TED Conversations

Frank Clayton

Therapist/Counselor

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Why is it socially acceptable to complain but not talk up successes?

It seems perfectly acceptable to complain (at least here in the United States) - even with perfect strangers but sharing successes, even with friends, seems to be met with a kind of coolness.
Is it bad form to share a success even when not trying to build up one's ego but simply attempting to share good things going on in one's life?
Is this "bragging" only considered a social faux pas when it is done in a competitive society or is it equally frowned upon in collaborative one?
Do you believe that sharing successes should be more socially acceptable?
Why or why not?

+3
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Jul 10 2012: Frank, Perhaps it is a matter of defination and perspective. To complain is seen as pure negative. A cry baby, sour grapes, a whiner, these people are avoided and usually talked about or made fun of. However, we can DISCUSS relevant issues in both posative and negative means to achieve a consensus or a reasonable solution. Discussion is complaining with group and social acceptance.

    If you got promoted there is going to be both good and bad feeling at the office. The promotion party is usually held off site with your friends (usually not other office people). Your superiors will acknowledge your promotion and welcome you aboard at a staff meeting or in the conference room. All eyes will be on you to see your initial reactions and if you maintain professionalism and maybe a little humility. Your demeaner will influence how you are precieved in the near future. Never ... never toot your own horn. Everyone knows you got promoted you do not have to tell them. Almost everyone wants to be the top dog .. the trick is to be the heir and still be accepted and acknowledged as earning the right to lead.

    Summary: I do not care for a poor loser ... but ... I cannot abide a overbearing winner. So my answer is "Everything in moderation" ... In both discussions and successes.

    All the best. Bob.
    • thumb
      Jul 10 2012: Bob has a lot of good things to say above and I would add to his point on winners that I used to tell my kids to "Be a good winner for every time you brag you plant the seeds of your own defeat."
      Good winners are gracious and most often allow their labours to speak for themselves.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: I don't think this has to do with competitive or collaborative societies.
    The issue with sharing successes is that it is important to be attentive to your audience. When you share successes with people who have been trying similar things and not succeeding, it may make them feel worse about their own lives than if you had kept your success to yourself. And they may suspect that you realize this. If you worked really hard and got a D in a class at school, how would it make you feel to hear others joking about their As and how easy the class was? If a woman has been trying for years through fertility treatments to have a baby, how do you think it makes her feel when another declares how easy that has been once again for her?
    (Note, the first doesn't want a baby as a way to compete with anyone) Another situation that puts people off is when someone seems to be bragging about something truly ordinary as if it were really special. The example that first comes to my mind is someone in a community of which I was a part who was pretty nonstop about praising his creativity and depth of thought, neither of which claim gave any appearance of validity. It gets annoying after awhile- that relentless public self-affirmation or fishing for compliments and the more so when it is part of a marketing pitch.
    • thumb
      Jul 9 2012: this insight has far reaching consequences.

      it is a recurring pattern in our world view to address success to something else other than talent or work. rich men must have been cheated, violated law or ethics. the idea that "money creates money" also comes here. it seems to be very convenient to people to treat success as a result of circumstances, luck, and anything that is not achievable and also unfair.

      our self consistency requires to deny the link between effort and success, and so it is also natural that bragging about success is antisocial. either you brag about luck, or the fruits of your immoral behavior. if you act socially and morally, you can not possibly be more successful than others. success is immoral.

      we are destroying our own future out of stupid self defense. how lame of us. this should be changed somehow.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: I do not agree that those who act socially and morally will all be equally successful in everything they undertake or that success is immoral. I don't think either of those beliefs is large in the culture.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: i don't agree either, but this view is quite prevalent. just listen to debates here or any other forum, listen to politics.

          i could pull examples from the last week's ted conversations. ask anyone how a rich man became rich, and see the answers.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Krisztian, many many people have read history and believe that men like Carnegie and Rockefeller murdered their own workers after trying to steal their wages. Just check Wikipedia on the topic of robber barons. This history is often supressed and that makes many more nervous and generalize these fact eroneously to all rich men. The saying goes "That where ther is smoke there is fire" and people who have to pay for their own healthcare are very reluctant to get burned.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: those that wrote that history should be ashamed of themselves. for a simple pedestrian, it is acceptable to believe such theses. but a historian writing books should know better than redistributing pure marxist propaganda.

          btw carnegie is an even more baffling example. isn't there a building called carnegie hall? since when we name buildings after blood sucking vampires? is there a hitler hall? or a charles manson hall?
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: "This is the trial of my life (death's hand excepted). Such a foolish step -- contrary to my ideals, repugnant to every feeling of my nature. Our firm offered all it could offer, even generous terms. Our other men had gratefully accepted them. They went as far as I could have wished, but the false step was made in trying to run the Homestead Works with new men. It is a test to which workingmen should not be subjected. It is expecting too much of poor men to stand by and see their work taken by others. . . The pain I suffer increases daily. The Works are not worth one drop of human blood. I wish they had sunk."

          Andrew Carnegie

          Things are not black and white Debra. A man can build the most impressive steel industry in the world, and one of the largest charitable trusts in history... and still do horrible things. It is incredibly one sided to paint him a monster. It is also incredibly one sided to paint him a hero.

          Like most men in business, he was cut throat in dealing with his competitors. He built one of the largest unions in the world, and paid people well, so they undercut him on price, and he couldn't sell his product. He had to shatter a union he was very proud of in order to continue doing business and that led to violence, which was tragic.

          None of it would have happened, if, for example, the government had supported the rights of private unions. Instead, sheriffs deputies, came to guard the towers. There are several ways Carnegie, Frick, the government, and the union could have settled this dispute non violently, but to call Carnegie a murderer is incredibly unfair.

          I love Howard Zinn, and that sounds like something he'd say, but he admits his bias. He feels history is always told from Carnegies perspective, so he writes from the perspective of an average guy at the works... It's an artistic and usefull perspective, but it is not any more accurate than the perspective of Carnegie himself.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: When reading history it is vital to go back far enough to get the picture. Someone is buying propaganda but I am pretty sure it is not me. This stuff was pretty well hidden until I did a course in human resources. Both Carnegie and Rockefeller had to hire PR men to revamp their image after they killed their own workers. In steel the men made progressively less as the American market was cornered and it ended up with Pinkerton guards killing the workers who were damned hungry and could no longer afford wives and children. Corporate |PR firms did an awsome job of revmaping images and it resulted in libraries etc. that we are all grateful for and tend to revere those names for. Who really funded them all?
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: it is certainly you buying propaganda, and it is clear from your choice of words. what kind of cloudy wording is "killing workers". kinda sure carnegie didn't show up himself with a knife. so what actually happened? maybe as we dig deeper, it might turn out that what actually happened does not even resemble a killing?

          since when hungry men can steal, destroy or damage property, stop people from moving around? i'm quite sure we don't accept that. hunger is not an excuse to commit crime. or you suggest that hungry people also can break into homes? or you suggest that carnegie is somehow responsible for their misery? how exactly? don't you think that showing that link is important? you cannot just suggest such an important factor.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Not even sure why I am doing this as I have so little hope of it receiving earnest consideration but here goes - I guess this is why liberals endlessly lose - because we insist on sticking our heads in the lions mouth because the conservatives will not look!






        Homestead Strike




        Pro-union pamphlet about the strike






        Date

        July 6, 1892



        Location

        Homestead, Pennsylvania, United States



        Result

        Setback of workers' rights until early 1930s when Federal Government recognized labor unions




        Belligerents



        Pennsylvania steel workers

        Pinkerton National Detective Agency



        Commanders and leaders



        unknown

        Henry Clay Frick



        Strength



        ~6,500

        300



        Casualties and losses



        9 killed
        11 Wounded

        7 killed
        12 Wounded


        The Homestead Strike was an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. The battle was the second largest and one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history second only to the Battle of Blair Mountain. The dispute occurred at the Homestead Steel Works in the town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (the AA) and the Carnegie Steel Company. The final result was a major defeat for the union and a setback for efforts to unionize steelworkers.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: so we started at "carnegie killed workers" and arrived at "workers surrounded a factory and prevented its normal operation, which is illegal. in addition they threatened potentional replacement workers. carnegie hired forces to remove the offenders. fight broke out, and people were killed".

          do you see the difference? because if not, i think we really can stop here. i'm not willing to conduct a discussion with anyone who defends violent criminal behavior, and condemns the attempt to counter it.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Taft–Hartley Act


        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


        Jump to: navigation, search







        This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2007)





        Part of a series on
        Organized labour









        The labour movement[show]










        Labour rights[show]









        Trade unions[show]










        Labour parties[show]











        Academic disciplines[show]








        v ·
        t ·
        e


        (Pub.L. 80-101, 61 Stat. 136, enacted June 23, 1947, informally the Taft-Hartley Act) is a United States federal law that monitors the activities and power of labor unions. The act, still effective, was sponsored by Senator Robert Taft and Representative Fred A. Hartley, Jr. and became law by overriding U.S. President Harry S. Truman's veto on June 23, 1947; labor leaders called it the "slave-labor bill"[1] while President Truman argued that it was a "dangerous intrusion on free speech,"[2] and that it would "conflict with important principles of our democratic society,"[3] Nevertheless, Truman would subsequently use it twelve times during his presidency.[4] The Taft–Hartley Act amended the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA; informally the Wagner Act), which Congress passed in 1935. The principal author of the Taft–Hartley Act was J. Mack Swigert[5] of the Cincinnati law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: I gave the examples I did because someone may think that society is intolerant of his sharing of good news or success based on the reactions he has encountered when the real problem is what he said, to whom, and the timing.
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: OMG Krisztian! That was th emost impressive grab for the moral high ground that I have seen in years!
      • Jul 10 2012: Krizstian, I'm dumbfounded about your comments in relationship to Rockefeller. Also a simple pedestrian? What are you royalty, a scholar? There are always two sides to a story, for you to dismiss anything that shows powerful rich men as corrupt, is nothing short of asinine. Are you really claiming that any historian who writes history from the position of the proletariat is a propagandist?
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: eeer, where or when did i dismissed the idea that rich men are corrupt? and yes, i'm blaming any historian that writes "from the position of the proletariat" a liar. history ought to be written true to the facts, not to give ammunition to propaganda.

          take this example above. a fact is that the strikers shot first. the propaganda is that "carnegie killed his own workers".

          about that pedestrian metaphor. we all are simple pedestrians in all or all but a few fields. unless you have the ego to claim to understand everything, it is not an insult.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Another, skill that you may have practiced, the art ofr misdirecttion. Booooooooooooo
        What evidence do you have that I am out of words? Wait that was a direct question and it has been observed that they are seldom answered. Must be in the Austrian Economics playbook. Funny, I seem to remember more than a few compliments that I sent your way upon which you do not comment. NICE!
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: compliments don't require comments. insults do. funny you bring up direct questions and the absence of answers. because i asked the very important question whether you think there is a huge difference between "X killed Y" and "Y engaged in criminal behavior, Y tried to stop him, X reacted violently, Y shot him"? or do you believe that such circumstances like who shot first is irrelevant.
        • Jul 11 2012: Krisztian, True to facts? http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5735/. Its a fact when it fits into your ideology, when it doesn't fit your ideology, well it can't be true. Carnegie did not pull the trigger, but he ordered the death of people who had been treated like slaves, who simply wanted to be treated like human beings.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: I tend to ignore the reallllllllllllllly stupid stuff. Pretending that murder for hire is OK qualifies. As usual you did not even look at any of the informatin so I am not playing your game anymore other than to make it clear that Austrian Economics is so outdated that you wasted your money. I asked my own kid who just graduated in Economics and he would answer as I now do PTHTHTRHTHTHt
        Is that an insult too?
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: it is getting so weird i can't any more tell whether it is a joke or not.

          so your son graduated as an economist. now that is a waste of time and money.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Why does everyone else have reply buttons and you have almost none? Is it becauswe TED doesn't think you should nbe responded to or that Austrian Economics is a waste of human time and energy?
        Murser for hire is considered murder by most civilized people. Other than that the rest really deserves to be ignored because one always should ignore snit fits by adults.
      • thumb
        Jul 10 2012: Does that mean you are out of words or do you really believe that is an insult?????????/
        • thumb
          Jul 10 2012: wasn't it? then explain what do you mean by

          "OMG Krisztian! That was th emost impressive grab for the moral high ground that I have seen in years!"
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: I agree with a lot of what you say here Krisztian, but I think you come off a bit relativistic, when discussing how people feel about the rich. It seems as if you think, in every generation, the same percentage of wealthy worked hard, invented or redesigned products, and built a better mousetrap... Government policy influences those things... and you're very quick to point that out.

        It is very dangerous to demonize success, and as much as I think Debra would disagree, many Western Cultures, are demonizing success right now. Many people do assume that wealth has been earned in an immoral way.

        The problem is that, in some countries, America for example, people should think that. We've never demonized success in this country, we loved the wealthy for generations, they built amazing and wonderful industries that we could all take advantage of...

        What has Wal Mart done for society, to be worth billions of dollars? It's just a giant warehouse, with no customer service, no speciallized knowledge, and a giant 0% interest loan from the fed that makes them multiply like rabbits...

        What has McDonald's done for society, to be worth billions of dollars? The only thing they really make a profit on is corn syrup water, but they have a giant no interest loan from the fed, that makes them multiply like rabbits.

        More rich people, are useless, then ever before in this country. It's not because of capitalism either. That's why you see so much anger from Americans at the rich. Carnegie was only a millionaire, and he built giant charitable trusts... What have the billionaires done for us?

        We have billionaires now... Shouldn't we have something like the Empire State building, but under water, or flying, with a hotel, and leet restaurant on it? Shouldn't billionaires in America be building the most beautiful and gravity defying sculptures and functional buildings humanity has ever seen?

        Every time you eat at a chain restaurant, you're saying "Screw a local chefs dreams."
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: the charity some rich man engaged in is actually only the icing on the cake. carnegie might have donated a fortune for many causes, but the real benefit for society was his business. same for ford, bill gates and the walmart guy (whoever it is). you might ask what this service is, what the generated value is. sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not. but we know one thing: people wanted it, and they wanted it badly, since they are paying good money for it. exactly how good cheap lighting is? hard to tell. it enabled people to learn? allowed them to work more? or it was just convenience? either way, rockefeller made lighting cheap, and people loved it. they benefited psychologically, and the benefit dwarfs not only the benefits delivered by rockefellers philanthropic spendings, but also his combined wealth.
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: I agree, I didn't mean to talk up his charity too much... but, cake is much more delicious with icing. Have you had carrot cake without frosting? Eww. You gotta top it off with some of that delicious cream cheese topping if you want people to eat carrots in cake : p

        I think an empire state building underwater would make a fortune, and be a huge tourist destination... Eat seafood as a great white shark passes by. The design for the one in Abu Dhabi before the economic collapse, 310 million dollars... Why can't Buffet or Gates build one of those in the Marianas trench... It will pay for itself and create insanely skilled technical jobs. There could be a research bay... It would be an awesome business.

        The tallest building in the world should be a giant glass warehouse farm feeding Tokyo or New York... There's money to be made. Land in the city is still expensive, build the worlds tallest apartment building... Something.

        Putting Sam Walton in the same category as Carnegie is heresy. One man built the most efficient, and effective steel mines ever constructed, which requires incredibly delicate instrumentation, skilled labor, and creates objective value for an economy.

        Sam Walton decided that every general store on earth should look exactly the same, and give no preference to local products... That's the least creative, and most destructive thing to happen to small business in history.

        McDonald's, decided that every city on the planet has to have a burger that tastes exactly the same as every other cities burger. That's not the same thing as perfecting the assembly line, and paying people a sustainable wage.

        People who actually build things and make unique products should be revered. Government sponsored corporations killing innovation in food, electronics, music, and television, should not be revered.
      • Jul 11 2012: Krisztian,

        "it is a recurring pattern in our world view to address success to something else other than talent or work. rich men must have been cheated, violated law or ethics"

        The problem is that the drive for success, most generally achieved through hard work and talent, puts a spot light on the strength of an “edge”. However much hard work and talent (by themselves) do offer an edge, this drive leads to the search for more edges. Many times (but not always) these edges are found by cheating, violating laws, and/or stretching/bending/breaking ethical conduct. Much of this exact kind of conduct has led to many of the laws we have today, because people like to put a spin on ethics when it benefits their cause.

        Men like Carnegie, Jay Gould, and Rockefeller only cared about ethics to the extent the law required (and in some cases not even that far), so new laws were written to keep them in line (against which they fought tooth and nail). They were hard working, talented, and successful; but they let it get away from them and their ethical concerns were, in many cases, for none other than themselves and their business (as reflected in the laws and battles that they ensued).
        • thumb
          Jul 11 2012: well, there is that wisdom that goes as "rich stupid is rich, poor stupid is stupid". i believe you just invented another version of it: "poor sinner is just a sinner, rich sinner is rich therefore sinner". what if it is not related to money? what if rich people commit more crimes just because their crimes are more visible? i don't think that antisocial behavior would be more prevalent among the rich. (minus the psychopath of course, but that is a another story.)
      • Jul 11 2012: “i believe you just invented another version of it: "poor sinner is just a sinner, rich sinner is rich therefore sinner".”

        What statement is this in reference to?

        “what if it is not related to money?”

        If you take away money as a motivation to commit crimes, crimes will still occur-- and likely in all ranks of people. But, we are talking about crimes that are motivated by money (White-collar crimes) which are generally executed by intelligent and talented criminals (the best of which don’t get caught).

        These crimes are often committed by highly motivated, hardworking, and talented individuals. That is not to say these are inherently bad people. But (“minus the psychopath of course”), their drive for an edge has led them to walk a thin line and ask the question, “how thin of a line can I walk,” often not realizing themselves that they have already crossed it.

        “what if rich people commit more crimes just because their crimes are more visible?”

        Do rich people commit more crimes? I doubt that’s true, since the rich are such a small percent of the world’s population. Do you mean per capita (perhaps)? or maybe for White-collar crimes alone? Even in regard to these two I would question the statement.

        Rich people are still people. But, people are subject to corruption. A quote from animal farm says, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Even though that’s really not the whole picture, it does represent a history of many crimes.

        *edit, that quote is originally from John Dalberg-Acton, and is "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: rich people committing not more crimes is MY position, not yours :) i just wrote that it is more visible, and not actually more in number. so we can agree that money does not make you a criminal.

          now about power. money does not come with power either. it is a common myth. if i have a factory, i'm in power only over the hardware itself, like building and machine. but what good that power gives me? other than being able to produce stuff, nothing. i still don't have power over a single individual. i can hire them on mutual consent, and can offer them to buy my products, that is all. unless we have politicians in the picture, i have no power at all.

          that's why i'm upset when i hear things like "XY controls 90% of the market". actually, XY has a 90% market share, but does not control it in any way.
      • Jul 12 2012: "so we can agree that money does not make you a criminal."

        No we can not agree based on this, that is not sound logic. Just because criminals exist without money, does not mean that money doesn't cause criminals too (and we know it actually does).

        "it is a common myth. if i have a factory, i'm in power only over the hardware itself, like building and machine. but what good that power gives me? other than being able to produce stuff, nothing. i still don't have power over a single individual."

        This is not true either, especially in an economy like this. Ideally there may be no power over the individual, but in practice this is not true. While someone is employed at a company, their boss does have certain "powers" over them. And, if that person needs that job (for what ever reason) they have to deal with that until it changes. Powerful companies that control a large part of the market can manipulate other peoples lives and the economy in a very real way, which is why we have antitrust laws to try and protect against these things (Laws that came into effect to stop men like Rockefeller from unethical business practices). I'm beginning to think you don't have much knowledge about history if you take the position that people with companies (or even just control over large amounts of money) don't have power over people.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: "their boss does have certain "powers" over them"

          every power the boss has is due to the contract they agreed upon, not any money

          "companies that control a large part of the market"

          circular argument. if they control the market, surely they control the market. but as i said, controlling the market needs something other than money. it needs aggression, coercion. companies can't do that. this coercion comes from the state, and antitrust laws are part of it. without the state and its laws, no company can control any market.
      • Jul 12 2012: "but as i said, controlling the market needs something other than money. it needs aggression, coercion. companies can't do that."

        You're right, money is an inanimate object and can do no action on it's own. However, the drive to acquire money can cause people to do terrible things and we have a name for this it's called “White-collar crime”.

        "companies can't do that. this coercion comes from the state, and antitrust laws are part of it. without the state and its laws, no company can control any market."

        Companies can't do what, coerce? Of course they can, why do you think that we have the laws we do, it's because companies have done these things.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: sigh. we are running in circles. i repeat that i don't think there is more white collar crime than crime in general. it has nothing to do with wealth.

          companies can't make laws. only the state can make laws. if you don't like laws, don't blame companies, blame the state
      • Jul 12 2012: "i repeat that i don't think there is more white collar crime than crime in general."

        We arn't talking about more or less crime. You seem to be arguing that the wealthy don't commit crimes at all.

        "companies can't make laws. only the state can make laws. if you don't like laws, don't blame companies, blame the state"

        Actually they can, ever heard of ALEC? Only the state can put laws it into effect, and of course the state has responsibilities, but to give no blame to the companies is irresponsible.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: i don't argue that and i didn't seem to argue that. i argue that being rich does not increase criminal behavior, or if it does, not significantly.

          what is that attitude in many people? we already have to culprit, and it is certain government officials. they make harmful laws, they can be bribed, they use the power to their own interest. but instead of dealing with the issue the best we can, many people tries to find excuses for the govenrment, and blame those that tries to benefit from the situation.

          corporations can't control anything without the help of the state. stop that help, and we are fine.
      • Jul 12 2012: "being rich does not increase criminal behavior, or if it does, not significantly."

        So you do agree that wealth can increase criminal behavior (if only just a little) and this is true it can, but “can” does not mean “will”. Still, it’s not so much “being rich” (although the power that comes with wealth can cause corruption, as show in history), it is more attempting to “become rich” that generally creates the environment for criminal activity. But, it does not mean that criminal activity has to occur (although I believe this is what you think people believe), nor is it the sole cause for criminal activity, and I don't think anyone is trying to argue that it is.

        "instead of dealing with the issue the best we can, many people tries to find excuses for the government, and blame those that tries to benefit from the situation."

        As people try to find excuses for the government so do people try to find excuses for the companies. Also, to knowingly and directly benefit from a criminal act can be a crime as well; legally these are labeled “co-conspirators”. And “plausible deniability” has been used to claim no knowledge of the crime, but to misuse this is not ethically sound (and it is a common tactic used to attempt to get out of a criminal accusation). Governments are supposed to “police" these criminal activities, but to blame the police for not catching the criminal and not blame the criminal is ridiculous, even if the police had a hand in it.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: nonono, don't twist my words. i'm not blaming the police not getting them. i'm blaming the actual criminal, and it is the government. they are the active wrongdoers here, namely they use their power not for the public good, but to give some of that power to corporations for money.
      • Jul 12 2012: "i'm not blaming the police not getting them. i'm blaming the actual criminal, and it is the government. they are the active wrongdoers here, namely they use their power not for the public good, but to give some of that power to corporations for money."

        Your words, not mine. Here you are placing no blame on the corporations for their co-conspiring acts. The corporations are not innocent victims here, and it has been shown in many cases throughout history -- such as the CMD’s exposure of ALEC in 2011 of (and I quote), “Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line.” Both parties are to blame here, a co-conspiring act.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: no, i didn't say that. what i have said is that they are not the core of the problem. and also that without the state being corrupt, companies would not have the possibility to exploit it. and also that this is the desirable solution. that was my position, not that companies are white angels.
      • Jul 12 2012: "no, i didn't say that. what i have said is that they are not the core of the problem."

        You neglected to place any blame on corporations here, "i'm blaming the actual criminal, and it is the government." Now if you also mean that the corporations are “the actual” criminals too and need to be held accountable for their actions, then we are in agreement. But, I have doubts about your sincerity in this idea because you continue with:

        “and also that without the state being corrupt, companies would not have the possibility to exploit it. and also that this is the desirable solution.”

        This statement seems to suggest that the corporations are entitled to commit crimes as long as the state allows it, and that: by fixing the state you fix the corporations. But if there were no corrupt official’s, corporations could still commit crimes. Not all white-collar crimes involve state officials.

        When a motivation system its self does not include all the ethical terms then room is left for unethical acts. For this reason there is blame that falls on the system. Since becoming rich is not always an ethical venture, becoming rich its self can lead to criminal activity (with or without the state's help).

        The state has its problems and is every bit to blame, but this, “without the state being corrupt, companies would not have the possibility to exploit it…” works both ways. The corporations are just as much to blame because corporate corruption does the exploitation, and you don't seem to be acknowledging (or maybe just not aware) that they are every bit to blame too (sometimes more than the state, making the corporation and in turn the monetary system the "core" of the problem in some issues). But, there really is no one "core" problem, it's an interaction of complex issues.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: okay, can you accept that things are not black and white? governments are 99,7% responsible for corruption, corporations are 0.3%. are we cool?

          corporations btw are pretty much forced to do that. in a world with corrupt politics, either you play the corruption game, or you are at a disadvantage to those that do. if you are at disadvantage, in the long run you are going down. since we are not in the equilibrium point yet, we do have corporations that does not engage in corruption. but the incentive is there, and it is strong. beware! it does not mean that each and every corporation is forced to be corrupt. but it does mean that sooner or later, corrupt corporations will emerge.
      • Jul 12 2012: “okay, can you accept that things are not black and white?”

        Absolutely.

        “governments are 99,7% responsible for corruption, corporations are 0.3%. are we cool?”

        Absolutely not, and to make this statement shows your lack of knowledge on the history of this subject. I’m not going to give you a history lesson on corporate corruption; instead I will simply tell you that many of the laws we have were created to fight corporate corruption that was completely independent of government influence and/or interaction (the 8 hour work day, and minimum wage being just a few examples).

        “corporations btw are pretty much forced to do that. in a world with corrupt politics, either you play the corruption game, or you are at a disadvantage to those that do.”

        If they are “forced”, then any corporation must cheat to succeed; because if they are forced to do it then no corporation could succeed without it. But, I know what you really mean is, “…the incentive is there, and it is strong.” The fact is that they are not force to be corrupt, or compromise their ethics, but they do so because they want to make the most profit -- and profit does not inherently care about social ethics.

        The corporate drive to make a profit without regard to social ethics has been fought time and time again by individuals, labor unions, and government itself; but corporations fight back vigorously (a fact you would know well if you knew the history).

        “beware! it does not mean that each and every corporation is forced to be corrupt. but it does mean that sooner or later, corrupt corporations will emerge.”

        Agreed.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: "I will simply tell you that many of the laws we have were created to fight corporate corruption that was completely independent of government influence"

          i'm very much interested in that, because corruption without the government sounds really weird concept.

          "because they want to make the most profit"

          and the ones that don't do that, fail. that was my point. if you set up a playing field in which corruption is a benefit, you can bet on corruption will happen, and it will grow with time.
      • Jul 12 2012: "i'm very much interested in that, because corruption without the government sounds really weird concept."

        I can completely understand how it would be a weird concept, because governments have shown their tendency toward corruption for millennia. But government corruption is not the only corruption that occurs. If you truly want to learn about this you can start with the two examples I gave and learn from there.

        “and the ones that don't do that, fail. that was my point.”

        Not true. There are corporations that do have regard for social ethics, and these companies do not inherently fail. But then there are companies that choose to do cost benefit analysis on human life and choose not to fix faulty equipment – like BP and the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: please help me and cite those two examples.

          for the second part, here is a quote from myself: "in the long run you are going down. since we are not in the equilibrium point yet, we do have corporations that does not engage in corruption."
      • Jul 12 2012: "please help me and cite those two examples."

        Do a search for "eight hour day", and "minimum wage law" both are examples of legislation making employers adhere to social ethics. In my country these were the result of many battles with corporations.

        "since we are not in the equilibrium point yet, we do have corporations that does not engage in corruption."

        So you are saying that all corporations are corrupt?
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: sigh.

          me: "we do have corporations that does not engage in corruption"
          you: "so you are saying that all corporations are corrupt?"
      • Jul 12 2012: lol I misread.

        yes, we do have corporations that are not corrupt, and for that very reason they are also not forced to be corrupt. They are corrupt by choice.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: okay, let me reiterate a little differently. an individual corporation is not forced. but through a sloped playground, the government is directly responsible for the spread of corruption. if you have a government that is willing to be corrupt, corruption will appear. if you have a government that resists corruption, corruption will not happen. they have total control over it.
      • Jul 12 2012: “okay, let me reiterate a little differently. an individual corporation is not forced. but through a sloped playground, the government is directly responsible for the spread of corruption. if you have a government that is willing to be corrupt, corruption will appear.”

        I agree, the government plays a direct role in corruption with not only their participation but also with their lack of action against it. But, it would be unfair to say that government has not fought corruption also, because they have. They just have a long road ahead of them, as do we all.

        “if you have a government that resists corruption, corruption will not happen. they have total control over it.”

        This may be true in your country, but it is not true in mine. If this is true for your country I hope that you are able to succeed against the totalitarian control of your government and enjoy the freedoms that I enjoy (If that is what your people desire).
      • Jul 12 2012: I have been thinking about your point about corruption without government, and I realized that I am an American; and as an American I have many freedoms from government that other countries do not have. These freedoms allow for many great things that I cherish dearly. For that reason I accept that corporate corruption comes from this freedom and is a challenge that I believe can be overcome ethically. The freedoms we enjoy have forced us to face many challenges, but I would not trade my freedom to get rid of those challenges – instead I would face them as we have throughout our history.

        As an idealistic example: There are two guys that call themselves "the yes men" who played a prank on Dow that caused their stock to drop 3%. But that drop is a part of the problem, because instead of Dow's shareholders recognizing that Dow might be doing something ethical and in turn supporting that action by buying more shares (or not selling), they sold.

        The monetary system is so detached from social ethics (in places) that it stomps all over them. It is the responsibilities of the corporations, shareholders, and people in general to hold dear a strong ethical resolve in all their actions. Then it is the responsibility of the government to offer checks and balances to ensure social wellbeing without infringing on personal freedoms. A major problem is (in my country): the definition for social wellbeing is often set by corporations, and shareholders who seek profits with little regard for social ethics. And often they disguise their efforts as “for the greater good” (which they may believe but is subject to bias).
      • Jul 12 2012: HAHA, very true.
      • Jul 12 2012: Great movie :-) and it brings up quite a few topics, what was it you would like to say with that clip?
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: a corporation has only one responsibility: to make money. it is not a bad thing. a lawnmower mows lawns. i knife cuts. corporation is a tool, and its purpose is to organize production means in the most efficient manner. it helps people and communities, since it optimizes the way we use the limited amount of resources we have. that is the purpose. it is not the corporations' task to do anything else.
      • Jul 12 2012: "a corporation has only one responsibility: to make money."

        Again, not true. Corporations have many responsibilities. Among these they have a responsibility to their employees and the communities the companies would seek to serve. It is the corporation’s responsibility to make sure it doesn't spill toxic waste all over the place; if it does spill toxic waste all over the place, it is the corporation’s responsibility to get it cleaned up. If it creates a dangerous working environment that would kill or otherwise harm its employees, it is the corporation’s responsibility to rectify that issue.
        • thumb
          Jul 12 2012: then let's just agree to disagree. i believe it is not the responsibility of the corporation. it is its obligation to comply with its contracts though, and if it got permit to operate under terms like not polluting a river, they have to, of course, comply with it. but it is not their responsibility, but rather those that allowed the company to operate there.

          example: if i have a piece of land by a river, a company can not pollute the river without my permit, because i own, for example, fishing right of the river. or i use the water for my crops. in that case, i can sue them and get compensation if they destroy what is mine. but that is not a responsibility of the company. they just have to respect my property rights. in this picture, only i have moral and responsibility.
      • Jul 12 2012: I think we will just have to disagree here, because it is a company’s responsibility to not pollute which is why those companies are often found to be negligent. But, corporations use everything at their disposal to get out of their responsibilities (corruption to the core). All of this corruption caused because of companies seeking money.
  • Jul 11 2012: Obviously, it is not bad to share success as it is inspirational/eye opening (much like TED), and I think it should be more socially acceptable. It's just that humans, by nature, are competitive. From the very first day, man was pitted against everything else on this world-even their own kind. If one had the necessary resources, their generation would move on to survive, while the others suffered. People fought for things from the very beginning in order to dominate, and move ahead in the food chain.

    Same thing here, although no food chain involved because we've grown far ahead than that. The people of this generation are bombarded with preconceived notions, stereotypes and the likes, which they must fall into because that's how it all "works". They are born insecure. Therefore, sharing different kinds of insecurities, such as ones regarding to failure, is perfectly acceptable to almost anyone-irrespective of a competitive, or collaborative society. People say they don't, but most of them, when hearing about others failures, actually feel good inside. Because that is how we are programmed to accept others failures-it gives us the false satisfaction on thinking of ourselves as being higher on the "chain" than them.

    Similarly, when we hear about others success, our natural reaction is to tell them to stop because it is playing on our insecurities. In a competitive work environment, if one gets the promotion and the other doesn't, he/she starts to get flooded by the idea of being worse than the other-and that angers them. In a collaborative environment, if one person has better achievements, then the other, even though not angry, does feel some amount of regret that he/she was not the one to achieve.

    Since these characteristics are innate, it is hard for change to be quick. However, as the population advances further with their open minds and changing social norms, everything will soon fall into place, hopefully.
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: Thanks for your comments Kanisk. I think your throwing around some pretty broad generalities. To say that these reactions are "innate", for instance. Perhaps this might be closer to true in competitive societies, I doubt that it is true in collaborative societies because their entire societal expectation is different. However I must admit that this too is an opinion. Do you have anything to back up your comments?
      • Jul 12 2012: Most of my examples are ideas referring to the years of studies scientists have performed on human behavior, natural selection, and hierarchy. So, indeed, it will be hard for me to prove that without specificity and delving into statistics. But they are somewhere there, I remember reading these in my Bio classes. These characteristics are innate primarily because we've been doing this for centuries.

        However, some of them are insight from my own trials and errors. I have seen that when people share their failures, deep down inside, I have this feeling that I am more successful than them because I haven't failed yet. If not that, I certainly get a confidence boost.

        Similarly, when someone tries to rub in their success stories, at times, I find myself agitated, but maintain my composure. During collaborative school projects, if the other student does something that makes us stand out, then I'm happy, but again, deep down, I feel "what if I was the one who thought of that".
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: Hi Frank...good question:>)
    Complaining seems to be a popular theme these days in some western cultures, which boggles my mind! The USA, for example, is one of the most abundant countries in our world, and we have one of the highest rates of suicide, drug and alcohal use and anti depressant use.

    We often hear people searching for happiness, contentment, peace and harmony, and also complaining about scarcity. Not having enough...time...possessions...money...seem to be popular mantras these days. I have my own theory that people may feel more "valuable", in a way, if s/he is so busy and does not have enough time, energy, money, etc.? Does this concept reflect the idea of being very productive and not acknowledged?

    A person once chose me as her mentor. She always felt like she did not have enough time and money. Her basic question was...how could she get over these feelings of scarcity? Throughout several sessions, she complained about not having "enough". I consistantly asked the questions...have you ever been without food? Clothing? A home, etc. Her answer was always no...she had a nice home, nice cloths, plenty of food, a good job, etc.

    I did not express sorrow at her feeling of scarcity, and continued to ask the questions. Also, asking why do you want to hold onto this feeling of scarcity? How does it serve you? She finally decided I was not the mentor for her, which was fine for both of us. I was not willing to give her sympathy or approval for her need to be in a victim role, and she was not willing to explore why she chose to stay in the victim role.

    My friends, family and I LOVE to share successes, and we realize that what is a success for one, is also a success for the whole. I believe that sharing ALL of who and what we are is a healthy choice, and to do so, means we need to be comfortable with ourselves and those we choose to share information with. It's all about balance:>)
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: Hi Colleen. Thanks for your well thought out comments. I really like what you said about sympathy. I have found that some people confuse sympathy with love and will victimize themselves in an attempt to glean sympathy. I often tell these clients that I do not feel sorry for them, for to do so would be to agree with them that they are victims and incapable of a better life. It is more love than tough from my perspective because I see each person as whole and complete and that it is merely my job to help them remember who they really are. Thanks again for your comment.
      • thumb
        Jul 12 2012: My pleasure Frank:>)
        One of my successes, in my humble perception, is exploring the life adventure always...all ways...including with communication...which I LOVE!

        I also observe that people sometimes confuse sympathy with compassion and empathy. I believe that compassion/empathy is part of love, while sympathy is more from fear. I agree that to sympathize with people keeps them in the victim role, and reinforces the idea that they are incapable of doing something different. I also see each person as whole and complete, with the opportunity and capability to make many choices in this life experience. Many people have given up the idea that they have choices, and the ability to orchestrate their lives in many ways. I also LOVE helping to empower people to remember. Thanks for your comment as well:>)
  • thumb

    Josh S

    • +1
    Jul 9 2012: I may be an anomaly, but i find myself telling my friends of my successes, they telling me of theirs, and us being happy for each other. Usually it makes us want to strive more, as we are very competitive. Lets say a friend tells me he got a 95 on an exam that i have yet to take. Ill be happy for him and il say things to him like 'nice job'. maybe ill make a jab at him like 'are you sure the teacher didn't make a mistake' but i don't see this as complaining because i'm joking and i'm happy for him. I think its probably about even between complaining and talking up successes, maybe even a little more talking up successes.

    Again i may be an anomaly, but i think it is socially acceptable already, but if in your experience it is not so, i hope it becomes more acceptable! Just a suggestion, maybe your friends may not be as friendly and thats ok, just the way they are. Maybe you can get more happy and supportive people in your life!
  • Jul 20 2012: I think sharing successes should be more socially acceptable. Success can lend itself to a lot of insights if people take the time to deconstruct their actions in the context and walk you through the key aspects of why their success occurred. It helps identify data that may or may not be applicable elsewhere. However, serving people drinks, lends me an earful of success "pissing contests" that get boring and are easily identifiable via tone. While this might sound like I'm condemning it, I'd rather people go into detail as to why things worked out the way they did and less about them just saying they're successful. I think it's easy to get defensive about it because we all have different qualifiers for success and it's easy to jump to the assumption one person talking about their successes means they look down on a lifestyle we might prefer.

    I also think failure is outright demonized in our culture. If you fail once, you seem to be deemed immediately incompetent and there's no such thing as a beginner. You are forever damned until you find some awesome form of redemption. Sometimes I think we only listen to successful people who have stories of failure and ignore failures who have stories of self fulfillment. But that's just me.
  • thumb
    Jul 14 2012: You know, this makes me want to ask you an interesting question... Is it acceptable for a therapist and counselor to complain in front of a patient, or more, share similar feelings of distress. In the movies I rarely see a therapist say "Yeah, well I have a crazy negative thought like killing myself pretty often, but you just have to learn to pull yourself out of those". Or "Ya, I hate the government too, maybe they are monitoring you... but are you doing anything really evil? Who cares then, they're watching you watch porn, they're not going to arrest you for that... or talking crazy".

    I don't think the traditional approach is invalid, but I think there is room for a bit of Grandpa Simpson wisdom in therapy and counselling. Maybe the people looking for help are a bit too fragile.
  • Jul 13 2012: I think that the idea is rooted in selfishness. You like to offer support to people who are down and out because that means you are ahead of them in life, and you gain a sort of advantage over them by being a shoulder to cry on. They sort of owe you a little. While announcing your achievements to the world broods jealousy and selfishness. True happiness for someone else's achievements can only exist if they could possible benefit you somehow. If your kid is on the honor roll, that makes you look like a good parent. If your best friend wins the lottery, you're going to go over to his house and do cool stuff. All socially acceptable behaviors - in my opinion - are rooted in self-preservation and selfishness. However sincere and honest we may be, it is our nature to look out for the survival (and pampering) of Number One.
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: There are very few men left in the world. Everyone's gotta "talk it out". Everyone has to "explore their feelings". You know what you find when you do that? You're a therapist, you probably do... Lots of people are unhappy. Why is it so good for us to talk about that all the time?

    People should talk about the things they're proud of, and the things they enjoy. "Quit yer belly achin melon head" Grampa Simpson.
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: "You know what you find when you do that? You're a therapist, you probably do... Lots of people are unhappy. Why is it so good for us to talk about that all the time?"

      David, I think we feel that we need to talk about it because we hope that SOMEONE has the peices of the puzzle that we are missing and thus we hope that there is an answer - a way out of unhappiness.I think we sense that we have been happy and want to be so again.
      Another reason might be that we have seen some people keep it all in and sink under the load. We do not want that for ourselves or for each other.
      • thumb
        Jul 12 2012: Maybe you don't have as much confidence as you should... Come on in, the waters deep, but we're the only species on earth that can kill sharks : )
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: I believe a lot of people have their own thoughts and ideas of success they want to keep protected. Some of these people are less likely to share or elaborate on success ideas because they don't want to give up theirs. There are a lot of people who would hold you back from your goals out of spite. Then there's some who don't have the creativity to spare.
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: David Hamilton has no reply button so I am responding here with gratitude for his kind teaching and balanced perspective. You are the second person in my life to instruct me on this topic, the other was a man of Scotish heritage. Apparently the Scotts claim him too. Thus, I realize that I have more investigating to do but murdering derailed my inquiry. In that course I referred to, I was so utterly shattered to discover this history that I aborbed it less critically. I knew he did good too, I LOVE libaries- but murdering even by proxy does get my dander up. I promise to learn more about this.
    Are you able to direct me in terms of Rockefeller too? Thank you , David.
    • Jul 11 2012: If I may make a suggestion, if you want to learn about Rockefeller you need to follow Ida M. Tarbell.
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: Thanks so much Robert!
        I welcome your suggestion and you! I will look up Ida!
  • Jul 9 2012: When people complain to another person its a way for that person to express them self with what they are having trouble with in their life. For the person that is being complained hearing what they are saying and be interested because its a escape for them to hear that other people are having problems to and it makes them forget about their problems for a wile in their lifes. Its like watching a movie in witch the story has a problem , you never hear about movies that the whole movie is to show successe of one person.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: I think we complain as a sort of warning to others and sharing successes needs a nest or a group of people who care that you are winning in your struggles.
  • thumb
    Jul 9 2012: It is the nature of the collective. The nature of the individual is different.
  • Jul 9 2012: It is a common human quality to blame other people for our failures; to take all the credit for successes; and to give excuses for our moral shortcomings.

    I believe that if we are a selfish society, then we would all, as individuals, be victims of our shared selfisness at some point.
    However, there is a way of being proud of our achievements without being entraped by pride. And there is a way of critising that is devoid of arrogance.(complaining doesn't do much good).