These are the signs you see when you enter Minnesota or Iowa along Interstate 35. Guess which one leaves the better impression?
While traveling recently, I had the unfortunate experience of overhearing two male restaurant employees ogling a young female traveler as she walked through the airport. All of the people sitting around the servers' station got to hear all about how 'hot' she was, what they'd like to do to her, etc. They were completely oblivious to their surrounding customers and to the fact that their sexist (and graphically vulgar) behavior reflected poorly on the national chain restaurant for whom they worked.
I have seen a similar phenomen when I visit schools. I can think of many school organizations where receptionists, secretaries, and other front office employees seemed oblivious or indifferent to the fact that their conversations, behaviors, and work environments reflected upon the institution. While waiting in school or district front offices, I have been ignored, overhead confidential conversations about students, been treated to complaints about bosses and the school system, and heard vulgar language. I have seen signs on walls like 'Lack of planning on your part DOES NOT constitute an emergency on mine!' and 'I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn't look good either.' I have seen students and parents treated poorly, either in person or on the phone. And so on...
I always wonder what parents or community members think when they visit these offices. Like me, do they wonder about the level of professionalism of the office staff? Are they concerned about the level of customer service that they are going to receive? Are they worried that their visit may become fodder for later public conversation or ridicule? Do they wonder why an administrator is ignoring this?
You only get one chance to make a first impression.
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"