Humans are 'naturally nice'

Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via Twitter this past week.

@milouness – “As technology & knowledge allow people to handle more complexity, old categories of simplification become less useful.” – via @sandymaxey

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. ~ Mark Twain” via Roger Schank

Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. ~ Clay Shirky” – via @surreallyno @flowchainsensei

Aljazeera – “Please remember: Humans are ‘naturally nice’ ~ @Ohra_aho”

Biological research is increasingly debunking the view of humanity as competitive, aggressive and brutish.

“Humans have a lot of pro-social tendencies,” Frans de Waal, a biologist at Emory University in Atlanta, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Monday.

@EskoKilpi – knowledge is socially constructed. Knowledge is not stuff accumulated and stored by individuals:

Whether the social process is called leadership, management, networking, or communication, knowing is an ongoing process of relating. Social media best produce connectedness and interdependence as processes that construct collective authority and responsibility. Social media are most meaningful when giving voice to multiple perspectives, making it possible to seek out, recognize and respect differences as different but equal. Accordingly, reality in science is no longer viewed as a singular fact of nature but as multiple and socially constructed as David Weinberger writes in his newest book: “Too Big to Know”.

Innovator inside: there is little remaining competitive advantage in trying to control intellectual property:

… if the point of IT security is to preserve the privacy and security of individual customers and their relationships with a supplier (and each other of course), then, in a Sidestep and Twist world, security becomes one of the most important disciplines there is. You’re hardly going to have the most customers (the basis of a Twist competitive strategy) if you’re not trusted in the first place.

Recent semi-scandals, such as the one Path and others are presently embroiled in (they were uploading people’s address books without permission) would probably not have happened if those organisations had been advised properly by their information security people.

On the other hand, if the intent of IT security is to preserve corporate intellectual property and trade secrets, then investing significantly to keep competitors out is something of a losing strategy.

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