15 December 2011

The internet burped

So the internet crashed tonight. And by that I mean for everyone in this area, regardless of carrier.  Of course the news is slow to respond. That dinosaur keeps forgetting to die.
The reason I post about this is because it reminded me of the power outtage that happened a decade or so ago in the NE US.
It was a time of zero internet. Those among us who can remember life pre-internet are getting fewer by day. Those glory days were filled with entertaining ourselves with our minds. It allowed us to form cogent arguments for/against cogent ideas. We had time to explore actual questions.
I mention this because it has become apparent that we as a society has lost something important : silence.
With silence one has time to explore one's thoughts. Time to consider other opinions.  Time to agree / refute them. Advancement of knowledge hangs in the balance.         

06 December 2011


"One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised." ~ Chinua Achebe

Let me preface this with stating that I am a former chef-restaurateur (though always a chef).

Had that thought mulling around my mind today. Being active on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/) I've known all along that one day that someone would take offense to a negative review and contact me. And today was the day. The reason that I mention this is because the person that contacted me (marketing person doing damage control) offered to have me come back to the restaurant and eat for free.

So integrity was on my mind. I knew full well that this person was only interested in damage control. In fact I was a bit offended that a marketing person reached out and not the actual chef and/or owner. Purely an attempt to "fix" things. But my thoughts on accepting a free meal would not have been swayed had the latter occurred.

Integrity means to stand behind one's words and convictions no matter the consequences, as quoted above. I could have accepted this person's offer, had a free meal, and still stood by my review. But that would have lessened my integrity. How? Because I was willing to accept money/food for my opinion. Even if I wrote another damaging review of the restaurant I would no longer have the same integrity because I had accepted what was essentially an attempt at a bribe.

I politely informed the person that I appreciated the attempt at damage control, but because of my integrity I had to refuse this person's offer. For Sartre it is "values derive their meaning from an original projection of myself which stands as my choice of myself in the world." I chose to be genuine, to maintain my integrity.