Friends, trust and firewalls

Here are some of the things I learned via Twitter this week.

@jayshep -“Timesheets are an admission that your clients don’t trust you, and that you don’t trust your clients.” – via @jeffrey_brandt

Friends To Count On: Prof Robin Dunbar on why “Bill” Gore kept his factories small & why group & brain size are linked – via @CharlesJennings

The psychological demands of living in large groups mean that, in primates, species-typical group size correlates rather closely with the species’ brain size. On the primate model, our oversized brain would predict a group size of around 150, the number now known as Dunbar’s Number. We find it in the typical community size of hunter-gatherer societies, in the average village size in county after county in the Domesday book, as well as in 18th-century England; it is the average parish size among the Hutterites and the Amish (fundamentalist Christians who live a communal life in the Dakotas and Pennsylvania, respectively). It is also the average personal network size – the number of people with whom you have a personalised relationship, one that is reciprocal (I’d be willing to help you out, and I know that you’d help me) as well as having a history (we both know how we came to know each other).

Tear down the firewalls: article on freedom of information and expression by @birgittaj at artsforum Canada

I have seen new stories and new myths emerge out of the language of the internet, where people speak together through Google and translate new languages; and I have seen the library of Alexandria materialize with free knowledge and torrents of information wash upon shores otherwise impossible to reach.  I have seen the alchemy of stories take on real shape in a collective online effort; and the truth seeped into the real world.  As the untouchables try to hide their secrets for the chosen few, those secrets keep spilling out in a whirlwind of letters in every digital corner of the world.  They sweep through the streets of Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Libya, and the United States — confirming that the rumors are true: “corpocracy” is the new global empire, and it thrives in local corruption.

Email 21Years Into the Game. Who uses it, how, time wasted, techniques. Cool stats, even cooler how-tos, how-not-tos. – via CharlesHGreen

In fact, shockingly, 63% of respondents said they spend more than 30% of their available work time writing, reading, and responding to email, while the majority (71%) of respondents said that it only “somewhat enhances,” “is neutral to,” or even “hinders,” their effectiveness. 40% of respondents said it decreases their balance between work and life outside of work.


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