I think the next decade will be about trust. This is the only decade in history that will be formed wholly by Gen X—we are so small that our age of power is brief. But research from sources like Tammy’s Erikson’s book, What’s Next Gen X?, shows that the most pronounced traits of Gen X are no patience for veneers, hierarchy, and BS-laden idealism. Gen X will oversee a decade of trust.

A survey from Deloitte ushers in this decade of trust. Deloitte reports that most people who are job hunting are doing it because they don’t trust their employer. And most Human Resources executives think the number-one factor in turnover right now is transparency—less transparency means more turnover.

When it comes to transparency, corporations are ahead of individuals, but only by necessity. Soon, though, people who are not transparent will not make it in the workforce. Here are ways to think about transparency to make your own career path one of transparency and trust:

1. Transparency is about doing good.

Omidyar Network (a nonprofit funded by the guy who invented ebay) just funded a company that helps government move toward transparency. It’s significant that the company is named SeeClickFix—government transparency is not about finger pointing and sensationalism. Clearly, it should be about improving the lives of citizens, fixing what can be fixed.

But personal transparency is easily misunderstood. There are so many blog posts about people dumping their life story, their darkest secret, or their second-best-friend’s darkest secret. The posts are predictable and boring, and most importantly, not what transparency should be, because it is not aimed at helping other people. It’s aimed at helping the writer only.

2. Transparency has a goal of kindness

I was having lunch with AJ Jacobs a few years ago, as he was doing the antics he wrote about in his hilarious book, The Year of Living Biblically. He was telling me about how he was testing out the Ten Commandments: specifically, thou shall not lie.

As someone who lives in a family full of Asperger’s, I know that an instinct to lie is actually a gift. The instinct to lie is what allows us to think through the following steps in a conversation:

  1. Consider the other person’s feelings
  2. Empathize
  3. Think of something to say that is not a lie but does not hurt anyone unkindly.

That process requires us to cultivate an ability to lie, which, in turn, cultivates an ability to self-edit. There should have been a commandment: Thou shall self-edit, because it’s kind.

So there is a moral obligation that goes along with transparency. Transparency is not a carte blanche to disregard peoples’ feelings in the name of truth. In fact, that is not transparency, that is Asperger’s. And it’s a debilitating way to live because it’s so completely anti-social.

Here’s an example of someone acting unkindly in the name of transparency: A student at the University of California —Davis veterinary school had a baby mid-term. A professor asked the class presidents to help him run a poll to determine her fate as a student in his class.

Here is the email that went out to the students.

Dear Colleagues,

 

One of our classmates recently gave birth and will be out of class for an unknown period of time. This means she will undoubtedly miss one, or more, or all quizzes in VMD 444. Dr. Feldman is not sure how to handle this and has requested the class give input and vote. He has provided us with 6 options on which to vote and is open to any other ideas you may have. Most likely a CERE poll will be up next week and a voting will close no later than Wednesday. If you have other suggestions please email them to Dan or I ASAP. We will alert you to the opening of voting. Below are listed the options that Dr. Feldman has suggested. Please reserve comment on these options and provide us your opinion on them by voting when the time comes. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

 

a) automatic A final grade

b) automatic B final grade

c) automatic C final grade

d) graded the same as everyone else: best 6 quiz scores out of a possible 7 quiz scores (each quiz only given only once in class with no repeats)

e) just take a % of quiz scores (for example: your classmate takes 4 quizzes, averages 9/10 points = 90% = A)

f) give that student a single final exam at the end of the quarter (however this option is only available to this one student, all others are graded on the best 6 quiz scores and the % that results)

 

Please let us know if you have other thoughts on how to handle this situation and please keep your eye out for the upcoming vote.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Your Presidents

The professor is Edward Feldman DVM, Chair of the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He has confirmed that he thinks this process was appropriate. Here is the full story, reported on ScienceBlogs.

This is not transparency or collaboration. It’s witch hunting. Know the difference.

3. Transparency is being a real person.

Most of you know that transparency is a trend. But many of you lie, and not to be kind. You say what you think you should say. Like the blog post about how you are leaving your job and how great your job was and how sad you are to go, when everyone at your company knows you hate your boss and that’s why you left after less than a year. It doesn’t mean you can’t write a goodbye post. It just means you have to do it in a more honest way. Like, thank specific people for specific things instead of writing the post like it was the best job of your life.

Here’s another example. Periodically, I email women who publicly bash me for post on Tech Crunch: Women Don’t Run Startups Because They’d Rather Have Children. For those of you who didn’t read it, I wrote that women don’t get VC funding because women don’t ask for it. And the reason women don’t ask for it is because you can’t have a life if you run a VC-backed company. Women want to have a life outside of work.

In the 5oo comments on TechCrunch, and subsequent 100 posts bitching about my posts, many women tell me they are doing their family and their company and they’re happy and that I’m demotivating to women. But my point, which many people miss, is that VC backed companies are very different than non-VC-backed companies.

Here’s what I get in return. That women who did not understand the distinction apologize to me, and women who did understand the distinction have lost their marriages while they’ve been running their VC-backed company and taking care of their kids.

Don’t argue with me on this, ok? I’m right. The reason you don’t know I’m right is because women don’t announce they sacrificed living with their children’s father in order to run a startup. Who would announce that besides me?

My problem though, is that women are willing to lie about what life is like for them in order to tell other women that they “have it all” and so can everyone else. I get angry just writing this. The biggest secret in business today is that the divorce rate for women with young kids running VC-backed startups is nearly 100%. And the reason I can report this statistic with such confidence is because the number of women you need to ask to get the statistic is so small.

So I think the worst offenders of transparency are the ones who claim it as their value and then lie. To themselves, and to everyone else.

You do not need to be transparent at the expense of your true self. You don’t need to be transparent about stuff you can’t personally cope with. But you do need to be completely honest with yourself about why you draw the boundaries that you draw. Transparency is about personal honesty first, public honesty second.

69 replies
  1. Erin
    Erin says:

    I love the term “self-edit”. My friend also likes to remind people to “know your audience” and think before you speak.

    Question: What is the divorce rate for men running VC backed firms?

    I ask because it occurred to me that maybe the husbands of these women can’t handle the marriage, whereas maybe the wives of men running VC backed firms can handle that type of relationship. Is this part of the equation?

  2. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    It’s true that we lie about how good our lives are. If anyone asks me how much I like working from home, I tell them it’s great. I have time to do things, I can keep my garden watered, I can go for walks whenever I want.

    But on the other hand, it’s isolated, it’s hard to stay away from the fridge, and it feels as if I’m being left behind. (I do bring up these things too, but only with some people.)

    Do we lie because we’re afraid of breaking the taboo against complaining? We don’t want to seem like whiners?

    Or is it because we think everybody else is “living the life” and we want to pretend we are too?

    The bad part is when we influence someone else’s decisions while withholding some of the information.

    • Kara
      Kara says:

      Nancy, you just emptied the contents of my head right now, thanks for raising such interesting points. I am terrified of working from home/being a stay-at-home mom for the reasons you mentioned. I have been thinking about why we hide the struggle so much. Maybe we don’t want to be a burden to others, maybe we fear people won’t care, then what? We’re back to going it alone, pretending everything is glorious. Over the past two years, I’ve realized how (as Penelope is always saying) sharing struggle isn’t selfish IF we can help others feel less alone, less crazy for feeling isolated or disconnected. I think it’s possible to do that and still stay positive. I also agree with Penelope, ‘having it ALL’ is a myth; when one thing flourishes, another is neglected; it’s all about balance. Too many things to balance and too much neglect.

  3. Melissa Breau
    Melissa Breau says:

    Oh PT,

    Way to crush my hopes – €“I’m hoping to get married in the next several years, and my SO is in the Navy. Military relationships already have a high failure rate. To add to that that I’m trying to run a start-up seems to destine us to failure…

  4. Luci Klebar
    Luci Klebar says:

    Some people are “too honest,” they speak whatever is on their minds without thinking of the consequences. But I also believe in what St Paul said, “to speak truth in love,” and tell someone what they need to hear, if it really is to help them improve.

    I think men who run VC’s don’t get divorced (initially anyway), because their wives are tending to all the details, kids, soccer, groceries, social schedule, etc., so all they really have to do is go to work and do the work. I know this because I had an executive tell me he couldn’t do what I did when I was running my own business, and taking care of all the healthcare and personal issues for my mom, who was frailing. It made me feel strong that I was doing both–willingly or not, and that he didn’t feel capable of doing both.

    I also think it is unfortunate that the Presidents of a University don’t know when to use “I” and “me” correctly. As in their comment, “e-mail them to Dan or I asap.” Where are the grammar police when you need them? Their request for students was not transparent, but petty, and lacked empathy, and leadership. It was a cowardly choice to put the vote to the students, and to share this student’s personal information in an air of transparency. The right thing to do would have been to have a personal meeting with the student to evaluate best options for her, a leave, independent study, a final grade based on her score on the final, etc. But not one in which everyone had the chance to vote on her personal situation.

  5. KateNonymous
    KateNonymous says:

    Thank you for pointing out the difference between transparency and witch-hunting. Dr. Feldman (based on this incident, as I have never met him) reminds me of a former boss, who said to us in a departmental meeting with a tone of resigned disgust, “What are we supposed to do when one of our senior editors is our for three months on maternity leave?”

    I was so impressed with the contract employee who promptly spoke up and said, “Do you mean that women who have children are unwelcome in your department? Because it really sounds like that’s what you meant.”

    Her answer was much more on-topic than the one I bit back: “I don’t know. What are we supposed to do when the head of the department is out for a month and a half due to prostate surgery?”

  6. chris Keller
    chris Keller says:

    Transparency = honesty? I don’t think so.

    Honesty is fraught. For example, if you are a person in an authority role, and you admit to being unsure or inexperienced (or impatient or feeling under-the-weather or any sort of human frailty or weakness), you are busted. Nor can you admit to having made a mistake. You will lose credibility, lose face, lose your raise, lose your license, lose your job.

    As much as I have lived my life by trying to be kind and generous, it doesn’t give you/me “the competitive edge. Quite the opposite. Even professions that are known as service professions . . . it is a no-go, I believe.

    Larger organizations have no hope of maintaining the kind of integrity that P is talking about, I believe.
    Perhaps some smaller organizations can do it. But it is not a money-maker, this principle; and often, making money for yourself, your share-holders or investors, & making payroll is the bottom line.

    Penelope, it is noble, but not practical, in the corporate world, to hold this value.

    Chris

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Chris, I think the era of arguing about whether or not transparency is right for corporations is over. It’s just an accepted goal. The Deloitte piece I link to goes a far way to explain why corporations don’t have a choice. Google

      harvard business review transparency

      to read about all the ways that corporations are accepting transparency as inevitable.

      Penelope

      • darren
        darren says:

        nope. I agree with Chris. For example, if you are in a commercial environment, you will be considered quite dumb to be transparent in that sort of corporate arena. One of the reasons the Alliance delivery model does not work. Contracts are contracts. I am not sure your transparency principle applies this decade anyway. Sorry to be blunt. This is from first hand experience. Having done a bit of research in my days, I am not sure I subscribe to Deloitte’s point of view either. Actually, I have dealt with these guys too. I like the concept though. But it’s not there right now.. maybe if we all started believing it simultaneously we could create it. Until then..

    • Em
      Em says:

      Corporations are paying lip service to the idea of transparency. They are being backed into a corner by the sudden ability we all have to see more of the process. This doesn’t mean corporations are embracing transparency.

      You are very correct that actually Being transparent will make your path to success more difficult. It’s a value thing. Are you willing to pay the cost of the damage to your humanity that comes from lying to fit into a culture that primarily values success? Or is that cost too high. Some people (the ones who see the value in transparency) care less about the prestige than about keeping their humanity intact.

      • chris Keller
        chris Keller says:

        Or you could reframe this debate by asserting that corporations have their own definitions of honesty and transparency. And maybe that fact is sheer manipulation. I don’t know. When the people who are interfacing directly with the public that they are supposed to be serving get a script from their manager about what to say and how to say it, I believe that is manipulative, and a violation of the spirit of transparency/honesty.

        When I hear a party line, I feel as if I am not being dealt with honestly. There are buzz words/phrases used in any industry, and when I, the client, hear those words, I have a sense of mistrust.

        So I have an abiding sense of mistrust of my own industry after being on the front line, interfacing with the public directly for more than 20 years. I have been lucky to be able to retire early in the past few weeks. There were so many trust issues, it was ridiculous . . . You begin to feel like an accessory to a crime . . .

  7. joanna Liczyk
    joanna Liczyk says:

    Women running VC backed firms cannot have it all…just like women executives working in large corporations.

    Women who claim that you can have it all,are those women who never see their children or husband or who have a nanny to look after their children. And they lie about their success because of guilt.

    Husbands are successful at their jobs because they have a stay at home wife who looks after the kids , the home and their husband.

  8. Tracey
    Tracey says:

    @Nancy, why is stating the downside to working from home complaining? Acknowledging the advantages and disadvantage is not a judgement, just what it is. You can’t make it better if you don’t know the downside.

    Talking about trust and transparency. I don’t trust people who can’t objectively see the pluses and minuses inherent in every situation. Expecting everything to be rosy all of the time is just ridiculous — and that’s okay.

  9. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Glad to see such a (mostly) well thought out discussion. I’m missing something, and it’s probably just because I’m Canadian that I don’t recognize it, but could someone tell me what VC stands for in the VC-backed companies?
    Thanks

  10. WorstProfEver
    WorstProfEver says:

    Re: nobility vs. pragmatism, I used to be in a field that required me to pretend ALL THE TIME. I tried very hard, and it didn’t work, which is why I eventually said screw it. So while I agree it’s not practical advice for everyone, I think you’ll know if it’s good advice for you.

    Re: the stay-at-home, work, whatever, here’s a simple truth: things are not equal. Men have more options than women, not the least of which are a) waiting a long time to reproduce and b) not being socialized to feel guilty every time they leave their kid for work. This isn’t fair, but I agree wholeheartedly with Penelope’s point that women lying about how awesome their lives are is just contributing the problem.

  11. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “The instinct to lie is what allows us to think through the following steps in a conversation:

    1. Consider the other person's feelings
    2. Empathize
    3. Think of something to say that is not a lie but does not hurt anyone unkindly.

    That process requires us to cultivate an ability to lie, which, in turn, cultivates an ability to self-edit.”

    Sometimes it is better to listen only and say nothing or say that you have not experienced a similar situation if that’s truly the case. Maybe try to ask more questions or try to relate with a story of your own and get their feedback to better understand the other person’s feelings. In other words, think very hard before getting to step #3. If you don’t, you may find yourself backpedaling and digging a bigger hole for yourself.

    • EngineerChic
      EngineerChic says:

      Another good technique – ask a question about the thing they are talking about (think = emotion, stressor, reason for worry). Sometimes people can find the answers on their own if they have a willing ear that helps them talk through the problem. When our brain has to slow down enough to match the speed of our mouth, it sometimes makes the brain think more completely through an issue and then the solution leaps into the open.

      BTW – great post. Transparency, honesty, kindness … all in short supply in most corporations.

  12. Tom
    Tom says:

    Glad to have a post from you, the tweet you sent a couple of days ago left me wondering. And I certainly hope you are right about the trust and transparency

  13. jim
    jim says:

    Penelope, why do you say that *this* is the decade to be formed by Gen X? I really, really like the idea, don’t get me wrong. But I’m 43 and I still feel like I’m living in the shadow of the boomers who still run things. I’d like to see evidence or research or something that explains.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Most companies will be run by gen Xers in this decade, and Obama is an X-er as are most of his advisors. Also, the demographic with the highest spending power right now are Gen X moms, which means the majority of advertising will be geared to them, for one, short, second in history.

      Penelope

  14. Jeffrey Sumber
    Jeffrey Sumber says:

    One of my favorite posts, Penelope, thanks. I have been mulling over honesty, transparency and integrity a lot these days when it comes to business, the Internet and society in general. I find it especially challenging sometimes in my line of work which is psychotherapy, coaching and counseling.

    As a profession, we are provided with a very specific set of guidelines called the “code of ethics.” These are not considered laws but are strongly encouraged “codes.” Sitting with people who are struggling to live a healthy, balanced life can be extremely rewarding but it is also often like walking a tight rope when it comes to ethics and transparency. Do I confront a person who is cheating on their business partner? Do I confront a person who is cheating on their life partner? How do I mindfully address clients who hurt my feelings or hurt ME in some way?

    As a counselor, it is considered one of my chief duties to model healthy behavior for my clients. As a Gen X man who is striving for integrity and transparency in my own life, how do I model something that is a work in progress for every person under the sun? How does one model a projected notion of what perfectly healthy behavior is as well as the “right” code of ethics to a person paying me to do so, without some lack of transparency and projection on my part as I am far from perfect?

    Thanks for your post. I am sitting with it as you can see….

    Jeffrey

    • Em
      Em says:

      This is why I reject your field. It’s based on ethics that prevent the practitioners from being human. And when I say being human what I mean is being able to respond in an authentic fashion in the moment to someones pain or revelation. Instead, therapists are forced to be stylized theoretically balanced models for clients to hopefully emulate.

      I know people who have been helped by therapy. But I share with Penelope the idea that in being transparent and forthcoming about our difficulties we can help people. So therapy doesn’t work for me.

  15. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    Wow, it’s like you’re reading my mind. I just returned yesterday from our management meeting in R.I. I had to report on what I’m doing, etc. One thing that I told my bosses is that I had to commend them on staying true to their word and that when I started working there I didn’t really believe them when they told me they had great things in store for me. However, they proved that they are true their word.

    The fact that I trust them now makes me not want to get a new job. I also think the reason a lot of Gen Xers start their OWN businesses is that they can’t trust their bosses (my friend just got fired from a sales job because his boss took credit for a joint commission and then he didn’t make his quota.)

  16. New Normal
    New Normal says:

    Loved the reference to “The Year of Living Biblically”. I recall reading about his struggles with strictly applying the 10 Commandments. Those struggles demonstrate that great works which influence culture, such as the Bible, tend to lean towards a PERFECT WORLD scenario. In other words – much, MUCH harder that it seems to integrate their concepts in to the practical one.

  17. Angela DuBois
    Angela DuBois says:

    AB-SO-LUTE-LY!!! Bang on, P! I’m not good with tact, so sometimes I won’t speak my mind in public. Then I’m told that I’m prevaricating, when I simply don’t know the kindest way to say something. My FRIENDS know this though, and cut me a lot of slack. Or tell me a better way to phrase it next time. Which I very much appreciate.

  18. Marc Roston
    Marc Roston says:

    When people ask me about the best books to read for investment decision making, I point them to criminal interrogation manuals. The most interesting lesson of criminal interrogation manuals: Most people will tell you they are not good liars, and they are very good at detecting lies. The opposite is true: People are generally pretty good liars, and have no skills at detecting lies.

  19. Annie
    Annie says:

    Penelope – this is a topic that you are so, so good at writing on.

    I think that what enables today’s best performers to navigate “the intersection of work and life” is honesty with themselves, transparency with others. These people probably have a good deal of practice with the feedback that come from – and I hate this word – authenticity.

    Since your writing draws on so many themes related to transparency – secrets in your childhood, Asperger’s lack of ‘self-edit’, being a women w/ a VC-biz – I think you’re probably one of the best to talk about openness in work and all of its challenges.

    “Transparency at the intersection of work and life.” That’s you!

  20. Margaret Goerig
    Margaret Goerig says:

    Great sequel to your last post. You’re talking about the same concept in two very different ways. I liked this line especially:
    “The posts are … most importantly, not what transparency should be, because it is not aimed at helping other people. It's aimed at helping the writer only.”
    That is such a hard concept to put into practice and it can require a lot of finesse to write about something particularly sensitive, because naturally, it more than likely involves other people, so you do have to include some details of the other party in order for the story to make sense.
    It reminds me of this Terry Gross interview with Joan Rivers, who has always used humor to deal with really heavy stuff, right down to her husband’s suicide, but that offends so many people, because they are not ready to laugh at the issue and may never be ready to laugh at it.
    People, in general, do not respond well to being forced to do things and the same rule applies to forcing them to be open & transparent about something that they are not ready to have out in public. It’s something I have to remind myself of all the time when writing, and I do forget it sometimes, which is a terrible realization after the fact.
    P.S. I also enjoyed the TechCrunch article. It’s been interesting reading your voice when you’re writing for other entities and I did like it better for TC than for BNET.

  21. Brittany
    Brittany says:

    As a professional woman trying to balance work and family, I found the antecdote about recent events at U.C. Davis extremely disheartening. Here is a link to email the Chancellor at U.C. Davis. http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/contact.php
    Please email her encouraging her to use Dr. Veldman’s unfortunate choices as an opportunity to implement a policy that provides fair procedures for allowing students to start families while pursuing their professional ambitions.

  22. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    Penelope –

    Thanks for this post. As a graduate student, the UC Davis issue really struck a chord with me. I find the lack of adherence to FERPA and the disregard for the student’s privacy appalling and sad. I am happy to read that the Chancellor of the University is taking action and investigating the situation. Additionally, I completely agree with your new commandment: “Thou shall self-edit.”

  23. Rachelle
    Rachelle says:

    Personally I like it when organizations are transparent. I hate the air of pretension that many professions have. Mine is one of those where everyone blows sunshine up everyone’s ass while the building’s on fire.

    I work from home myself, I have 3 year old who has to go to daycare because of his social deficits. I wonder where that comes from?

    I have learned to ask twice if people really want to know my opinion. It’s not that I’ve learned to lie effectively, I just leave much more unsaid than I used to.

    Oh and the prof is a bigoted fool.

  24. John
    John says:

    The eight/ninth commandment is not “thou shall not lie”. It’s “thou shall not bear false witnesses against thy neighbor”. It says nothing about lying in order to spare people’s feelings, or in order to protect yourself against invasion of privacy. The only type of lie that is forbidden is the lie that hurts people.

  25. Will in Chicago
    Will in Chicago says:

    Loved the article although I think it will take a few readings to truly digest it. My next step would be to apply it to my life (probably obvious). Even though I’m not a woman, this really hits home. thank you.

  26. QuinnCreative
    QuinnCreative says:

    Dr. Feldman (in example #2) made a huge mistake in thinking that everyone’s opinion is equal AND good. Sadly, that’s not the case. None of these people should be treating animals, let alone graduate. The result of pregnancy is often inconvenient, and often left to the woman to solve. How about we vote that men who get women pregnant and then lack empathy get an automatic F?

    The class presidents (Do they need more than one?) are not only lacking in problem-solving skills, but in grammar. “Send it to Dan and I” is wrong. The word “to” is a preposition, so Dan and X is the object of the preposition, making the right way to say it “Dan and me.”

  27. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I read a blog post by Rick Short at Indium Corporation titled ‘Managing Interviews in Business to Business Marketing Communications’ yesterday. He gives ten tips to nail an interview that may be featured by a trade journal, appear on a blog or website, or a local TV spot. He uses the Michelle Williams interview on ABC News Nightline as a poignant case study.
    Michelle says the following in the Daily Beast regarding the ABC News Nightline interview – “I just had an experience with Nightline that got edited in such a way that seemed as if I did go too far. It was a three-hour interview that was edited in such a way that was devastating to me. I mean, I am still such the-good-girl. I want everybody to like me. I want everybody to be happy. I want to please people. So that desire in the moment overrode that "me" that is on top of myself, that "me" that is on top of a situation. Then they used those few quotes and the way they edited the piece to sell the interview, and it appeared as if I were breaking some kind of silence and sitting down with the express purpose to discuss something that is very private to me.”
    She also says – “But when it comes to interviews, it all becomes rather tricky because I don't want to say something without resonance but then I don't want to go too far.”
    And then I thought about what you wrote in the last paragraph. She still struggles with Heath Ledger's death in some respects. So she is still in the process of learning where the boundaries are so she knows where to draw them.

  28. Sonia
    Sonia says:

    I was raised to be straight-forward and to not pull no punches. Sure, you have to be honest with tact, but I am not trying to be phoney also. If I don’t like you, I won’t mince words and be phoney as if I really liked you. There is a place and time for everything, you just have to use your judgement on when to speak to your mind and when not to.

  29. MWN
    MWN says:

    @QuinnCreative: Your suggestion is awesome.

    (“The result of pregnancy is often inconvenient, and often left to the woman to solve. How about we vote that men who get women pregnant and then lack empathy get an automatic F?”)

  30. Irina I
    Irina I says:

    It’s totally ridiculous that the UC Davis girl got that treatment from her professor. What a horrible guy. The U.S. birth rate is at an all time low (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/27/us-birth-rate-sets-record_n_697131.html) and his treatment of her is completely discouraging of having children! Wait until this becomes a systemic problem.

    In Russia, the birth rate has been negative for such a long time that pregnant college students get treated like queens. They get help from teachers, they can miss exams, etc. The mantra is: “Have more kids, women!”

  31. Banafsajy
    Banafsajy says:

    Hi Penelope, great post. It’s amazing that just weeks after you wrote this, the uprising in Middle East started led by the young. It was just waiting to happen, wasn’t it? About time.

  32. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    In #1. Transparency is about doing good. –
    “It's significant that the company is named SeeClickFix – government transparency is not about finger pointing and sensationalism. Clearly, it should be about improving the lives of citizens, fixing what can be fixed.”
    There’s a recent article titled ‘US cities using tech to cull ideas from citizens’ ( http://tinyurl.com/4hmp3sy ) that mentions SeeClickNow and describes how technology is being used to crowdsource (Gov 2.0). An encouraging quote from the article – “Government officials tout such projects as money-savers that increase efficiency and improve transparency. Citizen advocates for the programs argue they offer something deeper – an opportunity to reignite civic responsibility and community participation.” There are many mentions of NYC in the article.

  33. Tom
    Tom says:

    “President Eisenhower proposed the first “Open Skies” initiative in 1955, before reconnaissance satellites were available. The purpose of Eisenhower’s “Open Skies” was to allow for wide ranging aerial inspections with optical cameras between the superpowers. These aerial inspections would have allowed each side to examine some military facilities in order to give early warning on military build-ups. These inspections would probably have had a deterrent effect, could have reduced “worst-case analysis” assumptions about the other party, and could have established a mutual confidence building measure. First Secretary of the Communist Party Nikita Krushchev strongly rejected Eisenhower’s proposal because the Soviets feared that it was a way for Westerners to spy on the closed Soviet society.”

    How is that for transparency?

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  35. floor cleaning concord
    floor cleaning concord says:

    This is an interesting article.. thanks for sharing! I agree that people look for jobs because they do not trust their employer… everyone I know that is unhappy at work is mad because their employers are not living up to their original promises.

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