walking to extinction

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau – via @dennisdenktmee

@hvaelama“get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.”

@monkchips“holacracy is Greek for bullshit, right?”

The end of walking in America – via @marshallk

“Jaywalking was once a semi-derogatory term referring to country bumpkins, or ‘jays’, who inefficiently meandered around American cities; by the 1920s, the term was being used to transfer blame for accidents from motorists to pedestrians. Making jaywalking illegal gave the supremacy of mobility to those sitting behind combustion engines. Once upon a time, the public roads belonged to everyone. But since the ingenious invention of jaywalking we’ve battered pedestrianism in one of those silent culture wars where the only losers are ourselves.”

What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters – via @stephtara

“Beneath all this is a fundamental disagreement about technology. At one end you have the Ivan Illich position, which suggests our innovations are hurting more then helping us. At the other end are the technological utopians who see restraints on innovation as intolerably prolonging the suffering that would end in a more perfect future. Hardly anyone sits at these extremes, but most of us have an inclination to err on the side of humility or audacity. This is a hugely important discussion, but it’s hard to talk about in the abstract, so we attach it to the example we have at hand: GMOs. The reason it’s so hard to see the facts here is that the actual genetically modified organisms have been crowded out by the things they represent. This is a problem.”

Study shows hierarchy causes declines in cooperation due to decreased investment by lower-ranked individuals – via @scienceporn

“We have shown that achieving cooperation among humans is more difficult when there is an underlying hierarchical structure producing different ranks between people and therefore unequal payoffs for the participants. This result is driven by insufficient contributions from lower ranked individuals who cannot be confident that they will benefit from cooperating. Remarkably, human behavior is consistent with a trend that permeates the rest of the primate order; primates in steeply hierarchical societies have difficulty cooperating for benefits that must be divided, whereas primates organized in weakly hierarchical (egalitarian) societies are more successful.”

On the origins of corporate evil – and idiocy – via @reachscale

“We know what strain does to people. Even without it, they tend to underestimate the probability of future bad events. Put them under emotional stress, some research suggests, and this tendency gets amplified. People will favor decisions that preempt short-term social discomfort even at the cost of heightened long-term risk. Faced with the immediate certainty of a boss’s wrath or the distant possibility of blowback from a faceless agency, many will focus mostly on the former … Decisions may be the product of culture. But culture is the product of decisions.”

Google: on effective teams via @HelenBevan

“It turns out that the secret to a high-performing team lies less in the individuals that make it up and more in the wider team dynamics: “Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.” High-performing teams, they found, almost always displayed five characteristics”

Image: reWork

Image: re:Work

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