Author: Doug Belshaw (page 1 of 48)
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."(Mark Twain)
I find this absolutely fascinating. It turns out that some societies actively ‘punish’ those who engage in collaborative and co-operative ventures:
The tragedy of the commons is already well-documented, showing that commonly-owned resources end up suffering if people can free-ride without consequences. The above chart, however, shows that in some cultures, there being a consequence for that free-riding leads to contribution (e.g. Boston, Copenhagen). In others, it makes no difference (e.g. Riyadh, Athens).
Herrmann, Thöni and Gächter speculate that the anti-social punishment may be a form of revenge. You’ve punished me for free-riding so now I’ll punish you just that you know how it feels! And given that I don’t know who the punisher was, I’ll punish all the cooperators who were likely to administer the original punishment in the first place.
I’m less interested in the graphs and the ‘hard’ science than the anecdotal aspects of this post. The author is from Slovakia, and comments:
To get back to Eastern Europe, we’ve used to live under communist regime where all the common causes were appropriated by the state. Any gains from a contribution to a common cause would silently disappear somewhere in the dark corners of the bureaucracy.
Quite the opposite: People felt justified to take stuff from the commons. We even had a saying: “If you don’t steal [from the common property] you are stealing from your family.”
At the same time, stealing from the state was, legally, a crime apart and it was ranked in severity somewhere in the vicinity of murder. You could get ten years in jail if they’ve caught you.
Unsurprisingly, in such an environment, reporting to authorities (i.e. “pro-social punishment”) was regarded as highly unjust — remember the coffee cup example! — and anti-social and there was a strict taboo against it. Ratting often resulted in social ostracism (i.e. “anti-social punishment”). We can still witness that state of affairs in the highly offensive words used to refer to the informers: “udavač”, “donášač”, “práskač”, “špicel”, “fízel” (roughly: “nark”, “rat”, “snoop”, “stool pigeon”).
A perfect example of how the state can cause the co-operation to thrive or dwindle based on governmental policy.
I was looking forward to digging into a new book from the US National Academies Press, which is freely downloadable in return for a (fake?) email address:
There are many reasons to be curious about the way people learn, and the past several decades have seen an explosion of research that has important implications for individual learning, schooling, workforce training, and policy.
In 2000, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition was published and its influence has been wide and deep. The report summarized insights on the nature of learning in school-aged children; described principles for the design of effective learning environments; and provided examples of how that could be implemented in the classroom.
Since then, researchers have continued to investigate the nature of learning and have generated new findings related to the neurological processes involved in learning, individual and cultural variability related to learning, and educational technologies. In addition to expanding scientific understanding of the mechanisms of learning and how the brain adapts throughout the lifespan, there have been important discoveries about influences on learning, particularly sociocultural factors and the structure of learning environments.
How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures provides a much-needed update incorporating insights gained from this research over the past decade. The book expands on the foundation laid out in the 2000 report and takes an in-depth look at the constellation of influences that affect individual learning. How People Learn II will become an indispensable resource to understand learning throughout the lifespan for educators of students and adults.
Thankfully, Stephen Downes has created a slide-based overview of the key points for easier consumption!
During our inter-railing adventure this summer, we visited Zurich in Switzerland. In one of the parks there, we came across a dockless scooter, which we promptly unlocked and had a great time zooming around.
As you’d expect, the greatest density of dockless bikes and scooters — devices that don’t have to be picked up or returned in any specific place — is in San Francisco. It seems that, in their attempts to flood the city and gain some kind of competitive advantage, VC-backed dockless bike and scooter startups are having an unintended effect. They’re helping homeless people move around the city more easily:
Hoarding and vandalism aren’t the only problems for electric scooter companies. There’s also theft. While the vehicles have GPS tracking, once the battery fully dies they go off the app’s map.
“Every homeless person has like three scooters now,” [Michael Ghadieh, who owns electric bicycle shop, SF Wheels] said. “They take the brains out, the logos off and they literally hotwire it.”
I’ve seen scooters stashed at tent cities around San Francisco. Photos of people extracting the batteries have been posted on Twitter and Reddit. Rumor has it the batteries have a resale price of about $50 on the street, but there doesn’t appear to be a huge market for them on eBay or Craigslist, according to my quick survey.
Prof. Sonia Livingstone has written a link-filled post relating to a panel she’s on at the Digital Families 2018 conference. In it, she talks about six myths around children in the digital age:
- Children are ‘digital natives’ and know it all.
- Parents are ‘digital immigrants’ and don’t know anything.
- Time with media is time wasted compared with ‘real’ conversation or playing outside.
- Parents’ role is to monitor, restrict and ban because digital risks greatly outweigh digital opportunities.
- Children don’t care about their privacy online.
- Media literacy is THE answer to the problems of the digital age.
Good stuff, and the post and associated links are well worth checking out.
Source: Parenting for a Digital Future