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06 October 2014

How Not to Succeed in Being a Human without Really Caring

I have always been averse to the idea of "networking." People who work in "business" (as if that is an actual field) talk about networking opportunities as a means of self-advancement and treat each other in disturbingly instrumental ways.* Case in point from the current issue of my alumni magazine:
Always Scale Up: Never set a lunch date with people who are less powerful than you.... I always ask myself...Can the person I am meeting benefit me directly (Rice 2014)?
First, I hope that the irrationality of this is self-evident. If everyone followed this advice, no one would ever eat lunch. Seriously, it's just asinine. Even worse, this kind of self-serving advice value's one's time and advancement above that of others, including those whom one is supposed to see as superior. The author even drops the phrase "selfish altruism." Ick! This is the worst of business thinking absurdity.

* - As a sociologist, I of course understand the benefits of social ties, weak ties in particular; there is a difference, however, in recognizing the accidental utility of ties and in cultivating ties solely for purposeful utility.

Rice, Eric. 2014. "Your Midday Break Can Have a Big Impact." Indiana University Alumni Magazine fall:32.

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