“Hyperfocus is an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses consciousness on a narrow subject, separate from objective reality and onto subjective mental planes, daydreams, concepts, fiction, the imagination, and other objects of the mind.”—Wikipedia
A student of the leadership literature would never suspect that at the same time that Weber was codifying the tenets of rationalist bureaucracy, Freud was forcing all of us in the West to examine the power of the unconscious. This despite the near universality of our organizational experience: we all have worked for someone whose emotional “complexities” required us to spend enormous energy on workarounds. Our one shared blind spot is of course the fact that none of us considers that we are that person to someone else.
There are a lot of startups that monetize enabling the bored and wealthy to refine their competition for social status through conspicuous consumption. These startups add nothing to society. In fact, they detract from it by diverting more of our world’s scarce resources towards a zero-sum game. Meanwhile, the economy is going to hell. Which means people are suffering and dying.
If you are planning on working at a startup like this, please don’t. In a world in crisis, it’s unethical to waste your talents on this sort of thing when you could be helping to make the world a better place. In our increasingly interconnected world, the era of the atomic agent who is irresponsible for those beyond their purview is over. It never existed in the first place. All blood is on all our hands; but our responsibility for the fate of the world is proportional to our power within it. So use your power for something good for people. That means you, technically-enabled social media browsing professional class. Get your head in the game.
“Although not insensitive to respondent’s concern that the term miracle is commonly used in situations short of changing water into wine, we must conclude that the use of “electronic miracle” in the context of respondent’s grossly exaggerated claims would lead to consumers to give added credence to the overall suggestion that this device is superior to other types of antennae”—Jay Norris, 91 F.T.C. 751, 847 n.20 (1978)
“Is this as good as it gets, I wondered? Not every good thing in life was present — my beloved was not with me, for instance. Quotidian worries waited in the wings — would there be another storm? Would the roof leak? Had I run out of my beta blocker, with the drug store closed until Tuesday? And how much would it matter if I had?
But yes, I thought, this is as good as it gets. Every luminous moment has worries waiting in the wings, as every dark one is fringed with the absent pleasures against whose gorgeous ghostly outlines it stands out, visible only because of them. Sometimes beauty can only be felt in its own absence. Sometimes love can only be experienced as longing. It is what it is, my friend used to say, and it is not what it is not. Every moment is as good as that moment can get. And what is life, but a string of them?”—The Geranium Farm, via Susan Benthall
Most networkers think of individual persons as being embedded in networks that are embedded
in networks that are embedded in networks. Networkers describe such structures as “multi-
modal.” In our school example, individual students and teachers form one mode, classrooms a
second, schools a third, and so on. A data set that contains information about two types of social
entities (say persons and organizations) is a two mode network.
Of course, this kind of view of the nature of social structures is not unique to social networkers.
Statistical analysts deal with the same issues as “hierarchical” or “nested” designs. Theorists
speak of the macro-meso-micro levels of analysis, or develop schema for identifying levels of
analysis (individual, group, organization, community, institution, society, global order being
perhaps the most commonly used system in sociology). One advantage of network thinking and
method is that it naturally predisposes the analyst to focus on multiple levels of analysis
simultaneously. That is, the network analyst is always interested in how the individual is
embedded within a structure and how the structure emerges from the micro-relations between
individual parts. The ability of network methods to map such multi-modal relations is, at least
potentially, a step forward in rigor.
”—Hanneman, Introduction to Social Network Methods
“In 1947, Carasso achieved a major breakthrough with the introduction of the "Fruit on the Bottom" yogurt product; its perfect balance of tartness and sweetness suited the American palate and made it an instant success.”—Marquis et al., The Dannon Company: Marketing and Corporate Responsibility