• Management,  Psychology,  Sociology

    Mob Psychology—Does a Group Have a Mind?

    It is common to think that a person has a body and a mind. But when groups of people act in concerted ways, it seems that they are a singular body controlled by a mind. How is a random collection of people (who act in individual ways) different from one in which they act as if they were a single body controlled by a single mind? This post discusses the emergence of organization in a random collection of individuals, and the main idea is that two invisible constructs—structure and purpose—rather than the physical bodies create organization.

  • Physics,  Sociology

    Atomic Theory and Social Media

    In classical physics, each particle interacts (through force) with every other particle all the time. In quantum theory, some particles interact with some other particles some of the time. This model of interaction can be compared to people on social media—you don’t talk to all the people in the world all the time; you rather make some ‘friends’ and you talk to some of these friends some of the time. Quantum causality works just like people-to-people interaction rather than particle-to-particle interaction. This difference is unintuitive in the context of physics, but quite intuitive if we were to compare these particles to people. This inevitably means that to understand the problem…

  • Law,  Politics,  Sociology

    Competition and Cooperation

    The debate between individualism and collectivism lies at the heart of all modern political debates, but it is obvious that we could not live without both. If everyone acted individualistically, society—which hinges on cooperation—could not exist; there could be no common agreement on social laws that aim for the greater collective good over (sometimes) individual good. If on the other hand we prioritized the collective good over individual good, there would be no incentive in the individuals to act out of their own agency, resulting in the relinquishment of individual responsibilities. What is the right balance between individualism and collectivism? This question hinges on the problem that these two ideas…