Great video from RSA Animate about honesty and cheating.
This thesis will scrutinize the histories of our nation’s three most prolific domestic lone wolf terrorists: Tim McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, and Eric Rudolph. It will establish a chronological pattern to their radicalization and reveal that their communal ideological beliefs, psychology, attributes, traits, and training take place along a common chronological timeline. Their pattern of radicalization can be used as an indicator of lone wolf terrorist radicalization development in future cases. This thesis establishes a strikingly similar chronological pattern of radicalization that was present in each terrorist’s biography. This pattern can identify future lone wolf terrorist radicalization activity upstream. It can provide a valuable portent to apply in the analysis of potential lone terrorists, potentially enabling law enforcement to prevent tragedies emerging from the identified population through psychological assistance, evaluation, training, or, in the worst case, detention.
The political, economic, cultural, and social environment in the United States lends itself to a recurrence of the 1990s and domestic terrorism. The paper discusses the common themes in McVeigh, Kaczynski, and Rudolph. The paper ends with the hope that knowing the chronology of radicalization could possibly lead to detection, but their preference for isolationism, non-existent social skills, and survivalist mentality means that there would essentially no people who would notice or care that they had disengaged from society.
The NYTimes blames the victims:
It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be — on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.
The article goes on and on comparing now to then, and seems to not talk sufficiently about causes. Who in their right mind would move home unless they had to? If you are a recent college graduate, you are competing with 5 or 6 people for every job opening. You’re going to grad school, hoping to ride out the storm. You aren’t getting married because you can’t start a household and family from your mother’s basement. Why are things not like they were for my/your/their parents? What happened to those good jobs, lifetime employment, and other things the previous generations took for granted? The impression that I took from the article was some sort of implied defect in today’s youth.
Meanwhile, in the People’s Republic of California, Berkley Campus, a different conversation takes place:
The bad news is that you have been the victims of a terrible swindle, denied an inheritance you deserve by contract and by your merits. And you aren’t the only ones; victims of this ripoff include the students who were on your left and on your right in high school but didn’t get into Cal, a whole generation stiffed by mine. This letter is an apology, and more usefully, perhaps a signal to start demanding what’s been taken from you so you can pass it on with interest.
Swindle – what happened? Well, before you were born, Californians now dead or in nursing homes made a remarkable deal with the future. (Not from California? Keep reading, lots of this applies to you, with variations.) They agreed to invest money they could have spent on bigger houses, vacations, clothes, and cars into the world’s greatest educational system, and into building and operating water systems, roads, parks, and other public facilities, an infrastructure that was the envy of the world. They didn’t get everything right: too much highway and not enough public transportation. But they did a pretty good job.
Young people who enjoyed these ‘loans’ grew up smarter, healthier, and richer than they otherwise would have, and understood that they were supposed to “pay it forward” to future generations, for example by keeping the educational system staffed with lots of dedicated, well-trained teachers, in good buildings and in small classes, with college counselors and up-to-date books. California schools had physical education, art for everyone, music and theater, buildings that looked as though people cared about them, modern languages and ancient languages, advanced science courses with labs where the equipment worked, and more. They were the envy of the world, and they paid off better than Microsoft stock. Same with our parks, coastal zone protection, and social services.
This deal held until about thirty years ago, when for a variety of reasons, California voters realized that while they had done very well from the existing contract, they could do even better by walking away from their obligations and spending what they had inherited on themselves. “My kids are finished with school; why should I pay taxes for someone else’s? Posterity never did anything for me!” An army of fake ‘leaders’ sprang up to pull the moral and fiscal wool over their eyes, and again and again, your parents and their parents lashed out at government (as though there were something else that could replace it) with tax limits, term limits, safe districts, throw-away-the-key imprisonment no matter the cost, smoke-and-mirrors budgeting, and a rule never to use the words taxes and services in the same paragraph.
Now, your infrastructure is falling to pieces under your feet, and as citizens you are responsible for crudities like closing parks, and inhumanities like closing battered women’s shelters. It’s outrageous, inexcusable, that you can’t get into the courses you need, but much worse that Oakland police have stopped taking 911 calls for burglaries and runaway children. If you read what your elected officials say about the state today, you’ll see things like “California can’t afford” this or that basic government function, and that “we need to make hard choices” to shut down one or another public service, or starve it even more (like your university). Can’t afford? The budget deficit that’s paralyzing Sacramento is about $500 per person; add another $500 to get back to a public sector we don’t have to be ashamed of, and our average income is almost forty times that. Of course we can afford a government that actually works: the fact is that your parents have simply chosen not to have it.
We should be attributing culpability, not just assigning blame.
Why leverage engagement as a driver of behavior?
Scientists have found, and our own experience confirms, that human beings have a mix of drives. One is the biological drive. We eat when we’re hungry, drink when we’re thirsty and have sex to satisfy our carnal urges. That first drive is part of what it is to be human. Few would dispute that. But equally, few would argue that the biological drive explains everything it is to be human (except perhaps in the case of young men between the ages of 15 and 18).
After all, we also have a second drive. You, I and the rest of our species often respond exquisitely to rewards and punishments in our environment. Promise us a pay rise or a bonus, and we’ll work harder. Threaten to dock us for showing up late or for incorrectly completing a form, and we’ll arrive on time and tick every box. This second drive “ our reward-and-punishment drive “ is part of who we are. But once again, it’s not all we are.
Because human beings also have a third drive. We do things even when they don’t satisfy our biological urges, win us a reward or help us avoid a punishment. We play musical instruments during the weekend simply to master something challenging. We quit high-paying jobs to take new jobs that are less lucrative but more meaningful. Human beings, says University of Rochester psychologist Edward Deci, have an “inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise their capacities, to explore and to learn . Few would deny that this third drive is also part of what it is to be human.
In the business world, however, we too often stop at that second drive. We organise our enterprises around the belief that the way to improve performance is through an elaborate architecture of carrots and sticks. If we reward the behaviour we seek, and punish the behaviour we dislike, individuals will perform at a high level and their organisations will flourish. Or so the theory goes. In the 19th and 20th century, that approach “ enacted in businesses large and small on both sides of the Atlantic “ had a sturdy logic. Indeed, it works quite well when people are doing relatively simple, routine, rule-based work, whether this involves turning a screw on an assembly line or processing paper in an office.