Is a capitalist-socialist economy inevitable?
The American economy may be locked into an unhealthy cycle that only benefits a select few. Is it too late to fix it?
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS: Wealthy corporations and people love to ask the question: What can I do? What should we do? What can we start? What program could we launch? I would say to the billionaire change agents and corporate social responsibility departments of our country: Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what you've already done to your country.
TIMOTHY SNYDER: The United States is a country which is among the least equal in the world. According to Credit Suisse, which is a Swiss bank and not some kind of crazy left-wing organization, we are second in the world in wealth inequality after the Russian Federation. In the United States since the 1980s, basically 90 percent of the American population has seen no improvement in either wealth or income. Almost all of the improvement in wealth and income has been in the top ten percent and most of that's been in the top one percent and most of that has been in the top 0.1 percent and most of that has been in the top 0.01 percent, which means that not only are people not moving forward objectively, but the way they experience the world—and this is very powerful—is that other people are on top.
JOHN FULLERTON: Living systems have what are called healthy hierarchies—so it's not that hierarchy is bad. It's that hierarchy where the top extracts from below is definitely bad and unsustainable. So, take the lion in the forest or in the jungle. The lion is at the top of the food chain, but the lion sits around sleeping most of the day rather than eating and killing all day. And the lion, therefore, serves a very healthy hierarchical purpose in the food chain keeping the herd, keeping the balance between smaller animals and larger animals. But when the king of the jungle decides to extract as much as possible for its own benefit, you have a very unhealthy system. And unfortunately, that pretty well describes how the modern capitalist system works, where there are benefits of scale; the bigger get bigger, they get more powerful, they get more political influence. But their intention is to maximize shareholder value because that's what we do. So, the cycle of growing inequality is sort of locked into the system design.
GIRIDHARADAS: Before you want to start something of your own—a little private, unaccountable venture—do an audit. What do you pay people? Do you pay people enough? Do you use subcontractors to avoid responsibility for those workers? Do you pay benefits? When do your benefits kick in? What do you lobby for in Washington? Do you lobby for things that make everybody have a better life in America, or do you lobby against social policies that would cost you something? What's your tax avoidance situation? Do you happen to be this earnest company that wants to change the world? I mean, is this company paying its full measure of taxes? Does it use tax havens? Does it do the double Dutch with an Irish sandwich tax maneuver? Does it send money to the Cayman Islands and then back and do all this complex routing?
ALISSA QUART: Now to be middle class, you might not be able to have a summer holiday. You might not be able to own your home. You certainly wouldn't have two cars. What interests me is also we had this idea of the middle class as a solid thing and now it's a shaky thing. We also had this idea in the middle of the twentieth century of it as a humdrum, boring thing that we wanted to escape, kind of like Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates. And now it's like everyone just wants to get into it, into the dream, the American Dream of the middle class that's now so unstable. One of the things that happened was unions weakened. It used to be that 30 percent of employees were in unions in the '60s and now it's seven percent in the private sector. And that's a pretty huge drop off. And at the same time, you're seeing a lot of the workforce become gig-ified or turn into freelance contingent, et cetera. Not stable, not with healthcare, not with a promise of security and long-term employment. There are other reasons why the middle class has been under siege. One is the concentration of wealth. You see the rise of the one percent, the rise of the wealthiest. Since 1997, the income of the top one percent has grown 20 times the rest of us. They're an ownership class so they tend to own many of the corporations that are, say, creating the Uber economy or hiring people to drive part time or the companies which employ people at hours which mean that they can't take care of their children—hours in the middle of the night or odd hours in the early morning.
SNYDER: One of the fundamental problems with our American, right-wing politics of inevitability is that it generates income and wealth inequality and it explains away income and wealth inequality. And so, you get this cycle where, objectively, people are less and less well off and subjectively we keep telling ourselves this is somehow okay because in the grand scheme of things this is somehow necessary. Individuals and families no longer think 'I've got a bright future.' They no longer believe—and this is something Mr. Trump got right even if he has no solution and he's making things worse on purpose—they no longer believe in the American Dream. And they're correct not to do so. If you were born in 1940, your chances of doing better than your parents were about 90 percent. If you were born in 1980 your chances are about one in two and it keeps going down. So, wealth inequality means the lack of social advance, means a totally different horizon—it means that you see life in a completely different way. You stop thinking time is an arrow which is moving forward to something better and you start thinking hmm, maybe the good old days were better. Maybe we have to make America great again and you get caught in these nostalgic loops. You start thinking it can't be my fault that I'm not doing better, so whose fault is it? And then the clever politicians instead of providing policy for you provide enemies for you. They provide language for you with which you can explain why you're not doing so well. They blame the other, whether it's the Chinese or the Muslims or the Jews or the Blacks or the immigrants and that allows you to think okay, time is a cycle, things used to be better but other people have come and they've taken things away from me. That's how the politics of inevitability becomes the politics of eternity. Wealth inequality, income inequality, is one of the major channels by which that happens.
GIRIDHARADAS: If you're telling me that there are companies that do none of this stuff, that pay people well, that don't dump externalities into the economy, that don't cause social problems. If there are such companies that exist, yeah, then once you've taken care of all that, great, doing some projects to help people is great. But I haven't found very many such companies and more often than not when companies do a lot of CSR it's because they understand that they're not on the right side of justice in their day operations, so they want to do virtue as a side hustle. And the problem is a lot of these companies tend to create harm in billions and then do good in the millions. And you don't need to be a mathematician to know that we're the losers from that bargain. And you look at the B Corp movement, there's a lot of companies that actually have an interest in trying to invent a new kind of company that is not predatory. There is, in the B Corp movement, a certification process for those companies now. The challenges of them is that it's a great thing but it's fundamentally voluntary and what this does is it means that if you're an already good, virtuous company you may be motivated to get into this club. But if you're Exxon or Pepsi you're not going to be in this club. One of the things I'd like to see is how can we actually use the power of public policy to get more companies to sign up to simply not dump harm, social harm, into our society whether that takes the form of toxic sludge or obese children or workers with unpredictable hours and income.
QUART: You know the job numbers may look like they're up but, first of all, they often speak to how many jobs people are having, multiple jobs, which is not a great state of affairs for a lot of people. People now have more jobs. Each person has more jobs than they did in 2016, like individuals. It's up by two percent or something like that, so it's substantial. You can be looking at these job announcements and you could be thinking: What's wrong with me? Why can't I figure it out? Why can't I get that second or third gig? But the point is why should we have to have all these side hustles? Why should we have to have second acts when we're 42?
ERIC WEINSTEIN: Traditionally, technology has moved us from low-value occupations into higher value occupations. So, while we always decry the loss of jobs, we usually create new jobs which are more fulfilling and less taxing and therefore those who have cried wolf when they've seen technology laying waste to the previous occupations, those people have usually just been wrong. But the problem with software is that software spends most of its time in loops. Almost all code can be broken into two kinds of code: Code that runs once and never repeats and code that loops over and over and over. Unfortunately, what jobs are is usually some form of a loop where somebody goes to work and does some version of whatever it is they've been trained to do every day. Now, the danger of that is that what we didn't realize is that our technical training for occupations maneuvers the entire population into the crosshairs of software. It's not just a question in this case of being moved from lower value repetitive behaviors into higher ones, but the problem is that all repetitive behaviors are in the crosshairs of software. So, I think it's really important to understand that where we are is that we may need a hybrid model in the future which is paradoxically more capitalistic than our capitalism of today and perhaps even more socialistic than our communism of yesteryear because so many souls will require respect and hope and freedom and choice who may not be able to defend themselves in the market as our machines and our software gets better and better. And this is one of the reasons why something like universal basic income comes out of a place fiercely capitalistic like Silicon Valley, because despite the fact that many view the technologists as mercenary megalomaniacs—in fact, these are the folks who are closest to seeing the destruction that their work may visit upon the population and I don't know I think of any 9-, 10- or 11-figure individual at the moment that I'm familiar with who isn't worrying about what we're going to do to take care of those who may not be able to meet their expectations with training and jobs as in previous models, whether it's truck and car driving as one of the largest employers of working-age men threatened by self-driving vehicles or any of the other examples. For example, computers that are capable of writing sports stories from the scores alone. So, in all of these cases, I think the technology is actually forcing those who are most familiar with it to become most compassionate and whether or not we are going to leaven our capitalism with some communism or start from some sort of socialist ideal and realize that if we don't find a way to grow our pie very aggressively with the tiny number of individuals who are capable of taking over operations of great complexity, I think that we are going to have some kind of a hybrid system. I wish I could tell you what it was going to look like, but the fact is nobody knows.
WENDELL PIERCE: We have gotten away from the idea of true capitalism. Now we have people who claim to be capitalists saying: I want to restrict our resources. That we have a finite amount of resources, so I've got to make sure only my kids get opportunities at school, and we're only going to have access to capital, that my tax rates are going to be here at the expense of other folks. And that's actually not true capitalism. We grew as a country when people said hey, listen, it's important that everyone has access to a good education. It's something of great importance because that means the more people that are educated, the more ideas, the more growth we're going to have and that's what capitalism is based on. And I go back to art, music. It's what jazz is all about. It's an American aesthetic. It's freedom within form. Yes, there's confinement and restriction and technical proficiency, but the idea of the jazz solo as improvisation is a finite amount of notes with an infinite amount of combinations. And so that's what capitalism is. There's ultimately an infinite amount of possibilities with this finite group of people. But the more people that are in the mix, the more ideas are going to come about which produces growth.
YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Brute power, determining in the spoils. Civilization was all about moving away from a situation where brute strength and power determined the quality of life of the members of our species. That was the theory. To a very large extent, we moved in that direction and this is something we should be very proud of. But we're very, very far away from having created social relations between us—a legal framework, a way of organizing economic life—that takes power out of the equation of civilization. Economic surplus is essential for humanity to develop. If we don't have an economic surplus, we cannot grow, not just physically but also spiritually. We cannot create new literature, we cannot create new film, we cannot create new theater. We need to have a surplus in order to be able to invest it in all those activities that make human life richer. But the question is who controls the surplus? And, of course, in societies that are very asymmetrical in terms of who owns the means of production, whether we are talking about slave-owning societies where there's a few slave owners, or feudalism, or capitalism where you've got 0.1 percent owning most of the productive abilities or machinery and factors of production in society. They can, in order to preserve their property rights over those means of production, they use debt, they use political power, and they use the monopoly position that their property rights afford them in order to skew the whole process of creativity of production in a manner that, for instance, in the end, in the case of the media world we have 50 channels of rubbish to watch from. We have industries that are dedicated to producing things that we neither need nor want, destroying the planet in the process. We have billions of people working like headless chickens, driving themselves into depression and going home and crying themselves to sleep at night if they have a job, or consuming antidepressants and becoming obese and seeing shrinks if they don't have a job. In the end, we have a joyless economy. Even those who are extremely powerful, in theory, the haves of the world, are increasingly feeling insecure. They have to live in gated communities because they fear all the have-nots out there that envy their wealth. In the end, we have developed fantastic means of escaping need and escaping want which we are not putting to good use because, in the end, we are developing new forms of depravity and deprivation and universalized depression, psychological depression, which is incongruent with our fantastic advances at the technological level.
GIRIDHARADAS: I think what is undeniable in this country is that for 30 or 40 years many people on the left and right have felt that things were not going right, that the country wasn't working for them, that it felt rigged to them, that it felt impossible to secure the life that they were promised by this country and to give their children something better than they had. And all that while there was a lot of richsplaining to those people by the American elite that 'No, no, no. Things are great. Trade is good. Trade's great. It'll be perfect. It's going to lift everybody up. Globalization, perfect. It's great. Look, there's a couple of bumps but no worries. And the aggregate all will be well.' I mean, as though anybody lives in the aggregate. 'Tech. Don't worry. Don't worry about the fact that everything got automated and your jobs all went to Taiwan. Don't worry about it. We'll be better off on the whole.' And there was just a lot of this kind of richsplaining. I grew up and I remember studying this stuff in college when I took economics classes. I went to the University of Michigan. I was sitting in Michigan in Econ 101 and I remember getting this lecture on how all this stuff was for the good and we would be better off. And right around us, all around us in Michigan in 1999 the state was falling apart. These long tectonic shifts were basically like—work was disappearing and trade was not benefitting most people and globalization was not a walk in the park and aggregate effects were not really of any comfort to anybody. And how was it possible at the University of Michigan in 1999 with all of that evidence all around us that we could sit in an intellectual cocoon and explain to ourselves that rising tides lift all boats, essentially.
There is a way in which American elites, and this is not just a couple of greedy hedge fund billionaires, the American intelligentsia also has been complicit in a false story. Rich people and wealthy corporations spent a generation waging a war on government, defunding government, allowing social problems to fester and allowing their own profits to soar. And then with government weakened, social problems multiplying and their own pockets full, they reinvent themselves as the new replacement of government which is instead of trickle-down economics we now have trickle-down change. Let them make their fortune and then they'll just throw some social change down from the mountain. Well, we have to decide in America if that's the kind of change we want. But what I do know is if you project that kind of change backwards throughout time, we wouldn't have created most of the change that we all take for granted today. There would, frankly, have been no New Deal. There would be no modern American economy if we had depending on the powerful to throw down scraps. Many of the most important things in American life had to be taken from the powerful and given to the many. It's time that we reclaim that heritage again.
- What will the economy of the future look like? To answer that we must first consider the current trajectory and the ways in which modern capitalism operates, who it benefits, and if it is sustainable.
- In this video, historians, economists, and authors discuss income and wealth inequality, how the American economy grew into the machine that it is today, the pillars of capitalism and how the concept has changed over time, and ways in which the status quo can, and maybe even should, change.
- "It's not that hierarchy is bad," says John Fullerton, founder of Capital Institute, "it's that hierarchy where the top extracts from below is definitely bad and unsustainable." He says that the modern capitalist system works this way, and that it perpetuates the cycle of growing inequality.
- What is socialism—and what it isn't? - Big Think ›
- Empathy can create a new economic system | World Economic Forum ›
- Why Capitalism Needs Socialism to Survive - Big Think ›
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Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.
- The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
- Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
The value of forecasting<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA0Njk2OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzM2NDQzOH0.rid9regiDaKczCCKBsu7wrHkNQ64Vz_XcOEZIzAhzgM/img.jpg?width=980" id="2bb93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31345afbdf2bd408fd3e9f31520c445a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1546" data-height="1056" />
Northwell emergency departments use the dashboard to monitor in real time.
Credit: Northwell Health<p>One unique benefit of forecasting COVID-19 hospitalizations is that it allows health systems to better prepare, manage and allocate resources. For example, if the tool forecasted a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in two weeks, Northwell Health could begin:</p><ul><li>Making space for an influx of patients</li><li>Moving personal protective equipment to where it's most needed</li><li>Strategically allocating staff during the predicted surge</li><li>Increasing the number of tests offered to asymptomatic patients</li></ul><p>The health-care field is increasingly using machine learning. It's already helping doctors develop <a href="https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/09/dc19-1870" target="_blank">personalized care plans for diabetes patients</a>, improving cancer screening techniques, and enabling mental health professionals to better predict which patients are at <a href="https://healthitanalytics.com/news/ehr-data-fuels-accurate-predictive-analytics-for-suicide-risk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elevated risk of suicide</a>, to name a few applications.</p><p>Health systems around the world have already begun exploring how <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315944/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">machine learning can help battle the pandemic</a>, including better COVID-19 screening, diagnosis, contact tracing, and drug and vaccine development.</p><p>Cruzen said these kinds of tools represent a shift in how health systems can tackle a wide variety of problems.</p><p>"Health care has always used the past to predict the future, but not in this mathematical way," Cruzen said. "I think [Northwell Health's new predictive tool] really is a great first example of how we should be attacking a lot of things as we go forward."</p>
Making machine-learning tools openly accessible<p>Northwell Health has made its predictive tool <a href="https://github.com/northwell-health/covid-web-data-predictor" target="_blank">available for free</a> to any health system that wishes to utilize it.</p><p>"COVID is everybody's problem, and I think developing tools that can be used to help others is sort of why people go into health care," Dr. Cruzen said. "It was really consistent with our mission."</p><p>Open collaboration is something the world's governments and health systems should be striving for during the pandemic, said Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's president and CEO.</p><p>"Whenever you develop anything and somebody else gets it, they improve it and they continue to make it better," Dowling said. "As a country, we lack data. I believe very, very strongly that we should have been and should be now working with other countries, including China, including the European Union, including England and others to figure out how to develop a health surveillance system so you can anticipate way in advance when these things are going to occur."</p><p>In all, Northwell Health has treated more than 112,000 COVID patients. During the pandemic, Dowling said he's seen an outpouring of goodwill, collaboration, and sacrifice from the community and the tens of thousands of staff who work across Northwell.</p><p>"COVID has changed our perspective on everything—and not just those of us in health care, because it has disrupted everybody's life," Dowling said. "It has demonstrated the value of community, how we help one another."</p>
New research suggests you can't fake your emotional state to improve your work life — you have to feel it.
What is deep acting?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ1NDk2OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTY5MzA0Nn0._s7aP25Es1CInq51pbzGrUj3GtOIRWBHZxCBFnbyXY8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=333%2C-1%2C333%2C-1&height=700" id="ddf09" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9dc42c4d6a8e372ad7b72907b46ecd3f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Arlie Russell Hochschild (pictured) laid out the concept of emotional labor in her 1983 book, "The Managed Heart."
Credit: Wikimedia Commons<p>Deep and surface acting are the principal components of emotional labor, a buzz phrase you have likely seen flitting about the Twittersphere. Today, "<a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/5ea9f140-f722-4214-bb57-8b84f9418a7e" target="_blank">emotional labor</a>" has been adopted by groups as diverse as family counselors, academic feminists, and corporate CEOs, and each has redefined it with a patented spin. But while the phrase has splintered into a smorgasbord of pop-psychological arguments, its initial usage was more specific.</p><p>First coined by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild in her 1983 book, "<a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520272941/the-managed-heart" target="_blank">The Managed Heart</a>," emotional labor describes the work we do to regulate our emotions on the job. Hochschild's go-to example is the flight attendant, who is tasked with being "nicer than natural" to enhance the customer experience. While at work, flight attendants are expected to smile and be exceedingly helpful even if they are wrestling with personal issues, the passengers are rude, and that one kid just upchucked down the center aisle. Hochschild's counterpart to the flight attendant is the bill collector, who must instead be "nastier than natural."</p><p>Such personas may serve an organization's mission or commercial interests, but if they cause emotional dissonance, they can potentially lead to high emotional costs for the employee—bringing us back to deep and surface acting.</p><p>Deep acting is the process by which people modify their emotions to match their expected role. Deep actors still encounter the negative emotions, but they devise ways to <a href="http://www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/perch/resources/what-is-emotion-regulationsinfo-brief.pdf" target="_blank">regulate those emotions</a> and return to the desired state. Flight attendants may modify their internal state by talking through harsh emotions (say, with a coworker), focusing on life's benefits (next stop Paris!), physically expressing their desired emotion (smiling and deep breaths), or recontextualizing an inauspicious situation (not the kid's fault he got sick).</p><p>Conversely, surface acting occurs when employees display ersatz emotions to match those expected by their role. These actors are the waiters who smile despite being crushed by the stress of a dinner rush. They are the CEOs who wear a confident swagger despite feelings of inauthenticity. And they are the bouncers who must maintain a steely edge despite humming show tunes in their heart of hearts.</p><p>As we'll see in the research, surface acting can degrade our mental well-being. This deterioration can be especially true of people who must contend with negative emotions or situations inside while displaying an elated mood outside. Hochschild argues such emotional labor can lead to exhaustion and self-estrangement—that is, surface actors erect a bulwark against anger, fear, and stress, but that disconnect estranges them from the emotions that allow them to connect with others and live fulfilling lives.</p>
Don't fake it till you make it<p>Most studies on emotional labor have focused on customer service for the obvious reason that such jobs prescribe emotional states—service with a smile or, if you're in the bouncing business, a scowl. But <a href="https://eller.arizona.edu/people/allison-s-gabriel" target="_blank">Allison Gabriel</a>, associate professor of management and organizations at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, wanted to explore how employees used emotional labor strategies in their intra-office interactions and which strategies proved most beneficial.</p><p>"What we wanted to know is whether people choose to engage in emotion regulation when interacting with their co-workers, why they choose to regulate their emotions if there is no formal rule requiring them to do so, and what benefits, if any, they get out of this effort," Gabriel said in <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200117162703.htm" target="_blank">a press release</a>.</p><p>Across three studies, she and her colleagues surveyed more than 2,500 full-time employees on their emotional regulation with coworkers. The survey asked participants to agree or disagree with statements such as "I try to experience the emotions that I show to my coworkers" or "I fake a good mood when interacting with my coworkers." Other statements gauged the outcomes of such strategies—for example, "I feel emotionally drained at work." Participants were drawn from industries as varied as education, engineering, and financial services.</p><p>The results, <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fapl0000473" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">published in the Journal of Applied Psychology</a>, revealed four different emotional strategies. "Deep actors" engaged in high levels of deep acting; "low actors" leaned more heavily on surface acting. Meanwhile, "non-actors" engaged in negligible amounts of emotional labor, while "regulators" switched between both. The survey also revealed two drivers for such strategies: prosocial and impression management motives. The former aimed to cultivate positive relationships, the latter to present a positive front.</p><p>The researchers found deep actors were driven by prosocial motives and enjoyed advantages from their strategy of choice. These actors reported lower levels of fatigue, fewer feelings of inauthenticity, improved coworker trust, and advanced progress toward career goals. </p><p>As Gabriel told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2021/01/new-psychology-research-suggests-deep-acting-can-reduce-fatigue-and-improve-your-work-life-59081" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PsyPost in an interview</a>: "So, it's a win-win-win in terms of feeling good, performing well, and having positive coworker interactions."</p><p>Non-actors did not report the emotional exhaustion of their low-actor peers, but they also didn't enjoy the social gains of the deep actors. Finally, the regulators showed that the flip-flopping between surface and deep acting drained emotional reserves and strained office relationships.</p><p>"I think the 'fake it until you make it' idea suggests a survival tactic at work," Gabriel noted. "Maybe plastering on a smile to simply get out of an interaction is easier in the short run, but long term, it will undermine efforts to improve your health and the relationships you have at work. </p><p>"It all boils down to, 'Let's be nice to each other.' Not only will people feel better, but people's performance and social relationships can also improve."</p>
You'll be glad ya' decided to smile<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="88a0a6a8d1c1abfcf7b1aca8e71247c6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QOSgpq9EGSw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>But as with any research that relies on self-reported data, there are confounders here to untangle. Even during anonymous studies, participants may select socially acceptable answers over honest ones. They may further interpret their goal progress and coworker interactions more favorably than is accurate. And certain work conditions may not produce the same effects, such as toxic work environments or those that require employees to project negative emotions.</p><p>There also remains the question of the causal mechanism. If surface acting—or switching between surface and deep acting—is more mentally taxing than genuinely feeling an emotion, then what physiological process causes this fatigue? <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00151/full" target="_blank">One study published in the <em>Frontiers in Human Neuroscience</em></a><em> </em>measured hemoglobin density in participants' brains using an fNIRS while they expressed emotions facially. The researchers found no significant difference in energy consumed in the prefrontal cortex by those asked to deep act or surface act (though, this study too is limited by a lack of real-life task).<br></p><p>With that said, Gabriel's studies reinforce much of the current research on emotional labor. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2041386611417746" target="_blank">A 2011 meta-analysis</a> found that "discordant emotional labor states" (read: surface acting) were associated with harmful effects on well-being and performance. The analysis found no such consequences for deep acting. <a href="https://doi.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0022876" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Another meta-analysis</a> found an association between surface acting and impaired well-being, job attitudes, and performance outcomes. Conversely, deep acting was associated with improved emotional performance.</p><p>So, although there's still much to learn on the emotional labor front, it seems Van Dyke's advice to a Leigh was half correct. We should put on a happy face, but it will <a href="https://bigthink.com/design-for-good/everything-you-should-know-about-happiness-in-one-infographic" target="_self">only help if we can feel it</a>.</p>
Archaeologists discover a cave painting of a wild pig that is now the world's oldest dated work of representational art.
- Archaeologists find a cave painting of a wild pig that is at least 45,500 years old.
- The painting is the earliest known work of representational art.
- The discovery was made in a remote valley on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Oldest Cave Art Found in Sulawesi<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a9734e306f0914bfdcbe79a1e317a7f0"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b-wAYtBxn7E?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.
- The triceratops skull was first discovered in 2019, but was excavated over the summer of 2020.
- It was discovered in the South Dakota Badlands, an area where the Triceratops roamed some 66 million years ago.
- Studying dinosaurs helps scientists better understand the evolution of all life on Earth.
Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We had to be really careful," Schmidt told St. Louis Public Radio. "We couldn't disturb anything at all, because at that point, it was under law enforcement investigation. They were telling us, 'Don't even make footprints,' and I was thinking, 'How are we supposed to do that?'"</p><p>Another difficulty was the mammoth size of the skull: about 7 feet long and more than 3,000 pounds. (For context, the largest triceratops skull ever unearthed was about <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2010.483632" target="_blank">8.2 feet long</a>.) The skull of Schmidt's dinosaur was likely a <em>Triceratops prorsus, </em>one of two species of triceratops that roamed what's now North America about 66 million years ago.</p>
Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College<p>The triceratops was an herbivore, but it was also a favorite meal of the T<em>yrannosaurus rex</em>. That probably explains why the Dakotas contain many scattered triceratops bone fragments, and, less commonly, complete bones and skulls. In summer 2019, for example, a separate team on a dig in North Dakota made <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/science/triceratops-skull-65-million-years-old.html" target="_blank">headlines</a> after unearthing a complete triceratops skull that measured five feet in length.</p><p>Michael Kjelland, a biology professor who participated in that excavation, said digging up the dinosaur was like completing a "multi-piece, 3-D jigsaw puzzle" that required "engineering that rivaled SpaceX," he jokingly told the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/science/triceratops-skull-65-million-years-old.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a>.</p>
Morrison Formation in Colorado
James St. John via Flickr
|Credit: Nobu Tamura/Wikimedia Commons|
The Persian polymath and philosopher of the Islamic Golden Age teaches us about self-awareness.