Linked List: March 2016

The Egalitarian Golden Rule

First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’ On some teams, everyone spoke during each task; on others, leadership shifted among teammates from assignment to assignment. But in each case, by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount. ‘‘As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,’’ Woolley said. ‘‘But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.’’

Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues. One of the easiest ways to gauge social sensitivity is to show someone photos of people’s eyes and ask him or her to describe what the people are thinking or feeling — an exam known as the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. People on the more successful teams in Woolley’s experiment scored above average on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. They seemed to know when someone was feeling upset or left out. People on the ineffective teams, in contrast, scored below average. They seemed, as a group, to have less sensitivity toward their colleagues.

‘‘I think, until the off-site, I had separated things in my head into work life and life life,’’ Laurent told me. ‘‘But the thing is, my work is my life. I spend the majority of my time working. Most of my friends I know through work. If I can’t be open and honest at work, then I’m not really living, am I?’’

See also: Five keys to a successful Google team and The Golden Rule.

Table Editor

For quickly setting tables.

Certainty is the Closing of the Mind

Milton Glaser:

One must assume that failure is the way we learn in general. My favorite notion is that certainty is the closing of the mind. The possibility to fail is one of the means by which we have to develop ideas, and to explore possibilities. Once you’re certain of what you’re doing the possibility of change and exploration begins to diminish. So, the idea of being an amateur constantly is an old idea for artists, particularly those who want to continue learning things they don’t already know. The idea of professionalism, which means you achieve a certain kind of success by repeating things over and over until you lose interest in them, is something that has always been frightening. What you see is people who attain a certain proficiency and then repeat that until they lose interest and the game is over.

I guess my model for this is Picasso. He was willing to give up everything once he learned how to do that. It’s always interested me that you can become proficient and once that happens the best thing to do is abandon what you know.


While exploring the Google Design site I came across Resizer — a viewer to test Material Design breakpoints.

Crisis Info Hub

Unofficial open source lightweight CMS from Google and partners that lets organizations and individuals share crisis-relevant information. It powers

What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge

Being a designer, what can you do to improve the reception and integration of refugees in urban areas?

Cloud Minute

I’m exploring Google’s cloud infrastructure and found these informative one-minute long videos. Don’t miss Aja Hammerly’s introduction.

Hypertexthero on Dribbble

Peeks at work-in-progress.

Design as Participation

A consideration of design as a form of participation in complex adaptive systems.

Published on PubPub, MIT’s a soon to be open-sourced platform for transparent publishing.

56 Notes from the Notebooks of Anton Chekhov

Anthony Madrid:

When teachers wish to nurture expressiveness in young people, they (the teachers) should make a point of sharing with the kiddeos selections from writers’ notebooks. These show the beginner that a master’s seedlings don’t look that different from her own. Then teach the beginner to keep such a notebook! Excellent phrases overheard, witty lists, ideas for stories…. The front side of one sheet of paper might be enough to undo the damage of having heard that you either got it or you don’t.

This brought back a childhood memory:

N., a teacher, on her way home in the evening was told by her friend that X. had fallen in love with her, N., and wanted to propose. N., ungainly, who had never before thought of marriage, when she got home, sat for a long time trembling with fear, could not sleep, cried, and towards morning fell in love with X.; next day she heard that the whole thing was a supposition on the part of her friend and that X. was going to marry not her but Y.

Seeing Through Photographs

Free online course from The Museum of Modern Art. I also recommend a couple of books : Looking at Photographs by John Szarkowski and Ways of Seeing by John Berger. The latter is also a BBC series, available in four parts on YouTube.

Lee Friedlander’s Process

Richard Benson on Lee Friedlander’s photography work:

I said, Gee, how did you come to photograph monuments? And he said, ‘Oh’…he said…‘The way I work is I don’t have a project, I photograph everything all the time, and then I look at my contact sheets and I say, I say, “Oh! I’m photographing monuments!”’

Brings this to mind.