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ONLINE Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves


The Narcissist and Psychopath as Criminals

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The Narcissist as Liar and Con-man

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The Cyber Narcissist

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Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves
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Are we creating unethical kids by not modernizing the school system?

by John C. Dvorak

     
The Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics released a survey saying that today's kids are becoming completely unethical in every way. Fully 40 percent thought that you cannot succeed in the [sign in to see URL]. without lying, cheating, or stealing. I think this number is a little high, but I can see how many kids could feel that way, when they look around and see so many successful people who are found out to be dishonest.

The problem stems in part from the lack of controls in an increasingly laissez-faire business environment, where monopolistic and anti-consumer methodologies are encouraged. But it may be more complicated than that.

Here are some highlights from the press release announcing the results.

"STEALING. In bad news for business, more than one in three boys (35 percent) and one-fourth of the girls (26 percent) — a total of 30 percent overall — admitted stealing from a store within the past year. In 2006 the overall theft rate was 28 percent (32 percent males, 23 percent females)."

"Students who attend private secular and religious schools were less likely to steal, but still the theft rate among non-religious independent school students was more than one in five (21 percent) while 19 percent who attend religious schools also admitted stealing something from a store in the past year…."

"CHEATING. Cheating in school continues to be rampant, and it's getting worse. A substantial majority (64 percent) cheated on a test during the past year (38 percent did so two or more times), up from 60 percent and 35 percent in 2006. There were no gender differences on the issue of cheating on exams. Students attending non-religious independent schools reported the lowest cheating rate (47 percent) while 63 percent of students from religious schools cheated…"

"Responses about cheating show some geographic disparity: Seventy percent of the students residing in the southeastern U.S. admitted to cheating, compared to 64 percent in the west, 63 percent in the northeast, and 59 percent in the midwest. More than one in three (36 percent) said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. In 2006 the figure was 33 percent."

"IT'S WORSE THAN IT APPEARS. As bad as these numbers are, it appears they understate the level of dishonesty exhibited by America's youth. More than one in four (26 percent) confessed they lied on at least one or two questions on the survey. Experts agree that dishonesty on surveys usually is an attempt to conceal misconduct. Despite these high levels of dishonesty, these same kids have a high self-image when it comes to ethics. A whopping 93 percent said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character."

These are the kids that will be working for us in the years ahead—a charming group of reprobates already. And the fact that they think they are angels is the icing on the cake. I would personally like to thank the self-esteem movement for that little attitudinal gem.

Now, in defense of this next generation, perhaps ethics have changed. Should we redefine "cheating," for example? Stealing from a store is a bad sign of things to come, that's for sure. But when it comes to cheating on a test or lifting things from the Internet, I've never been convinced that this has been approached correctly.

For one thing, the days of the closed-book test should have ended years ago. In today's world you don't get anywhere by memorizing the birthdates of Abe Lincoln or Christopher Columbus. It proves nothing to know this information. And most of the information that kids have traditionally scribbled on their hands or now text message about is actually trivia.

For most subjects outside of math or physics, it would be hard to cheat if tests were properly designed and more thoughtful.—




Now here's the kicker: I argue that given the way things are designed within the school systems today (and this has been the case for decades), cheating is encouraged. In fact, in some instances, cheating is demanded. Furthermore, what's the typical punishment? A slap on the wrist and the subtle message, "if you're going to cheat, don't get caught!"

In fact, children in school are trained to cheat better and better over time. Want to stop cheating in classroom testing? Put the kids in a supervised room of cubicles where they cannot see each other—and put a cell-phone jammer in the room. There would be no cheating. If there were any concern whatsoever about rampant cheating (as there should be), then every school in the country would have one of these rooms for testing.

Plagiarism is also being handled incorrectly. The Internet should be a tool for helping students write papers. Children should be encouraged to rip text from sources and put it into their papers. But it should all be accounted for with simple citations. Lift whatever you want and tell the teacher where it came from, then comment on it—just as a blog post would. I'd even encourage kids to buy term papers online and add them to their own papers, with a critique of the bought item. "In this paper, which is sold on the Internet to students for $2, the author claims that the war was planned in secret. This contradicts the account cited in Wikipedia…." Or whatever.

This type of thoughtful and detailed exercise of public documents would get an "F" in today's school system, when in fact the student will have learned more from the exercise than he would have from trying to synthesize a textbook and two lectures on the topic.

And let's take modern education to the next level. Why are today's students forced to perform with 19th-century methodologies? Why do they have to write essays at all? Why can't they produce a PowerPoint presentation? Or create a video? Or a podcast?



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Feb/24/2009, 10:16 am Link to this post  
 
samvaknin Profile
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Re: ONLINE Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves


When some student actually produces a multimedia report, she ends up on the 6 o'clock news as some sort of interesting freak. The teachers never know what to make of the presentation, and it's back to writing thoughtful essays that are seldom thoughtful and rarely worth reading.

The result is cheating, and this in itself may be fostering the other behaviors.

The point I want to get back to is that this sort of survey, which indicates that increasingly devious legions of students are being unleashed on the business world, needs to be taken a step further. We need to find out exactly how kids who lie, cheat, and steal come to the conclusion that this is all good, and find out why they are happy with their ethical profile.

There's something wrong with this picture, and I for one would like to know what it is.



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Cyber-Bullying Verdict Won't Chill Online Anonymity

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Some view the ruling in the Lori Drew case as landmark. I think it's a chance for people to reevaluate online activities.

by Lance Ulanoff

     
Be yourself. No, seriously, be yourself, because, according to a number of online pundits, not doing so could land you in jail. This is the logical leap being made by virtually everyone—including The New York Times—now that Missouri mom Lori Drew has been convicted of computer fraud in a cyber-bullying case.

The "fraud" she perpetrated involved creating the fake persona of a teenage boy on MySpace, leading a teenage girl she communicated with to believe that persona, and ultimately engaging in cruel behavior that led to the girl's committing suicide. While acquitted on the felony conspiracy count, Drew was convicted of three misdemeanor computer crimes.

With the case over and a precedent set, people are now looking at Web site "Terms of Service" agreements with fresh eyes. As one pundit noted, virtually all of them forbid you to misrepresent yourself. Ours does. We say, "Creating a Member account under automated means or under false or fraudulent pretenses constitutes unauthorized use of the Service and such accounts will be terminated by ZDH." That's clear enough. You need to be who you say you are. But does anyone really follow those guidelines?

The reality is that many, many people lie about their identities online. They go online as a man when they're really a woman, and vice versa. They lie about their age, their profession, financial status, location—you name it. And it's all been one big game.

Now people are terrified. Well, most people are terrified. I'm not. I don't see this ruling holding up on appeal. Ms. Drew may have committed a crime, but computer fraud it is certainly not. Will this ruling have a chilling effect on online anonymity? Perhaps mildly, but I do think it's worth examining. Is it time for people to change how they behave online?

First, let's categorize our online selves. In my opinion, there are two kinds of users: Sharers and Hiders.

A Look at the Sharers
Sharers are those teenagers and mid-twentysomethings who grew up with computers and the Internet and believe in full disclosure. So, you can Google them and find their bio, a MySpace page, a Facebook page, comments posted all over the Web, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, and more. In each case, there's no subterfuge. Everything is out there for you to peruse—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Want to see a photo of them drunk and in their underwear? Coming right up. Looking for a political rant that clearly puts them somewhere to the left of Abby Hoffman? Not a problem. Every single action is out there for the world to explore.—

Hiders are typically a generation or two older. They've read 1984 and are highly distrustful of the government and government-like entities such as Google. They register on sites but always with obscure handles and e-mail addresses, and false locations. They may share political opinions but never under their real names. There are precious few photos of them online—if any—and videos are likely out of the question.

I don't support either camp and am probably in the middle of the two. I share when it's appropriate. Yes, my name is out there on the Web, but I'm also a semi-public person. I can't write weekly posts and use a pseudonym. Well, I guess I could, but why? I do have a Facebook page and often post on Twitter. I share a lot, but definitely not everything. I try not to be photographed in compromising positions and activities. I keep my political bent largely to myself. I talk about my kids online but keep many, many details private. I rarely talk about where I Iive, though I don't make a huge effort to keep it entirely secret.

I'll admit, however, that I do have some fake accounts that I use mostly for testing purposes. That is, I can join services anonymously to give the accounts a test run. It also helps keep my main e-mail inbox from getting completely choked. Again, I'm not trying to deceive anyone; I simply use that bit of anonymity as a tool.

In the end, I live a balanced online life. If you read Terms of Service agreements and take this ruling literally, then you obviously think that this kind of balance is no longer possible. So, we must all follow the letter of the law and tell the truth on every single Web site. Right.

For the Sharers, this isn't a problem. It's just more of the same (though I'm guessing that some of their other, truthful online activities violate TOSs in completely different ways). For Hiders, this is obviously a nightmare. They view the Web as a never-ending masquerade ball, and anyone who lets slip that facade is the enemy.

While this ruling will likely have little impact on online activities, it is probably the perfect opportunity for the Sharers and Hiders to reevaluate how they approach their own online personas. Sharers might want to share a little less, and Hiders might want to lower those masks, if even just a little bit.


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Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

http://samvak.tripod.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Feb/24/2009, 10:16 am Link to this post  
 


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