This is the transcript and notes to our third Hands-on Philosphy workshop at Becoming, "Business or Friendship?"
-The topic today is business and friendship, and we talked about sharing, but I don't think friendship doesn't equal sharing, emotionally or in relationships. Like I can share things, but we're not necessarily friends, I can share a seat on the MRT, but it doesn't mean we have a bond.
-For me I feel what we're talking about today is a bit like a community, like a community is composed of a lot of small communities, and among the small communities, some people share things together, during this sharing process, people might start to have some mutual goal, they create some mutual goal together, therefore they cooperate together to make things better. For example, in a big community, people might start to think what to do to make life better to make a better life, to make a company, or import things to make people living here richer. Sometimes they have a kind of shi ming, mission. They want to make the community have a better life, not just themselves but for the whole people
-A wider self interest.
-One thing that's interesting, we started with sharing, to cooperation, to communalism, these are all things a good teacher would encourage. I didn’t see these things as different or these things are at odds or have different goals or methods. I thought they all went together, but we're talking bout them as three different things, so that's something I want to think about. When I tell you to work in a group, what do you feel like, is it more like a community, or cooperating or sharing or what do you think about that. I hate group work, but I encourage it for my students.
-I think there are some things bad in this word I think my culture teach us to do something very good. In our education we're taught to be anything good. But we get into society and we find it doesn't work in that way. We're talking a bout rust cooperation and share, this is the good part. And this discussion, we talk about something that is in detail, and make the definition clear. You have the condition to trust sb else. It doesn’t mean if you don't trust that you're bad, if someone does something betray or hurt, it doesn’t make the ma a bad person. We're a human society, we're not always good. I like today's discussion because this clarified what I think is right. There's bad and good, and there's something that what society really is.
-This lecture and the books i’ve been reading, and the news, the 99percent movement and how the news portrays it as the no leader, no target movement. But we're decentralizing society. But people see this as a … we don't find a leader, or a reason to move forward. But this is a good thing, we can see the application like fb twitter, the social networking, develop the new connection between people, were the social networking society. So this type of sharing, before we had to quantify our achievement, how much we earn, now we see more intangible property about a person, what will we share, we used to ignore this and now it's important.
-There's plenty that's undigested yet, everyone has valuable things to say. What I'm interested in is the role of the individual, the importance of it, or the lack there of. In a community, the highest goals, the grand projects, in the wake of disasters, there's the individual consciousness that turns off, and you think about this, the individual gets turned off. There is community and cooperation,
I think we are human beings, we are social relationships, social group. We separate to many communities for mutual goals, like in a different circle, same goal, same community. If they have the same goal, they want to reach the goal, … if the goal disappear, the community won't grow. I mentioned last week, one community that's not broken, it's the family, because they have the blood relationship.
-We talked about the positive part of sharing cooperation and community. We said we shared the resources and the food and materials which cooperation and community successful. But I want to say some negative part, that, there's another more quick way to make the community more close, to assign an enemy. If we have a mutual enemy, or supposed enemy, it makes everyone in that group feel close, and that they have the same interest. And the same time, this society will be more close. -That's the story happens in America, china, Taiwan, everyone in the world, also our company
-The disaster also functions as a threat.
-Scapegoating also works.
-Some insights, when he talked about the sharing is about everyone benefitting, that's what business calls win-win, and also what he said, was mutual benefit, music and videos, shared online for free, and gvts are trying to say it's piracy, but it's that people have discovered ways to share. It's like 'OPEN', the new decentralized system. The economy can't be based on…intellectual property is not viable anymore. Also thoughts and feelings, some people on Facebook are brave about sharing thoughts and feelings. I don't trust my Facebook, I don't share feelings. Community is just something that has to be continuous. If we don't feel like a community yet, it's because it has to be over time.
Notes and Transcript:
Which thing is easier to describe?
Transaction 1 Sharing 4
Business transaction 5 Friendship 1
Money-based exchange 6 Communal relations 0
What are communal relations?
When is trust the basic assumption, and when is it NOT?
-I feel more trust in Taiwan than in the US or china.
-Trust is the foundation for friendships
-Individuals are easier to trust than groups. A group of strangers together is automatically a lot, or more complex.
-depends if they're random
-assembled by a friend? Or totally random?
-depends on the roles that have been defined
-depends on the cultural assumption of the group that you're in. Like when you're travelling, people might steal your money in Europe, but Japan might be safer.
Is there any situation where you have to protect yourself verbally?
-insults are a sign of masculinity. The teasing "breaking sb's balls" establish dominance.
-architecture, investment banking, lawyers
When are you not having to protect yourself in a situation, free from insult.
-when you have the advantage, the higher rank, relative position
-when I'm with people who truly care about me
When we genuinely wish to break off amicable relations with someone, we stop speaking to them entirely.
-Is this true for you?
-Yes, except for the workplace
-If the group context doesn't let you, you can't.
-If you have a mutual interest
-Or if the group has.
-If you're forced to see that person regularly.
-The level of trust you have as an individual matters. A person's experiences affect them. -Somebody who has had experience of abuse or trauma will have a much lower level of trust than others.
-Negotiating price with a Hong Kong vendor, I trusted at first, even though I knew I shouldn't, but in the end I shouldn't have.
-The vendor abused your trust.
Do you share things with other people? What are you most likely to share with people in your life? Food? Clothes? Money? Music? What motivates you to share?
-I do share with people, but only with those people I'm interested in. It's evil, I think, but I think if you'll give … I don't expect you to give something back to me, but I think you will have something I need so I will share something with you. Mostly I share time with my friends. Like to go to market and go home to cook together. I also share my room. What motivates me to share, we will have the same topic, memory or inside joke, and I feel like we belong to each other.
-For me, sharing is like helping my friend design a logo, which is like intellectual property. But when people don't appreciate it, they say it's only a logo it pisses me off. I like to share with people who appreciate the effort I’m making. Gift Economy: you have received this talent from the universe, and so you have to keep it running, so you have to do your best to keep giving, also giving is better than receiving.
-I don't like to share money with people either I don't know or do know well. Money is not shareable, I can't trust people to pay me back. Sharing your money…I don't want to be a loan shark or rely on other peoples…I like to share things that are more…there's two types of sharing, providing basic help, even to people you don't know, like holding a door for people, or giving up your seats on the MRT, basic courtesies, sharing with friends, is helping them, like giving them an umbrella or some food, something of more immediate value. It's not just a piece of paper, it[s more emotionally quantifiable.
With friends sharing is introducing things, like music, art, clothes, interesting or deep, perspectives, a book or something that will open up their mind
-I do really like to share with people, I would like to see everyone happy, so share some jokes or interesting things i've learned from books or videos, also I like to share some maybe food or clothes with my friends, I would like to help them, or information from the internet, or human resources, like do you know where to get medicine? I can introduce you to someone who does this well. Or share Ideas, like today we're sitting here to share ideas. I expect I can receive something knew when I share like this, and it makes me grow, so that's my definition of sharing.
-I'm wiling to share many things with everyone, but depends on the level of the relationships. I'll share money with friends, if it makes our relationship stronger. For family, I'm willing to do contribution to them, share everything with them. For the company, I only share my knowledge and time for work. I don't want to share my fb with my boss! And the two things that are important are that if sharing is capable for you, if you are able to share that thing, and the other thing is what kind of relationship it is, you share different things.
-When I share, it means I care, so I will share time, food, money or, also depends o the level of relationship with that person, it might not pay back, but since I care about them so I don't mind that much. Workplace, if you go travelling, you’ll bring back snacks for everyone or whatever. This kind of sharing is not such an emotional involvement, it's more a courtesy. But you're the only person that knows whether you really wanted to or if it's just a social behaviour
-If it's expected then is it really sharing.
-It's still sharing but only you know if it's out of obligation or love.
-I like to share life experience with people. Not necessarily friends, could be strangers you meet on a trip, like backpackers. It's easier because you feel relaxed when you have the same topic to talk about. It's a bit like an information exchange. Sometimes you can get some new information or benefit from hearing about a similar experience. People who want to ask me for advice, when I have the similar experience, they think it would be useful, I'm willing to contribute my opinion if I think it's useful
-I realize that I share based on what I think creates balance and reciprocity in the context of that relationship. So we share different things in different relationships, right? I share what I think the other person can give back or appreciate. Like if we both enjoy talking about our bad days or something. But some people would rather joke around. If you share based on something you have in common, but also where there's a defined thing for both of you, what you’re gaining or receiving from someone. When there’s a disconnect is when there's a problem. As long as it is clear to people. The problem is when it's not
-You choose what you share?
-Like with family, sharing comes from trust, which comes from whether you trust that the other person understands what it is that you actually need, and you understand what they need. And in family this is often NOT the case. Your parents are always trying to give you stuff they thin you need, and do you actually understand what your parents need? Do you understand each others limits in what you can give? Maybe you should share less sometimes! Same things with friends or siblings!. People may not want what you're giving!
-Sharing can sometimes be a burden
-Because sometimes you can't repay! At that point you're sharing for your own pleasure
-A good example is the 88水災, there was all those donations, there was an organization that had to be built to organize the sharing, because it was actually causing more problems. People didn't understand what they needed, and there was too much of what they didn't. So they didn’t need money but time and expertise.
-I've been homesick and craving bagels, my coworker has a Costco membership, and they sell bagels, but too many at a time, so he proposed he buy them and we share them, so we can have your bagels and not waste food/
-Have your bagel and eat it too!
-So this is about sharing resources. And both people are benefitting. Sometimes you share and only one person benefits. So as teachers we share lesson plans, ideas stories, advice, and If I share my lesson plan, I'm not really benefitting but its for the greater good of learning.
What is cooperation? When do you find yourself cooperating with people? Do you like cooperating with people? Is it fun or is it a burden? What impedes cooperation? Is it different when you’re told to cooperate with someone than when you choose to? How is it different?
-Cooperation is working with sb else. I thought I was good at cooperation, but in the past few years If find I'm bad at it because I’m possessive and I want things my way. If I don't get my way I get passive aggressive to change things to my way. As a teacher I don't have to cooperate.
-But you need to cooperate with your students
-That's true, but I have more power in that situation.
-The power is only in the students though, because they pay the fee.
-And I think the pre-existing condition for cooperation is that we're limited. We cannot do everything, we have our area of expertise and our limits. So we have to have this understanding so we can cooperate. We need to have a humble mindset, that we need others. We have overlapping areas to get things done in stead of confronting others' professional expertise.
-I think cooperation is two people doing the same thing, working together. I like cooperation WHEN it makes me better, like they give me constructive ideas, make me progress in advance. I also don't like it because I have my thoughts and ideas, and I want to put them into practice, but they might not think it's not good enough, but can't tell you why. Because it's an experience, and they don’t have the experience to persuade3 me it won't work. So I have to try it, but If it fails, then I don't like taking the responsibility for that. If working on my own, that's fine, but with others, I have to take responsibility, and people say you're arrogant, see you didn't listen, and we have to suffer because of you.
-But if they don't have a cogent argument…!
-The people who cooperate have to have the same intellectual level, and the mindset that we are working together towards something. If not, then the process becomes flawed, people lower the expectation and the minimum shared, let's just get it done, it's not very excited and creative or done in the best way. If you want to cooperate, the people involve have to have the same attitude and intellectual level to make the thing come out.
-I think cooperation works best when each individual in the team knows what they are especially good at, that's actually better than the other people, and everybody recognizes this. So they're not competing or thinking 'I’m better at this' so that everyone knows the others are contributing, or that the other person is the strong one in that area, and there's a group recognition of this, and working with friends, like in business relationships, it's good because you understand each other's personalities, and that basic level of trust and understanding, at the same time you have to understand them even more
-That's why I LIKE working with friends, you get to know them at a much more profound level.
-But they have to be able to have this self-awareness and other awareness, and they can communicate. They have to be able to take feedback, like this is not appreciated right now
-You have to be mature! \
-Yes, and enough consideration of others as well. So that's where there are; certain fr9ends I would not work with. If they can't understand themselves well, or develop themselves, then it's really hard
-If they can't manage themselves emotional
-I prefer to work with myself, because I hate to communicate, negotiate and fight with others. But I realized I don't have certain resources, then I choose to cooperate, so someone can help me. But the key to successful cooperation, is we need to have a mutual goal, and there's no free rider in this group. Everyone needs to recognize that we need to contribute some resources , some ideas, some energy. If the mutual goal disappears, the cooperation disappears.
-I agree with this, the mutual goal is very important. But the details is you need to have a leader to define the goal, and to coordinate who has to do what thing. So if the leader is strong, he or she can lead this team to get better, and let the team member to cooperate with other people.
-So you can't cooperate if we have different goals? Like if I want to make profit and you want to help people
-The aligned goal turns into the mutual goal
-So it's the bigger picture of making the event work.
-It's like the connected part of the Venn diagram
-Also the leader and the follower, if everyone just wants to be the leader and the follower? It won't work. Is it cooperation if people just follow one leader? Is that a cooperative group?"
-But if there's no leader you need rules there's two types. One there's a strong leader, the second one is there's precise rules.
-Like, I would say the group organization instead of rules
-Everyone is a leader in a well-functioning cooperative group. The "leader" is only one type of leader. The7're good at seeing the people's strengths and empowering them, and to define the vision.
-It's not a cooperative group if there's one leader and the rest followers. A cooperative group is everyone doing their leadership, or taking responsibility for their areas.
-So the 'leader' is just the coordinator!
-So yeah and most groups put too much emphasis on that person is the leader, when all the roles are important.
-I think cooperation is people who work together, who share similar opinions toward their mutual goal, and work together to make things better, however, I have a different opinion from you, I think there's supposed to be a leader in a group, if there's a follower who gets to decide what that person's job would be. If in a group if everyone is a leader, it's always that perfect that everyone knows what they can do or contribute, some people might not be sure, they might need advice from other people and in a group there's someone who is more powerful,
-Or more knowledgeable
-Yeah, and that person may give some advice, so they would say you should be doing this and that.
-I think you're saying what she said, but just with different language.
-Different people have different strength, but one person usually is stronger in coordination and vision setting, and that person is seen as the 'leader' leader, but it's just that the6y're stronger in these areas, other people are stronger in the other areas. Everyone still respects others in their areas.
-They make sure they are serving the functioning of the whole organization.
-Hierarchical tends to be confused with horizontal. From a hierarchical perspective, the person who in the horizontal system is just the coordinator person, is mistaken for being the person in power.
-So hierarchy is about forcing.
-Army=training people to kill without thinking, because people's natural instinct is to not kill. Army could be thought of as ultimate hierarcy.
Hierarchy is about skipping communication so that something is carried out.
-Communication is hard, coordination is hard!
-So there's the pirate ships model. It's normally a democratic consensus where everyone has a share in the profits, and everyone has an equal voice in the decision making process. BUT, when they're in battle mode, where decisions have to be made and acted upon quickly, then they switch to the hierarchical leadership process, everyone unquestioningly obeys the orders of the leader. THEN, after the battle is over an evaluation takes place. If the pirates think the leader made bad decisions, his share of the loot may be reduced, or he may even be replaced, or even kicked off the ship. So they switch modes, depending on what the situation requires: consensus is the normal community mode, and hierarchy is the battle mode.
-Like when Steve Jobs got kicked out.
-Pirates were their model, did you know that? They used to fly a pirate flag in front of their office.
-A long term pirate model is china, they switched dynasties every few hunderd years
Is a family a community? Yes 6 no 4
Is an office a community? Yes 8 no 1 depends3
Is a school? Yes 8 no 1 depends
A class? Yes9 no depends
A neighbourhood? Yes 5 no depends 4
A city? Yes4 no 4 depends 1
Is this group a community? Yes6 no1 depends1 potential to 1
Is a group of people who talk on the same webpage a community? Yes 3 no 5 depends potential to
Is communalism the same as cooperation?
-Not the same
-Cooperation does involve a horizontal structure, and communalism can be horizontal or communal, but it's about holding together for survival and up the pyramid. It can be coerced or consensus, but there's the face-to-face, everyone plays their part. Countries are imaginary but cities are real communities,
-Communalism, you don't have to cooperate, you don't have to interact. We're told to work on page 8, I may choose not to. Working on page 8 together would be cooperation, but we're all sitting in the classroom together, that's the community
-We're not typing things anonymously on the message board
-In the best for, I think of communism. Capitalism can be a form of cooperation, communism is too much about community. The reason you see well-functioning businesses, like now, is because they function under cooperation,
-Communism with a capital C was total hierarchy.
-Capitalism is about common vision?
-It's about moving forward towards something.
-Communality is about a balanced ecosystem, we're playing in the ocean, we're getting fruit, whatever.
-One is goal and process oriented, one is just about being.
-When new people come in it's unbalanced/
-Cooperation is about getting together to achieve their goal, communalism the goal is being together.