Archive for October 6, 2013

On Artificial Failure

The reason why 60% is passing is an odd. Scientists did tests, educational theorists tried out pupils, and as it turned out if you are correct 60% of the time you will remember something. Let’s take Hiragana, if a test asks you 10 questions that involve this letter: な if you can answer them correctly 6 times, chances are you will remember the letter fairly accurately for most of your life. Hence spell the following word in hiragana: nashi, write the hiragana for the syllable na, draw a line from the syllable to the hiragana, listen to the following word and then write down the first syllable, and you get the idea. There are thousands of ways to test, but getting something correct 6/10 times means you will remember it.

60% is an odd statistic in neurology. It is also the percentage in which failure deadens a neuron. Fail to hit the ball 6 out of 10 times: you probably won’t want to play baseball as much. Just can’t solve a difficult math problem? Same thing. Failure has consequences and the loss of neuronal response means that motivation deadens. How many children lose interest in chess because a slightly more advantaged opponent takes advantage of them? Want to know how many tries of a level till the average Super Mario brothers player screams at the screen? 6. We lose enthusiasm as a result of environment, and while situations occur that might stir our motivations, it often takes an outside influence that kindle them again.

This creates an interesting situation for minorities and the long term unemployed. As several studies have shown, the long term unemployed often fail to even bother to find employment. Their discouragement is so immense that they simply give up on finding a job. Discrimination in other words creates failure that further destroys an employee’s ability to find or finish work. This situation only escalates as the job seeker begins to loathe the exact confines they seek. Being consistently turned down creates impressions of great distrust and resentment hence when a long term job seeker finds unemployment they are often wary of the conditions of it. Further unemployment leads to a loss of job skills, simply put the more you work the more you can do, we become attenuated to the artificiality of work: no one wants a job, but after we have been rewarded at a job we often proceed to do more work. An employee who sees their future job prospects as grim is unlikely to try as hard.

I entered my last job on a new train of thought. What if people don’t care about your gender identification and you really are judged off of your work? I put in long hours and prepared immense worksheets and lesson plans. I bought hundreds of dollars of materials for science classes and phonics lessons. One of my advisors told me I was a perfect teacher, I even sprang for donuts a few times.

The problem with artificial failure is that it deadens the best in us. No one deserves to have their work shat upon. But racism, transphobia, homophobia, or even a dislike of the handicapped can destroy a person’s ability to accurately gauge the value of their work. As someone is diminished their value goes down, and this loss often further destroys any sense of self the person had. What is the point of work, if it is primarily politics? It’s not that one’s quality of work doesn’t matter, it’s that one place in a social hierarchy does. This hierarchy is further incredibly subjective. It does not matter where a disabled person or a minority works, someone will want to reproduce the politics of oppression. There is no perfect work space. But having to work in such a space is discouraging, your job is almost endlessly on the line. Further as someone who is easily hated, it is quite easy to fluster other employees.

What I am trying to get at is: if trying your hardest consistently ends in failure, a damage is made. The brain clocks in these incidences and neurologically the brain becomes altered. Chemicals steer in different directions, feeling are made or dissambled. Keep this in mind next time you read about a suicide, see the unemployed, or have the opportunity to hire someone disabled in anyway: your decision counts, and we construct a genocidial machine with each action, the job seeker becomes the depressed, the depressed the suicidal, and eventually off with themselves often for as small an offense as being unlikable.


October 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment


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