I think Otium undersells why shared external goals and shared internal community get linked together so often (namely, the energy of a big goal can unite a group, and being part of a close knit tribe can increase efficiency working together and get people to put in more hours), but overall this is a good cry to seriously consider your priorities in large groups and projects.
Epistemic status: argumentative. I expect this to start a discussion, not end it.
“Company culture” is not, as I’ve learned, a list of slogans on a poster. Culture consists of the empirical patterns of what’s rewarded and punished within the company. Do people win promotions and praise by hitting sales targets? By coming up with ideas? By playing nice? These patterns reveal what the company actually values.
And, so, with community cultures.
It seems to me that the increasingly ill-named “Rationalist Community” in Berkeley has, in practice, a core value of “unconditional tolerance of weirdos.” It is a haven for outcasts and a paradise for bohemians. It is a social community based on warm connections of mutual support and fun between people who don’t fit in with the broader society.
I think it’s good that such a haven exists. More than that, I want to live in…
View original post 2,239 more words