This week, we look at Mic, a New York City-based media start-up that has a culture of permissiveness. Run by, and targeted at, Millennials (who are now in their early 20’s), the news site admits that managing young, hyper-expressive graduates can be difficult. In this office environment “overshares” are common, and there are few rules, fewer lines of authority and a workplace protocol that baffles older folks. Following their reflections on Mic, Peter and Paul dissect the common theme of “wearing masks” in business, and why it’s sometimes smart to keep people at a distance. As Paul observes, it’s hard to “cut off your own arm” (i.e. fire a close friend). Several profound questions arise out of the discussion: Why do we get uncomfortable when people in professional roles let loose and act out of character? Can’t we accept them as fully-faceted human beings? Why do we take more liberties with people we know than with those we don’t? Next up, the guys discuss the “democratization of media” and how the lowering of barriers to entry has eroded profits for established players, while giving a voice to many previously disenfranchised artists. With such a free-for-all, does the cream really rise to the surface? When we abandon standards, what do we lose? To offer a counterpoint, Paul invokes the Académie française, a French bureaucratic institution that adjudicates on the evolution of the French language.
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