Groups with more women are more intelligent

Tom Malone on collective intelligence and the “genetic” structure of groups

The average intelligence of the people in the group and the maximum intelligence of the people in the group doesn’t predict group intelligence.


So how do you engineer groups that can problem-solve effectively? First of all, seed them with, basically, caring people. Group intelligence is correlated … with the average social sensitivity — the openness, and receptiveness, to others — of a group’s constituents. The emotional intelligence of group members, in other words, serves the cognitive intelligence of the group overall. And this means that — wait for it — groups with more women tend to be smarter than groups with more men.


Rushkoff, a change agent

I have been reading two books by Douglas Rushkoff. "Program or Be Programmed" and "Life Inc". These books have well reasoned arguments that encourage a subversive approach to two pervasive elements of modern life

  • The rise of technocratic class that you should join before they take control of to many aspects of your life
  • A fundamental challenge to our modern economic model and the way that plays out in our jobs and life choices

This is fascinating stuff and fits into a rare category of books that change the way you view the world around you.
There are many videos linked from his website and they are great viewing as he is a gifted orator and spruiker for change.


Things that matter

Seth Godin has published a free ebook, "Things that matter". It contains over 70 short essays from todays leading thinkers. Definitely worth a read. I found resonances in many of the entries however the following extract from Howard Mann caught my attention as its a phenonmena I see growing daily.

We walk the streets with our heads down staring into 3-inch screens while the world whisks by doing the same. And yet we’re convinced we are more connected to each other than ever before. Multi-tasking has become a badge of honor. I want to know why.

Howard Mann in Things That Matter


Seasonal Eating

The way to keep the food miles down is to eat in sync with whats in season for your region. Its a simple idea that would once have been the only option for most people. In modern first world countries it now requires an effort to know what is in season and to track down local producers. If you have a local farmers market then patronise it well so the producers keep going to the trouble of turning up.

Slowfood Sydney has a useful blog that regularly posts information on seasonal produce, here is the latest entry.


Balehaus - an experimental building

The Ecologist is one of the great journals of the green movement and has recently gone through the transformation from print to online. This makes access to its stimulating content much easier.

Click here to read about an interesting prototype building just opened at Bath university that uses pre-fabricated wall panels filled with straw.

The Bath University Balehaus project site is worth a look.

When will we have access to locally produced building products like this in Australia I wonder ?


In season zen cooking

Nice post here at Mother Earth News Stop Putting Off Chickens

In season down in Sydney at the moment (from the Slow Food Sydney newsletter)

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach and watercress
  • Valencia oranges
  • Asparagus

Ethical Eating book reviewed in the Eco Pages of the Sydney Morning Herald

We rented a great DVD - How to Cook Your Life should be very interesting to anyone who still has a yellowing copy of the Tassajara cookbook or bread book as it features Ed Brown who also wrote those books back in the 70's. Ed has been practising Zen and cooking for over 30 years and the video is full of insights.