Posts in category: Human Nature

Copyright and innovation

If copyright is dead, will people still make cool stuff? Why do we do anything anyway? Is this just a question of reward –(copyright being a means to better secure potential rewards)? Reasons I would do something: Intrinsic satisfaction. Tangible rewards like money or...
Businesses as people

Businesses as people

(Image from Cheezburger.com) If businesses want to be treated as people, then they must also be accountable as people. A person who engages in sociopathic or illegal activities is accountable to society for those behaviours, and may be subject to medical treatments or...

The myth of trying to change people

One of the recurring sources of frustration in life seems to be our desire to change other people, and the futility of all such attempts. Changing people when they don’t want to change is like herding cats. Everyone involved ends up being frustrated (and sometimes...

Social drives evolution from within

Social connectivity (enabled by social media and 21st century global communications) disrupts silos and hierarchies. Social nets are woven through specialisation silos, over org charts, across geographically and socio-economically dispersed people. It is the mechanism...

Give people control, and they make better decisions

Having control “protects a person from spotting false patterns that aren’t there, from believing in conspiracies and from developing superstitions.” Identifying “coherent and meaningful relationships between things we observe” helps us parse the past and predict the...

Creativity and useless feedback

The Angry Aussie had an interesting post on Unsolicited Advice. The two points that stood out for me were: Creativity is innate. It is personal and driven from within. “It is extremely rare that any worthwhile act of creation is triggered by someone telling you what...
Spot and stop mistakes

Spot and stop mistakes

Many of us would have come across this cringe-inducing Mr Bean-esque news item by now: “an octogenarian neighbor of the church, who, noticing the damage to the painting, took it upon herself to restore the painting “with good intentions” but “without...

Doubt and advocacy

A “Northwestern University [study has] found that when people’s confidence in their beliefs is shaken, they become stronger advocates for those beliefs.” In other words, the more we challenge someone’s beliefs (even with observable and provable facts to the contrary),...
On the continuum of Rational and Intuitive

On the continuum of Rational and Intuitive

Consider the following continuum: (A)s rely primarily on logic (sometimes black and white thinking) and precedence to drive their decision making. They may leverage some level of intuition occasionally, but prefer to fall back on (or retrospectively create) a...

Agreement vs alignment

On consensus and collective decision making, Dale Hunter in her book The Art of Facilitation said: “voting, majority or otherwise, is not a recommended way of reaching a decision in a facilitated group. A more potent version of agreement is alignment…” The difference...
Good intention; not-quite-there execution

Good intention; not-quite-there execution

“Wouldn’t it be great for our customers to know more about our staff as real people?” said the boss of a funeral parlour. “Yes!” said everyone else. They began collecting stories. They spent weeks extracting and fine-tuning the most interesting line or two about...

The more we can see, the less we choose to see

We are experiencing a never-before-seen disconnect at the moment; between our ability to simultaneously access vast amounts of information and cocoon ourselves within limited bubbles of realities. Far from ushering an era of mass enlightenment and awareness, the...

Control in the hands of the few

Henry Kissinger once said: Who controls the food supplycontrols the people; who controls the energycan control whole continents; who controls the moneycan control the world. We know that business has a trend towards consolidation over time. Corporations absorb each...

The Internet is not self-explanatory

“The Internet is not self-explanatory, even for young people.” Andrew McLemore wrote in Wanted: 21st Century Knowledge about how college students did not know where their teacher got multimedia content like “a TED video, a multimedia presentation on...
Three design approaches

Three design approaches

“[Apple] has become so synonymous with both good design and minimalism that most people assume those two things are one and the same. They’re not: You can have good design that’s fanciful and wacky; likewise, you can have minimalist design that’s horrible.” – Despite...

Rebooting Finland’s education system

Not focusing on excellence. Getting rid of competitiveness. Find your passion. Follow your dreams. Reduce testing. Kids should be kids. No private schools. Pay teachers a decent wage. Increase the prestige of being a teacher. It’s harder to become a teacher than...

Denying reality – the good way

“Realistic is the adjective of cynics. Wherever you encounter skeptics, naysayers, and charlatans, you will always encounter this word. … Realistic is used to do two things simultaneously: one, to criticize. Two, to justify.” – Chris Guillebeau, The Art of...

Denying reality – the bad way

“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.” ? Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief Denial of reality may be comforting in the short term, but it will inevitably come back to bite you. Microsoft has toiled to...
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