack something. The article, the writer, the website, the mother, or the daughter. Or someone unrelated like the guy who makes $4,565 per week from his home.

When did we get so angry? And when did it get to the point that being angry and outraged was a goal? That we got satisfaction from that?

Because either I'm getting old and drifting from the cultural zeitgeist of today. Or people really are just getting up in the morning to complain about something and say they hate something and to make sure that person on the internet who said something wrong is corrected and hopefully beaten senseless.

This can't be good for people's psyche. Is this a pendulum that swings back at some point?

CK Louis famously touched on this in his Everything is Amazing, Nobody is Happy piece.

What is strange about this though is that it seems like it's the younger generations that are going to be the ones yelling at me to get off their lawns. Most of the social networks are filled with this kind of thing. Twitter and Reddit almost make it their business model. And the only source of 'uplifting' stories is basically cute pictures of animals which in and of itself really tells a story of heightened misanthropy. Screw humans. Give me a cute fluffy thing.

We do a bit of hiring at our company. I generally make the last call on hiring. We had just talked to this woman who looked great on paper. She was maybe late 20s or so. She had talked to most of the people on the team and they reported back favorably. She went to Stanford, went to school in Beijing, spoke English and Chinese, was on the volleyball team, and had worked at some high-end start-ups. And yet she was a disaster. I had given her a project to do. I rarely interview people because that basically means you end up hiring people who are particularly talented at being interviewed. It wasn't a hard project. It took her a month to get back to me. No updates. No nothing. She just sent it a month later.

And her response to me telling her immediately that a non-hiring decision had already been made was outrage. I was a little taken aback. She spilled out some excuses. I should have given her a deadline. Why didn't I contact her to see how she was doing? She had a job and had a wedding to attend to. I simply didn't want to get baited into a conversation. But she wouldn't take no for an answer. We should hire her apparently. I was wrong and I needed to be corrected. And I saw the same sort of attitude that I see online. We haven't hired any 20 year olds to date. I'm not entirely sure we ever will.

No comments: