Blanding Toward Corporate Culture 

Bret Easton Ellis on “Living in the Cult of Likability” for The New York Times:

The reputation economy depends on everyone maintaining a reverentially conservative, imminently practical attitude: Keep your mouth shut and your skirt long, be modest and don’t have an opinion. The reputation economy is yet another example of the blanding of culture, and yet the enforcing of groupthink has only increased anxiety and paranoia, because the people who embrace the reputation economy are, of course, the most scared. What happens if they lose what has become their most valuable asset? The embrace of the reputation economy is an ominous reminder of how economically desperate people are and that the only tools they have to raise themselves up the economic ladder are their sparklingly upbeat reputations — which only adds to their ceaseless worry over their need to be liked.

I have this constant fear I got onto [Batman] too early. As a comic book writer, I’m a baby. I’m maybe five years old? Literally. Grant took on the character when he was Grant Morrison. He had done amazing things with All-Star Superman, New X-Men, right and left. Frank [Miller] had done amazing things with Daredevil. … I was talking about this with Neil Gaiman at a Vertigo gathering, and it’s pretty funny. We were at dinner and then he asked me how I was doing with Batman. I told him about “Super Heavy” and that I was nervous. He stopped me and said, “Scott, you’re worried that you’re not good enough,” which I replied that I was. “Soon,” he said, “you’ll be worried because you used to be better.”

It’s just a hill – up the bad side, down the bad side.

Scott Synder

Mark Zuckerberg Will Donate Massive Fortune to Own Blinkered Worldview 

Sam Biddle writing for Gawker:

We should be suspicious of $45 billion earmarked to build out this worldview, and we should remember that much of that $45 billion will benefit Zuckerberg’s peers, materially and otherwise. And perhaps we should also wonder whether instead of letting the mega-rich put their estates into “charities” of their own design, and thanking them profusely for it, we wouldn’t be better served by just taking it from their corpses.

The business community in Wisconsin should ask policy-makers to calm the seas around higher education funding, or risk sinking a research ship that helps keep the economy above water.

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council

Trust and Policy Preferences 

John Sides on the Pew Research Center report Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government:

There are clear partisan divides on some issues, such as ensuring access to health care. But on other issues there is a substantial bipartisan consensus.

If there is one good generalization about Americans’ attitudes toward government, it is this: Americans hate government, but they like what it does.

“Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” etc., etc.

The Presidency Is Not an Award We Give for Achievement in Another Field 

Seth Masket writing in the aftermath of Larry Lessig’s presidential campaign:

Parties recognize that the presidency is an actual job requiring not just intelligence, wisdom, or determination, but political skill. Knowing which agenda items to push for and which to abandon when times get tough; knowing whom to appoint to what positions and whom to avoid; knowing how to work with Congress when possible and fight them when necessary; knowing the tone to take during a war, crisis, or natural disaster; knowing how to work with people you can’t stand and occasionally break with longtime allies; knowing when advisers are being honest with you and when they’re pushing crap — these are actual skills, and they are vital to the job of the presidency. Some people may have more aptitude for them than others, but they all take time and effort to hone, and there’s absolutely no reason to think that a well-published law professor, a wealthy real estate mogul, or a talented surgeon has more of these skills than anyone else does.

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