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This is a good an important book Benkler s first book, The Wealth of Networks , was too dense to be accessible, and The Penguin and the Leviathan is much better in that regard.Benkler s key claim is that people are motivated muchby non monetary influences than we thought We have always known that people aren t fully self serving, but we treated homo econimicus as a close enough approximation to reality Benkler claims that systems and organizations that reject this premise not only This is a good an important book Benkler s first book, The Wealth of Networks , was too dense to be accessible, and The Penguin and the Leviathan is much better in that regard.Benkler s key claim is that people are motivated muchby non monetary influences than we thought We have always known that people aren t fully self serving, but we treated homo econimicus as a close enough approximation to reality Benkler claims that systems and organizations that reject this premise not only provide a better environment for those involved, but can produce better things.He gives the examples of Google giving employees a huge amount of autonomy, or the creation of Wikipedia, Linux, etc In every case, people are motivated by muchthan just money.Unfortunately, I found the book a little bit jumbled there wasn t a clear narrative structure or direction That being said, this is still definitely worth reading Since the early 1980s, there has been an aggressive attempt to frame cultural tradition towards the neoliberal ethic of self interest and greed in the late stage of capitalist triumph Similarly, the Go Go generation has been remembered as such a time, turning hippies into yuppies, but then, as the notion goes, a rejection of this perspective occurred in Generation X and this is true as it pertains to popular culture But in elite circles the culture of I built it and all that comes with it ha Since the early 1980s, there has been an aggressive attempt to frame cultural tradition towards the neoliberal ethic of self interest and greed in the late stage of capitalist triumph Similarly, the Go Go generation has been remembered as such a time, turning hippies into yuppies, but then, as the notion goes, a rejection of this perspective occurred in Generation X and this is true as it pertains to popular culture But in elite circles the culture of I built it and all that comes with it has become ingrained and intensified on through the dot com era, up to todays economic meltdown Comparing these traditions, mass culture has produced a number of niches and subcultures which have prospered outside the rubric of capitalist ethic and control Meanwhile, the debase elitist culture has suffered from numerous reformations, internal divisions and has culminated in the current crisis culture to the point of near collapse So in The Penguin and the Leviathan, Yochai Benkler has attempted to characterize both sides of these perspectives using these concrete if not somewhat esoteric examples On one side is the side of cooperation, mutual assistance, and non hierarchial forms of action producing some end goal it is exemplified by the emblem of free and open source software FOSS , the penguin On the other side is the traditional form of self interest, laissez faire neoliberalism, and cultural Darwinism a pseudo form of the theory, at that this is exemplified by the most emblematic form of the origins of the tradition, Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Moving beyond the signifiers for these antithetical world views, Benkler lays out in practice how cooperative organizations from free enterprise to anarchical groups resolve conflicts, establish norms, and ensure progress within their own missions He then supports these practical examples with numerous psychological and sociological studies establishing theory for why these groups succeed Through this process Benkler makes the case that there is nothing unique about human nature or culture which produces these institutions or their results He makes no claims to special insights into mass human nature unlike the wealth of cultural Darwnists, quite the opposite He merely claims then uses numerous examples to show that when humans are placed in scenarios where group norms are established to promote cooperation, fairness which is a very complex issue he explores across several chapters , and respect, an equable culture emerges where all parties are allowed to participate with a sense of dignity and pride.Benkler has produced a clear and positive description of human interpersonal relations that defies the negative and nihilistic narratives From detractors ranging from Morozov to Berman to Zizek, this perspective although common in academic circles might seem almost alien to individuals who are culturally informed from media reports on crime and human behavior But this kind of narrative is not the shocking lead story kind of sell, it is the quiet acknowledgment of the world that continues in the face of forces that thrive on failure and discouragement of the masses Talk is not cheap It affects us daily.Communicating the values of the community Share the trust There is no one definition of fair The details of a norm are irrelevant, what s important that everyone follows and knows them Driving on the left is not better than driving on the right Music distribution site magnatune let s people choose how much to pay From 8 to 18 The descriptions vary on every 2 8 is typical, 10 better than average, 12 is generous, 18 is we love you People are not for Talk is not cheap It affects us daily.Communicating the values of the community Share the trust There is no one definition of fair The details of a norm are irrelevant, what s important that everyone follows and knows them Driving on the left is not better than driving on the right Music distribution site magnatune let s people choose how much to pay From 8 to 18 The descriptions vary on every 2 8 is typical, 10 better than average, 12 is generous, 18 is we love you People are not forced, but can see the categories, so they can decide if they feel generous or awesome or typical Send clear signals of what the norms of the system are People are not selfish always The dictator test shows that people can be selfless at a cost to themselves if the price isn t too high Different tests The public good VS trust game Punishment works best in public good game, because we know it s not directed to us personally, but to the bad actors In a trust game it backfires, because people take it personally The lack of trust If the trusted says to the investor, you should invest x or I will not triple your money that seems kind of a personal threat In public good games people also act differently over countries, beingcooperative in countries where rule of law is effective and fair People trust the state Also with punishment Corporations are beginning to see that money is not everything and not the only motivator Case study Toyota Numi factory in US Happier and effective workers Norms like customer service,freedom to employees, teamwork Rotating jobs,training Continuous improvement, kaizen, suggestions by every worker GM before treated workers as machines timed them, managers constantly looming over workers and micromanaging exactly how to move Case study Open source software and Linux IBM support for OSS and services around Linux Case study music industry punishing potential customers and starting with an assumption everyone s a criminal.Case study Obama campaign Make high contributors 20% feel valued and welcome, but you can also get effective work out of low contributors 80% by small chunks,because low from large amount is still a lot Let people contribute as much as they want The Penguin and the Leviathan by Yochai Benkler The Penguin and the Leviathan it s the interesting book about the dynamics of cooperation and working in collaboration in the 21st Century The main thesis of this book is to debunk the notion of a selfish human nature and how this knowledge can better serve our societies Israeli American author and professor of Law, Yochai Benkler, uses the latest in multiple converging scientific fields and a variety of examples to illustrate the power of coope The Penguin and the Leviathan by Yochai Benkler The Penguin and the Leviathan it s the interesting book about the dynamics of cooperation and working in collaboration in the 21st Century The main thesis of this book is to debunk the notion of a selfish human nature and how this knowledge can better serve our societies Israeli American author and professor of Law, Yochai Benkler, uses the latest in multiple converging scientific fields and a variety of examples to illustrate the power of cooperation This 272 page is composed of the following ten chapters 1 The Penguin vs the Leviathan, 2 Nature vs Culture, 3 Stubborn Children, New York City Doormen and Why Obesity Is Contagious Psychological and Social Influences on Cooperation, 4 I You, Us Them Empathy and Group Identity in Human Cooperation, 5 Why Don t We Sit Down and Talk About It , 6 Equal Halves Fairness in Cooperation, 7 What s Right Is Right or at Least Normal Morals and Norms in Cooperation, 8 For Love or Money Rewards, Punishments, and Motivation, 9 The Business of Cooperation and 10 How to Raise a Penguin.Positives 1 The very interesting and practical topic of cooperation applied to many facets of the human experience.2 The author s positive outlook is refreshing and his personality comes through in the narrative.3 Despite making use of the latest in various scientific fields the book is very accessible.4 The author does a wonderful job of describing the Leviathan approach to society and why there are better methods now.5 The strongest strength of this book is the many practical examples of cooperation in the many endeavors of the human experience Excellent examples that clearly show the advantages of aprogressive approach to cooperation in business, government and society as a whole 6 The shift from an authoritarian to ahumane and collaborative approach.7 The science behind our innate predisposition to cooperate Good use of neuroscience and biology evolution In practically, no human society examined under controlled conditions have the majority of people consistently behaved selfishly Good stuff.8 Debunks the myth of self interest A look at why the myth persisted 9 Collaboration in the animal kingdom 10 Social influences on cooperation What fosters cooperation Fascinating studies.11 Neuroscience and the biological foundations for empathy 12 Communication, communication, communication Mediation as a model of conflict resolution.13 The importance of fairness in cooperation in economics, politics and social psychology.14 The importance of morals and standards in establishing norms that lead to cooperation Many great examples.15 Debunking the notion that self interest is the main driver behind our behavior Very interesting and thought provoking.16 The most important factors in determining compliance.17 The success of free and open source software An interesting discussion.18 Three major factors why executive compensation fails in enhancing company performance.19 The business of cooperation is an interesting chapter that covers high performance organizations that thrive on cooperation Even military applications The music industry.20 The future of cooperation Benkler provides a list of levers to be the key ingredients of successful, practical and cooperative systems.Negatives 1 Overall, the book is stuck on one theme cooperation versus self interest which is not necessarily bad but the transition between sub topics is executed poorly 2 I would have liked to have seen the author support his arguments against stronger opposing views instead of less practical extreme views of Thomas Hobbes 3 I think a better title would serve this book better Ironically, the author provides examples on how framing certain studies have a direct impact on the results The author s lack of name recognition can t overcome the book s vague title How manybook would have been sold with a better cover and title 4 Some of the game theory will throw some readers off 5 The author shows how open source software works but never once mentions Apple that takes an opposing view 6 A misspell here and there, commonweal instead of commonwealth Nitpicky7 No bibliography, notes or source material.In summary, I enjoyed reading this book As an engineer and manager, I have been trained in the archaic robotic Just In Time JIT and other similar top down approaches to the nowflexible and cooperative styles, so the book s many practical examples resonated with me Benkler succeeds in driving home his main thesis of cooperation over self interest by providing many interesting examples throughout the book The lack of source material and references hurts those of us who would like to pursue some of the topics indepth That being said, Benkler provides a very useful and positive outlook on how to improve societies via a cooperative approach that does not necessarily disregard elements of self interest If you want to learnabout the power of cooperation, this is a recommended book Further suggestions Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard P Rumelt, What Money Can t Buy by Michael J Sandel, Human by Michael S Gazzaniga, 50 Popular Beliefs that People Think Are True by Guy P Harrison, Lying by Sam Harris, The Better Angel of Our Nature and The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker, The Compass of Pleasure David J Linden, Hardwired Behavior by Laurence Tancredi and Mistakes Were Made by Carol Tavris [ E-PUB ] ⚒ The Penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation Over Self-Interest ⚈ What do Wikipedia, Zip Car s business model, Barack Obama s presidential campaign, and a small group of lobster fishermen have in common They all show the power and promise of human cooperation in transforming our businesses, our government, and our society at large Because today, when the costs of collaborating are lower than ever before, there are no limits to what we can achieve by working togetherFor centuries, we as a society have operated according to a very unflattering view of human nature that, humans are universally and inherently selfish creatures As a result, our most deeply entrenched social structures our top down business models, our punitive legal systems, our market based approaches to everything from education reform to environmental regulation have been built on the premise that humans are driven only by self interest, programmed to respond only to the invisible hand of the free markets or the iron fist of a controlling governmentIn the last decade, however, this fallacy has finally begun to unravel, as hundreds of studies conducted across dozens of cultures have found that most people will act far cooperatively than previously believed Here, Harvard University Professor Yochai Benkler draws on cutting edge findings from neuroscience, economics, sociology, evolutionary biology, political science, and a wealth of real world examples to debunk this long held myth and reveal how we can harness the power of human cooperation to improve business processes, design smarter technology, reform our economic systems, maximize volunteer contributions to science, reduce crime, improve the efficacy of civic movements, andFor example, he describes how By building on countless voluntary contributions, open source software communities have developed some of the most important infrastructure on which the World Wide Web runs Experiments with pay as you wish pricing in the music industry reveal that fans will voluntarily pay far for their favorite music than economic models would ever predic Many self regulating communities, from the lobster fishermen of Maine to farmers in Spain, live within self regulating system for sharing and allocating communal resources Despite recent setbacks, Toyota s collaborative shop floor, supply chain, and management structure contributed to its meteoric rise above its American counterparts for over a quarter century Police precincts across the nation have managed to reduce crime in tough neighborhoods through collaborative, trust based, community partnershipsA must read for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of cooperation in st century life, The Penguin and the Leviathan not only challenges so many of the ways in which we live and work, it forces us to rethink our entire view of human nature
This is an extremely well written and easy to read book which I stress because reading some of Benkler s earlier work was like wading through treacle It covers all the main scientific debates about cooperation as a social, cultural and evolutionary process, leaving the reader optimistic, but with no misconceptions about the challenges we face to release our innate potential for collaboration His conclusions will no doubt be dismissed by vested interests and their apologists in political This is an extremely well written and easy to read book which I stress because reading some of Benkler s earlier work was like wading through treacle It covers all the main scientific debates about cooperation as a social, cultural and evolutionary process, leaving the reader optimistic, but with no misconceptions about the challenges we face to release our innate potential for collaboration His conclusions will no doubt be dismissed by vested interests and their apologists in political circles, but this book should read by anyone with a genuine interest in the future of humanity Good Examples, So So ExecutionThe book s thesis is that the historical pattern of our society of swinging between the extremes of Hobbe s rule of law Leviathan and Adam Smith s laissez fair The Invisible Hand of economic maximization doesn t work in the long term Appealing to the open source model used in the computer industry he uses the Linux symbol of Tux the Penguin to advocate for a third way, that of encouraging social mechanisms in the market that allow favour cooperation over coercion Good Examples, So So ExecutionThe book s thesis is that the historical pattern of our society of swinging between the extremes of Hobbe s rule of law Leviathan and Adam Smith s laissez fair The Invisible Hand of economic maximization doesn t work in the long term Appealing to the open source model used in the computer industry he uses the Linux symbol of Tux the Penguin to advocate for a third way, that of encouraging social mechanisms in the market that allow favour cooperation over coercion and control.Much of the illustrative material involves simulations including the well known Prisoners Dilemna where participants are give a choice of either cooperating or selling out for different levels of reward, and variations on the Community Game where participants are given a sum of money and a set of rules for keeping and distributing money in order to test the level of their generousity What researchers found was that the framing of the activity had a great deal to do with the outcome Individuals who either met with or were shown pictures and given backgrounds to the other person or persons in their group had greater empathy and werelikely to share than less Similarly when an individual was told that they could be punished monetarily for not sharing, but were assured that under no circumstances would that occur, the tendency was to sharethan in situations where this was not made clear Reframing the Community Game as the Wall Street Game encouraged aselfish mode of behaviour.Benqler also invokes anecdotes from real world behaviour, citing the skunk works emergence of Zongshen Motorcycles out of a group of parts suppliers who cooperatively banded together in economic self defence against government run production facilities and GM s highly productive NUMMI plant in California, handed over to Toyota to manage using kaizan principles Anti smoking campaigns framed as the danger of second hand smoke appealed to our altruistic side and worked better than those that weighed in on the personal risk Wikipedia, Facebook and other Web 2.0 media are based on our willingness to share and all for social not monetary benefits And the success of Barack Obama s 2008 election campaign was largely based on empowering the grass roots organizations to contribute, innovate and share.According to the author research across the board shows that 70% of the population are willing to share to some degree and 30% will tend towards selfishness and this appears to be a constant over time and different cultures Benqler argues that properly structured incentivism and volunteerism can co exist One of the findings is that the biggest aid to helpful behaviour is the lowering the cost of sharing The other is establishing a community of practice where the contributors feel valued and not exploited.On the downside the book lacks footnotes or a bibliography for referencing the original material on which the studies are based, so I m not entirely convinced of the conclusions, esp the constancy of the 70 30 rule Secondly, altruistic behaviour is nothing new in fact it s the norm within families and many social groups Benqler is also weak regarding arguments for contrary points of view He pits the penguin against the extremes of Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith, which I agree are unhealthy, however I d argue that Tux merely represents a third extreme, albeit it s one that I like and as an avocate for quality improvement and learning organizations one that I ve tried to encourage A vibrant society is one that keeps changing its POV.Lastly I m disappointed that the author missed the seminal and well cited work The Evolution of Cooperation 1984 IMV Axelrod s research would be extremely supportive of Benqler s conclusion with the exception that Axelrod found that a purely cooperative approach is highly vulnerable to groups who favour a strategy of selfishness, and a policy of trust but verify is indicated In the long run the strategy of Tit for Tat or Tit for 2 Tats appears to beeffective that pure cooperation I would add, nor are the motives of non selfish individuals necessarily for the good China has used social media to publish images of protestors asking that they be identified anonymously on the web essentially crowd sourcing surveillance.As a long term advocate for improving product quality I ve always believed in of encouraging, partnerships, assisting others and information sharing between departments, supply chains, customers and even in certain areas with competitors pure competition is rare IMHO and one can always find common interests if one looks for them People need to feel appreciated, but also obligated out of a sense of what s right to volunteer to fill where needed independent of external rewards, so I did enjoy the book Overall it s a quick read the typesetting is double spaced and the examples are good fodder for motivating groups, in the workplace, the schoolroom and in society at large A very good and quick read that explores how people act incomplicated ways than are normally assumed by economists and also policy makers Systems have to take into account the ways different people will cooperate or actin self interest though these can often overlap when designing rules and incentives for action. Excellent, illuminating research, generally well structures and clearly applied.I took issue with Prof Benkler s repeated return to Wikipedia as the shining polestar in his theory, though, because he never once addressed the potential complications bought about by Wikipedia s intangible and non exclusive knowledge product being fundamentally different from other products of cooperative labor. Compact and comprehensive on cooperationIt is a great book about cooperation It collect all the relevant knowledge from various fields about cooperation It is a good summary of the knowledges, and good starting ppint to study cooperation.