Cognitive Dissonance

September 25th, 2006  |  Published in etc

Confessions of a Professional Online Shill:

When asked if he enjoys his job, Jack seems to be conflicted. His apparent glee at being able to influence so many people is obvious, but it is also clear that the job can be draining. “I like the creativeness that I have freedom over,” he says. “The thrill of the reactions of people online in response to my efforts and the false power that I feel while doing my job over the online masses. Unfortunately, I’m not an evil person, so the unethical and immoral strategies that I employ [weigh] heavily on my soul. It’s hard to keep doing this [for] 50-plus hours a week (at one point, my contracts had me working 85 hours a week) without being spiteful of yourself.

O.k. We’re all sophisticated adults here, so we understand that sometimes evil is, like, a point of view or something. We also understand that evil people were so busy skipping Comp 101 to catch kittens on fire or stomp on puppies in a burlap bag that their written constructions will tend toward the awkward.

I wonder, though, how one can spend the day unrepentantly doing “unethical and immoral” things for a living then fix their mouths to say “I’m not an evil person.”

Yeah … you are. By the only reliable metric anyone not living inside your solipsistic little skull has to go by: What you do.

The way to not be evil is to not do evil things. The way to be good is to do good things.

See also: The current torture debate.

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