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A few weekends ago, I spent a morning disentangling barbed wire.
Cleaning up the old rusted wire was not easy. Long grass hid it. Bushes had grown around the fallen wire. Fence posts had fallen, sometimes backwards, sometimes forwards. The multiple stands were twisted together. Where previous workers had dragged sections of fence away from the trail, the wires were literally tied in knots.
So we set to work. And I was reminded again of how well humans can work together in small groups, when we know clearly what our task is.
Someone, somewhere, must have done a study on the ideal size of working groups. In our small groups of three or four, we solved problems without supervision. We didn’t need a management hierarchy. Or a policy manual.
But as groups get larger, factions develop. Different people have different ideas on how the job should be done. Or shouldn’t be done. Some members try to dominate others.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Goldilocks, groups, Harari, Sapiens, barbed wire