The New Groupthink has overtaken our workplaces, our schools and our religious institutions. Anyone who has ever needed noise-canceling headphones in her own office or marked an online calendar with a fake meeting in order to escape yet another real one knows what I’m talking about. Virtually all American workers now spend time on teams and some 70 percent inhabit open-plan offices, in which no one has “a room of one’s own.” During the last decades, the average amount of space allotted to each employee shrank 300 square feet, from 500 square feet in the 1970s to 200 square feet in 2010…
SOME teamwork is fine and offers a fun, stimulating, useful way to exchange ideas, manage information and build trust.
But it’s one thing to associate with a group in which each member works autonomously on his piece of the puzzle; it’s another to be corralled into endless meetings or conference calls conducted in offices that afford no respite from the noise and gaze of co-workers. Studies show that open-plan offices make workers hostile, insecure and distracted. They’re also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stress, the flu and exhaustion. And people whose work is interrupted make 50 percent more mistakes and take twice as long to finish it.
"Individual trust beliefs are related to individual trustworthiness, which is related to the values parents transmit to their children. Interestingly, anchoring of beliefs to inherited values continues to persist even when current beliefs are contradicted by experience. Obviously, if someone forms trust beliefs about an unknown person by attributing to others his own trustworthiness, he is bound to make mistakes, unless it happens that his own trustworthiness is close to the average trustworthiness of the unknown person. In fact, in a second, closely related experiment we show that this process of belief formation can have substantial financial costs. More trustworthy participants, because they are overly-trusting, earn about 20% less on average in our experiment; on the other hand, more untrustworthy participants, because they are unwilling to expose themselves to social risk, also forgo about 20% of earnings compared to those with more moderate trust and trustworthiness."
"The Lotka–Volterra equation suggests that all things being equal, gangs will divide up space equally (and that may not mean along neat street boundaries). This process occurs when gangs experience more competitive animosity toward outsiders (other gangs) than among themselves. But, importantly, it takes very little competition to create these territories in the first place, or even to maintain them. “Every time there’s a gang-on-gang shooting, everybody talks about how there’s an ‘all-out gang war,’” Brantingham. “But no, the numbers don’t seem to suggest that."
"In guiding early social leanings, accent trumps race. A white American baby would rather accept food from a black English-speaking adult than from a white Parisian, and a 5-year-old would rather befriend a child of another race who sounds like a local than one of the same race who has a foreign accent. Other researchers in the Spelke lab are studying whether babies expect behavioral conformity among members of a group (hey, the blue character is supposed to be jumping like the rest of the blues, not sliding like the yellow characters); whether they expect other people to behave sensibly (if you’re going to reach for a toy, will you please do it efficiently rather than let your hand meander all over the place?); and how babies decide whether a novel object has “agency” (is this small, fuzzy blob active or inert?)."
"As an integral aspect of everyday life, social media is increasingly difficult to opt out of."
"The line and the causality between the person and their documentation on social media has been upended, twisted over, turned inside out, blurred and imploded into a state of mutual coexistence without clear division or causal precedence. We need to begin our analysis of social media documentation with the assumption that experience and documentation are not separate, but mutually co-determining. The causality goes both ways: Life has now become as subservient to the document as the document is subservient to life."
"We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of. The Web is a process, happening continuously and continuously transforming before our eyes; with us and through us. Technologies appear and then dissolve in the peripheries, websites are built, they bloom and then pass away, but the Web continues, because we are the Web; we, communicating with one another in a way that comes naturally to us, more intense and more efficient than ever before in the history of mankind."
People who used Facebook largely to socialize tended to be younger, more social and more neurotic—suggesting that Facebook habitués use the site partly as a tool to alleviate loneliness, the researchers said. People who used Twitter to socialize scored high on openness and sociability but low on conscientiousness.
Participants who used Twitter to seek or spread information, as opposed to socializing, were high on measures of conscientiousness and intellectual appetite and low on neuroticism; Facebook information-gatherers were less curious.