Grappling with the Gray

Grappling with the Gray #81: Whose fault is our default?

February 21, 2024 Yonason Goldson
Grappling with the Gray
Grappling with the Gray #81: Whose fault is our default?
Show Notes

Are we making ourselves more cynical? If so, what is the cost?

Those are the questions the ethics panel takes up on this episode of Grappling with the Gray.

Here is our scenario:

The rapper known as Killer Mike walked out of the Grammy Awards in handcuffs earlier this week. Reportedly, he was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on zero bail.

The choice of LAPD to arrest him as he was leaving the award ceremony is curious. Did they use the knowledge of his attendance to make it easier to find him, or did they delay his arrest so he could enjoy his moment in the sun winning three Grammys?

The answer to that question may be less important than our motivation for asking it? Because the real story here might be the optics of Killer Mike’s arrest rather than the arrest itself.

 As society becomes less ethical, we become less trustful of celebrities, leaders, and institutions. Recurring scandals, many of them egregious but many others overblown by the media, incline us to attribute nefarious motives to almost any story that makes headlines.

There’s no question that the perception of an unethical culture encourages people to act less ethically. But has our ethical default setting changed in recent times? Has it always been this challenging to internalize and act according to ethical principles, or does acting ethically demand a more herculean effort than it once did? And if current cultural norms are making it easy for us to defend and excuse unethical behavior, what can we do about it individually and collectively?

Meet this week’s panelists:

Mark Herschberg is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer of He is a professional speaker and creator of Brain Bump, a free app that helps consumers of non-fiction content better access and retain what they learn.

Dr. Robyn Odegaard is known as the Mental MacGyver. She provides luxury level, high performance support and coaching to executives, founders, celebrities and athletes. She is also the creator and facilitator of the Quick Hits podcast.

K Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski is Founder of KSP Partnership, providing project management and project leadership courses and workshops to improve team dynamics and communications.