December 22, 2020
December 20, 2020
October 17, 2020
August 25, 2020
Think the way to forge a brilliant career in academe is to produce good research, teach skilfully and mentor generously? That arduous approach works for some – but there is an easier way.
Universities sing the song of meritocracy but dance to a different tune. In reality, they will do everything to reward and protect their most destructive, abusive and uncooperative faculty. The more thoroughly such scholars poison departments, programmes and individual lives, the more universities double down to please them.
Universities are even willing to ruin their own reputations and alienate their alumni to protect bullies and abusers. They might think that reputation management demands that such behaviour be swept under the carpet, but they ought to know that the scandals will break eventually, and that the cover-up will make them look worse. Some universities even hire people in the full knowledge of abuse allegations against them, thereby becoming invested in keeping secret their decision to put their students in harm’s way.
You too can become upwardly toxic; if you are the sort of person who likes harassing less powerful people, you will enjoy it, too. It is not necessary to actually be a genius scholar or administrator. Once enough people buy into the elaborate fiction of your irreplaceability, everyone will play along. To maintain it, universities will devalue the work of colleagues and students who are more brilliant, productive or collegial. These people, in turn, will internalise the message that they are inferior, and will be too busy dealing with their shattered confidence to pose a threat.
Your indiscretions – on occasion, even your crimes – will be kept quiet through regimes of fear. Threaten lawsuits, repercussions, closed-off opportunities. The more people cave to fear, the more they become implicated in shared guilt and work to maintain silence whether they want to or not. Colleagues who used to get along fine will be divided by resentment of their mutual failure to stand up to you.
Upward toxicity can work in any industry, but it is particularly effective in a career with few escape routes. If your students and colleagues want to get away from you, it could mean moving their family to another country, or even abandoning their life’s work altogether. Most are forced to deal with you for the long term.
There are many fringe benefits to being upwardly toxic. Use service assignments to benefit yourself at the expense of colleagues and you will magically find yourself doing less service. You will not get certain duties because you are not trusted. Of course, you can also ignore remaining work; your colleagues will learn to compensate accordingly.
Carry out a steady programme of harassment and gradually you will be released from duties to students, too. They will tell each other to avoid you. Your colleagues will take on extra work to protect them from your roving hands. Eventually, you will mentor only a select group of acolytes, who always do your bidding. If you behave egregiously enough, you may even win the grand prize: paid leave from teaching, which you can use to publish more research, bolstering your reputation for genius.
Still unclear? Try following these 10 easy rules:
- Cultivate powerful friends. Gain power over as many publication organs and scholarly bodies as possible and use them to promote your clique.
- Do nothing for anyone unimportant.
- Find a less successful scholar who will fear and admire you. Flatter them into becoming your sidekick and count on them to denigrate your colleagues and defend your reputation.
- Crush the confidence of students with the potential to surpass you. Or sleep with them. Or both.
- Manipulate students and employees into feeling they owe you, long after you no longer have power over them. Make outrageous, unethical promises they will feel bad about accepting or refusing.
- Promote a zero-sum model of success. Anyone else’s gain is your loss. Claim your students’ work as your own and reassign their best ideas to your favourites. Collaboration is for losers.
- Systematically badmouth your colleagues so you can improve your own standing. Shut out the students of rival scholars. Mock those rivals for having less successful students.
- Gaslight and spread misinformation about anyone who stands up to you. Complain about the “rumour mill” and “witch-hunts”. Accuse your critics of jealousy.
- Ask loudly why no one is willing to come forward officially to substantiate the rumours of abuse against you. If someone overcomes their terror, call them crazy.
- Lie brazenly. Accuse others of lying.
By following these rules, you can absorb enormous amounts of attention, time and resources with impunity. Sure, there will be critics. They will grumble among themselves that universities ought to foster talent, not protect abuse, and that research and education should serve society, not the gratification of a few egos. They may even call for a breaking of the conspiratorial silence that drives good people out of academe and leaves psyches shattered.
Don’t worry. They will be too afraid even to share this article.
July 18, 2020
May 15, 2020
May 09, 2020
The narcissist is akin to the drug pusher. The flying monkey is akin to someone who hooks up with the drug pusher to score.
• Flying monkeys think like narcissists (splitting black and white, exaggerations, never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, painting twisted stories and interpretations, word salad for thoughts)
• Flying monkeys are addicted to the same emotional states as narcissists (the epic mindset, drama, crazymaking, chaos for emotions, excruciating boredom, black dog, love-bombing highs, sadism, schadenfreude, malicious envy, they’re haters)
• Flying monkeys suffer the same character deficits as narcissists (low compassion, low truthfulness, low conscientiousness, callousness for character)
• Flying monkeys are as twisted as narcissists (compassion for the narcissist, rapist, murderer, thug, and conveniently forget about the victim or their family, dark empathy, dark triad type personality characteristics for moral values.
But there is one difference between flying monkeys and narcissists. Narcissists know how to obtain what they both seek, flying monkeys don’t. Narcissists are in direct communion with the realm that flying monkeys only fleetingly receive but crave.
So narcissists have better imaginations than flying monkeys to invent clever stories that paint a delightfully twisted morality, more chutzpah to violate boundaries that flying monkeys wished they had, and more violently high and low emotional states that drive them to action.
Flying monkeys admire and envy narcissists because they look up to them. They don’t see narcissism as a bad thing. In fact they don’t see narcissism the way we see it at all, they see it as a package with good traits they wished they themselves had. The drama that narcissists create are works of art to the flying monkeys, highly entertaining distractions that offset their own sordid and dull lives. Narcissists are often the centerpiece in their gossip and tales. Of course, they don’t call them narcissists, more like heroes.
Narcissists are like the novelist, director, artist. Flying monkeys are like their eager fans hungering for the next book, movie, or artwork. They can’t get enough of it because the work speaks to them like nothing else does, but they cannot produce any of it themselves. Actually flying monkeys produce abuse and twisted gaslighting in their daily lives, they just do not produce works of art of the caliber of their adored narcissist. Narcissists create the smut that flying monkeys consume. In return, flying monkeys pay obeisance.
Narcissists are like the powerfully delusional cult leader. Flying monkeys are like their delusional followers. Only someone capable of a sufficient degree of the right kind of delusion would find that cult’s doctrines enticing, otherwise, they would simply find it disturbing, twisted, or repulsive.
Only people who don’t find the things narcissists say or do disturbing, crooked, or repellant can stand them.
Being fooled by a narcissist and getting roped into their schemes to support their agendas and campaigns to ruin others for a season or two doesn’t count, it doesn’t make you a flying monkey. Narcissists are good at fooling others, and so all naive people will initially believe the narcissist is the hero, the good person, the injured party. We all have to go through the same thing to eventually learn about narcissists and their ways.
What makes someone a flying monkey is someone who sticks with the narcissist’s story despite evidence to the contrary, and manages to do so for a protracted period of time. The flying monkey agrees with the narcissist on a fundamental level, their core is similar to the narcissist. They agree with the tendencies of the narcissist, the compulsions, and most importantly the justification philosophies of the narcissist.
They agree with the ruin they see the narcissist wreak, they agree with the narcissist’s justifications for bringing ruin to others, and they agree with the narcissist that despite all that, the narcissist is still the hero and the victim, not the villain.
If someone can keep that up for years, through watching the narcissist keep ruining and ruining, they really have to be a flying monkey, because only someone with no heart can keep that up for so long.
"This means that Hassan feels untouchable at the moment. In the last five years, he has progressed up the ranks at the University of East London (UEL). He treats this place like he owns it. He has abused the system and HR are none the wiser. Here is what has done in the last five years and let's see anyone provide evidence otherwise:
- First, he used redundancy process to fire some 11 faculty claiming that the school is not attracting enough students and the school has massive deficit, only to re-advertised these same positions the following year. Only cunning as he his, the jobs were advertised in trickles.
- Next, he fired a whole set of top manager, claiming their positions are not needed and none sustainable, only to re-advertise these same positions the following year under new titles.
- Only last year, he made the argument for a new set of managerial positions, and then made them redundant six months later!
-He has now pushed for the same tactic for another School under his control. Despite the data suggesting it is financially sound. But as they say, you can make statistics say anything and he is top at that.
But one may rightly say, this does not make sense. What is he gaining? Well, he has an agenda that partly based on his personality of dictatorship and others on his fundamentalist thinking. He would always start these 'redundancy' stance with the intention to:
- Get anyone who opposes him out.
- He has particular distaste to Shia Muslims because he is Suni Muslim. There is evidence that HR can investigate that shows he has fired some 5 Shia Muslims. In fact, of all the new recruitment taken place under his control of the school, not one single Shia Muslim was recruited. All of them are Suni.
- He is also a sexist. Only after big pressure from HR that he has back off. If you observe him in School meetings, you will see that when male colleagues ask a question, he will keep eye contact and answer them in full detail. Female Colleagues asking questions, Hassan will almost never look them in the face and tries to dismiss whatever they have to say with a quick answer.
- He is homophobic, this again comes from his religious background and has would target gay individuals who are open or camp.
- If you want to get into UEL now, you should join him on his Friday prayers. We heard that he once led the Friday prayer in the School. The man is said to be leaning on being Wahabi, the fundamental type of Islam.
Hassan, has learned from his previous experience when he was fired for bullying and has applied cunning new tactics at UEL to hide his tracks. Almost everyone in our department knows this but HR will not address anything of these because they see these as 'circumstantial' evidence. Now that he is in power, he can control who stays, who joins, and everyone is afraid of him. My advice to HR is get on it because a lawsuit gets on you! Question his decisions, and question them more when he reverses them (re-advertise position) and what the hell are you doing with all the formal and informal complaints you have about him! Yes, individually each may look weak but if you collate them, you must have a big picture.
For there is no smoke without fire!"
After having successfully performed the Viva Voce, I was notified that I passed my Viva Voce but also I was notified that I failed my Thesis. The UoL failed to substantiate what potentially caused the failure of my Thesis. The UoL provided an academic report being very vague and elusive and did not inform me about the potential errors involved on my Thesis. The UoL sustained during my appealing procedure that; “it was not fundamental to know the exact errors involved in my Thesis”. Most of the specific errors listed in the academic report could not be found in my Thesis. The academic report deferred completely from the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner–University of Warwick) that actually showed a list of minor corrections that were amended in less than two weeks. The UoL failed to inform me about my rights of appeal. There is a large number of internal e-mails from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior members of the UoL, which showed how the UoL premeditated the failure of my Ph.D..."
Complete story here:
May 08, 2020
May 02, 2020
...Assume for simplicity that goods can be produced at two levels of quality, High (H) and Low (L)...
Problems arise if the two individuals agree on H but one of them delivers L. This is, of course, a risk of many exchanges: rational, unprincipled and self-interested agents prefer to dish out L rather than H, while at the same time, one would think, they also prefer to receive H rather than L. Dishonest second-hand car dealers prefer to sell a lemon while charging an H-price. This happens often enough...
...Usually, if one promises to deliver H and delivers L instead, one would think of this as a breach of trust. But in our case, it looks as if they rely on each other not to be entirely trustworthy, they trust their untrustworthiness. Not only do they live with each other’s laxness, but expect it: I trust you not to keep your promises in full because I want to be free not to keep mine and not to feel bad about it. There seems to be a double deal: an official pact in which both declare their intention to exchange H-goods, and a tacit accord whereby discounts are not only allowed but expected. It becomes a form of tacit mutual connivance on L-ness...
L-doers may want to keep up a credible façade with their surrounding H communities because they gain from this: Marseglia had an interest to pretend to comply with EU community standards because he was receiving EU olive oil subsidies. Also, L-doers manoeuvre to prop up their reputation for H-ness with their naïve local audiences by being seen standing shoulders to shoulders – briefly but as noisily as possible to be heard far and wide – with H-doers, as in the case of L-universities liberally dishing out honoris causa degrees.
...the maintenance of an H-façade may simply satisfy the need to reduce the cognitive dissonance between what one practices and what one preaches. The gap between the H-standards and the L-standards creates uneasiness among L-doers. Even if they cultivate specious legitimising reasons to practice L-ness (as we shall see below), many still seem aware that there is another set of reasons, which enjoin one to do H. The dissonance is reduced by interacting always with the same people, whom one can trust for not challenging one’s standards. L-doers segregate themselves in mutual admiration societies..."
The LL game: The curious preference for low quality and its norms in Politics Philosophy Economics 12(1), February 2013
March 13, 2020
Responses from 3,000 academic and non-academic staff – a quarter of Cambridge’s total workforce – found that nearly one in three had either been the victims of bullying and other forms of victimisation or had seen it directed against colleagues in the previous 18 months.
The survey found that the largest group to have suffered bullying and harassment were women and assistant staff – Cambridge’s term for non-academic support staff – while the largest group to exhibit bullying and harassment were academics. The results are revealed as the Office for Students, the higher education regulator for England prepares to set out new requirements for how universities handle harassment and sexual misconduct affecting students and staff, including intervention by the regulator in cases of ineffective procedures.
...The initial survey was carried out in July 2018 but was only released on the university’s internal network in 2019. A summary of the results includes comments by Stephen Toope, Cambridge’s vice-chancellor, who wrote: “To be a leading institution, we must accept that this type of behaviour has no place at Cambridge. The experiences of bullying and harassment shared by some of the staff participating in this joint survey show us, however, that we have work to do to make this a reality for all.”
Ivan Williams, Unison’s Cambridge branch chair, said: “The levels of staff who say they have witnessed or suffered bullying is deeply worrying. I would also be concerned that, due to a lack of training, many staff is not even aware that some of the treatment they have to deal with at work would be classed as bullying...