Group Patterns

anansi133, I tried to post this link as a reply to one of your com­ments, and LJ burped. Then I decid­ed that it was good enough to deserve its own post, anyway.

Ganked from giza:
A Group Is Its Own Worst Ene­my by Clay Shirky

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. …

…The most char­i­ta­ble descrip­tion of this repeat­ed pat­tern is “learn­ing from expe­ri­ence.” But learn­ing from expe­ri­ence is the worst pos­si­ble way to learn some­thing. Learn­ing from expe­ri­ence is one up from remem­ber­ing. That’s not great. The best way to learn some­thing is when some­one else fig­ures it out and tells you: “Don’t go in that swamp. There are alli­ga­tors in there.” 

Learn­ing from expe­ri­ence about the alli­ga­tors is lousy, com­pared to learn­ing from read­ing, say.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4255

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top