Welcome to the maiden voyage of the monthly(ish) Mix – an aggressively moderate blend of things worth thinking about, from the deeply insightful to the indulgently ridiculous. Without further ado, here’s what’s in the Mix:
You go out with people sometimes, and you’re just like “Hold up, you’re a person?!? How? How are you– how do you pay rent? How do you have a job? How are you paying taxes? How is the world not crumbling around your idiocy?!?” You meet people so dumb that you get scared for their safety. Shit, I better walk this person home, they might just walk out into the street and get hit by a bus! They can’t even have a conversation! They’re just texting and Instagram-ing pictures of salt shakers – what happened to people?!?
– Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive (2013)
Aziz may be telling a joke, but that frustration feels awfully familiar. Haven’t we all struggled to cope with a clueless manager, or been trapped on the wrong end of a customer service call with a support rep who can’t do basic math? On some days, it can truly feel like incompetence is everywhere. Well, get ready to add some scientific research to that pile of anecdotal evidence! While they may not have his comic flare, Raffealla Sadun, Nicholas Bloom, and John Van Reenen provide real data to support the outlook expressed in Aziz’s tirade.