qyng's observational notes 2020-11-12T23:21:32.636Z


Comment by qyng on qyng's observational notes · 2020-12-28T22:41:36.914Z · LW · GW

QON #3: — 

A few thoughts: 

1) what people (everyone, but more so those currently in their 20s and 30s) do over the next decade will formulate the backbone of society. As the people who were born too early to capitalise on changes to technology and born too late to experience the golden era of the digital boom, Gen Y and Gen Z have the capacity to understand both worlds i.e. the Bridging Generations. The unique position this creates means pulling forward the ancient into the contemporary, a skill of synthesis and creativity. (Time is a relative construct anyway right)

2) this generation will fail to provide adequate scaffolding for the later generations (Generation Alpha onwards) to the detriment of innovation. The next generation will be formulating on empty air (Peter Thiel's argument). Arguably this 'starting more from scratch' is occurring right now as we need to reformulate 19th Century perspectives (like Victorian-era classrooms) and retranslate them for a technolgical environment instead of just transplanting physical processes into the digital realm and assuming or hoping the mapping is adequate. Maybe this is this century's burning of the great Library of Alexandria to pave the way for the digital. 

Comment by qyng on qyng's observational notes · 2020-11-24T01:00:53.466Z · LW · GW

QON #2: — 

Collective decision-making and the mechanics of trust 

Arguably one thing that has emerged from 2020 has been the concept of trust surfacing from its deep background operations of relationship maintenance. Due to some work on a project earlier in the year, I was able to have the briefest of insights into the dynamics of trust on an organisational playing field, and I don't think I've heard the term being batted about more - demands for more (or even less) of it between various parties, the consequences in the absence of it, multiple strategies for its restoration. At the same time, I don't think I heard any definitions being shared during these discussions.  

Stephen M. R. Covey's "The Speed of Trust" describes the notion as like the water in which fish swim - it's only noticed when it's absent. And only when it's absent do we notice it's tenuousness.

Trust is part of the oil on which society's engines run (how do I know the building won't collapse under my feet, do I really believe this restaurant cleaned their utensils properly). Throughout my project work, it became clear that people were thinking more holistically, more about the human collective, as a unified system. But it also runs deeper than that. With every interaction, decision or non-decision it shifts the fabric of 7.8 billion people and counting ever so slightly. Like the window pane on a rainy day, individual droplets pelt onto the glass gradually until the weight of the collective and gravity inevitably cascades into rivulets, tracking an unpredictable course as it pulls other droplets into its path. The thought itself can become paralysing (but oh wait, that's also indecision, so may as well move) 

So the idea of systems thinking, considering that maybe this solution we're inventing is actually solving a problem of some previous feedback loop and that with this solution will come the development of another loop, is ever important. Especially when it's within almost every discipline where development outpaces governance and regulation. Of course, there are very (very) clever people thinking about and working on these issues, not everyone is a 'bad' agent and there's something to be said about the adaptability of human nature. And also, of course, relative equilibrium won't come without serious losses. 

Comment by qyng on Beware Experiments Without Evaluation · 2020-11-17T13:26:29.710Z · LW · GW

Similar thoughts. How one organisation defines "experiment" may be different to another, or how the employees themselves could interpret (business speak vs weasel). There's also the factors of company values and culture which provide the guardrails for what "experimentation", along with other hefty words such as "productivity" (depth of work vs breadth vs quality vs so on), means to them specifically. Assuming the employees have bought into those values for the most part (and hopefully why they became employees in the first instance) maybe there's an implied, unique understanding of these terms.

Such broad concepts are often used to paint employee satisfaction surveys, and might appear to policy-sneak, but it's easy to miss seemingly unimportant definitional particulars from multiple angles. Not to say that sneaking doesn't occur, and values can definitely be lost in translation, especially if management only takes a top-down approach and stakes the goalposts but doesn't elicit, receive or adequately respond to feedback. The ability to metricise arises from wrangling with the devil in the details, and not every company takes the time to. 

Comment by qyng on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-13T00:00:01.185Z · LW · GW

Hey LessWrong, new member here. I'm a Psych major from Australia who's still figuring out things out. I discovered LW through Effective Altruism through 80 000 hours through.. I've forgotten but most likely Internet stumbling. 

I'd been feeling the itch to write as a way to express and iron out my thoughts, but it's taken me somewhere near a decade to get around to writing anywhere publicly online. So here we are. Looking forward to engaging, discussing and chiming in more with the LW community.

Comment by qyng on qyng's observational notes · 2020-11-12T22:12:46.097Z · LW · GW

QON #1: —

The Internet's such an interesting place, culturally. For instance, the conceptions of age and linguistics.

In conversation, if someone uses a certain word there's a millisecond judgment of whether they're part of the in-group or the out-group. Particular turns of phrase are used by X, Y or Z generations (Alphas can't speak yet, or at least just in babbles) to find familiarity. Understandable, especially in the wild west of the digital landscape where there are no physical bodies to gauge whether another person is a threat. But one of the most interesting things is that this language is taken outside of the digital sphere and utilised as another bonding tactic in someone's repertoire in addition to things like age, body language, clothing, ethnicity.

Another interesting thing is the development of children who are growing up during the technological era. I suspect they're using these signifiers not only to ask "can I relate to you, do you understand me" but also "am I safe". Maybe because underneath the cynicism and dark humour is uncertain attachment because they're essentially parenting themselves (because parents don't understand how to use tech and in fact, are asking or even depending on their kids to figure things out for them), parented by their peers, bonded by the Internet. Or maybe I'm just reading into it.

Regardless, the Internet is facilitating the development of another language, a digital language, and culture in parallel to and transcending the ones already existing.