25 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2021
  2. Sep 2021
    1. The minds of other people can also supplement our limited individual memory. Daniel Wegner, a psychologist at Harvard, named this collective remembering “transactive memory.” As he explained it, “Nobody remembers everything. Instead, each of us in a couple or group remembers some things personally — and then can remember much more by knowing who else might know what we don’t.” A transactive memory system can effectively multiply the amount of information to which an individual has access. Organizational research has found that groups that build a strong transactive memory structure — in which all members of the team have a clear and accurate sense of what their teammates know — perform better than groups for which that structure is less defined.

      Transactive memory is how a group encodes, stores, and shares knowledge. Members of a group may be aware of the portions of knowledge that others possess which can make them more efficient.

      How can we link this to Cesar Hidalgo's ideas about the personbyte, etc.?

      How would this idea have potentially helped oral cultures?

      She uses the example of a trauma resuscitation team helping to shorten hospital stays, but certainly there are many examples in the corporate world where corporate knowledge is helpful in decreasing time scales for particular outcomes.

    2. One last resource for augmenting our minds can be found in other people’s minds. We are fundamentally social creatures, oriented toward thinking with others. Problems arise when we do our thinking alone — for example, the well-documented phenomenon of confirmation bias, which leads us to preferentially attend to information that supports the beliefs we already hold. According to the argumentative theory of reasoning, advanced by the cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, this bias is accentuated when we reason in solitude. Humans’ evolved faculty for reasoning is not aimed at arriving at objective truth, Mercier and Sperber point out; it is aimed at defending our arguments and scrutinizing others’. It makes sense, they write, “for a cognitive mechanism aimed at justifying oneself and convincing others to be biased and lazy. The failures of the solitary reasoner follow from the use of reason in an ‘abnormal’ context’” — that is, a nonsocial one. Vigorous debates, engaged with an open mind, are the solution. “When people who disagree but have a common interest in finding the truth or the solution to a problem exchange arguments with each other, the best idea tends to win,” they write, citing evidence from studies of students, forecasters and jury members.

      Thinking in solitary can increase one's susceptibility to confirmation bias. Thinking in groups can mitigate this.

      How might keeping one's notes in public potentially help fight against these cognitive biases?

      Is having a "conversation in the margins" with an author using annotation tools like Hypothes.is a way to help mitigate this sort of cognitive bias?

      At the far end of the spectrum how do we prevent this social thinking from becoming groupthink, or the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility?

  3. Jul 2021
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  7. Oct 2020
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  13. Sep 2016
    1. First, according to Trumbull, Olson underestimates diffuse groups’ ability to develop compelling narratives about how they serve the public interest. In fact, weak, diffuse groups have a paradoxical political advantage: precisely because they are weak and diffuse, the public sees them as less self-interested and thus comparatively trustworthy. Second, Olson also underestimates the power of ideological motivation, rather than just money and concentration, to spur activism. Third, “diffuse interests can be represented without mobilization,” thanks to activism by politicians and government officials who take up their cause. (FDR started a federal pension program at a time when “retirees,” as a self-identified social class, did not yet exist. The program created the constituency, rather than the other way around.) Fourth, weak or diffuse interests can link up with concentrated groups to amplify their effectiveness, as when consumers align with exporters to oppose trade protections or when free-speech advocates join with political parties to oppose campaign-finance limits.