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Language as a Window into Human Nature

February 24, 2011 - 0 Comments

Steven Pinker’s lecture “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature” three types of relationships that society has carved out across the world’s cultures and the two types of knowledge that govern those relationships. The types if relationship are:
1. Dominance
2. Reciprocity
3. Communality.

When and with whom we enter into these relationships is,  as mentioned above, is governed by two types of knowledge: individual knowledge and mutual knowledge. The differences between these knowledge types is described extremely well in the animation; I will try to describe it without being too confusing. Individual knowledge is where a singular person know “something”. Lots of other people may know the same “something”, but no one is sure that anyone else knows that “something”. Mutual knowledge is when a crowd (physical or virtual) gets together and realise that other people know the same “something”.

We can often benefit from turning individual knowledge into mutual knowledge; changing the dynamics of the afore mentioned relationship types. It also drives innovation and it is the foundation for collaboration.

Let us know how you have changed dynamics through mutual knowledge sharing in the comments box below. If you like the post or the video, please pass it on to your friends or colleagues who might be interested.

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