robertogreco + groups   95

Sheep Logic - Epsilon Theory
"These are baby-doll Southdowns, and yes, they’re exactly as cute as they look in this picture. We only have four today on our “farm”, as sheep have a knack for killing themselves in what would almost be comical fashion if it weren’t so sad. We keep them for their so-so wool, which we clean and card and spin and knit. It’s so-so wool because the Southdowns were bred for their meat, not their fleece, and I can’t bring myself to raise an animal for its meat. Well, I could definitely raise birds for meat. Or fish. But not a charismatic mammal like a baby-doll Southdown.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about sheep over the years. They are never out of sight of each other, and their decision making is entirely driven by what they see happening to others, not to themselves. They are extremely intelligent in this other-regarding way. My sheep roam freely on the farm, and I never worry about them so long as they stay together, which they always do. But if I only count three in the flock, then I immediately go see what’s wrong. Because something is definitely wrong.

That’s the difference between a flock and a pack. A flock is a social structure designed to promote other-awareness. It has no goals, no coordinating purpose other than communication. A flock simply IS. A pack, on the other hand, is a social structure designed to harness self-aware animals in service to some goal requiring joint action — the raising of cubs, the hunting of meat, etc. Both the flock and the pack are extremely effective social structures, but they operate by entirely different logics.

We think we are wolves, living by the logic of the pack.

In truth we are sheep, living by the logic of the flock."
sheep  animals  behavior  multispecies  morethanhuman  2017  wbenhunt  flocks  groups  awareness  communication  social 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Survival of the Kindest: Dacher Keltner Reveals the New Rules of Power
"When Pixar was dreaming up the idea for Inside Out, a film that would explore the roiling emotions inside the head of a young girl, they needed guidance from an expert. So they called Dacher Keltner.

Dacher is a psychologist at UC Berkeley who has dedicated his career to understanding how human emotion shapes the way we interact with the world, how we properly manage difficult or stressful situations, and ultimately, how we treat one another.

In fact, he refers to emotions as the “language of social living.” The more fluent we are in this language, the happier and more meaningful our lives can be.

We tackle a wide variety of topics in this conversation that I think you’ll really enjoy.

You’ll learn:

• The three main drivers that determine your personal happiness and life satisfaction
• Simple things you can do everyday to jumpstart the “feel good” reward center of your brain
• The principle of “jen” and how we can use “high-jen behaviors” to bootstrap our own happiness
• How to have more positive influence in our homes, at work and in our communities.
• How to teach your kids to be more kind and empathetic in an increasingly self-centered world
• What you can do to stay grounded and humble if you are in a position of power or authority
• How to catch our own biases when we’re overly critical of another’s ideas (or overconfident in our own)

And much more. We could have spent an hour discussing any one of these points alone, but there was so much I wanted to cover. I’m certain you’ll find this episode well worth your time."
compassion  kindness  happiness  dacherkeltner  power  charlesdarwin  evolution  psychology  culture  society  history  race  racism  behavior  satisfaction  individualism  humility  authority  humans  humanism  morality  morals  multispecies  morethanhuman  objects  wisdom  knowledge  heidegger  ideas  science  socialdarwinism  class  naturalselection  egalitarianism  abolitionism  care  caring  art  vulnerability  artists  scientists  context  replicability  research  socialsciences  2018  statistics  replication  metaanalysis  socialcontext  social  borntobegood  change  human  emotions  violence  evolutionarypsychology  slvery  rape  stevenpinker  torture  christopherboehm  hunter-gatherers  gender  weapons  democracy  machiavelli  feminism  prisons  mentalillness  drugs  prisonindustrialcomplex  progress  politics  1990s  collaboration  canon  horizontality  hierarchy  small  civilization  cities  urban  urbanism  tribes  religion  dogma  polygamy  slavery  pigeons  archaeology  inequality  nomads  nomadism  anarchism  anarchy  agriculture  literacy  ruleoflaw  humanrights  governance  government  hannah 
march 2018 by robertogreco
What is the Right Size for a Group Conversation? | Psychology Today
"Conversations are funny things.

If you have ever attended a large gathering of old friends and relatives whom you have not seen for a while, you may have gone home disappointed that you only got to speak to some of the people you had hoped to reconnect with. Similarly, you have probably noticed that when the gang from the office goes out for drinks after work on Friday afternoon, the large after-work crowd invariably splits up into smaller conversations.

Is there a natural limit to the size of the group that can sustain a meaningful conversation? Recent studies conducted by Jamie Krems and Steve Neuberg of Arizona State University and Robin Dunbar of Oxford University suggest that this may in fact be the case.

In their first study, they approached groups of two or more students engaged in conversations in public areas of a university campus. They asked the conversationalists to report what they had been talking about just before the researcher interrupted them. They found that there were rarely more than four people involved in a conversation at any one time, but what was perhaps even more interesting, they also found that if people were gossiping about another person who was not present, the size of the group averaged about one fewer person in size than if the group was discussing some other sort of topic.

In a second study, they analyzed the conversations in 10 different plays by William Shakespeare. Scholars have long been aware that the conversational patterns in Shakespearean plays accurately reflect the dynamics of real-life social interactions — which is one of the reasons their appeal has endured over time. If this is the case, it would be interesting to find out if Shakespeare applied the “maximum size of a conversation” rule to the characters in his plays. Krems and her colleagues discovered that no conversations in any of the plays they analyzed ever involved more than five characters, and they replicated the effect that scenes in which characters were discussing absent others had on average one less individual involved in the conversation.

So, what is so special about the number four (plus or minus one) when it comes to conversations?

Krems, Dunbar, & Neuberg propose that the size of our conversations is restricted by our “mentalizing constraints,” or the limits on the cognitive demands that we can handle in our interactions with others.

This is all related to what psychologists call our “Theory of Mind,” which is the ability to understand that other people do not necessarily know or intend the same things that we ourselves do; having a functioning theory of mind is essential for successfully managing social life. If two people are engaged in conversation, each must understand what his or her partner intends and what each person understands about the other’s state of mind.

This gets more complicated as you add people to the conversation. If you have three people (or stooges) in a conversation, Moe must understand what Larry understands about Moe and what Curly understands about Moe, but also what Larry and Curly understand about each other. Add a fourth or fifth person to the mix and you have increased the complexity enormously. Thus, it appears that when you move beyond four or five people in a conversation, it simply gets too mentally taxing for most people to sustain a prolonged conversation.

And there is a reason why talking about an absent person makes things even more difficult. In this type of talk, you must also be able to reflect on the understanding, intentions, and feelings of the absent person, which cuts back on the number of people we can manage in real time during the conversation. The data analyses in the two studies I have described indicated that this explanation was more plausible than other possible explanations for this phenomenon.

Certainly, other situational factors such as the arrangement of furniture can influence the ease of conversations. For example, although side-by-side seating connotes intimacy, it does not seem to be the preferred arrangement for talking. Studies have shown that side-by-side seating on a couch inhibits conversation in otherwise sociable people, and individuals only choose a side-by-side position for conversation when it was not possible to arrange a face-to-face conversation at a distance of less than 5 and ½ feet.

In other words, if it is good conversation that you are after at the next party that you attend, stay away from the couches.

The fascinating finding that our mentalizing capacity limits the size of our conversations has many implications. If individuals differ from each other in mentalizing capacity, it is possible that having the ability to juggle larger conversation sizes is one component of having good social skills — something with an obvious payoff. Krems and her colleagues also suggest that reading fiction may help us to expand our mentalizing capacity by exercising the ability to follow conversations in literature.

A silver lining for English majors after all?"
groups  groupsize  conversation  2017  shakespeare  robindunbar  jamiekrems  steveneuberg  discussion  sfsh 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Creating Groups – Hypothesis
"If you want to annotate privately with a group of users, then our groups feature is what you”ll want to use. Once you create a group, you can invite others to join it by sharing a special link. That link will also serve as the group home page with a list of members and texts annotated by the group. You can also link to a stream of annotations created by group members from the group home page.

NOTE: after linking to documents to be annotated form the group home page, users must 1) activate and 2) toggle the scope selector in the sidebar to the appropriate group from “public.”"  annotation  groups  onlinetoolkit  howto  tutorials  via:tealtan 
july 2016 by robertogreco
What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times
"Project Aristotle’s researchers began by reviewing a half-century of academic studies looking at how teams worked. Were the best teams made up of people with similar interests? Or did it matter more whether everyone was motivated by the same kinds of rewards? Based on those studies, the researchers scrutinized the composition of groups inside Google: How often did teammates socialize outside the office? Did they have the same hobbies? Were their educational backgrounds similar? Was it better for all teammates to be outgoing or for all of them to be shy? They drew diagrams showing which teams had overlapping memberships and which groups had exceeded their departments’ goals. They studied how long teams stuck together and if gender balance seemed to have an impact on a team’s success.

No matter how researchers arranged the data, though, it was almost impossible to find patterns — or any evidence that the composition of a team made any difference. ‘‘We looked at 180 teams from all over the company,’’ Dubey said. ‘‘We had lots of data, but there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.’’

Some groups that were ranked among Google’s most effective teams, for instance, were composed of friends who socialized outside work. Others were made up of people who were basically strangers away from the conference room. Some groups sought strong managers. Others preferred a less hierarchical structure. Most confounding of all, two teams might have nearly identical makeups, with overlapping memberships, but radically different levels of effectiveness. ‘‘At Google, we’re good at finding patterns,’’ Dubey said. ‘‘There weren’t strong patterns here.’’

As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as ‘‘group norms.’’ Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we gather: One team may come to a consensus that avoiding disagreement is more valuable than debate; another team might develop a culture that encourages vigorous arguments and spurns groupthink. Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound. Team members may behave in certain ways as individuals — they may chafe against authority or prefer working independently — but when they gather, the group’s norms typically override individual proclivities and encourage deference to the team.

Project Aristotle’s researchers began searching through the data they had collected, looking for norms. They looked for instances when team members described a particular behavior as an ‘‘unwritten rule’’ or when they explained certain things as part of the ‘‘team’s culture.’’ Some groups said that teammates interrupted one another constantly and that team leaders reinforced that behavior by interrupting others themselves. On other teams, leaders enforced conversational order, and when someone cut off a teammate, group members would politely ask everyone to wait his or her turn. Some teams celebrated birthdays and began each meeting with informal chitchat about weekend plans. Other groups got right to business and discouraged gossip. There were teams that contained outsize personalities who hewed to their group’s sedate norms, and others in which introverts came out of their shells as soon as meetings began.

After looking at over a hundred groups for more than a year, Project Aristotle researchers concluded that understanding and influencing group norms were the keys to improving Google’s teams. But Rozovsky, now a lead researcher, needed to figure out which norms mattered most. Google’s research had identified dozens of behaviors that seemed important, except that sometimes the norms of one effective team contrasted sharply with those of another equally successful group. Was it better to let everyone speak as much as they wanted, or should strong leaders end meandering debates? Was it more effective for people to openly disagree with one another, or should conflicts be played down? The data didn’t offer clear verdicts. In fact, the data sometimes pointed in opposite directions. The only thing worse than not finding a pattern is finding too many of them. Which norms, Rozovsky and her colleagues wondered, were the ones that successful teams shared?"

"As the researchers studied the groups, however, they noticed two behaviors that all the good teams generally shared. First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’ On some teams, everyone spoke during each task; on others, leadership shifted among teammates from assignment to assignment. But in each case, by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount. ‘‘As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,’’ Woolley said. ‘‘But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.’’

Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues. One of the easiest ways to gauge social sensitivity is to show someone photos of people’s eyes and ask him or her to describe what the people are thinking or feeling — an exam known as the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. People on the more successful teams in Woolley’s experiment scored above average on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. They seemed to know when someone was feeling upset or left out. People on the ineffective teams, in contrast, scored below average. They seemed, as a group, to have less sensitivity toward their colleagues."

"When Rozovsky and her Google colleagues encountered the concept of psychological safety in academic papers, it was as if everything suddenly fell into place. One engineer, for instance, had told researchers that his team leader was ‘‘direct and straightforward, which creates a safe space for you to take risks.’’ That team, researchers estimated, was among Google’s accomplished groups. By contrast, another engineer had told the researchers that his ‘‘team leader has poor emotional control.’’ He added: ‘‘He panics over small issues and keeps trying to grab control. I would hate to be driving with him being in the passenger seat, because he would keep trying to grab the steering wheel and crash the car.’’ That team, researchers presumed, did not perform well.

Most of all, employees had talked about how various teams felt. ‘‘And that made a lot of sense to me, maybe because of my experiences at Yale,’’ Rozovsky said. ‘‘I’d been on some teams that left me feeling totally exhausted and others where I got so much energy from the group.’’ Rozovsky’s study group at Yale was draining because the norms — the fights over leadership, the tendency to critique — put her on guard. Whereas the norms of her case-competition team — enthusiasm for one another’s ideas, joking around and having fun — allowed everyone to feel relaxed and energized.

For Project Aristotle, research on psychological safety pointed to particular norms that are vital to success. There were other behaviors that seemed important as well — like making sure teams had clear goals and creating a culture of dependability. But Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.

‘‘We had to get people to establish psychologically safe environments,’’ Rozovsky told me. But it wasn’t clear how to do that. ‘‘People here are really busy,’’ she said. ‘‘We needed clear guidelines.’’

However, establishing psychological safety is, by its very nature, somewhat messy and difficult to implement. You can tell people to take turns during a conversation and to listen to one another more. You can instruct employees to be sensitive to how their colleagues feel and to notice when someone seems upset. But the kinds of people who work at Google are often the ones who became software engineers because they wanted to avoid talking about feelings in the first place.

Rozovsky and her colleagues had figured out which norms were most critical. Now they had to find a way to make communication and empathy — the building blocks of forging real connections — into an algorithm they could easily scale."

"Project Aristotle is a reminder that when companies try to optimize everything, it’s sometimes easy to forget that success is often built on experiences — like emotional interactions and complicated conversations and discussions of who we want to be and how our teammates make us feel — that can’t really be optimized. Rozovsky herself was reminded of this midway through her work with the Project Aristotle team. ‘‘We were in a meeting where I made a mistake,’’ Rozovsky told me. She sent out a note afterward explaining how she was going to remedy the problem. ‘‘I got an email back from a team member that said, ‘Ouch,’ ’’ she recalled. ‘‘It was like a punch to the gut. I was already upset about making this mistake, and this note totally played on my insecurities.’’"
charlesduhigg  google  teams  teamwork  groups  groupdynamics  juliarozovsky  psychology  norms  groupnorms  communication  2016  siliconvalley  collaboration  projectaristotle  behavior  safety  emocions  socialemotional  empathy  psychologicalsafety  leadership  socialemotionallearning 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Shirky: A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy
"So, Part One. The best explanation I have found for the ways in which this pattern establishes itself, the group is its own worst enemy, comes from a book by W.R. Bion called "Experiences in Groups," written in the middle of the last century.

Bion was a psychologist who was doing group therapy with groups of neurotics. (Drawing parallels between that and the Internet is left as an exercise for the reader.) The thing that Bion discovered was that the neurotics in his care were, as a group, conspiring to defeat therapy.

There was no overt communication or coordination. But he could see that whenever he would try to do anything that was meant to have an effect, the group would somehow quash it. And he was driving himself crazy, in the colloquial sense of the term, trying to figure out whether or not he should be looking at the situation as: Are these individuals taking action on their own? Or is this a coordinated group?

He could never resolve the question, and so he decided that the unresolvability of the question was the answer. To the question: Do you view groups of people as aggregations of individuals or as a cohesive group, his answer was: "Hopelessly committed to both."

He said that humans are fundamentally individual, and also fundamentally social. Every one of us has a kind of rational decision-making mind where we can assess what's going on and make decisions and act on them. And we are all also able to enter viscerally into emotional bonds with other groups of people that transcend the intellectual aspects of the individual.

In fact, Bion was so convinced that this was the right answer that the image he put on the front cover of his book was a Necker cube, one of those cubes that you can look at and make resolve in one of two ways, but you can never see both views of the cube at the same time. So groups can be analyzed both as collections of individuals and having this kind of emotive group experience.

Now, it's pretty easy to see how groups of people who have formal memberships, groups that have been labeled and named like "I am a member of such-and-such a guild in a massively multi-player online role-playing game," it's easy to see how you would have some kind of group cohesion there. But Bion's thesis is that this effect is much, much deeper, and kicks in much, much sooner than many of us expect. So I want to illustrate this with a story, and to illustrate the illustration, I'll use a story from your life. Because even if I don't know you, I know what I'm about to describe has happened to you.

You are at a party, and you get bored. You say "This isn't doing it for me anymore. I'd rather be someplace else. I'd rather be home asleep. The people I wanted to talk to aren't here." Whatever. The party fails to meet some threshold of interest. And then a really remarkable thing happens: You don't leave. You make a decision "I don't like this." If you were in a bookstore and you said "I'm done," you'd walk out. If you were in a coffee shop and said "This is boring," you'd walk out.

You're sitting at a party, you decide "I don't like this; I don't want to be here." And then you don't leave. That kind of social stickiness is what Bion is talking about.

And then, another really remarkable thing happens. Twenty minutes later, one person stands up and gets their coat, and what happens? Suddenly everyone is getting their coats on, all at the same time. Which means that everyone had decided that the party was not for them, and no one had done anything about it, until finally this triggering event let the air out of the group, and everyone kind of felt okay about leaving.

This effect is so steady it's sometimes called the paradox of groups. It's obvious that there are no groups without members. But what's less obvious is that there are no members without a group. Because what would you be a member of?

So there's this very complicated moment of a group coming together, where enough individuals, for whatever reason, sort of agree that something worthwhile is happening, and the decision they make at that moment is: This is good and must be protected. And at that moment, even if it's subconscious, you start getting group effects. And the effects that we've seen come up over and over and over again in online communities.

Now, Bion decided that what he was watching with the neurotics was the group defending itself against his attempts to make the group do what they said they were supposed to do. The group was convened to get better, this group of people was in therapy to get better. But they were defeating that. And he said, there are some very specific patterns that they're entering into to defeat the ostensible purpose of the group meeting together. And he detailed three patterns.

The first is sex talk, what he called, in his mid-century prose, "A group met for pairing off." And what that means is, the group conceives of its purpose as the hosting of flirtatious or salacious talk or emotions passing between pairs of members.

You go on IRC and you scan the channel list, and you say "Oh, I know what that group is about, because I see the channel label." And you go into the group, you will also almost invariably find that it's about sex talk as well. Not necessarily overt. But that is always in scope in human conversations, according to Bion. That is one basic pattern that groups can always devolve into, away from the sophisticated purpose and towards one of these basic purposes.

The second basic pattern that Bion detailed: The identification and vilification of external enemies. This is a very common pattern. Anyone who was around the Open Source movement in the mid-Nineties could see this all the time. If you cared about Linux on the desktop, there was a big list of jobs to do. But you could always instead get a conversation going about Microsoft and Bill Gates. And people would start bleeding from their ears, they would get so mad.

If you want to make it better, there's a list of things to do. It's Open Source, right? Just fix it. "No, no, Microsoft and Bill Gates grrrrr ...", the froth would start coming out. The external enemy -- nothing causes a group to galvanize like an external enemy.

So even if someone isn't really your enemy, identifying them as an enemy can cause a pleasant sense of group cohesion. And groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders, because those are the people who are best at identifying external enemies.

The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique. You can see this pattern on the Internet any day you like. Go onto a Tolkein newsgroup or discussion forum, and try saying "You know, The Two Towers is a little dull. I mean loooong. We didn't need that much description about the forest, because it's pretty much the same forest all the way."

Try having that discussion. On the door of the group it will say: "This is for discussing the works of Tolkein." Go in and try and have that discussion.

Now, in some places people say "Yes, but it needed to, because it had to convey the sense of lassitude," or whatever. But in most places you'll simply be flamed to high heaven, because you're interfering with the religious text.

So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges. And what he finally came to, in analyzing this tension, is that group structure is necessary. Robert's Rules of Order are necessary. Constitutions are necessary. Norms, rituals, laws, the whole list of ways that we say, out of the universe of possible behaviors, we're going to draw a relatively small circle around the acceptable ones.

He said the group structure is necessary to defend the group from itself. Group structure exists to keep a group on target, on track, on message, on charter, whatever. To keep a group focused on its own sophisticated goals and to keep a group from sliding into these basic patterns. Group structure defends the group from the action of its own members."
clayshirky  2003  groups  communication  culture  norms  groupdynamics  wrbion  rituals  laws  rules  behavior  constitutions  lcproject  openstudioproject  structure  groupstructure  religion  worship  sfsh  ritual 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Tomtown ( 8 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"The web is busy now. No bad thing. But much too busy to have a single place to gather my friends around photos, another around status updates, etc. I used to have one community online, and now I've got a hundred. And while I can shard them by app (business on LinkedIn, family on Facebook, my global village on Twitter), it's a lot of effort to maintain that. And it doesn't make any sense.


Tom Coates invited me to join a little community of his in Slack. There are a handful of people there, some old friends, some new friends, all in this group messaging thingy.

There's a space where articles written or edited by members automatically show up. I like that.

I caught myself thinking: It'd be nice to have Last.FM here too, and Dopplr. Nothing that requires much effort. Let's also pull in Instagram. Automatic stuff so I can see what people are doing, and people can see what I'm doing. Just for this group. Back to those original intentions. Ambient awareness, togetherness.

Nobody says very much. Sometimes there's a flurry of chat.

It's small, human-scale. Maybe it's time to bring all these ambient awareness tools back, shared inside Slack instances this time.

You know what, it's cosy. I've been missing this. A neighbourhood."
2015  mattwebb  ambientawareness  ambient  community  culture  presentationofself  twitter  flickr  slack  tomcoates  email  neighborhoods  scale  groups  groupsize  glancing  jaiku  dopplr  im  instantmessenger  openplans  offices  attention  socialmedia  noise 
october 2015 by robertogreco
actually (27 Oct., 2003, at Interconnected)
"Dunbar contends that humans evolved vocal grooming (language) as a more efficient form of bonding. Assuming that our closest ancester, the chimpanzee, has hit the time budget limiting factor, and that our extra efficiency has all come about with the transition to vocal grooming, this means language is 2.8 times more efficient for bonding than the mechanism nonhuman primates use. That is, "a speaker should be able to interact with 2.8 times as many other individuals as a groomer can. Since the number of grooming partners is necessarily limited to one, this means that the limit on the number of listeners should be about 2.8. In other words, human conversation group sizes should be limited to about 3.8 in size (one speaker plus 2.8 listeners)." (Which makes sense if you think about the different qualities of a conversation with three versus four participants. A study is quoted to back this up.)"
mattwebb  2003  dunbar  dunbarnumber  grooming  primates  humans  groups  groupsize  conversation  speaking  interaction 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Small groups and consultancy and coffee mornings ( 7 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"One permanent pattern in our workshop culture:
Best design consultancy tip I know: Don't criticise without offering something better. Called the Ahtisaari Manoeuvre after an early client

Always have something on the table.

Another: Always use fat pens.

Another: It's important to have the right people in the room -- representing knowledge of technical possibilities, business needs, and market insights. But at the same time, the ideal number of people to have in the room is five or six. Any more than that, you can't continue a single conversation without it turning into a presentation.

Another: The one who understands the client's business best is the client."

"There are a couple of things I'm investigating:

1. That a small group is a powerful way of thinking, and of creating action. That repetition matters, and informality.

2. It might be possible to help with strategy without providing original thought or even active facilitation: To consult without consulting. The answers and even ways of working are inherent in the group itself.

My hunch is this: To answer a business's strategic questions, which will intrinsically involve changing that business, a more permanent solution than a visiting consultant might be to convene a small group, and spend time with it, chatting informally."

"Once a week we get together -- a half dozen students, often Durrell, whoever is teaching the course with him which was Stuart before and Oscar now, plus a special guest.

It's just for coffee somewhere or other, on Friday mornings, and we chat. It's super casual, sharing ideas and references, talking about the brief and design in general.

I'm curious about informality.

The lunchtimes at BERG, everyone around the table with such a broad range of skills and interests... and after Friday Demos - part of the weekly rhythm - the sparked conversations and the on-topic but off-topic sharing... this is where ideas happen too. Between projects but not outside them.

And I think informality as part of the design process is under-communicated, at least where I've been listening. So much work is done like that. The students are great at speaking about their work, sure. But mainly I'm interesting in how we induct someone into a worldview, quickly; how we explain ideas and then listen carefully for feedback, accepting ideas back -- all conversationally, without (and this is the purpose of the special guest) it turning into a seminar or a crit.

I think the best way to communicate this "lunch table" work informality is to rehearse it, to experience it. Which is what the coffee mornings are about.

I try to make sure everyone speaks, and I ask questions to see if I can encourage the removal of lazy abstraction -- words that get in the way of thinking about what's really going on. I'm a participant-observer.

Tbh I'm not sure what to call this. Visiting convener? It's not an official role.

I think (I hope!) everyone is getting something out of the experience, and everyone is becoming more their own kind of designer because of it, and meanwhile I get to explore and experience a small group. A roughly consistent membership, a roughly regular meeting time, an absence of purpose, or rather a purpose that the group is allowed to negotiate at a place within itself.


These RCA coffee mornings grew out of my experiment with hardware-ish coffee mornings, a semi-irregular meetup in London having a vague "making things" skew... Internet of Things, hardware startups, knitting, the future of manufacturing and distribution, a morning off work. That sort of thing. People chat, people bring prototypes. There's no single conversation, and only rarely do we do introductions. This invite to a meet in January also lists my principles:

• Space beats structure
• Informality wins
• Convening not chairing
• Bonfires not fireworks

I've been trying to build a street corner, a place to cultivate serendipity and thoughts. Not an event with speakers, there are already several really good ones."

"My setup was that I believed the answer to the issue would come from the group, that they knew more about their business than me.

Which was true. But I also observed that the purpose of the business had recently changed, and while it could be seen by the CEO that the current approach to this design problem wasn't satisfying, there was no way for the group to come together to think about it, and answer it together. Previously they had represented different strands of development within the startup. Now the company was moving to having a new, singular, measurable goal.

So I started seeing the convened discussions as rehearsing a new constellation of the team members and how they used one-another for thinking, and conscious and unconscious decision making. The group meetings would incubate a new way to think together. Do it enough, point out what works, and habits might form.


Consulting without consulting."

"I'm not entirely sure where to take these experiments. I'm learning a lot from various coffee mornings, so I'll carry on with those.

I had some conversations earlier in the year about whether it would be possible to act as a creative director, only via regular breakfast conversations, and helping the group self-direct. Dunno. Or maybe there's a way to build a new division in a company. Maybe what I'm actually talking about is board meetings -- I've been a trustee to Startup Weekend Europe for a couple of years, and the quarterly meetings are light touch. But they don't have this small group aspect, it might be that they haven't been as effective as they could be.

There might be something with the street corners and serendipity pattern... When I was doing that three month gig with the government earlier this year, it felt like the people in the civil service - as a whole - had all the knowledge and skills to take advantage of Internet of Things technologies, to deliver services faster and better. But often the knowledge and opportunities weren't meeting up. Maybe an in-person, regular space could help with that.

At a minimum, if I'm learning how to help companies and friends with startups in a useful way that doesn't involve delivering more darn Powerpoint for the meat grinder: Job done.

But perhaps what's happening is I'm teaching myself how to do something else entirely, and I haven't figured out what that is yet.


Some art. Some software."
mattwebb  small  groups  groupsize  2015  collaboration  consulting  vonnegut  kurtvonnegut  organization  howwewrite  writing  meaningmaking  patternrecognition  stevenjohnson  devonthink  groupdynamics  psychology  wilfredbion  dependency  pairing  serendipity  trickster  doublebinds  informality  informal  coffeemornings  meetings  crosspollination  conversation  facilitation  catalysts  scenius  experienceingroups 
october 2015 by robertogreco
On BERG's hibernation
"Today BERG Cloud (Formerly BERG, formerly Schulze and Webb) announced it was shutting shop. I spent about 2 years all together working for or with BERG, so I wanted to share some thoughts on my time there. All of this is purely from my point of view, is not official, and I am certain the others would have differing opinions.

I never went to university, but after working with BERG on Mag+ my interest in interaction design grew. I nearly applied for the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design but when BERG offered me a full time position, my recurring theme of choosing experience over formal education got the better of me. And it was not a mistake.

To describe a company as a family is incredibly cheesy, but of everywhere I’ve worked it applies most to BERG. My favourite times were definitely on Scrutton Street, when the 13 (or there about) of us were squeezed into an office far too small for us. We had an airport express that anyone could play tunes on, and only one conversation could really happen at once. Of course there were times we would rub each other the wrong way, but one thing that never wavered was the immense respect I had for everyone.

This enabled us to work in a way I’ve never seen anywhere else, and what I half-jokingly dubbed ‘emotion driven development’. If Kanban is the more fluid state of a trusted and able team compared to scrum, then what we had was a step beyond that. We trusted in our own, and importantly each others, strong opinions and (this sounds cheesy again) feelings to drive us forward. This is probably a fragile and unscalable way of working, but without it, I think much of the work would be very different, and BERG wouldn’t have attracted the attention it did. We worked in a different way, and the work was often different because of it.

BERG had an interesting cult following. It certainly punched way above its weight in the design world for such a small company. It was able to create work that turned the heads of both the industry and mass audiences alike. One thing I was always impressed with was how easily new aesthetics were created, something that others spend entire careers developing was almost effortless to my colleagues. Making Future Magic (a project I had nothing to do with) perhaps most exemplifies this.

I am now focusing on working in the public sector, and I went into much detail as to why, but I will always miss my time at BERG. For me it will always feel like my university time; a time to spend learning and experimenting on what we found interesting with very few constraints.

For a group of people who were professionals on thinking about “what’s next”, I think we’re a bit knocked back as we truly don’t know what’s next. It’s an interesting (and scary in a very high up Maslow’s hierarchy kind of way) time. BERG was a major part of East London’s tech culture, and its demise is another blow to it. I imagine there are plenty of people wondering where their friends are going next. I know I am."

[See also: ]
berg  berglondon  autodidacts  srg  experience  learningbydoing  jamesdarling  2014  design  howwework  tcsnmy  families  workenvironments  teams  respect  groups  howwlearn  learning  mattwebb  emotions  feelings  culture  workculture  creativity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Blended Learning Revisited | MIT Video
"Description: Even when children are high achievers and facile with new technology, many seem gradually to lose their sense of wonder and curiosity, notes John Seely Brown. Traditional educational methods may be smothering their innate drive to explore the world. Brown and like"minded colleagues are developing the underpinnings for a new 21st century pedagogy that broadens rather than narrows horizons.

John Seely Brown, former chief scientist at Xerox, has morphed in recent years into the "Chief of Confusion," seeking "the right questions" in a range of fields, including education. He finds unusual sources for his questions: basketball and opera coaches, surfing and video game champions. He's gathered insights from unorthodox venues, and from more traditional classrooms, to paint quite a different picture of what learning might look like.

The typical college lecture class frequently gathers many students together in a large room to be 'fed' knowledge, believes Brown. But studies show that "learning itself is socially constructed," and is most effective when students interact with and teach each other in manageable groups. Brown wants to open up "niche learning experiences" that draw on classic course material, but deepen it to be maximally enriching.

[This following part is the part I posted to Tumblr: ]

In basketball and opera master classes, and in architecture labs, he has seen how individuals become acculturated in a "community of practice," learning to "be" rather than simply to "do." Whether performing, creating, or experimenting, students are critiqued, respond, offer their own criticism, and glean rich wisdom from a cyclical group experience. Brown says something "mysterious" may be taking place: "In deeply collective engagement in start to marinate in a problem space." Through communities of practice, students' minds "begin to gel up," even in the face of abstraction and unfamiliarity, and "all of a sudden, (the subject) starts to make sense."

Brown cites the entire MIT campus as a "participatory learning platform," where "people create stuff to be read and tried and critiqued," where cognitive "apprenticeships" lead to networks of practice. "Deep tinkering" is encouraged, which accelerates the building of instinct that is essential in creating a "tacit dimension" of familiarity with complex subject matter. This is "playing at its deepest sense," says Brown, and the way to create resilient students who "learn to become," and "don't fear change" in a world full of flux.

Dava Newman has been looking for ways to keep MIT engineering students motivated and playful. She is working on design and build courses for engineering students that emphasize community and creativity. Engineering School planners are also considering a new degree option intended to prepare students "to tackle complex socio"technological challenges in energy, the environment, hunger," since students say they come to MIT in order to learn how to address such complex, real"world problems.

MIT Physics Professor John Belcher describes virtual laboratories complete with avatars that help students visualize key concepts in the field, such as Faraday's Law ("where everyone dies in electromagnetism"). Students eagerly engage in these virtual labs, which are accompanied by actual experiments, and create effective online communities for maximizing the experience."

[via: ]
johnseeleybrown  education  learning  conversation  communities  presence  being  howwelearn  constructivism  wonder  curiosity  howweteach  schools  unschooling  deschooling  lectures  social  groups  practice  culture  culturesoflearning  collectivism  process  participatorylearning  critique  criticism  play  change  motivation  community  creativity 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Tyranny of Structurelessness (Jo Freeman)
[Already bookmarked another version of this: . Thanks to Max for resurfacing today.]

"Unstructured groups may be very effective in getting women to talk about their lives; they aren’t very good for getting things done. It is when people get tired of “just talking” and want to do something more that the groups flounder, unless they change the nature of their operation. Occasionally, the developed informal structure of the group coincides with an available need that the group can fill in such a way as to give the appearance that an unstructured group “works.” That is, the group has fortuitously developed precisely the kind of structure best suited for engaging in a particular project.

While working in this kind of group is a very heady experience, it is also rare and very hard to replicate. There are almost inevitably four conditions found in such a group:

1) It is task oriented. Its function is very narrow and very specific, like putting on a conference or putting out a newspaper. It is the task that basically structures the group. The task determines what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. It provides a guide by which people can judge their actions and make plans for future activity.

2) It is relatively small and homogeneous. Homogeneity is necessary to ensure that participants have a “common language” or interaction. People from widely different backgrounds may provide richness to a consciousness-raising group where each can learn from the others’ experience, but too great a diversity among members of a task-oriented group means only that they continually misunderstand each other. Such diverse people interpret words and actions differently. They have different expectations about each other’s behavior and judge the results according to different criteria. If everyone knows everyone else well enough to understand the nuances, these can be accommodated. Usually, they only lead to confusion and endless hours spent straightening out conflicts no one ever thought would arise.

3) There is a high degree of communication. Information must be passed on to everyone, opinions checked, work divided up, and participation assured in the relevant decisions. This is only possible if the group is small and people practically live together for the most crucial phases of the task. Needless to say, the number of interactions necessary to involve everybody increases geometrically with the number of participants. This inevitably limits group participants to about five, or excludes some from some of the decisions. Successful groups can be as large as 10 or 15, but only when they are in fact composed of several smaller subgroups which perform specific parts of the task, and whose members overlap with each other so that knowledge of what the different subgroups are doing can be passed around easily.

4) There is a low degree of skill specialization. Not everyone has to be able to do everything, but everything must be able to be done by more than one person. Thus no one is indispensable. To a certain extent, people become interchangeable parts."

"Once the movement no longer clings tenaciously to the ideology of “structurelessness,” it is free to develop those forms of organization best suited to its healthy functioning. This does not mean that we should go to the other extreme and blindly imitate the traditional forms of organization. But neither should we blindly reject them all. Some of the traditional techniques will prove useful, albeit not perfect; some will give us insights into what we should and should not do to obtain certain ends with minimal costs to the individuals in the movement. Mostly, we will have to experiment with different kinds of structuring and develop a variety of techniques to use for different situations. The Lot System is one such idea which has emerged from the movement. It is not applicable to all situations, but is useful in some. Other ideas for structuring are needed. But before we can proceed to experiment intelligently, we must accept the idea that there is nothing inherently bad about structure itself — only its excess use.

While engaging in this trial-and-error process, there are some principles we can keep in mind that are essential to democratic structuring and are also politically effective:

1) Delegation of specific authority to specific individuals for specific tasks by democratic procedures. Letting people assume jobs or tasks only by default means they are not dependably done. If people are selected to do a task, preferably after expressing an interest or willingness to do it, they have made a commitment which cannot so easily be ignored.

2) Requiring all those to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to those who selected them. This is how the group has control over people in positions of authority. Individuals may exercise power, but it is the group that has ultimate say over how the power is exercised.

3) Distribution of authority among as many people as is reasonably possible. This prevents monopoly of power and requires those in positions of authority to consult with many others in the process of exercising it. It also gives many people the opportunity to have responsibility for specific tasks and thereby to learn different skills.

4) Rotation of tasks among individuals. Responsibilities which are held too long by one person, formally or informally, come to be seen as that person’s “property” and are not easily relinquished or controlled by the group. Conversely, if tasks are rotated too frequently the individual does not have time to learn her job well and acquire the sense of satisfaction of doing a good job.

5) Allocation of tasks along rational criteria. Selecting someone for a position because they are liked by the group or giving them hard work because they are disliked serves neither the group nor the person in the long run. Ability, interest, and responsibility have got to be the major concerns in such selection. People should be given an opportunity to learn skills they do not have, but this is best done through some sort of “apprenticeship” program rather than the “sink or swim” method. Having a responsibility one can’t handle well is demoralizing. Conversely, being blacklisted from doing what one can do well does not encourage one to develop one’s skills. Women have been punished for being competent throughout most of human history; the movement does not need to repeat this process.

6) Diffusion of information to everyone as frequently as possible. Information is power. Access to information enhances one’s power. When an informal network spreads new ideas and information among themselves outside the group, they are already engaged in the process of forming an opinion — without the group participating. The more one knows about how things work and what is happening, the more politically effective one can be.

7) Equal access to resources needed by the group. This is not always perfectly possible, but should be striven for. A member who maintains a monopoly over a needed resource (like a printing press owned by a husband, or a darkroom) can unduly influence the use of that resource. Skills and information are also resources. Members’ skills can be equitably available only when members are willing to teach what they know to others.

When these principles are applied, they ensure that whatever structures are developed by different movement groups will be controlled by and responsible to the group. The group of people in positions of authority will be diffuse, flexible, open, and temporary. They will not be in such an easy position to institutionalize their power because ultimate decisions will be made by the group at large, The group will have the power to determine who shall exercise authority within it."
feminism  groups  groupdynamics  power  control  social  politics  jofreeman  anarchy  anarchism  consensus  democracy  delegation  responsibility  elitism  politicalimpotence  decisionmaking  authority  leadership  administration  organizations  structure  structurelessness 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Tyranny of Stuctureless
"Contrary to what we would like to believe, there is no such thing as a structureless group. Any group of people of whatever nature that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. The structure may be flexible; it may vary over time; it may evenly or unevenly distribute tasks, power and resources over the members of the group. But it will be formed regardless of the abilities, personalities, or intentions of the people involved. The very fact that we are individuals, with different talents, predispositions, and backgrounds makes this inevitable. Only if we refused to relate or interact on any basis whatsoever could we approximate structurelessness -- and that is not the nature of a human group.

This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful, and as deceptive, as to aim at an "objective" news story, "value-free" social science, or a "free" economy. A "laissez faire" group is about as realistic as a "laissez faire" society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can be so easily established because the idea of "structurelessness" does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones. Similarly "laissez faire" philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from establishing control over wages, prices, and distribution of goods; it only prevented the government from doing so. Thus structurelessness becomes a way of masking power, and within the women's movement is usually most strongly advocated by those who are the most powerful (whether they are conscious of their power or not). As long as the structure of the group is informal, the rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is limited to those who know the rules. Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware.


Once the movement no longer clings tenaciously to the ideology of "structurelessness," it is free to develop those forms of organization best suited to its healthy functioning. This does not mean that we should go to the other extreme and blindly imitate the traditional forms of organization. But neither should we blindly reject them all. Some of the traditional techniques will prove useful, albeit not perfect; some will give us insights into what we should and should not do to obtain certain ends with minimal costs to the individuals in the movement. Mostly, we will have to experiment with different kinds of structuring and develop a variety of techniques to use for different situations. The Lot System is one such idea which has emerged from the movement. It is not applicable to all situations, but is useful in some. Other ideas for structuring are needed. But before we can proceed to experiment intelligently, we must accept the idea that there is nothing inherently bad about structure itself -- only its excess use.

While engaging in this trial-and-error process, there are some principles we can keep in mind that are essential to democratic structuring and are also politically effective:

1) Delegation of specific authority to specific individuals for specific tasks by democratic procedures. Letting people assume jobs or tasks only by default means they are not dependably done. If people are selected to do a task, preferably after expressing an interest or willingness to do it, they have made a commitment which cannot so easily be ignored.

2) Requiring all those to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to those who selected them. This is how the group has control over people in positions of authority. Individuals may exercise power, but it is the group that has ultimate say over how the power is exercised.

3) Distribution of authority among as many people as is reasonably possible. This prevents monopoly of power and requires those in positions of authority to consult with many others in the process of exercising it. It also gives many people the opportunity to have responsibility for specific tasks and thereby to learn different skills.

4) Rotation of tasks among individuals. Responsibilities which are held too long by one person, formally or informally, come to be seen as that person's "property" and are not easily relinquished or controlled by the group. Conversely, if tasks are rotated too frequently the individual does not have time to learn her job well and acquire the sense of satisfaction of doing a good job.

5) Allocation of tasks along rational criteria. Selecting someone for a position because they are liked by the group or giving them hard work because they are disliked serves neither the group nor the person in the long run. Ability, interest, and responsibility have got to be the major concerns in such selection. People should be given an opportunity to learn skills they do not have, but this is best done through some sort of "apprenticeship" program rather than the "sink or swim" method. Having a responsibility one can't handle well is demoralizing. Conversely, being blacklisted from doing what one can do well does not encourage one to develop one's skills. Women have been punished for being competent throughout most of human history; the movement does not need to repeat this process.

6) Diffusion of information to everyone as frequently as possible. Information is power. Access to information enhances one's power. When an informal network spreads new ideas and information among themselves outside the group, they are already engaged in the process of forming an opinion -- without the group participating. The more one knows about how things work and what is happening, the more politically effective one can be.

7) Equal access to resources needed by the group. This is not always perfectly possible, but should be striven for. A member who maintains a monopoly over a needed resource (like a printing press owned by a husband, or a darkroom) can unduly influence the use of that resource. Skills and information are also resources. Members' skills can be equitably available only when members are willing to teach what they know to others.

When these principles are applied, they insure that whatever structures are developed by different movement groups will be controlled by and responsible to the group. The group of people in positions of authority will be diffuse, flexible, open, and temporary. They will not be in such an easy position to institutionalize their power because ultimate decisions will be made by the group at large. The group will have the power to determine who shall exercise authority within it."
feminism  politics  culture  community  activism  structurelessness  jofreeman  joreen  1971  1970  movements  organization  democracy  structure  horizontality  verticality  hierarchy  authority  elitism  groups  groupdynamics  via:mitchbostian 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Pendulums, Tea, and Jack Cheng | One Skinnyj
"I wanted the lack of employment & stable income to motivate me to do something."

"…balance implies movement. A more appropriate instrument would be a pendulum—constantly swinging back & forth. W/ a scale, stasis is desirable, but w/ a pendulum, stasis is death."

"We have a limited supply of attention every day & thus a sweet spot for novel experiences. Too little novelty & you’re bored. Too much & you’re overwhelmed. But with the right amount, you’re learning & growing."

"The right team to me consists of a group of people who are simultaneously mentor & mentee, skilled at certain things & eager to learn about others."

"I love learning new things, & I’m continually improving myself. I feel like I’m experiencing the world closer to the way I did when I was a kid, the result of unlearning some…biases & tendencies…"

"I’m a big proponent of journaling…it builds self-awareness, which is always the first step to improvement…Honest journaling helps you face your own fear & neglect."
memberly  motivation  howwegrow  howwelearn  entrepreneurship  distrupto  employment  attention  distraction  newness  travel  yearoff  stasis  growing  growth  learning  unlearning  tendencies  biases  self-improvement  neglect  fear  self-awareness  noticing  novelty  howwework  working  groups  mentees  mentors  movement  balance  pendulums  stability  chaos  reflection  journals  journaling  2011  interviews  seepster  tea  jackcheng 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Treehouses: Online community for internet // Speaker Deck
Notes here by litherland:

“The ephemerality of speech [sic] in these tools better affords intimacy.” Revisit. /

“That speech is temporal also means someone can be absent, which makes presence meaningful.” Makes a lot of assumptions; needs to rethink (or think harder about) what speech is. Or what he means by it. /

Concept of “intransient group memory.” /

Interesting thoughts about playgrounds. /

“Conversation is an iterated game, so your pseudo can be a strong identity even if it isn’t your *public commercial web face*.” [my emph] /

“Hosts use soft power to influence. The group still governs itself.” /

“Recording is corrosive to candid sharing, so a private internet space must be transient.” /
2012  markpaschal  dannyo'brien  via:litherland  heatherchamp  self-organization  openspace  hackerspaces  autonomy  richardbartle  johanhui  johanhuizinga  play  groupmemory  availabot  ephemerality  muds  space  place  alancooper  sovereignposture  secondlife  personalization  tomarmitage  animalcrossing  ambient  presence  minimumviabletreehouses  minecraft  gaming  games  clubhouses  socialmedia  darkmatter  privacy  sharing  conversation  groups  onlinetreehouses  treehouses  organizing  activism  community  ephemeral 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration | Wired Science |
"What makes possible the uncanny coordination of these murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics."

[See also: AND the video: AND ]
murmurations  starlings  birds  behavior  nature  animals  physics  flight  groups  patterns  collectiveflight  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Week 315 – Blog – BERG
"Your sensitivity & tolerance improve only with practice. I wish I’d been given toy businesses to play w/ at school, just as playing w/ crayons taught my body how to let me draw.

I’ve written in these weeknotes before how I manage three budgets: cash, attention, risk. This is my attempt to explain how I feel about risk, and to trace the pathways between risk and cash. Attention, & how it connects, can wait until another day…

I said I wouldn’t speak about attention, but here’s a sneak peak of what I would say. Attention is the time of people in the studio, & how effectively it is applied. It is affected by the arts of project & studio management; it can be tracked by time-sheets & capacity plans; it can be leveraged with infrastructure, internal tools, and carefully grown tacit knowledge; and it magically grows when there’s time to play, when there is flow in the work, and when a team aligns into a “sophisticated work group.”
Attention is connected to cash through work."
design  business  management  berg  berglondon  mattwebb  attention  flow  groups  groupculture  sophisticatedworkgroups  money  risk  riskmanagement  riskassessment  confidence  happiness  anxiety  worry  leadership  tinkering  designthinking  thinking  physical  work  instinct  frustration  lcproject  studio  decisionmaking  systems  systemsthinking  manufacturing  making  doing  newspaperclub  svk  distribution  integratedsystems  infrastructure  supplychain  deleuze  guattari  cyoa  failure  learning  invention  ineptitude  ignorance  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  interactive  fiction  if  interactivefiction  félixguattari 
june 2011 by robertogreco
For San Diego Schools, a Fear That Larger Classes Will Hinder Learning -
"While educators debate whether the academic gain from reducing class size is worth the cost, research has shown that significantly smaller classes make a difference in the earliest grades. San Diego’s decision to set a class size of 17 at its poorest schools was based on the most influential study in the field, the Tennessee STAR project. That research, done in the 1980s, concluded that students in small classes (13 to 17 children) outperformed those in regular classrooms (22 to 25) in kindergarten to third grades. The gains were biggest among poor minority children, and that advantage continued for years to come.

As a child, Ms. Marten attended a private school where the ratio of students to teachers was 16 to 1. For many years she also taught at a private school with small class sizes. At Central, reducing the number of students per class has been a top priority."
sandiego  classsize  schools  groups  policy  tcsnmy  lcproject  education  learning  teaching  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Six Common Misperceptions about Teamwork - J. Richard Hackman - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review [Wish someone I knew could get #1, #2, #3, and #5 straightened out]
"Teamwork and collaboration are critical to mission achievement in any organization that has to respond quickly to changing circumstances. My research in the U.S. intelligence community has not only affirmed that idea but also surfaced a number of mistaken beliefs about teamwork that can sidetrack productive collaboration…

Misperception #1: Harmony helps. Smooth interaction among collaborators avoids time-wasting debates about how best to proceed… [A description of what actually is the case follows each]

Misperception #2: It's good to mix it up. New members bring energy and fresh ideas to a team…

Misperception #3: Bigger is better…

Misperception #4: Face-to-face interaction is passé…

Misperception #5: It all depends on the leader…

Misperception #6: Teamwork is magical."
collaboration  business  management  leadership  administration  tcsnmy  via:steelemaley  culture  teams  work  small  groups  harmony  disagreement  teamwork  consistency  time  meetings  productivity  problemsolving  classideas  lcproject  myths  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Autoethnography - Wikipedia
"Autoethnography is a form of autobiographical personal narrative that explores the writer's experience of life. The term was originally defined as "insider ethnography".[1] It differs fundamentally from ethnography--a qualitative research method in which a researcher uses participant observation and interviews in order to gain a deeper understanding of a group's culture—in that autoethnography focuses on the writer's subjective experience rather than the beliefs and practices of others. Autoethnography is now becoming more widely used (though controversial) in performance studies, the sociology of new media, novels, journalism, communication, and applied fields such as management studies."
history  writing  social  research  via:steelemaley  sociology  communication  ethnography  journalism  newmedia  novels  management  managementstudies  performancestudies  experience  groupculture  groups  narrative  truth  inquiry  autoethnography  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Smart Plus: Lessons from Trump's Apprentice
"This overseas business teacher pointed out several 'hidden problems' that were discovered in his 'apprentices':

1. academically brilliant students often more aloof, pull down group
2. passing the buck / hogging work
3. overlooking fundamental facts
4. not listening to other team members
5. taking a stand or not taking enough
6. witholding information
7. cannot evaluate flaws
8. not finishing work
9. political intrigues
10. conflict-seeking behavior."
todiscuss  classideas  tcsnmy  groups  groupwork  cooperation  collaboration  apprenticeships  behavior  conflict  teams  teaching  groupdynamics  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Amy Chua Is a Wimp -
"Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self & group — these & other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale.

Yet mastering these arduous skills is at the very essence of achievement. Most people work in groups. We do this because groups are much more efficient at solving problems than individuals…

This skill set is not taught formally, but it is imparted through arduous experiences. These are exactly the kinds of difficult experiences Chua shelters her children from by making them rush home to hit the homework table.

Chua would do better to see the classroom as a cognitive break from the truly arduous tests of childhood…"
amychua  davidbrooks  parenting  tcsnmy  groups  socialemotionallearning  schools  social  adolescence  motivation  education  life  socialemotional  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
RORY HYDE PROJECTS / BLOG » Blog Archive » ‘Know No Boundaries’: an interview with Matt Webb of BERG London
"we attempt to invent things and create culture. It’s not just enough to invent something and see it once, you have to change the world around you, get underneath it, interfere with it somehow, because otherwise you’re just problem solving. And I wont say that design has an exclusive hold over this – you can invent things and change culture with art, music, business practices, ethnography, market research; all of these are valid too – design just happens to be the way we do it…our things should be hopeful, and not just functional…beautiful, inventive and mainstream…you could see our work as experimental, or science-fiction, or futuristic…our design is essentially a political act. We design ‘normative’ products, normative being that you design for the world as it should be. Invention is always for the world as it should be, and not for the world you are in…Design these products and you’ll move the world just slightly in that direction."
mattwebb  berg  berglondon  design  invention  hope  culture  change  purpose  innovation  scifi  sciencefiction  designfiction  beauty  future  inventingthefuture  speculative  speculativedesign  fractionalai  ai  brucesterling  evolutionarysoup  storytelling  isaacasimov  arthurcclarke  argoscatalog  schooloscope  behavior  evocativeobjects  collaboration  functionalism  technology  architecture  people  structure  groups  experience  interdisciplinary  tinkering  multidisciplinary  play  playfulness  crossdisciplinary  flip  gamechanging  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Robert Paterson's Weblog: Fixing Education - #The Social Environment is the Key
"The average class size is 12. This is in the realm of conversation that has an upper limit of close to 20. It means that many clases are about 8 which is the ideal human social design for conversation. When groups are over 23 conversation is impossible. There are two many possible connections.

Yes smaller classes are better. But reducing a class size from 34 to 26 achieves nothing. The Zone is 13 or less with 8 being best. Not a matter of opinion just as the laws of gravity are not a matter for debate either."
groups  groupsize  dunbar  dunbarnumber  schools  education  learning  conversation  robertpatterson  teaching  social  environment  resilience  empathy  lcproject  tcsnmy  socialresponsibility  connections  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Downtime | The New Republic
"…half a dozen or so seven-year-old boys crammed into my apartment, and discovered, to my dismay, not that they couldn’t all get along—that was to be expected—but that they had no stomach for their own fighting. Every time an argument would break out about the choice of game or the distribution of lightsabers, a boy would run up to me. At first I thought I was being asked to adjudicate, but before I could figure out how to get out of doing so, I discovered that wasn’t what the boys wanted. They wanted me to turn on the television. If I turned on the television, they wouldn’t have to play anymore, and then they wouldn’t fight. I imagined legions of exhausted babysitters and mothers settling disputes in this way, and my son and his friends drawing the obvious conclusion: that group play is dangerous because conflict is intolerable, and that electronic entertainment is a good way to avoid both."

[via: ]
conflict  play  television  tv  children  parenting  groups  groupplay  disputes  avoidance  conflictaversion  compromise  tcsnmy  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe: Episode 27: Missionless Statements
"In this special episode, Dan Benjamin talks with two of his heroes, Merlin Mann & Jeff Veen about independence, free thinking, email, productivity, & changing your game."

[There is more here (on shared values, innovation, organizations, management, entreprenuership, change, etc.) than my notes reflect—all worth the listen.]

[Video also at: ]
dunbar  dunbarnumber  groupsize  classsize  productivity  management  administration  tcsnmy  lcproject  jeffreyveen  merlinmann  danbenjamin  email  communication  leadership  problemsolving  technology  enterprise  independence  freethinking  gamechanging  time  small  slow  ambientintimacy  relationships  understanding  efficiency  human  humanconnection  campfire  offhtheshelfsoftware  values  organizations  groups  sharedvalues  culture  failure  innovation  cv  risktaking  risk  freelancing  motivation  danielpink  meaning  autonomy  drive  missionstatement  vision 
july 2010 by robertogreco
SSRN-Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea by Karan Girotra, Christian Terwiesch, Karl Ulrich
"In a wide variety of organizational settings, teams generate a number of possible solutions to a problem, and then select a few for further investigation. We examine the effectiveness of two creative problem solving processes for such tasks - one, where the group works together as a team (the team process), and the other where individuals first work alone and then work together (the hybrid process). ... In our experimental set-up, we find that groups employing the hybrid process are able to generate more ideas, to generate better ideas, and to better discern their best ideas compared to teams that rely purely on group work. Moreover, we find that the frequently recommended brainstorming technique of building on each other’s ideas is counter-productive: teams exhibiting such build-up neither create more ideas nor are the ideas that build on previous ideas better."
brainstorming  collaboration  development  creativity  innovation  teams  psychology  invention  tcsnmy  classideas  research  groups  ideas  thinking  leadership  management  individual 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Nonformality | The quality of dialogue
"The nature of our conversations determines the quality of the ideas we share, and therefore it’s worth reflecting on the ways that we talk to each other – check out this infographic on dialogue by Peter Stoyko:"
communication  dialogue  groups  meetings  roles  organizations  conversation  tcsnmy  peterstoyko  learning  conflict  infographics  dialog 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Edward Hall: The perfect group size = 8-12 - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)
"Fortunately, something is known both empirically and scientifically about the influence exerted by size on groups and the effect of size on how the groups perform. Research with business groups, athletic teams, and even armies around the world has revealed there is an ideal size for a working group. This ideal size is between eight and twelve individuals. This is natural, because man evolved as a primate while living in small groups…Eight to 12 persons can know each other well enough to maximize their talents. In groups beyond this size, the possible combinations of communication between individuals get too complex to handle; people are lumped into categories and begin the process of ceasing to exist as individuals. Tasks than can’t be handled by a group of eight to 12 are probably too complex and should be broken down further. Participation and commitment fall off in larger groups — mobility suffers; leadership doesn’t develop naturally but is manipulative and political."
37signals  business  collaboration  productivity  psychology  groups  size  groupsize  tcsnmy  edwardhall  management  process  small  scale  humanscale  lcproject 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Social Loafing in a Co-operative Classroom Task - Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology
"Social loafing refers to the tendency for individuals to reduce their own personal input when performing as part of group. This phenomenon may be problematic if it exists in educational contexts, given a current emphasis on group collaborative classroom activities. The present study investigated whether social loafing existed in a collaborative educational task, employing groups of three and eight participants. The results indicated that individuals working within the smaller groups were more productive than those working in larger groups, consistent with the social loafing hypothesis. Future research should determine whether the detrimental effects on students' collaborative performance attributable to social loafing are justifiable in terms of gains accrued in other (e.g. interpersonal) domains."
socialloafing  research  groups  groupsize  collaboration  classsize  education  learning  tcsnmy  teaching  2000 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: Collaboration and Cooperation
"I believe that you can draw a connection between the two distinctions. Collaboration belongs to groups, while cooperation is typical of a network. The significant difference is that, in the former, the individual is subsumed under the whole, and becomes a part of the whole, which is created by conjoining a collection of largely identical members, while in the latter, the individual retains his or her individuality, while the whole is an emergent property of the collection of individuals.

I have identified four major dimensions distinguishing the role of the individual in collaboration from the role of the individual in cooperation: ...

In terms of freedom, it is my belief that a cooperative network engenders greater freedom. This is because..."
collaboration  stephendownes  cooperation  groups  networks  networktheory 
april 2010 by robertogreco
All Hands Meetings « High Tech Coaching [I'm wondering what this implies for classroom situations like ours.]
"Getting everyone in one room together is a tradition that starts when a company is small, and often it continues in the same format well past the point that it's an efficient use of everyone's time. For a tiny startup, you can go around the room and have everyone talk about what they're up to, and coordinate who's doing what. It has a kind of charming informality, and since there aren't too many people there, it's not going to take too long. As a company gets bigger, that format starts to break down, usually at around 10-15 people."
management  meetings  organization  growth  projectmanagement  administration  tcsnmy  leadership  lcproject  classsize  groups  via:migurski 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Why Group Norms Kill Creativity | PsyBlog
"So of course schools kill creativity, of course politicians are fighting over the middle ground, of course most TV programmes are the same and of course all our high streets are identical. People are social animals who work in groups and, especially with the advance of globalisation, the number of groups that govern or control our world has shrunk. These groups naturally kill creativity, or at least redefine it as conformity.
groupthink  psychology  behavior  groups  teams  teamwork  productivity  sociology  creativity  innovation  collaboration  conformity  cv  individual  groupnorms 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Why group norms kill creativity - elearnspace [quote from:]
"Unfortunately groups only rarely foment great ideas because people in them are powerfully shaped by group norms: the unwritten rules which describe how individuals in a group ‘are’ and how they ‘ought’ to behave. Norms influence what people believe is right and wrong just as surely as real laws, but with none of the permanence or transparency of written regulations…the unwritten rules of the group, therefore, determined what its members considered creative. In effect groups had redefined creativity as conformity."
creativity  collaboration  pedagogy  psychology  management  innovation  conformity  groupthink  trends  genius  groups  diversity  teamwork  teams 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Cass Sunstein on deliberation and extremism
"It's conventional wisdom that groups generate ideas and plans more moderate than those of individuals. Groups and discussion encourage compromise, smooth out extremes, and guarantee moderation. It is also one of the unspoken assumptions of facilitation and group-oriented scenario work. Facilitation and scenario-building, the thinking goes, builds a sense of collective spirit by helping groups develop a shared vision of the future.
moderation  groups  planning  groupthink  ideas  futurism  alexsoojung-kimpang  psychology  extremes 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Technium: Ethnic Technology
"It is puzzling why a particular technology does not spread everywhere throughout the world once invented. Why didn’t the plow, for instance, or backstrap looms, or the buttress arch, or any number of thousands of ancient inventions spread to all parts of the world once they had been refined? If they were truly advantageous, why would not their benefits ripple through a culture at the speed of news? After a century or two, any worthwhile invention should be able to cross a mountain or valley. We know from archeological remains that trade moved steadily, while innovations did not. Instead the spread of technology has always been uneven, even among places with similar resources, geography, climate and culture. It is very common for an innovation to be held up in one place and not cross into another region even as other innovations overtake it on the same route. It is almost as if technology had an ethnic dimension."
kevinkelly  technology  culture  anthropology  history  psychology  ethnicity  identity  innovation  craft  groups  customs 
march 2009 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Magazine | Size matters - smaller is better: Want to go large on housing, schools, prisons, hospitals or simply pricetags? Bad idea - keeping a lid on size is the way to go, says Katharine Whitehorn.
"they told Belisarius that an army of 100,000 troops was mustering against him, he calmly said: "Very few generals can manage an army of 100,000." And when they said: "It's now 150,000", he'd say: "Even fewer generals can manage an army of 150,000." Exactly...The question of size is not just about organisational efficiency. It also affects what motivates people to do what they do...I've heard it said that 11 is the maximum useful unit, for example, for those asked to do anything really dangerous and difficult. The same number for frontline soldiers and people 100 feet down a mine. A man will put himself at serious risk to save one of his mates, but not for the 29th miner down the line. ""No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back," said anthropologist Margaret Mead. Communes aren't in fashion right now, it's conglomerates and global empires. But in the end we can all relate only to a certain number of people; a unity more or less like a family."
size  numbers  community  family  connectivity  complexity  groups  organizations  tcsnmy  leadership  margaretmead  society  management  administration  coordination  military  business  control  brain  history  families  creditcrunch  2009  corporations  growth  architecture  advice  via:preoccupations 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: The power and fragility of groups
"Groups are powerful... but for all their power, they're also fragile. University of Washington academics Will Felps and Terence Mitchell constructed a very interesting experiment to show just how fragile they are, by demonstrating the effect of "bad apples" on the effectiveness of small groups."
groups  behavior  psychology  administration  leadership  productivity  effectiveness  management 
february 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: the invention of everybody / here comes air
"So much of the debate about new media, deaths of media, blah blah blah, is about what's the new model going to be? If it's not A, then what's B? when of course, there probably won't be a single dominant model, there'll be tons of different ones. Old ones, new ones, all mixed together, often within the same organisation. At the moment our organisational options are limited: there's Government, The Corporation, The Charity and The Cooperative. And that's about it. The internet means that (as Mr Shirky says) Group Action Just Got Easier but as anyone who tries to start a new sort of organisation will tell you, the legal niceties haven't caught up with that yet."

[Same can be said about schools.]
russelldavies  stevenjohnson  clayshirky  choice  innovation  options  schools  media  education  communities  networks  ideas  business  books  internet  web2.0  groups 
february 2009 by robertogreco
2000 Owens Sutton - Meetings as Status Contests [.pdf]
"This paper develops a conceptual perspective describing the status orders that exist in face-to-face groups. We discuss the existence of status orders, how movement within them occurs, and how the presence of these orders affects what happens within a group and within the organization in which a group is embedded."
meetings  2000  study  status  administration  management  leadership  groups  groupdynamics  organizations  filetype:pdf  media:document 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Nike Playmaker
"Take the hassle out of organising football." Smart move here by Nike, providing tools to make play easier.
football  nike  collaboration  groups  googlemaps  services  organization  management  messenging  sms  email  coordination  participatory  participation  play  sports 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Zapproved: A Lightweight Meeting Killer - ReadWriteWeb
"Want to go to fewer meetings at work? By making group decision making faster, easier and more accountable, new app Zapproved may help you avoid hours of painful face to face drudgery or endless email loose ends and get back to work. Zapproved is a lightweight hosted decision making service, it's essentially like Evite for approval processes."
meetings  onlinetoolkit  decisionmaking  groups  social  work 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity. Many-to-Many:
"Process is the feature creep of organizations. ... groups have to have process. ... insidious ... each additional check in or form seems to cost little & add much ... cumulative overhead ... can hamstring an organization, almost without their noticing"
via:preoccupations  productivity  management  administration  efficiency  bureaucracy  process  business  leadership  organizations  lcproject  community  work  simplicity  groups  clayshirky 
july 2008 by robertogreco
PdF2008 Talks: Doug Rushkoff on the New Renaissance
"argues there is no such thing as "personal democracy"...genuine democratic discourse can only be participatory & collective...real democracy isn't just blogging and commenting, it's treating the entire world as "open source" and remakable by direct parti
democracy  branding  politics  opensource  participatory  motivation  power  media  history  networks  douglasrushkoff  collective  groups  renaissance  activism  authority  broadcast 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Inklings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford...between early 1930s & late 1949...regular members... J. R. R. "Tollers" Tolkien, C. S. "Jack" Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien's so
literature  history  authors  inklings  groups  learning  community  scenius 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Scenius, or Communal Genius: "the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius."
"Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes. Brian Eno suggested the word to convey the extreme creativity that groups, places or "scenes" can occasionally generate." "When it happens, honor and protect it."
brianeno  kevinkelly  community  creativity  education  learning  lcproject  genius  culture  intelligence  organic  scenius  words  neologisms  collaboration  groups  art  environment  crowdsourcing 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Power League | Home
"Create your own online leagues or use our existing ones (below). Power League is a versatile resource that lets you ask tough questions, stimulates debate and creates a visual league table based on votes gathered across your group. Start your own league
teaching  power  influence  popularity  social  groups  onlinetoolkit  learning  technology  elearning  voting 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Austin Chronicle: Screens: The Serious Play in Saving the World: Gaming gets on the sustainability bandwagon
"Integrating games based on cooperative, collaborative design with localized social networks and group-forming activity could result in powerful community development, online and off-line. As new sustainability-focused, technology-mediated communities evo
sustainability  gaming  community  games  cooperation  collaboration  seriousgames  environment  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  groups  via:hrheingold 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Subtraction: Great Numbers, Not So Great Design
"it’s my belief that you just can’t get great design out of a design agency with a staff larger than a dozen or two." - There's that 12-15 person threshold again.
khoivinh  design  groups  collaboration  work  groupsize  productivity  creativity  administration  management  leadership  focus  business  small  innovation  happiness  simplicity  freelancing 
may 2008 by robertogreco
In Nature, And Maybe The Corner Office, Scientists Find That Generalists Can Thrive
“there are conditions under which it helps to have generalists, especially for fairly small groups...might have to pay them more, they might often do the wrong task, but if you don’t have them, whole notion of specialization leading to greater economic productivity might actually be wrong.”

[see also: ]
generalists  business  biology  specialization  math  research  specialists  labor  groups  organizations  management  administration  leadership 
may 2008 by robertogreco
If you’re working in a big group, you’re fighting human nature - (37signals)
"According to...Antony Jay, there are centuries of evidence to support idea that small groups are most efficient...humans have worked in small groups, 5-15 people, as hunters & farmers for hundreds of generations....ideal group size is a ten-group"
37signals  management  business  organizations  groups  work  lcproject  psychology  dynamics  efficiency  teams  collaboration  productivity  entrepreneurship 
april 2008 by robertogreco
The Strength of Weak Ties » Tragedy of the Commons - "The more I think about all this Twitter nonsense, the more I think about fundamentals..."
"Writing. Commenting. Reading in your aggregator. Putting links into, supporting that network. Reading research. Reading outside of ecochamber. Reflecting, questioning, getting uncomfortable...challenging assumptions...Personal growth"
twitter  technology  social  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  professionaldevelopment  behavior  teaching  learning  groups  online  internet  rss  aggregator 
april 2008 by robertogreco
apophenia: musing about social networks and g/local cultures
"People are expected to be outraged that box stores are costing neighbors jobs, but what if you don't know your neighbors...local store [owners]? Lacking personal connection or liberal guilt, doesn't it make sense to save money instead of support local?"
community  localization  suburbia  suburbs  socialmedia  socialnetworking  trends  networks  local  activism  economics  groups  association 
april 2008 by robertogreco
game girl advance: Twitter as a Tool of Mob Rule
"I don't believe that any of us are immune to the pressure of group action. And now I think we see from the Zuckerman keynote that technology creates its own special place where mob psychology can flourish."
twitter  psychology  mobs  groups  society 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Ten Commandments for Game Development Education
"shalt not give tests, nor be dogmatic in doctrine; shalt reward precision & punish hand-waving; shalt require teamwork; shalt permit failure & encourage them to learn from it.; shalt encourage thinking outside box; integrate all the disciplines"
academia  education  lcproject  gaming  games  gamedesign  programming  videogames  collaboration  failure  risktaking  thinking  teaching  groups  interdisciplinary 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Power League | About
"By repeatedly casting votes, students create league, ranked in order of most powerful, important, popular, influential....results often unexpected...surprised to see how peers voted...good starting point for discussion. Why does this person have more pow
learning  teaching  via:grahamje  power  influence  voting  popularity  social  groups  onlinetoolkit 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky: Here Comes Everybody at RSA. Strange Attractor: Picking out patterns in the chaos
"We have reached an age when this stuff is technologically boring enough to be socially interesting. It's not about gee-whiz adoption that we can do x. The book in one bullet point: Group action just got a lot easier."
activism  collaboration  people  flashmobs  clayshirky  organization  social  technology  via:russelldavies  groups 
march 2008 by robertogreco
You Weren't Meant to Have a Boss
"You can adjust the amount of freedom you get by scaling size of company you work for...start company, most of first 10 employees, almost as much freedom as founders. Even company w/ 100 people will feel different from 1 w/ 1000."
business  development  culture  paulgraham  groups  hierarchy  work  management  administration  society  nature  startup  jobs  motivation  entrepreneurship  organization  programming  freedom  workplace  projectmanagement  employment  education  economics  careers  success  organizations 
march 2008 by robertogreco
russell davies: blog all dog-eared pages: here comes everybody
"many good ideas are wasted because they're not institutionally possible...People connected to groups beyond own can expect to find themselves delivering valuable ideas, seeming to be gifted with creativity."
community  organization  process  russelldavies  email  hierarchy  organizations  administration  management  groups  people  interdisciplinary  creativity  clayshirky  work 
february 2008 by robertogreco
TED | Talks | Howard Rheingold: Way-new collaboration (video)
"talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media & collective action - how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of natural human instinct to work as a group...humans have been banding together to work collectively since days of hunting mast
howardrheingold  complexity  competition  cooperation  economics  communication  collaboration  community  media  open  business  wikipedia  human  behavior  groups  social 
february 2008 by robertogreco
"Doodle is a Web-based service for finding suitable dates for group events (e.g., an appointment, a conference call, a family reunion, etc.). Doodle is particularly useful to people who do not use a common calendar or groupware system."
via:javierarbona  applications  freeware  generator  projectmanagement  scheduling  management  meetings  community  coordination  collaboration  calendar  webapps  services  planning  productivity  groups  free  time 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Masters of Collaboration
"The 21st century design environment trades individual stars for teamwork uniting designers, engineers, anthropologists, and others"
design  collaboration  anthropology  engineering  experience  experiencedesign  work  groups  gamechanging  creativity 
january 2008 by robertogreco
wrapping up 2007 (28 December 2007, Interconnected)
"Stafford Beer in his book Platform for Change. Beer talks about social institutions such as 'schooling,'... These are self-organising and self-regulating systems. As their environment changes, how do they not collapse? How are they not sensitive to shock?

Beer says that an ultrastable social institution will do one of three things in response to change:

1. It will change internally and still survive (I guess this is like scouting or soccer, both institutions that have changed minimally).

2. The institution's internal form will change, but its relationships to other institutions will remain. Perhaps this is like prisons, which have the same relationship to the population, police, courts and government... but operate internally very differently.

3. Dramatic change occurs. This makes me think of the Church: it has changed enormously internally and in its external relations over the last millennium, yet it's still the Church."
semanticweb  socialsoftware  markets  structures  mattwebb  lcproject  marketing  gamechanging  social  web2.0  trends  thinking  theory  technology  groups  future  organizations  simplicity  coding  science  computers  systems  collapse  institutions  society  change  reform  deschooling  staffordbeer  complexity  environment  evolution  flocking  cars  transportation  rfid  gps  physics  astronomy  astrophysics  nanotechnology  ultrastablesystems  progress  phenotropics  search  microformats  patterns  drugs  advertising  browser  web  internet  thermodynamics  freemarkets  capitalism  behavior  economics  modeling  identity  reputation  sharing  networks  networking  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  self  human  memory  forgetting  play  flickr  webdev  development  webdesign  experience  ux  flow  iphoto  interaction  design  radio  typologies  words  motivation  risk  abstraction  schooling  schools  2007  browsers 
december 2007 by robertogreco
You may be a community freeloader if you… | ::HorsePigCow:: marketing uncommon
"q: What do you call someone who joins communities, adds friends and generally uses social networking tools to promote their own interests solely? a: a community freeloader"
etiquette  online  netiquette  facebook  socialnetworks  social  community  networking  comments  society  groups 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues
"Groups are distributive – money, information, power, everything flows from the center, an authority, and it’s distributed through the members. Networks are distributed. In a network, there is no locus of knowledge. There is no place that knowledge an
groups  networks  stephendownes  definitions  vles  google  internet  web  online  social  learning  education  lcproject  unschooling  walledgardens  colleges  universities 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Cyberbullying Suicide Stokes the Internet Fury Machine
"Cyberbullying case leads to a teen girl's suicide, and an internet mob forms to take justice into its own hands. Experts say it's just the latest example of a social imperative running amok online."
activism  cyberbullying  vigilantism  mob  socialscience  socialnetworking  myspace  cyberspace  behavior  human  groups  internet  online  web  justice  society 
november 2007 by robertogreco
MIT World » : Collective Intelligence
"patterns uncovered in the data...demonstrated the significance of social dynamics in workplace productivity. Certain individuals acted as information bottlenecks; others as polarizers, group thinkers, or gossip mongers."
collaboration  collective  collectiveintelligence  work  productivity  distributed  intelligence  semantic  organizations  administration  leadership  groups 
november 2007 by robertogreco
From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm - New York Times
"By studying army ants — as well as birds, fish, locusts and other swarming animals — Dr. Couzin and his colleagues are starting to discover simple rules that allow swarms to work so well."
animals  behavior  swarms  groups  intelligence  ants  fish  insects 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Maeda's SIMPLICITY: Wisdom from Ghana
"Leader is future-oriented, mapping out a long-term direction for hir (his/her) team...often has abundant personal charisma that inspires...will remain free to envision the next stage, whilst reserving the option to lead by example."
leadership  management  administration  organizations  groups  business  education  schools  johnmaeda 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Networking knowledge, net IQ and whuffies
"six factors as being most important to networking IQ: group participation, referral behavior, online lifestyle, personal mobile computing, locative activity, computer connectivity"
networks  networkiq  iq  social  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  online  internet  locative  location  location-based  intelligence  networking  groups  participatory  behavior  mobile  phones  connectivity  learning  work  lcproject  gamechanging 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Edu_conferences: Just looking for an excuse to be together
"It all makes me wonder if the best outcomes for interaction (and Downes’ networking) will come from those edu_conferences where we don’t take the conference itself or the inherent power hierarchies of keynoters, spotlighters, presenters and attendees too seriously.

Conferences where we give ourselves fully to the first person we meet by the coffee urn, or in the smokers hideout, at the conference dinner, or outside in the conference venue lobby who challenges our thinking, disagrees or offers feedback – where this moment of direct encounter (that we hold onto), attracts others – attracts Sidorkins curious third, and fourth and fifth other … Conferences “Where to be yourself is all that you can do”.

What would we blog about then?"
conferences  education  learning  homophily  interaction  networks  groups  artichokeblog  pamhook 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Sidorkin The Pedagogy of The Interhuman
"We educators, teachers, and parents take the job of upbringing too seriously. Schooling should, in reality, just be an excuse for human beings to get together. What we really should do is to give ourselves fully to the children, to catch that simple mome
education  learning  parenting  teaching  children  schools  curriculum  groups  networks  social  sociology  psychology  neighborhoods  utopia  homophily 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: Homophily and Association
"Finding reflective connections is more difficult. We do not have automated back-propagation and Boltzmann mechanisms on the internet - it's possible that we won't be able to. Right now, the only mechanisms we have are messy things like conferences and ch
homophily  networks  groups  internet  online  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  theory  psychology  association  relationships 
october 2007 by robertogreco
SocialTech: The limits of homophily
"what we miss by reinforcing homophily as the prime directive online. To give a pretty flip example, I don't have a huge amount of friends over at, but I certainly don't want to make friends with anyone who listens to exactly the same music as I d
homophily  socialsoftware  networks  groups  behavior  human  social  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  learning  diversity 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Bogong Moths in Sydney, Starlings in Rome and Edu_Bloggers at Conferences
"We enjoy a flutter of moths, and a murmuration of starlings .... so what would fit best for a collection of like minded homophilic bloggers ..."
comments  education  edubloggers  blogging  conferences  sharedexperience  homophily  collective  behavior  groups  starlings  words  organizations  teaching  artichokeblog  pamhook 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Headshift :: Social tools for Internal Communications
"network productivity...still revolutionary to people working in lonely methodology. We call it social filtering...almost a cliche that in networks of bloggers, useful information begins to find you rather than the other way around
socialsoftware  communication  collaboration  business  systems  networks  networking  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  productivity  tools  internet  web  online  collaborative  social  work  organizations  blogs  blogging  collective  intelligence  knowledge  groups  bookmarking  bookmarks  software  process  administration  management 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Creative Generalist - Everything is Miscellaneous
"perhaps the part of this most relevant to the generalist discussion is how the third-order diminishes experts' exclusivity over defining relevant knowledge"
davidweinberger  generalists  tags  tagging  knowledge  experts  information  specialization  web  internet  taxonomy  classification  folksonomy  socialnetworks  complexity  sorting  libraries  culture  wikipedia  statistics  groups  identity  self  clustering  marketing  specialists 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Once More Into the Fray -- Kaplan 2007 (927): 2 -- ScienceNOW
"most animals run away from the dangers of the African savannas, but meerkats race toward them...Scientists thought they were protecting their colony, but new research suggests that it may be a way for younger meerkats to learn more about their enemies."
animals  behavior  groups  social  meerkats 
september 2007 by robertogreco
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