Thirty years ago, the philosopher Judith Butler, now 64, published a book that revolutionised popular attitudes on gender. Gender Trouble, the work she is perhaps best known for, introduced ideas of… Open at source
10 min read · Mar 22nd · Sometimes in the debates about how to improve equality in our society, the reason why we should desire equality gets lost. In his classic text The Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill explains why…
“It is not that all processes are supposed to be equally good, or all persons to be equally qualified for everything;” he explains, “but that freedom of individual choice is now known to be the only thing which procures the adoption of the best processes, and throws each operation into the hands of those who are best qualified for it.”
When we take away someone’s freedom to choose where they can best contribute based on cultural biases, it does not benefit society as a whole. It does us no good “to ordain that to be born a girl instead of a boy, any more than to be born black instead of white, or a commoner instead of a nobleman, shall decide the person’s position through all of life.”
He argued that we need to give people a choice as to how they will best contribute to society. If we don’t, we prevent ourselves from accessing the best ideas and contributions.
6 min read · 2020-09-30 · Musical thinking offers a means for composing our lives and a philosophical foundation that embraces both sound and silence
We might not ordinarily say to ourselves, let’s modulate, or let’s change key, but every day we unconsciously conduct our lives as a musical composition, a symphonic masterpiece, an anthem, or a slice of hip-hop.
Composers have one advantage. They control the ending.
5 min read · 2019-11-06 · Sick of round-the-clock work emails and Slack messages? Here’s some hope.
future of work
But early knowledge work was still quite different from our modern professional lifestyle. To get from the “Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” era of long lunches and secretaries screening calls to our current experience of constant frantic connection, we must wait until the arrival of networked desktop computers during the 1980s and 1990s, which connected us digitally through tools like email, followed by the smartphone revolution in the 2000s, which made this connectivity ubiquitous. The approach to cognitive work that Mr. Rheingans’s “radical” plan seeks to upend, in other words, is at best 10 to 20 years old. The history of technology and commerce teaches us that we should be skeptical of the idea that we’ve somehow figured out the best way to conduct knowledge work in the network age in such a short time.
To believe, in other words, that our current approach to knowledge work — which is brand-new on any reasonable scale of business history — is the best way to create valuable information using the human mind is both arrogant and ahistoric. It’s the equivalent of striding into an early-20th-century automobile factory, where each car still required a half day’s worth of labor to produce, and boldly proclaiming, “I think we’ve figured this one out!”
We’re driven to these extremes by some vague sense that all of this frantic communicating will make us more productive.