Gilbert, when he published his article, noted that being able to identify hierarchy from the text of emails could have practical applications. A company could apply his methods to its own internal communications and discover informal structures of power within its ranks. Maybe a mid-level manager is laying the groundwork for a coup, gaining authority over subordinates on other teams....Or, less cynically, you could identify promising young hires for promotion: “Imagine a study investigating who in an organization disproportionately attracts upward language. Do they move up the ladder faster? [more inside]
"I would advise you when You do fight Not to act like Tygers and Bears as these Virginians do - Biting one anothers Lips and Noses off, and gowging one another - that is, thrusting out one anothers Eyes, and kicking one another on the Cods, to the Great damage of many a Poor Woman." Thus, Charles Woodmason, an itinerant Anglican minister born of English gentry stock, described the brutal form of combat he found in the Virginia backcountry shortly before the American Revolution. Although historians are more likely to study people thinking, governing, worshiping, or working, how men fight -- who participates, who observes, which rules are followed, what is at stake, what tactics are allowed - reveals much about past cultures and societies."Gouge and Bite, Pull Hair and Scratch" The Social Significance of Fighting in the Southern Backcountry [more inside]
One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end. Maybe not soon, but probably before too long; humanity has never before managed to craft an eternal social system, after all, and capitalism is a notably more precarious and volatile order than most of those that preceded it. The question, then, is what will come next.
In an effort to explore the hierarchy and commonalities between maids and those who employ them, Justine Graham and Ruby Rumié created a photo exhibit entitled Lugar Común (Common Place) (pdf, text in spanish) of fifty female Latin-American employer-employee dyads. All women wear white shirts and no accessories. They sit in the same poses. There is no explicit indication of who works for whom. (via) [more inside]
The Hierarchy of Disagreement: Based on Paul Graham's essay "How to Disagree" (prev), the diagram ranks the types of arguments that can be made. Not quite the same as logical fallacies but a useful guide to measure whether you're making a good argument or if "you are an ass hat".
The head of a small company may still choose to be a tyrant; a large organization is compelled by its structure to be one
In an artificial world, only extremists live naturally. Or: You weren't meant to have a boss. On the other hand, maybe you are.
Midaregami: The Japan Hierarchy. The stratified hierarchy of Japanese society is mirrored onto those foreigners who choose to live in Japan. Inspired by The Geek Hierarchy.