Use primary sources

It turns out there is little more likely to galvanise me to action than a bunch of people doing the intellectual equivalent of moaning about the long toilet queues without actually checking the cubicles.

Life timestamp reminder: you’d just listened to Dangerous by Milo Y. 

Do smart people change faster?

Is there a correlation between the adoption curve and IQ (or whatever measure of general intelligence / compassion / connection making etc you choose to use)?

If this is true, new services start and seem interesting, but for every subsequent member that joins there is a fall in average IQ for for group.

Adoption curve


IQ distribution curve


The peace of the lobotomised or the peace of the contended?

That we’re getting better at not killing each other because of international trade co-dependence is a double edged sword. It brings a certain type of peace, but also eg economic sanctions which keep people incompetent. Peaceful, yes. Prosperous no.

Not having citizens protest in the streets because they’re resigned to its futility is peaceful, too. But passive hopelessnesss is not a precursor to prosperity.

We need to be careful what we measure. Number of premature deaths per capita is good, but once we’re below a certain threshold (and it is 2015 so we should be), other indicators tell us more, eg social mobility, enfranchisement, equality and equity, health, happiness, number of people with hobbies and so on.

Now for some thoughts on sheep.

We are herd animals. We appreciate and value the safety, surplus, and sharing offered by the herd. But that can only happen if we remain as a definable flock – stray too far and we loose the benefits.

When we’ve grazed all that can be grazed and some of the weaker ones are getting hungry, the time comes to move on to greener pastures where we can all flourish.

In shepherding, it’s the outliers which cause problems. Having a tight an unified flock makes things go a lot faster and more people end up where they need to be, faster.  Having outliers and laggards causes uncertainty in the main flock,  and if left unchecked the flock can split in two, three, five.. and none of the sheep end up in the greener pastures. Or maybe a handful make it, but they don’t have the comfort of the herd, and miss their friends.

If we acknowledge that we’re all going to end up in the same place one way or another, we can all get there faster. Knowing this we can be sure not to over-react to the excitable yappy collie of capitalism on one side, and the robust bellow of the big hairy sheepdog of climate change on the other side. We can be sure not to lag behind, or run too far ahead, to help others know why we’re moving, and support and help those who find it hard to move. In short, the more coherent the main group is, the greater and more undeniable the momentum.

Of course this is not a new thought, but so often we find that *we* are the outliers. What can we do to improve *our* coherence, ensure it’s not *us* who are running in different directions sending a split message and making it harder to know where we’re going.

PS there are four main commands which used to control flocks, the two which control direction are: “come-bye” and “away”. Come-by makes the dog run clockwise, away here makes it run anti-clockwise. With the incessant cry of “come buy” it’s no wonder we’ve been going around in circles.