Wikipedia, Groups, Complexity, Training, & Work
Starting this fall, you'll have a new reason to trust the information you find on Wikipedia: An optional feature called "WikiTrust" will color code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page.
Trial by consensus sounds sketchy, but majority opinion has nearly always dictated society's definition of truth. A 15th century encyclopedia would have insisted that the sun revolves around the earth. The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica asserted that bacteria causes the flu, since viruses hadn't been discovered yet. So perhaps it's not a question of whether to trust consensus. Rather, whose consensus do you want to trust: a handful of experts, or thousands of anonymous internet users and a clever computer algorithm?
We tend to think that group decisions average out the preferences of participants so they would come up with something closer to the Ford Focus. But the psychological research doesn't support this conclusion. In fact group discussions tend to polarize groups so that, rather than people's views always being averaged, their initial preferences can become exaggerated and their final position is often more extreme than it was initially.
Go uses a 19 by 19 Grid, 181 black stones and 180 white stones. While the average number of legal moves in chess at any point is 37, in Go it's between 150 and 250 and rarely falls below 50. The most powerful computer around today would require 5 days to calculate all possible combinations of the next 8 moves (5.12 x 10 combinations). While computers can defeat the best human players, in Go they only manage an intermediate amateur level. The different values of chess pieces make it easier to calculate position, in Go it is far more difficult; the placement of one stone early in the game has an impact on play 100s of moves later. Chess is complicated, Go is complex and the differences give us a way of understanding the different strategies on of robustness and resilience which I raised yesterday.
The title of this post is deliberately provocative. It can be taken in two ways. I do not in any way suggest that real trainers should or should not tweet. The meaning of the title is simply that, apparently, not many real trainers do tweet. There are many training and performance gurus that I admire - few seem to have Twitter accounts. Those that do, do not tweet often; or gave up after one month. On the other hand, many "social learning" advocates are very active of Twitter.
A year ago, the Beehive State became the first in the U.S. to mandate a four-day workweek for most state employees, closing offices on Fridays in an effort to reduce energy costs. The move is different from a furlough in that salaries were not cut; nor was the total amount of time employees work. They pack in 40 hours by starting earlier and staying later four days a week. But on that fifth (glorious) day, they don't have to commute, and their offices don't need to be heated, cooled or lit.
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