Truth invites trust. Lying invites apprehension.

 Leaves with drop of water

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

Complete Honesty is the Access to Ultimate Power
[Via Rands in Repose]

Rebekah Campbell via the New York Times:

A study by the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of adults could not have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The same study found that 40 percent of people lie on their résumés and a whopping 90 percent of those looking for a date online lie on their profiles. Teenage girls lie more than any other group, which is attributed to peer pressure and expectation. The study did not investigate the number of lies told by entrepreneurs looking for investment capital, but I fear we would top the chart.


Peter maintains that telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you overreport a metric, underreport a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it.

Drink a cup of coffee before reading this one.


Telling th truth, especially when it exposes errors you have made, can make you feel vulnerable. Especially with so many sociopathic people running things.

Looking weak is not a plus for sociopaths.

But telling lies creates a disconnect from reality, a Cargo Cult World that leads away from what actually happens. It invites more lies that divide you even more from reality.

Eventually you inhabit a world that not only does not exist but can actually prevent you from thriving in the real world.

Too many people today simply construct unsustainable Cargo Cult worlds to inhabit by lying to themselves and others. They will fall.

Here the author shows how even in business setting, telling the truth is best. Because Nature always wins. 

The Costco Model in a Burger Chain

Retail Costco Wholesale 

The Burger Chain That Pays $10 An Hour With Benefits |
[Via  ThinkProgress]

Shake Shack, a burger chain with locations in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. as well as international locations in the Middle East, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, pays starting workers $9.50 an hour outside of New York City and $10 an hour for New Yorkers, CEO Randy Garutti told ThinkProgress. It also offers full-time employees health, dental, vision, retirement, and disability benefits plus paid time off.


{I’ve been a Costco member for over 20 years.)

The Costco model is to pay better than prevailing wages and good benefits but to make up for it in much lower training costs due to turnover. They hire from within (it does not hire MBAs to fill positions) and provide people a long term position treated with respect rather than a race to the bottom, like the WalMart model.

The result is sales per employee that are almost 3 times higher than WalMart’s.

The WalMart model may get to big profits faster but, as we are seeing, is not a sustainable model.

This is not the only fast food place using this model. In-N-Out burger does also. I

Perhaps we are beginning to move away from the sociopathic, authoritarian model of the last 30 years to a more community-based, supportive one. 

Because, as has been shown, it is possible to make money with each.

Authoritarians in Turkey try to turn back the clock by making Twitter disappear

Turkish PM plugs Twitter DNS loophole, Facebook and YouTube could be blocked next
[Via Engadget]

When Twitter went dark for users in Turkey earlier this week, it didn’t take long for everyone to realize something was up. Prime Minister Erdoğan had reportedly threatened to pull the plug on the popular social network previously, before coming…


I do not see this ending well if he takes out so much of the Internet in order to maintain his centralized political power.

As has been said, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

The Turkish people are finding ways to route round this damage.

An iPad, a couple of mikes and a mixer – Musical magic

Inside the iPad rig Jimmy Fallon used to duet with Billy Joel on ‘The Tonight Show’
[Via AppleInsider]

Apple’s iPad was the centerpiece of a live performance this week featuring the legendary Billy Joel and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, and AppleInsider has learned exactly what hardware and software producers utilized to make the memorable duet happen.


Another demonstration of how technology can create magical moment.s Those who thought an iPad was just for consuming content were just plain wrong.

Here we see two very talented gentlemen creating an entire do-wap group with just some software and some hardware.

No need for a recording studio. Just a demonstration of sheer talent.

Disruptive? One woman brilliantly doing the work of tens, if not hundreds

Doing the entire band, recording, producing, filming (by her husband, Paul), distribution and marketing. Paying for it all by using crowdfunding approaches.

Here is how she describes the creation on her Facebook page:

You know, I was just sitting at the table, practicing my live set for Austin next week, having a glass of wine (or five) and Paul came in and decided to break out his new Black Magic Design Cinema Camera and test it while I was testing this song out, figuring out how to loop it live….I got drunk and we ordered pizza and the next day we put this up. No tricks, just a girl making live music. 

It took about 2 weeks for it to break out like this (and she did one performance at a bar during SXSW.

She is in control of virtually all elements of her art.

All from Kansas!

Kawehi raised almost $30,000 on the Kickstarter project for this. From just 407 people. 

I bet she has a lot more for the next one. She doubled her Facebook likes in one day because of Esquire’s article.

She may never have the millions of sales that big music stars get but she does not need to support the hundreds required for that business model.

She is using technology in a way to sustain he own livelihood. All in her own control.

This is a perfect example of how technology destroys authoritarian hierarchies. No studio manager telling her what she can and cannot sing, who her producer is or where she  will perform.

She connects directly with the people who like her music and will support her as an artist.

The authoritarians are on their way out and they are scared.

Change is Coming – listen to Peter, Paul and Mary

The times certainly are changing.

From 1965.

And from 1995

The lyrics have never been more appropriate,particularly the one about Senators and Congressmen.


Come gather ’round people 
Wherever you roam 
And admit that the waters 
Around you have grown 
And accept it that soon 
You’ll be drenched to the bone 

If your time to you 
Is worth savin’ 
Then you better start swimmin’ 
Or you’ll sink like a stone 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come writers and critics 
Who prophesize with your pen 
And keep your eyes wide 
The chance won’t come again 
And don’t speak too soon 
For the wheel’s still in spin 

And there’s no tellin’ who 
That it’s namin’ 
For the loser now 
Will be later to win 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come senators, congressmen 
Please heed the call 
Don’t stand in the doorway 
Don’t block up the hall 
For he that gets hurt 
Will be he who has stalled 

There’s a battle outside 
And it is ragin’ 
It’ll soon shake your windows 
And rattle your walls 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come mothers and fathers 
Throughout the land 
And don’t criticize 
What you can’t understand 
Your sons and your daughters 
Are beyond your command 

Your old road is 
Rapidly agin’ 
Please get out of the new one 
If you can’t lend your hand 
For the times they are a-changin’. 


Come gather ’round peopleWherever you roamAnd admit that the watersAround you have grownAnd accept it that soonYou’ll be drenched to the boneIf your time to youIs worth savin’Then you better start swimmin’Or you’ll sink like a stoneFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and criticsWho prophesize with your penAnd keep your eyes wideThe chance won’t come againAnd don’t speak too soonFor the wheel’s still in spinAnd there’s no tellin’ whoThat it’s namin’For the loser nowWill be later to winFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmenPlease heed the callDon’t stand in the doorwayDon’t block up the hallFor he that gets hurtWill be he who has stalledThere’s a battle outsideAnd it is ragin’It’ll soon shake your windowsAnd rattle your wallsFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathersThroughout the landAnd don’t criticizeWhat you can’t understandYour sons and your daughtersAre beyond your commandYour old road isRapidly agin’Please get out of the new oneIf you can’t lend your handFor the times they are a-changin’.
The line it is drawnThe curse it is castThe slow one nowWill later be fastAs the present nowWill later be pastThe order isRapidly fadin’And the first one nowWill later be lastFor the times they are a-changin’.


Apple’s wearables will be part of our digital hub


→ Wearing Apple

Craig Hockenberry:

Given everything presented above, it’s pretty clear to me that a “smartwatch” isn’t in Apple’s immediate future. But they’re clearly interested in wearable technology. So what are the alternatives for a product that could be released this year?

His guess is as good as any others I’ve heard. I don’t know if he’s right, but I agree that watches are problematic.

Apple’s previous blockbusters — Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad — were all in categories that people really wanted, and there was hope of something good existing within what was technically possible. There were halfway decent portable music players before the iPod, and people really wanted portable music players. Same for smartphones and tablets.

I’m not sure those conditions hold, especially the demand side, for smartwatches: it’s a category that pundits and the tech media are telling us we want, but I’m not sure enough people really do.


Those who envision some sort of smart watch have it wrong. In many ways what I think will happen (and so does this article) is that Apple will make a lot of “kinda dumb”.

First, the computational power will be in our pocket – an iPhone. I have written about this several times. We do not want a large bulky watch.

What we wear will provide biometric input that, in combination with the security of an iPhone, will permit secure financial transactions to be done, safer than a credit card.

It will transmit health data to our iPhone and then out to the web. 

As this article states, we do not have to wear these devices on our wrist. Heck, I expect there to be ear plugs that wirelessly communicate, or rings, or headbands.

Wearable separates the computer from display or input. That is where Apple is going.

Newsweek – living in a time that no longer exists

 Newsweek Last Print Issue - Số báo Newsweek bản in cuối cùng, ra ngày Thứ hai 31-12-2012

“I want it to be 25 years ago!” Newsweek’s blown cover story on bitcoin.
[Via Pressthink]

“How was some guy in a basement who happens to have an obsessive interest in your subject going to bust into your peer group and start shooting up your journalism in a way that raises doubts about you and your magazine? Never going to happen… in 1989.”

Students of cultural lag in American professional life should find their way to Felix Salmon’s latest post on the Newsweek cover story that went awry. There they will find — these students of cultural lag — a wonderful example of accomplished journalists living in a vanished world that they insist is quite present.

The Newsweek story, by Leah McGrath Goodman, tried to solve one of the mysteries surrounding bitcoin, the digital currency that some geeks follow with a passion. (Why such interest in bitcoin? Chris Dixon explains his.) Newsweek claimed to have located the founder of bitcoin living a modest life in California. “The reclusive inventor of the troubled virtual currency has been hiding in plain sight,” the teaser said. But many people online thought the case implausible. Then the guy Newsweek discovered, Dorian Nakamoto, told the AP he was not the inventor of bitcoin. Since then it’s been a brutal time for Newsweek and Goodman, as the best and the worst of online forensics are practiced upon them.


Nice takedown of just how out of touch Newsweek is. Demonstrating that Newsweek has nothing at all to offer to those who wish to live in the current world.

Twenty-five years ago, there was no way for anyone who really knew more about this story to get a soap box to stand on. The authoritarians such as Newsweek controlled the access. The best they would do might be a letter to the editor.

Now, there are actually active communities that are not only obsessed with a topic like bitcoin but actually have quite a vigorous discussion on the exact topic Newsweek focussed on.

Newsweek, asserting it authority, simply ignored them in its write up, coming up with a model that has many holes in it. And the online community did much more than simply write letters to the editor.

They tore Newsweek apart. Instead of Newsweek’s story standing on their authority, it has now been damaged to the point of ridicule.

The journalists who live in the 21st Century know this and are actually creating new journalistic endeavors to support this approach. Places like Vox, the Verge, Pando Daily are examples of just a few journalistic models being examined.

They all knew exactly what Newsweek did wrong here. as does anyone who lives in the current century and not 1989.

Too many authoritarians seem to yearn for the good old days of the 80s when being a top-down, my way or the highway, Cold War binary decision-making were the exemplars.

Now, we live in a world awash with data, filtered by the crowds into information that helps produce knowledge, in a decentralized fashion that route arounds the processes of the authoritarians.

And generally doing a better job dealing with the complexities of the real world than authoritarians.

No wonder they want to live in a different time.

Newsweek’s Bitcoin cover – authoritarian broadcast journalism vs crowdsourced factfinding

 'Newsweek' (EE.UU.)

: Why Newsweek isn’t convincing |
[Via  Felix Salmon]

I had a 2-hour phone conversation with Leah McGrath Goodman yesterday. Goodman wrote the now-notorious Newsweek cover story about Dorian Nakamoto, which purported to out him as the inventor of bitcoin. At this point, it’s pretty obvious that the world is not convinced: in that sense, the story did not do its job.

As Anil Dash says, the geek world is the most skeptical. Almost all of the critiques and notations attempting to show that Dorian is not Satoshi are coming from geeks, which makes sense. If the world is what you perceive the world to be, then there is almost no overlap between the world of geeks in general, and bitcoin geeks in particular, on the one hand, and the world of a magazine editor like Jim Impoco, on the other hand. As a result, there’s a lot of mutual incomprehension going on here, which has resulted in an unnecessarily adversarial level of aggression.


Another demonstration of the battle between top-down authoritarians and the bottom-up crowd.

Very obviously Newsweek is living in the 90s using a model for journalism that is pretty much gone.

They expect people to believe them because … of their reputation. They do not have the room to publish ALL their data so just trust them. They are the authorities here so value their reputation.

Of course, none of that means that they are right. In the last 10 years, crowdsourced fact-finding is the norm.

Newsweek needs millions of people to read them in order to survive. It needs to be seen as a top-down authority to be trusted.

That is simply not a sustainable business model in the current world. The online community decimated their article, reducing the authority of Newsweek in hours and damaging its reputation.

Maybe 25 years ago, Newsweek and others could have used their authoritarian power to stifle the debate. But not today.

Then they could get away with”I have so much more data but there is not any room. Trust me. I’m a reporter is a great reputation,” Now, put the damn data up on the Internet and let us see for ourselves.

Authoritarians so often fall into Cargo Cult Worlds because of confirmation bias and epistemic closure. They so surrounded by the model they like that they have to make it be true.

.For example:

Towards the end of Goodman’s investigation, when she was preparing to try to meet with Dorian Nakamoto in person, Goodman told Impoco that if it didn’t turn out to be Dorian, then “we’ve got nobody”. That’s what Impoco was most likely talking about, when he talked about eliminating people. Goodman — and Impoco, more recently — was just saying that this was her last open thread, and that if Dorian didn’t pan out as the guy, then they didn’t have a story.

So, if they did not get the quote they wanted, all their work and the cover story would have been gone, worthless. Gee, do you think they might have had some impetus then to find some way to make the sotry come out the way they wanted, no matter what?

It happens all the time in reserhc. Why not in journalism? Even with people that have great reputations.

Making your own wine in 3 days – how does it taste?

 Wine bottle glass and chocolate

Miracle Machine Turns Water To Wine
[Via Discovery News - Top Stories]

This this tabletop appliance promises to turn $2 into a $20 bottle of wine in three days. Continue reading →


I’m not expecting a complex wine but I m not hopeful it will be worth drinking. We shall see.

An iPhone case that measures your health – HP, BP, lung fucnton, temperature, EKG

Wello brings health data to the humble iPhone case
[Via PandoDaily]

Health monitoring is leaving the doctor’s office and heading to the smartphone.

Azoi today announced an iPhone case that can measure its owner’s blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature after just a few seconds of contact. The device will also ship with a free peripheral that allows owners to measure their lung functions. It’s called Wello, and it’s now available for pre-order in the United States, China, Canada, and other countries.

Wello is the latest example of the shrinkage of health monitoring. Companies like Jawbone and Fitbit are turning their wrist-born fitness trackers into intelligent health monitors. Scanadu is trying to condense the equipment found in a doctor’s office into a thumb-sized device.

Health monitoring is getting easier than ever. Now we’ll just have to see if that makes people care more about their well-being or if these devices will receive about the same amount of attention as the decades’ worth of fitness tools collecting dust in closets around the world.


We will see many more of these soon. Assuming the FDA can deal with the deluge.

This will be out “pending FDA approval.” Hope it is soon (they say Fall 2014) because it is really kinda cool.

Check out the video.

I want one. Or maybe Apple will be making a purchase  soon.

A tale of tewo CEOs – one a sociaopath and one a fine example of a human being

Morning light 

What Tim Armstrong could learn from Ben Horowitz (or, yunno, any human being)
[Via PandoDaily]

I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks thanks to the embargo on Ben Horowitz’s new book, which I reviewed earlier in full here.

As I was reading my galley of the book, the astoundingly shameful story about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong complaining that saving the lives of two of his employees“distressed” babies had cost him too much money was making the rounds. These were employees who’d– by the way– taken jobs with full benefits and paid their premiums on health insurance for just such a worst-case-scenario disaster. That’s sort of how insurance works, after all.

I was horrified, but I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was a shocking story, yes, but it mirrored everything I saw in my thankfully limited time at AOL after TechCrunch sold to Armstrong: A CEO who was more likely to blame others for a change in policy than suck it up himself and take the arrows himself.

As the New Yorker put it:

In other words, don’t blame us for cutting back on retirement benefits; it was two babies we had to keep alive who took your money.

But beyond how horrific it was on a human level, it was also just incompetent. It’s just basic CEO’ing 101: You don’t single out employees in an all hands meeting. You don’t riff off-the-cuff in an all hands meeting. You don’t reduce your employees’ children’s lives down to a line item in the P&L– or if you do somewhere in a budget meeting, you don’t do it publicly, in front of them and all of their coworkers. Particularly when you are the CEO of a profitable multi-billion company who makes $12 million a year yourself and spends plenty of cash on employee parties and office ice luges for doing vodka shots. (OK, maybe that last one is more of an unspoken rule…)


The sociopath. Now the human being – Ben Horowitz:

The context was a bet-the-company move on buying a small company called Tangram. Opsware was on its ninth life or so, and facing the potential for bankruptcy again. It had one major client, and the man who ran that account wanted to kick Opsware out. The only thing he adored was this company Tangram. It was cheap and Horowitz realized if he could bundle Tangram’s software into Opsware, that would be the magic secret sauce to save almost all of his annual revenues, and… yunno, everyone’s jobs.

The company readily sold. During the talks, the two agreed that the CFO John Nelli wouldn’t join the combined company. I’ll leave the rest of the story in Horowitz’s own words:

But during the time between signing and close, John began to get severe headaches. His doctors discovered that he had brain cancer. Because he would not be an Opsware employee and it was a preexisting condition, he would not be eligible for health insurance under our plan. The cost of the treatment without health insurance would likely bankrupt his family. I asked my head of HR what it would cost to keep him on the payroll long enough to qualify for COBRA and what COBRA would cost. It wasn’t cheap– about $200,000. This was a significant amount of money for a company in our situation. On top of that, we barely knew John and technically we didn’t “owe” him anything. This wasn’t our problem. We were fighting for our lives.

He continues:

We were fighting for our lives, but he was about to lose his. I decided to pay for his health costs and find the money elsewhere in the budget. I never expected to hear anything else about that decision, but fifteen months later I received a handwritten letter from John’s wife letting me know that John had died. She wrote that she was absolutely shocked that I would help a total stranger and his family and that I had saved her from total despair. She went on for several paragraphs saying that she didn’t know why I did it, but it enabled her to continue living and she was eternally grateful. I guess I did it because I knew what desperation felt like.

Karma. Humanity. Leadership. There are plenty of different interpretations of this. Maybe some of you even see it as weakness. But it’s a big reason the same people who worked for Horowitz at Opsware still work for him.

There are some CEOs who are not bandits. Sounds like Horowitz is one of them.

UPDATED: We can see how the lives of authoritarian bullies are being disrupted thanks to a brave man and a camera

UPDATE: The City Attorney’s contract was not renewed. Good. Now about the officers and their false reports?

This is how things are changing – we can actually document the horrible actions of abusive, authoritarian bullies to make ti harder for them to hide in the cracks. Thousands if not millions can see the actions of these officers for themselves.

The seemingly amoral city attorney actually tries to explain to the righteous man how this would all have gone wrong back in the day without audio when the cops would have between him to death. And lied about it. And the city attorney probably would have done nothing.

“What’s written down in the Constitution is one thing and  the real practice is another. You’re just not in the same sort of protection as you are in Allen or Plano or Richardson,  and places like that.”
“So we do live in a jackboot society?”
“Sometimes we do and we shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s better just to, better to stand there and let it all roll over.”

Our forefathers died so we can sit here today and just let authoritarian bullies roll over us? This is the legacy of the Greatest Generation?

This is what happens when cowardly bullies meet a righteous man, one who provides sunlight onto the cockroaches in the garbage, More of us can do that every day.

Those of us who believe in civiil liberties and bottom-up solutions can fight back against the authoritarians. They will find it harder to hide in the cracks.

Transparency changes that. Videos change that. As long as we can also watch the watchers, we have the hope that transgressions like this are exposed.

Because stories like this is why people of all colors in America are afraid of the police. And the city attorney actually tries to warn the guy against fighting for his rights because some cop might beat the shit out of him.

So, we are just supposed to let these bullies subvert the law because they are authoritarian tyrants? Tug our forelock and shuffle our feet?

These officers knew they were being video taped. This guy luckily actually knew the law and did not submit to their verbal abuse, even though he stayed respectful.

He just did not act like the whipped mule they expected. That pissed the officers off. It pissed of the city attorney as he tries the same bullying act. On a very brave man.

Not only should the officers be publicly shamed, so should the attorney.

And we all need to regain a little more bravery.

They hate Tim Cook because he cares about us


Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead

Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead

Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Investors Who Care More About Return on Investment than Climate Change: Your Money is No Longer Welcome

As Board Member Al Gore Cheers the Tech Giant’s Dedication to Environmental Activism, Investors Left to Wonder Just How Much Shareholder Value is Being Destroyed in Efforts to Combat “Climate Change”

Free-Market Activist Presents Shareholder Resolution to Computer Giant Apple Calling for Consumer Transparency on Environmental Issues; Company Balks


Sociopaths. They hurt us all. This group fails to understand that part of Apple’s success is caring about the world its customers live it. It wants to sell them devices that make that world better.

So trying to make the world better by decreasing pollution— in ways that actually also make money for Apple—is a direct ROI. Or it should be to these guys. But they seem to be suffering from some psychiatric disorder.

An anti-social one.

Yes, they do not want Apple spending money on environmental stuff, such as reducing toxic emissions or polluting water supplies, when that money should go to shareholders. Some quotes:

“The company’s CEO fervently wants investors who care more about return on investments than reducing CO2 emissions to no longer invest in Apple. Maybe they should take him up on that advice.” …

…After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?”…

…”Apple’s actions, from hiring of President Obama’s former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, to its investments in supposedly 100 percent renewable data centers, to Cook’s antics at today’s meeting, appear to be geared more towards combating so-called climate change rather than developing new and innovative phones and computers.”

Sociopaths. They got GE to buckle here but not Apple. Here is how this was described by another attendee:

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

As evidenced by the use of “bloody” in his response—the closest thing to public profanity I’ve ever seen from Mr. Cook–it was clear that he was quite angry. His body language changed, his face contracted, and he spoke in rapid fire sentences compared to the usual metered and controlled way he speaks.

He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

We would all be better off if they did sell their stock. They lack an understanding of why Apple is so successful.

As do many sociopaths from Wall Street. As I wrote earlier— Apple is successful because it has created a family that includes its own customers.

So, Apple makes the world we live in better and we buy stuff from it because of that. By helping save the environment (even if that help does nothing) it shows that it wants to improve where we live. And sell us products that also make our life better.

They are both part of the same thing, as far as Apple is concerned.

Even if climate change was not happening, it would still be useful marketing, because it shows Apple cares about our world. Don’t those sociopaths get it? 

Nope because of the actual defects in sociopaths—they show a lack of remorse, a lack of shame, and, tellingly a lack of empathy.

Sociopaths, lacking the empathy and sympathy described by Adam Smith in his book on Moral Sentiments. These are not the moral men he expected to be running capital markets.

They are bandits, enriching themselves at the detriment of the rest of us. It is not normal for them to be the ones running our capital markets.

We need them all to sell all their stock.We need to move the sociopaths to other jobs.

Then perhaps we can begin the road back to normalcy.

Interesting case over free speech involving bus driver and free lunches

 Barbra Streisand

ACLU takes case of bus driver fired over Facebook posting | 

The ACLU is now suing the Haralson County school district after a bus driver was fired for posting negative comments on Facebook.

Johnny Cook said that he was terminated from his job after he made a post about a child who he said was refused a free lunch.

Cook said he had no regrets about writing the post, which read:


First read what he wrote on Facebook:

A middle schooler got on my bus this evening and said mr johnny im hungry. I said why are you hungry buddy? Didn’t you eat lunch ? He said no sir I didn’t have any money on my account. I said they would let you charge it? No sir.
Huh! What! This child is already on reduced lunch and we can’t let him eat. Are you kidding me? I’m certian there was leftover food thrown away today. But kids were turned away because they didn’t have .40 on there account .
As a tax payer, I would much rather feed a child than throw it away. I would rather feed a child than to give food stamps to a crack head.
My number is 770 871 8811 the next time we can’t feed a kid for forty cent, please call me . We will scrape up the money.

This is what the world has come to

He was fired for those words. They do not seem unreasonable to me and it does seem like a great restriction of his free speech by a government entity.

But it also shows the wrongheadedness of authoritarian approaches. Instead of taking an adaptive, win-win approach – such as recognizing there was a screw up and fixing it (which they actually did eventually do) – they took a zero-sum one that authoritarians always seem to follow.

And now they get to see exactly what happens in the Information Age with something called the Streisand effect.

In essence, the attempt to use authoritarian pressures to hide or to create unnecessary zero-sum solutions gets pushed back by emerging social norms. This involves shining such a strong spotlight on the egregious behavior that even authoritarians learn the lesson – seek win-win solutions first.


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