Gresham’s Law in Social Interactions

A pithy piece that captures the essence of some sick organizations I have experienced.
“Gresham’s Law. Gresham’s Law states that “bad money drives out good.” The classic example is that people will attempt to spend coins suspected of being counterfeit before they spend coins that they know to be honest. Does something similar happen with social status? Emphatically, yes. Within the economy of an office, say, we can distinguish between the ‘honest’ status earned by doing one’s job vs. the ‘counterfeit’ status earned by carefully manipulating one’s image. It’s all too easy to reach an equilibrium where counterfeit, image-based status drives out honest, reality-based status. Once an office culture allows its employees to win large amounts of status by ‘talking themselves up,’ everyone drops what they’re doing to focus on seeking credit and avoiding blame. In such an economy, only a sucker does any real work.”


The World is an Airport

I read this a while back and every time I travel since, I am reminded that I am getting a sneak peek at a dystopian future. A similar process is taking place in the wilderness, as the wild spaces disappear to become zoo-like manicured facsimiles of themselves.