Cooperative Overlapping – 7 Takeaways No. 179

Computers are tools. Interupting. Becoming interesting. Not all (whateever). Humor is funny. We are still not OK. Pants on fire.

Two individuals in animated discussion, one interrupting the other.

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1. “People do things to people, using computers.”

Ethics and computing – Michael A. Covington – (Ask Woody newsletter)

I found this a fascinating overview of something people don’t think about enough. It starts simply:

if it’s wrong to do something without a computer, it’s still wrong to do it with a computer.

But then dives into the real issue:

Computers put people in unfamiliar situations, where they don’t know how to apply ethical principles.

He discusses several of those unfamiliar scenarios and how they end up harming people. It’s an interesting read.

Do this: Consider the ethics of what you do.


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2. “Cooperative overlapping”

My Husband Thought I Was Interrupting – “Citizen Reader” – (Medium)

I step on people all the time. Before they get to the end of their sentence, I’ve started mine. Usually it’s because I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to say something. Sometimes it’s because what I have to say is timely with what’s being said Right Now. And sometimes it’s just because I’m a jerk.

It’s a difficult line to walk. Sometimes it’s actually the right thing to do, particularly in animated conversations with friends, which surprised. me. And yet it also touches on something that I also try to keep in mind.

Maybe trying to talk a little less and listen a little more will improve my work relationships

Rarely is something I have to say so critical that it can’t wait, assuming I can remember it in the moment. Listening is likely significantly more important.

Do this: Pay attention to when you overlap/interrupt.


3. “Being interested is how you become interesting.”

9 Ideas from a Weekend With Legends – Sahil Bloom – (The Curiosity Chronicle newsletter)

Bloom attended the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting, and met with several interesting people, and came away with some interesting insight. This one grabbed my attention.

Reflecting on Charlie Munger’s life, Buffett commented that he was so interested in the world that the world eventually became interested in him.

I loved that line.

Interested people are prone to giving their deep attention to something to learn more about it. They open up to the world—they ask great questions and observe.

It’s counter-intuitive. And yet, I think it really is true. When you allow your interest and passion to show, when it causes you to ask questions and interact more deeply with others, and when you have a broad base of interest and passion, you become more interesting yourself.

Do this: Ask questions.

#attention #interest #passion

4. “Not all [X]”

30 Useful Concepts (Spring 2024) – Gurwinder – (The Prism newsletter)

It’s the “NAXALT” fallacy, for “Not All [X] Are Like That.”

“The NAXALT fallacy is the mistaken belief that because someone in the group lies at the extreme, the average does not exist.”

The quote is actually from Jean M. Twenge’s book “Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents—and What They Mean for America’s Future”, and referenced in the newsletter I cite.

It seems so timely, given how often we’ve been hearing “not all men”. It doesn’t aleviate the fact that the average needs to acknowledge the existence of the extreme and perhaps even act on that knowledge. I find it a handy shorthand for remembering that both the average and extremes exist.

Do this: Acknowledge the extreme, and act accordingly.


5. “Humor is disarming”

A Scientist Walks Into a Bar – Sarah Adelman – (Nautilus)

Humor and science seem like strange bedfellows. With a few interesting anecdotes, the author explores how humor can be an important aid, particularly given current misinformation and divisiveness.

delivering information alone is not sufficient to change attitudes and behaviors

The truth does not change minds. Rationally, we very much want and even expect it to, but it won’t. What stands a chance, however, is story and humor.

Humor seems to work, in large part, by flipping some of the same emotional switches that misinformation uses.

It almost feels like a verbal judo move.

Do this: Lighten up.


6. “Once again, everything is not OK.”

What To Do If You Are Not OK – Sophie Lucido Johnson – (Medium)

This short essay covers a few of the internal conflicts we all seem to be feeling right now. Especially the big things like war, and politics, and so much more. Things that are very difficult to wrap our minds around, and thus leave us feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and on the verge of hopelessness.

But I’m pretty sure that big things are not for individuals to wrap their minds around

Some things are just too big. The unfortunate reality, though, is that the big things affect the small things. It often diverts our energy from the things we can wrap our heads around, the things we really do have control over.

I think it’s going to be a while before we can say “everything is OK”, or something closer to it than where are now. Until then understanding what we can and cannot do, about the little things and the big things, is just that much more important.

Do this: Notice where your energy is being spent.


7. “Lying as a form of social lubricant”

Liar liar – Annie Scott – (Midlife Mess with Annie Scott newsletter)

A fascinating reflection on so-called “radical honesty”, and whether it’s even practical in polite society.

promoting pure radical honesty just gives us carte-blanche to insult everyone around us, stick with our own deluded views totally unchallenged and probably end up alone or living in a cult

I gotta say, that feels real. White lies are a surprising part of maintaining relationships and social interactions. So much so that it’s difficult to be totally, completely honest without coming across as (or just being) a jerk. Truth matters, don’t get me wrong, but it, too, can be overdone.

Do this: Tell the truth, but do so with care.

#honesty #truth #lies

Additional Interesting Links

What I’m Reading

In progress:


A full list of my common sources is on the sources page, and the books I’ve read are listed on my Reading List page.

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