Weekly Learning: The Social Edition

Fuzzy Concepts

Operationalization: the art and science of making metrics explains that:

Operationalization is the creation of measurable proxies for rigorously investigating fuzzy concepts

Fuzzy concepts like success, anger, love, or the value of design.

Arguably, anything can be measured, right?


We need highly formal rituals in order to make life more democratic argues that:

I hold an unpopular view. I believe, firmly and invariably, that life in the 21st century is too informal and empty of ritual, and that we should encourage and erect more needless formality. Formality, ritual and ceremony – not casual approachability – are among the most effective ways of making the world and its institutions more inclusive and egalitarian. We all need much more formality in our lives.

Formality is useful:

Comfort has won, and most formality is gone. But the freedom of informality comes at a cost. Formality is the bulwark against some of the nastiest human impulses, and acts as a vaccine against our most dangerous tendency: forming in-groups and out-groups.

Formality is beneficial:

Formality gives us something harmless around which to form an in-group: namely, knowledge of the rules of that particular formality, with its own trials of membership and rules of initiation.

What do you think?

Blind Spots

How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots informs:

Our brains fool us all the time. And we typically have no idea that it’s happening.

With loads of fascinating examples you don’t want to miss.

Patriarchal Masculinity

The History of Locker-Room Talk points out:

Men are socialized to put down other men by attacking their manhood.

With some interesting historical digs.

The Last Illusion

The Last Illusion tries to say that illusion can be comforting, but:

…the ultimate cost for such comfort is agency. The more we blame the stars, the gods, the Man, the system, [pick your favorite -ism], or whatever external abstract force for how things turn out, the less compelled we are to plumb our personal role in the matter. By surrendering to pre-packaged explanations, we risk atrophying the one thing we can control: our ability to sense and respond, to evolve.

Microsoft Coffee

Microsoft Coffee is “The Last Corporate Prank Before PR Ruined Everything.”

Refugee Republic

Refugee Republic documents everyday life in a refugee camp.

Sacred Laws

The Seven Sacred Laws is “a colourful and imaginative animated web series that follows a young boy on an Indigenous rite of passage: a vision quest. On his spiritual journey, he meets seven sacred animals that teach him how we as people should live our lives on Mother Earth.”

Coronavirus Origins

Where Did the Coronavirus Come From? What We Already Know is Troubling. is very long, but you probably should read it. In the rare case that you can’t, watch this.


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