I’m starting to sound like my father and can’t believe I question nearly every day “what is this world coming to?” Near the top of my “it’s all going to hell” list is America’s turning its back on science — unabashedly, proudly, defiantly — through legislation.
In the UK, the BBC has banned from their airwaves crackpot guests preaching that climate change is not real. The change is to bolster scientific integrity. Staff will receive training in science and scientific conferences will be attended by staff to stay abreast of developments.
Deniers get equivalence here in the US. One denier with one believer (proxy by Bill Nye, the “Science Guy”). Viewers ignorant of the facts could conclude that climate change is not really something to be concerned about. The fallacy of this false equivalence was never more clear than this demonstration by comedian John Oliver on his HBO show This Week Tonight.
And recently the British government extended its public school ban on teaching pseudoscience, creationism, to cover “academies” and “free schools,” the equivalent of charter schools in the States. The government recognizes the religious bases of the founders of such schools. Thus creationism promotes religion and has no business in the teaching of science.
America is headed in the other direction, driving headfirst into ignorance. Creationists and advocates for “intelligent design” in the US seem to be gaining clout. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) 2014 legislative scorecard identified states that are attempting to make their children science illiterates.
Lazy reporting pairs with stupid in a single jumbled mess of incorrect attribution and mistakes by writer Susmita Baral at the online site — Wall Street Cheat Sheet.
In one amazing paragraph, Baral wrote:
A recently published VitalSmarts report found some surprising and unsettling findings — a whopping 96 percent of respondents surveyed are reporting that they have experienced workplace bullying. Workplace bullying — which has been dubbed the “silent epidemic” by Psychology Today — has become such a prevalent concern that twenty-six states have introduced Happy Workplace bills to combat the trend.
The Happy (sic) Workplace bills. Really?
Happy instead of Healthy is not just a typo, it’s a glossing over of this serious problem in the workplace. It’s the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB), stupid.
Baral sets the low threshold by which internet writers can now be judged. It’s mostly happy talk and mindless drivel to drive advertising dollars to web sites. Monetization is ubiquitous. Baral can be forgiven because before her mindless bullying article, she wrote these enticing pieces: “Americans consume 23 sticks of butter a year: Is the habit healthy?” Facial cleansing 101: How to properly clean your face.”
The Problem With Stupidity
Calling HWB “Happy” diminishes the seriousness of the impact abusive interpersonal conduct has on abused workers. It conveys the erroneous message that if you are experiencing clinical depression as a result of your work environment and the abusive people responsible for its toxicity, there must be something wrong with you. If you are not “happy,” it’s your fault. Happy workplaces are employers’ goals. Yeah, right.
Healthy, in terms of safety from health-harming intimidation, domination and verbal abuse, is positive enough. We — WBI — named it the Healthy Workplace Bill to deliberately challenge lawmakers who oppose the bill to say they see nothing wrong with abusive conduct. Of course, every opposing lawmaker remarks publicly in committee hearings, “Now I’m not in favor of abuse, but …” then they rally to vote to support abusive employers.
Happy is a frivolous goal. Healthy connotes overcoming stress-induced health problems.
Upon return from a short break, we found a jaw-dropping headline that cannot be believed.
96% of Workers are Bullied at Work!
The non-discerning press copied the press release from a consulting firm named Vital Smarts who have never been players in the workplace bullying arena. [See the US Academy roster to see who is doing credible and important work in America.]
Why do we at WBI say this company’s finding is not believable? Because they do not provide a definition nor describe their research methodology. We at WBI get a 97% bullied rate when we ask those who complete our online surveys. Of course we do. Who comes to this website seeking solutions to their personal problem and may also complete a survey? Bullied targets and witnesses. Our respondents are a “self-selected,” non-random sample. Our research reports clearly state when studies rely on bullied targets’ opinions only.