good friday finds #320

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

Lean interaction by @EskoKilpi

“Knowledge is the act of interacting and new knowledge is created when ways of interaction, and therefore patterns of relationships, change. The creative assets of an organization are the patterns of interaction between its members. Assets are destroyed when relationships are missing or are dysfunctional.”

Rethinking the balance between equality and hierarchy: 2) New insights into the evolution of hierarchy and inequality throughout the ages

‘Perhaps most striking, in terms of political reversals, were the seasonal practices of 19th-century tribal confederacies on the American Great Plains – sometime, or one-time farmers who had adopted a nomadic hunting life. In the late summer, small and highly mobile bands of Cheyenne and Lakota would congregate in large settlements to make logistical preparations for the buffalo hunt. At this most sensitive time of year they appointed a police force that exercised full coercive powers, including the right to imprison, whip, or fine any offender who endangered the proceedings. Yet as the anthropologist Robert Lowie observed, this ‘unequivocal authoritarianism’ operated on a strictly seasonal and temporary basis, giving way to more ‘anarchic’ forms of organisation once the hunting season – and the collective rituals that followed – were complete.”’

How “elite” became a bad word

“Trump, like Putin and Xi Jinping, are redefining the 21st elite in the 18th century mould. Not as an ‘inquiry’ or ‘Brain’s Trust’ like FDR’s, but as a group of courtiers on-message with the vision of the king. With the upturn of the economy, Trump is emboldened in confidence to see that singular vision through without needing to counter-balance his court with “experts,” jettisoning alternate views such as Rex Tillerson’s or Steve Bannon’s as he grows stronger.

Meanwhile, the old media elite remain mystified by this new way of doing business because they don’t get it: The president doesn’t need to listen to other people because he holds all views from A-Z and can switch in a heartbeat. Like his autocratic counterparts in Russia and China, his power is not weighed down by ideological baggage. This old media elite continues to evaluate his presidency wrongly, like a group of giraffes discussing why a rhino doesn’t behave more like a giraffe. He doesn’t need to, he’s a different beast entirely with a very different idea of what he wants from the elite.”

Media impartiality is a problem when ignorance is given the same weight as expertise

“I’m joined now by Galileo Galilei, a follower of Copernicus who has used modern telescope technology to make astronomical observations that he believes prove heliocentrism beyond any reasonable doubt.

“Also joining us is Nigello Lawsini, who has no scientific training whatsoever but has written a short book insisting furiously that the sun does in fact revolve around the Earth. Because he says so.

“As the presenter of this programme, I shall now offer exactly equal amounts of time to each guest and treat their conflicting positions as if they are of equal intellectual and epistemological value.”

This fanciful vignette is not as implausible as it should be. The British broadcast media has, in recent years, seen the noble journalistic principle of impartiality become confused perilously with the altogether trickier issue of false equivalence.

Sensemaking in Organizations: Reflections on Karl Weick and Social Theory

Sensemaking is matter of identity: it is who we understand ourselves to be in relation to the world around us.
Sensemaking is retrospective: we shape experience into meaningful patterns according to our memory of experience …
Sensemaking is a continuous flow; it is ongoing, because the world, our interactions with the world, and our understandings of the world are constantly changing …
Sensemaking builds on extracted cues that we apprehend from sense and perception …
Sensemaking is less a matter of accuracy and completeness than plausibility and sufficiency …

@andrealeonxyz: “A government destroyed by tyranny rebuilt under a glass dome so that the whole world could look into it — here’s a good ideal to be inspired: risen from the ashes, an entire city once ruled by fascists now invaded by artists, anarchists … and transparency.” [Reichstag, Berlin]

Reichstag, Berlin, 2018

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