Dealing and playing the cards

March 9, 2009

I caught up with some reading over the weekend, including the New Scientist where this article had attracted my attention. In summary the article questions some of the common beliefs about differences between East and West. It argues that many result from social conditions rather than being intrinsic to ethnic origin and that overall the position is not clear cut which is no bad thing. I previously posted on this subject and suggested two reasons for differences. Firstly the different cognitive requirements of pictorial against non-pictorial language and secondly social conditioning. Having read the New Scientist article I don’t see any reasons to change that opinion. It seems we have another nurture/nature debate here. That appears to have been resolved, to wit nature deals the cards, but nurture plays them.

Critically it means that changing the environment and social interaction can literally change the way we think about the world which to me offers some hope.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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