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Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business

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On a quest to understand morality's place in modern culture, Eden Collinsworth taps a wide variety of impressive authorities, from authors and CEOs to scientists and pop stars. Media executive and business consultant Eden Collinsworth investigates the surprisingly complex foundations of contemporary morality. From repentant murderers to corporate whistle-blowers, from the On a quest to understand morality's place in modern culture, Eden Collinsworth taps a wide variety of impressive authorities, from authors and CEOs to scientists and pop stars. Media executive and business consultant Eden Collinsworth investigates the surprisingly complex foundations of contemporary morality. From repentant murderers to corporate whistle-blowers, from the boardroom of Ashley Madison to famous ladies who lunch, Collinsworth leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand the vagaries of the moral compass, and to figure out whether fixed ethical positions still exist--if they ever did. Warm, wry, and witty, Collinsworth weaves together her own research--from ancient history to contemporary philosophy--with numerous interviews of people from all walks of life. And throughout is her unique brand of probing thought and reflection, tackling the Kardashians, contemporary American politics, and her personal experience raising a child largely on her own. Conversational, intelligent, and always entertaining, Behaving Badly is brimming with evidence of how little we really know about the moral principles that underlie our daily actions and decision making."


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On a quest to understand morality's place in modern culture, Eden Collinsworth taps a wide variety of impressive authorities, from authors and CEOs to scientists and pop stars. Media executive and business consultant Eden Collinsworth investigates the surprisingly complex foundations of contemporary morality. From repentant murderers to corporate whistle-blowers, from the On a quest to understand morality's place in modern culture, Eden Collinsworth taps a wide variety of impressive authorities, from authors and CEOs to scientists and pop stars. Media executive and business consultant Eden Collinsworth investigates the surprisingly complex foundations of contemporary morality. From repentant murderers to corporate whistle-blowers, from the boardroom of Ashley Madison to famous ladies who lunch, Collinsworth leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand the vagaries of the moral compass, and to figure out whether fixed ethical positions still exist--if they ever did. Warm, wry, and witty, Collinsworth weaves together her own research--from ancient history to contemporary philosophy--with numerous interviews of people from all walks of life. And throughout is her unique brand of probing thought and reflection, tackling the Kardashians, contemporary American politics, and her personal experience raising a child largely on her own. Conversational, intelligent, and always entertaining, Behaving Badly is brimming with evidence of how little we really know about the moral principles that underlie our daily actions and decision making."

30 review for Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    In many instances, Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business reads like one of those cautionary stories told by grandparents around the world about the decline in society and how things were so much better in their day. Eden Collinsworth is admittedly somewhat of a technophobe so it makes sense that for someone who remains confused about the prolific use of social media would express displeasure at the rampant use of technology and how it has changed or is changing social In many instances, Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business reads like one of those cautionary stories told by grandparents around the world about the decline in society and how things were so much better in their day. Eden Collinsworth is admittedly somewhat of a technophobe so it makes sense that for someone who remains confused about the prolific use of social media would express displeasure at the rampant use of technology and how it has changed or is changing social mores. For all her bias however, she does an admirable job of obtaining information directly from experts and presents a fair picture of changing morality in areas of finance, business, sex, robotics, and the like. Ms. Collinsworth stresses multiple times the difference between morality and ethics. Ethics are the constraints and rules provided by external sources that dictate behavior, while morality is an individual’s internal guidelines about right and wrong that help a person decide what to do. While the two are often used interchangeably, they are two different concepts. Behaving Badly is all about morality, which is tricky because what may seem black and white for one person may be more a gray area for someone else. Just like no one person reads the same book, no one person will view any situation in the same light. Throughout Ms. Collinsworth’ year-long journey, she tackles some fairly big topics and interviews an impressive array of people. For her foray into the morality surrounding monogamy in marriage, she interviews the founder of Ashley Madison. Her research regarding morality in business has her meeting with the editor of the Financial Times and the main whistleblower of the Olympus scandal in Japan. She talks about social media and their constant online presence skewing our children’s perception of themselves. She even talks about the future with ideas like artificial intelligence and DNA selection as part of the decision to have a child. What she uncovers may not be as shocking to readers as she finds it, but she does raise many good questions that have kept me thinking about my own morality to such issues. One of the best questions she raises is the idea of whether technology allows us to behave in a way that we never would have previously considered – like actively seeking to have an affair, cyber-bullying, manipulating your online image, contractual agreements and the breaking of them, and so forth. One of the most chilling sections of the entire book was the discussion on computers and robots and what that could mean for the future. The fact that scientists like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates, and thousands of other scientists are part of a petition that warns about autonomous weapons systems (in which the military is heavily investing) and artificial intelligence that will someday make human thinking obsolete is the stuff of nightmares. After these chapters, the importance of books like Ms. Collinsworth becomes crystal-clear. While Ms. Collinsworth does not find the answers she seeks regarding morality in the twenty-first century, she poses pertinent questions that we should all be asking ourselves regarding technology and what its use means for our future. She also has some great points to make about the casualness of sex in today’s younger generations, how globalization is blurring the lines of business moral codes, and how easily it is to sway someone’s belief system with today’s hypermedia. As we head into the great unknown with one the most morally corrupt presidents we have ever had, what that means for society remains to be seen but Behaving Badly provides you with a great starting point for the discussion that we all need to have about our collective morality and what we want it to be after he leaves office.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Megan Brault

    A thoughtful journey through the concept of morality. I couldn't put it down. A thoughtful journey through the concept of morality. I couldn't put it down.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was an interesting examination of morality across multiple applications, from finances to sex, and, of course, technology. I appreciated Collinsworth's frank questions, and the acknowledgement of her own generational biases. I never felt like a perspective was being forced on me, but rather that the book did a good job of remaining curious and exploratory, bringing in a wide range of other voices. I also liked that Collinsworth didn't try to sum up the book with a sweeping conclusion, but s This was an interesting examination of morality across multiple applications, from finances to sex, and, of course, technology. I appreciated Collinsworth's frank questions, and the acknowledgement of her own generational biases. I never felt like a perspective was being forced on me, but rather that the book did a good job of remaining curious and exploratory, bringing in a wide range of other voices. I also liked that Collinsworth didn't try to sum up the book with a sweeping conclusion, but simply let my own collective thoughts and notes fall where they may. If nothing else this book is a great springboard for more in depth reading, as Collinsworth lists all her referenced material.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business by Eden Collinsworth is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-March. Despite our free-wheeling, often liberal attitudes about the world around us, the etiquette within the spheres of work and business is very hard-lined with strict rules for what is right and wrong. Along with the topics mentioned in the title, the book covers financial 'cheating,' online moral elasticity, drone surveillance and warfare, surrogate parenting, and Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business by Eden Collinsworth is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-March. Despite our free-wheeling, often liberal attitudes about the world around us, the etiquette within the spheres of work and business is very hard-lined with strict rules for what is right and wrong. Along with the topics mentioned in the title, the book covers financial 'cheating,' online moral elasticity, drone surveillance and warfare, surrogate parenting, and seeing celebrities as moral mentors. Collinsworth fills this book with honest narrative, personal stories and examples, interviews, tell-alls; all while keeping a steady and diverse international and multi-religious outlook.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mrs C

    Wonderful read, worthy purchase for any public library or academic library.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maynard Handley

    This could, in principle, have been extraordinarily interesting. But the author possesses a Trump-level lack of either curiosity or introspection. She claims to be interested in alternative moral viewpoints, but the instant she's presented with any of these her, her reaction is some combination of shock, refusal to understand, and an insistence that the person offering up this viewpoint has to be lying. Needless to say, for good measure we get no academic insight; few statistics, no interesting This could, in principle, have been extraordinarily interesting. But the author possesses a Trump-level lack of either curiosity or introspection. She claims to be interested in alternative moral viewpoints, but the instant she's presented with any of these her, her reaction is some combination of shock, refusal to understand, and an insistence that the person offering up this viewpoint has to be lying. Needless to say, for good measure we get no academic insight; few statistics, no interesting theories; absolutely nothing you don't already know. We do, however, get a moment by moment account of the author's coming's and going's, which is really all you need to know. The author believes she is the most interesting subject in the world, and the entire book appears to be essentially an excuse for her to write hundreds of pages about herself, her life, and her opinions.

  7. 5 out of 5

    B Smith

    I picked this book up because I am trying to understand why we collectively continue to make apparently really terrible decisions that ultimately do more harm than good, either to ourselves as individuals or as communities, governments etc. While this book doesn't exactly solve for that - an admittedly high bar that I will probably be criss-crossing underneath for my whole life - it does offer a very accessible, varied and personable journey through different sorts of so-called bad behavior. One a I picked this book up because I am trying to understand why we collectively continue to make apparently really terrible decisions that ultimately do more harm than good, either to ourselves as individuals or as communities, governments etc. While this book doesn't exactly solve for that - an admittedly high bar that I will probably be criss-crossing underneath for my whole life - it does offer a very accessible, varied and personable journey through different sorts of so-called bad behavior. One aspect I particularly appreciated was Collinsworth's replaying of direct dialogue with people who's lives have been entirely different from mine (say, the double murderer) who would be easy to judge but is of course just one more human being at the end of the day.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amber Schroer

    Felt that pretentious writing was valued more than cohesive theory I really was pulled into the book at first, but slowly, the book began to fall apart. The writer comes across as pretentious and ironically enough - morally superior - by making judgements herself based on those she researched. By already having made her mind up (even if subconsciously), I honestly couldn’t figure out the purpose of the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Beaulieu

    I enjoyed the heck out of this book. Rather than pontificating or lecturing, Collinsworth is like a girlfriend who takes you along as she asks question, both musing to herself and the reader, and asking people in different fields of expertise what they think. She is funny, smart, and plain-spoken, which makes her a truly delightful companion and guide.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Cross

    The author never came to a point or brought the book together. It is a rambling "travelogue" of the author speak to various "experts" on morality, with personal opinion thrown in. Could have been good with some better editing and an author that wanted to tie the subjects together. Disappointing. The author never came to a point or brought the book together. It is a rambling "travelogue" of the author speak to various "experts" on morality, with personal opinion thrown in. Could have been good with some better editing and an author that wanted to tie the subjects together. Disappointing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Byers

    as a writer, Ms. Collinsworth is insightful, clever and fun, but I think the topic bored her because neither one of us could stay on it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Willie Blassingame

  13. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Jane

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yuliya

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike Martello

  19. 4 out of 5

    LAURI CRUMLEY COATES

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Ann

  22. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mick

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Dalton

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allen Green

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ger Breheny

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marnie Ward

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doubleday Books

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Tolp

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