​Insights on Insincerity
My Gmail account now offers me four or five different canned responses, based on some word-recognition algorithm, that I can choose to send when I receive e-mails. I can now click only one button and send a “Wow, thanks!” or some variation to someone, in response to just about any message. These responses exist because, for people who receive more correspondence than I do, the act of...
Chris Edwards
1,133
​Insights on Insincerity
Thanks, as always, to Tom Koerner for his guidance, professionalism, and editorial expertise. All writers should be so lucky as to have an editor like Tom. Thanks to my wife, Beth, who has pretended to like me for over twenty years and has done a pretty good job of it. My sons, both of them masters of flattery, deserve love and thanks for what they have taught me.
Chris Edwards
144
​Insights on Insincerity
Everyone leaves the meeting wondering what it was for. Nothing important was accomplished, no new insights were shared, the “leadership team” or whatever the local euphemism for middle management is, simply passed around a microphone and read off information that would have been more efficiently shared through an e-mail.
Chris Edwards
2,588
​Insights on Insincerity
Ethical considerations for experimental subjects hinder the impact of modern psychology to a great degree. In fact, most of what we understand about human nature must be derived from now decades-old experiments such as those performed by Yale professor Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. The experiment that Milgram and his associates performed now resides in the cultural memory, so only a few words of...
Chris Edwards
11,629
​Insights on Insincerity
Sarcasm can be defined as insincerity pushed to such an extreme that it becomes noticeable. While sarcasm can be practiced from the superior position, subordinates usually employ it as a means of trying to maintain some control over a situation in which they are relatively powerless. Subordinates tend to employ sarcastic responses only with authority figures who possess relatively little...
Chris Edwards
14,513
​Insights on Insincerity
“Hell is other people,” wrote Jean Sartre, with appropriate existential angst. With this quote, he encapsulated a sentiment about human beings that highlights the frustration of social living. Sartre meant that each person views other people as reflections of impressions. We try, all of us, to impress an image of ourselves on others and, when the impression of ourselves fails to get...
Chris Edwards
12,043
​Insights on Insincerity
Reputable news websites occasionally report on celebrity sex scandals using a peculiar double entendre. Some hacker, usually one of these heavily breasted males with crème cookies stuffed in the pocket of his ironic T-shirt, sneaks into the cell phone of a celebrity gal and steals images and/or video of her engaged in acts of vicarious sexuality. When this makes its way to the darker sites...
Chris Edwards
7,230
​Insights on Insincerity
Of all the cultural examples of insincerity, my favorite is from the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. No one understood insincerity better than the Wizard himself. A plump old man, he cloaked himself in mystery and power and terrified Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow to such a great extent that they failed to see the central flaw in the story’s reasoning: if the Wizard...
Chris Edwards
1,348
​Insights on Insincerity
Chris Edwards
947
​Insights on Insincerity
Chris Edwards is a veteran teacher of World History and Advanced Placement World History at a public high school in the Midwest and is the author of several books, including the five-volume Connecting the Dots in World History series published by R&L Education. He is a frequent contributor to Skeptic magazine on the topics of law, logic, psychology, theoretical...
Chris Edwards
198