Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Making Groups, Leading Them, Treating Others Well
Some writing I've appreciated in the past year, on leadership, and on understanding others and treating them well:
synecdochic's "dreamwidth as vindication of a few cherished theories":
His decision to take energy away from his marathon coding sessions and put it into creating a positive and collaborative environment is a major reason why DW development is what it is today, and it was more than worth the extra few weeks' delay in going from closed beta to open beta.
"The Spy Who Came Home: Why an expert in counterterrorism became a beat cop" by Ben Taub:
Espionage hinges on human relationships. "The best assets I ever ran weren't in it for money," Skinner said. "They had this urge to be part of something bigger. It wasn't patriotism -- they just wanted to be part of a high-functioning team.”
Mary Anne Mohanraj's acceptance speech for her Locus Special Award for Community Outreach & Development:
So we saw a need, we came together with a group of friends and like-minded folks we gathered on the internet, and we made a thing to fix it. One of the best aspects of our genre is that it is full of such people and the organizations they’ve built.
Ada Palmer's "A Better Way of Understanding the Debate Over Free Speech on Campus":
In the nationwide debate over campus free speech, a lot of apparent disagreement derives from failing to separate the objects of study, and the habitat where study takes place.....the conditions needed to cultivate hard thought and judgment are not the same for all students...
"Doing ethical research with vulnerable users" by Bernard Tyers shares moving stories of talking with compulsive gamblers (some of whom did not know they were compulsive gamblers at the start of their conversations).
Fred Clark, Slacktivist, writes about how to deal with the dishonest weights of post-transaction surveys in "All fives (ready or not, here I come)". "You are asked questions in a language of lies and are thus forced to respond in kind."
And I deeply appreciated this essay on categories, pain, and an approach to getting better at treating others well. (This is a religious sermon that focuses on humility/love/empathy; feel free to skip, of course.) "'You're not a thing at all,' or 'The political implications of Dunbar's Number.'" is a sermon that Doug Muder (the Weekly Sift guy) presented on May 12, 2019. It's about cooperation, stories, parts we play and expect, Tolstoy, Disney, gender, inadequate and obsolete scripts, and the ideal of the perfect rulebook. Also discussed on MetaFilter.
"We want to belong, but we also want to be individuals .... I think we need to recognize that no matter how necessary it might be to simplify our experience somehow, there's always going to be an injustice in putting people into categories and dealing with them through roles and scripts. That's an injustice that we both suffer and inflict on others."
I also liked the phrase "to come into right relationship with our own pain".