Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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13

May

2022

Corporate defence mode

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 8, 2022

 

Small stories open up into bigger stories. The CBC’s Go Public” series investigated a small incident where an Uber driver called one of his passengers a nigger. 

            When the passenger’s girlfriend defended him, the driver ordered her to shut up. 

            All captured on video. 

            It should have been an open-and-shut case. The girlfriend sent the video to Uber. 

            But Uber didn’t apologize. It shifted into corporate defence mode. 


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9

Jan

2021

Two decisions that sneaked by

Author: Jim Taylor

n all the hoopla about the U.S. election last week, a couple of significant events sneaked by. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that corporations are not persons. And the U.S. media acknowledged that they have ethical responsibilities.

            First, the media. Friday night after the U.S. election, still-president Donald Trump ranted for 16 minutes of outright falsehoods and accusations without evidence, that he had won the election. At least six American networks cut him off in mid-sentence. 

            For the networks to pull the plug on a sitting president is an unprecedented act.

          In the second piece of overlooked news, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, in certain situations, corporations are not persons. 


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30

Apr

2020

How not to make friends and influence people

Author: Jim Taylor

After a month of trying to trace my late wife’s account numbers, policies, investments, and benefits, I can say one thing with certainty – I hate automated voice menus!

            There are times when I think I would rather forfeit any moneys owing than deal with another supposedly helpful telephone menu.

            At some point, the synthetic voice will list a series of options, usually preceded by a caution: “Please listen carefully, as these options have been changed recently.”

            None of the options deals with my needs. I press the number for the most likely option.

            I wait. I get an endless loop of music, periodically interrupted by assurances that the company considers my call very important. 

            Half an hour later, the next available representative is still not available. 

            Corporate voice mail systems are about as inscrutable as the Sphinx.


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1

Sep

2019

The column I didn’t want to write

Author: Jim Taylor

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” So said the inscription at the entry to hell, in Dante’s Inferno.

            Dante was an optimist. He saw hell as some other place, from which he could return safely to his everyday world. 

            I’m afraid that our world — this world, the one we live in, the one our grandchildren will live in — is becoming its own hell. 

            I am optimistic about individual relationships. I have yet to meet anyone who would refuse to help another individual in need. Race, education, and wealth don’t seem to matter IF – and it’s a big “if” -- there’s genuine contact, person to person, soul to soul.  

            At the same time, I am profoundly pessimistic about humanity as a whole. Collectively, we humans persist in seeking short-term solutions. Our corporate mindset is incorrigibly greedy, seeking our own benefit even if it harms others. Yes, even if it will harm us, farther down the line. 


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