But it’s crucial to remember that there’s nothing to worry about.

the fundamental aspect of emails as tools that requires us to use it continuously.

One could imagine a time in which email was a way to simplify existing

Communication used to happen through memos and voicemails messages, but in office

The work was otherwise similar to how it was back during the mid-1980s. You can

Benefit from the practical advantages of email, which is to say it is not necessary to

Accept the hyperactive hive mind workflow. What is the reason this fast-paced

Behaviors became universal following email’s introduction, even though,

as was argued in the preceding chapters as we have seen in the preceding chapters, it makes us less productive and makes us

miserable? In the context of this question, you will see a subtle and

An intriguing array of solutions is revealed and all of them suggest a new and surprising

Conclusion: Maybe our current work style is more random than we think.


What Does Technology Want?

The first job that Adrian Stone was offered following his graduation of college 1980s was

in the IBM headquarters at the IBM headquarters in Armonk, New York. The time was when IBM had internal

communications at IBM was largely based on writing notes. The IBM communication system was heavily based on notes. Stone remembers

in an essay from 2014 in his 2014 essay in a 2014 essay. If you’d like to speak to him, he wrote in a 2014 essay.

You might want to call, but since this is often unsuccessful, it’s the first option is to call

The method was to walk up to their cubicle, and leave an open letter for them to read

later. “Once they’d read their note, they had an opportunity to become ‘it and play

The game reverses,” Stone wrote. “This could continue for days.”9

This is a crucial reminding that the universe prior to email didn’t exist.

prelapsarian paradise. In large companies, communication is a major issue in this

The period was very painful and then email, when it was discovered was able to offer the opportunity to

Simple straightforward solution. Therefore, it’s not surprising that when IBM was beginning to integrate its

In the 80s it was simple to implement an internal email system in the 1980s.

One of Stone’s initial responsibilities in the company was to support with these efforts.

determining how much IBM employees working at the Armonk headquarters of IBM were paid.

currently communicating via messages, voicemails, scribbled notes and

and so on. They believed that most communication would move to email and

They wanted to supply sufficient mainframe capacity to be able to take on the workload.

(As Stone explained to me that these machines were pricey at the time.

–“We’re talking about prices that are of thousands of millions”–so it was crucial to determine

precisely how exactly how much processing power you actually required.)

Stone shortly came up with an estimate for an server that could be easily

manage all analog communications that is already happening within the office. It will handle all the analog communication already occurring in the. The

The system was set up and put into operation after which, once it was activated, it became a success.

for employees; it was too to be a problem and, in the end, it was a hit. In a matter of days,

They “blew” the server due to the server being overloaded. According to what Stone informed me, they were experiencing

up or six times the amount of traffic he predicted, which means that nearly

right after the introduction of email immediately following the introduction of email at IBM after the introduction of email at IBM, the amount of internal

Communication has exploded.

A deeper examination revealed that not just were people sending many

more messages than in the pre-email age and also started sending cc’s

These messages are sent to a lot more individuals. “Pre-email simple message

was mostly personal,” Stone told me. Following email, the same issues resurfaced.

Conversations now raged on over lengthy conversations that included

Many different individuals. “Thus–in only a few days, I gained

The potential productivity gains of email.” He laughed.

This story is significant because it illustrates a dynamic between two people.

and technology that is often ignored. We would like to think that we’re using

tools to address particular problems. But instances like IBM’s server

The meltdown has complicated this story. The management team at IBM could have made the decision to go through with it.

the fact that a massive increase in internal communication that would result in improved internal communication

productivity, and those now caught in this flood of

The messages were not happy with messages weren’t happy about. According to Adrian Stone recalls, the intent behind the

the system was merely to shift the communication that was already the system

the office to become a more efficient way of doing business, and to use what was already being used by people

doing, and help make it easier. Then who decided that everyone must

Instead, they begin to interact with your friends and family five up to 6 times higher frequently than normal? For those who

If you study this issue thoroughly The answer is simple that it was due to the technology.


In the event that you chat with an expert in the technological history and technology, you’ll likely learn

an interest in an odd subject such as the rise of medieval

feudalism during the first years of the Carolingian Empire. Historical scholars trace the roots of

This type of government was prevalent during the period under the reign of Charles Martel, grandfather to

Charlemagne. In the 8th century CE, Martel kick-started feudalism through

Redistributing Church lands after confiscation and then distributing the lands in his army.

What was the reason why Martel begin to take over Church lands? The question was

The question was addressed in a magisterial work released in 1887 by a German historian

Heinrich Brunner, who argued that the granting of an area to faithful subjects is

It is essential to allow Martel to keep the army of horse-mounted warriors.



Later in the course of time during the latter period, rulers may be able to tax the subjects of their own, and then use the

income to pay for their army, however, during the first half of the medieval period, the land was the main source of income.

Capital is the main sources of capital. If you were looking for someone to keep the mounted

A warrior to you, and they required terrain to accomplish this. Brunner marshaled

historical documents to show convincingly that this is the case.

knights wearing shining armor was one of the primary motives for Martel’s

Setting up fiefdoms across his kingdom.

As is the norm in the past, this response is a good starting point for a second question:

What made Martel sense the sudden urge to create the cavalry in a massive way?

Brunner provided a straightforward solution. The Franks under Martel had to face the prospect of a

Muslim military from Spain close to Poitiers in 732. Martel’s army was mostly

combat on foot whereas fighting on foot, while Muslim soldiers were mostly mounted.

Based on Brunner’s theory Martel rapidly realized his weakness.

In fact, almost immediately after the conflict in the same year–he

Then he took over the sudden taking of Church land. The the historian Lynn White Jr.

Brunner concluded that the crisis had caused “Thus, Brunner concluded, the crisis that triggered

feudalism, which is the reason for its rapid growth

in the midway through the 8th century in the 8th century was towards the middle of the eighth century, was Arab invasion.” The reason for this

The theory was able to stand the test of time in the years following it was first proposed, and stood up,

According White, according to White, “remarkably well against attack from all directions.”11

In the middle of the 20th century, the theory of Brunner was dealt an unexpected hit.

A new scholarship has discovered that Brunner’s birthday was the crucial Battle of

Poitiers was not the case and actually took place just a year following Martel started.

Lands belonging to Churches are being taken. “We face a dilemma, under the administration of Martel and his

successors] and an amazing drama that lacks motivation” writes


The notion that feudalism was a result of the desire to protect

mounted warriors were a popular idea, but there was no reason for this

The cavalry’s shift was mysteriously re-enacted. This is because,

from the time that White came to the scene. At the time, White was a professor of history in middle age at UCLA until White, at the time a middle-aged history professor at UCLA, came

across the “rambling” footnote, written by an expert in German antiquities

1923, which is concluded with this offhand assertion: “The new age is

The eighth century was marked through excavations of stirrups.”13

The footnote implied that it was the force was the force that was the driving force that drove Charles Martel to

Develop feudalism was the introduction in the western Europe of a fundamental technology:

the stirrup for horses. In his now-classic 1962 book, which explains the theory,

Medieval Technology and Social Change, White meticulously draws from

both archaeology as well as linguistics to demonstrate the impact of the stirrup

is a good explanation for the sudden shift of Martel’s focus to this is a good explanation for Martel’s sudden shift to mounted troops.14

Prior to the stirring device, a soldier on horseback had to hold his sword or spear

with “the strength of the shoulder and biceps.”15

The stirrup allowed a “vastly

A more efficient method of more effective method of.” by putting the lance between his upper and lower arms

as well as body. A horse who is leaning forward with metal stirrups can deliver blows to the body and head.

through the combination of his weight and that of his horse. The

the difference between the two attacks was huge. In the eighth

Century, the warrior who carried stirrups and a lance on the back of a horse was an example of

“shock warfare” devastating to adversaries. A medieval take on”shock warfare,” the opponent is harmed.

the nuclear arms race which would come one millennium later, Charles

Martel discovered that the advantage of the stirrup was just that

“immense” that he had to do anything to make it happen ahead of his adversaries

Did, even if it meant breaking traditions for centuries and creating the possibility of

New form of government.

in the Lynn White Jr.’s study of the stirrup we discover an excellent example of

Technology was introduced with a simple purpose (to assist horses in riding)

that can lead to huge and complex results that could not have been imagined by the

the inventors (the development of feudalism in the medieval period). The second part of the

20th century, many researchers in the field of the philosophy of the twentieth century.

technology began to study similar cases of unintended

consequences. As time passes, the notion that tools may sometimes be the driving force behind humans towards

The term “technological determinism” was coined to describe the behavior technology. It was also referred to as technological.

The literature about this philosophy is full of interesting examples.

One of the most well-known determinist works is Neil Postman’s classic from 1985,

Amusing Ourselves to Death. In this brief essay, Postman argues that the

the way in the medium of mass media can influence the way that the culture is portrayed

Thinks about the thinks about the. (If this sounds like Marshall McLuhan’s famous

The claim is they believe that “the medium is the message,” you shouldn’t be shocked to find out

This Postman was a student of McLuhan.)

Postman employs this idea to argue, in addition to other things that the impact

The printing press’s story of the printing press is much deeper than we realise. of the printing press is a myth.

This invention is because pamphlets and novels that are mass-produced can be used to

information to be spread more quickly and farther, speeding the development of

information which was a culmination of knowledge that culminated in Age of Reason. Postman responds that the

influence of the results of the “typographic” culture did more than speed up

information flow. It changed the way our brains process our world. “Print

proposed a definition of intelligence that gave precedence to the goal,

The rational mind,” he writes, “and while being stimulated

types of public discourse that have an orderly, serious content.”16

It was

This innovative way of thinking, not just new information that is available, but this new way of thinking

suddenly introduced intellectual breakthroughs like Enlightenment philosophy

and the scientific method’s and the natural and the next and the natural next. Gutenberg or, more precisely,

Thought he was setting data free, however, in reality it was a matter of altering

fundamentally , the information we regarded as vital.

A more modern illustration of technological determinism is

Introduction to the Like button on Facebook. It was revealed by

Blog posts that were written contemporaneously by design teams the first

The purpose behind the feature was tidy the comments beneath the user’s posts.

Facebook engineers were able to see that many these comments were simply positive

exclamations like “cool” or “nice.” They decided that they were able to substitute these words with

If you click Like. The remarks that remain will be much more

substantive. The purpose of this tweak is, therefore it was to be a little

Improvement, but they quickly realized an unexpected side effect users started

taking more time to use the website.

It was evident in retrospect that incoming Likes provide users with an opportunity to gain

Inconsistent flow of indicators of social approval – bits of evidence that show that the other

People are thinking of the people who are thinking of. It is the idea that with every swipe on the Facebook app is a sign that people are thinking of you.

may provide fresh information about these indicators that have hijacked the old

social impulses in the human brain , and led to the platform becoming a phenomenon

Significantly more appealing. People used to sign up to Facebook

often to check out sometimes to check out what they were seeing their friends doing frequently to see what their friends were up to.

likely to check in continuously all day long to check how many people have voted.

Their most recent posts had been generating. Then, every major platform was launched

similar approval indicator streams–favorites, retweets, auto-tagging

pictures, streaks, as part of a technology contest that was played on the field

The battle that came to be known by the name attention engineering. It was a war that left behind the aftermath of attention engineering.

tiny number of technologically powerful monopolies of technology, and a

an exhausted and tired population whose lives are growing reliance on handheld

glowing screens that glow. All of this is because of the handful of engineers who

The goal was to make social media’s comments less cluttered.17

One of the most important characteristics of technological determinism is the innovations in

The question affects our behavior in ways that are not intended or

The first people to use the instrument. This thought might shock you.

It is uncomfortable, since it appears to confer some sense of autonomy to the inanimate

objects, as if technology itself determines how it should be employed. You

Don’t feel the only one feeling uneasy There are many experts today who advise

free of the determinist approach to analysis, which has recently fallen out of

Academic circles are more obsessed with theories that

I see tools as a way to harness social power. However, the more I study the

interplay between the office and technology the more convinced I am that

In this particular situation in this particular setting, the determinists have something valuable to share with us.

To prove this we must first remove this concept of creepy

subtexts of self-aware devices. When viewed more closely, the non-intentional

the consequences of technological determinism in cases almost always

Practical reasons. The new tools offer possibilities for behavior that are new as

shutting off other. These changes will then affect our inscrutable

human brains as well as the complicated social systems that we function, the

outcomes can be significant and outcomes can be significant as well as unpredictable. The technology used in

The research questions in these studies are not directly deciding on how humans should behave.

are, but the results are so shocking and unexpected to those who are affected

that is a storyline of tools for determining behavior is to be as valid as any other for

to describe what’s happening. (The technology expert Doug Hill uses the

De facto autonomy is a term used to define the effect.)

If you’re vigilant it’s not uncommon to go back to the past after the new tool is released.

led to profound change and helped understand some of the forces in the helm. In the case

of the stirrups of horses of the stirrup for horses, for instance of the stirrups for horses. For centuries, scientists have carried out the same thing through

uncovering the particular circumstances in the context in which Charles Martel encountered the

stirrup — what was happening in his world of politics the time he was there, and what experiences he had

earlier with mounted warfare and before that, mounted warfare, and. In retrospect, it is believed that

stirring up a feudal frenzied state makes sense. However, no one had any idea or planned for it.

The prediction was made beforehand.

We’ll return to emails. This is the case of Adrian Stone and IBM

Pure technological determinism is an instrument created to serve a single reason

(to help make the existing methods of communication more effective) was an idea

An unexpected outcome (a shift towards the hyperactive hive-mind type of

collaboration). The speed of the transformation, which took less than

Week to start to show the power these forces can be at any time.


Determinist dynamics akin to those Adrian Stone observed at IBM

was then able to be seen all over the world and spread to offices all over the world

the 1990s saw the beginning of an overall embrace of the hyperactive hive mind.

without ever stopping to think about whether this is a radical, new approach of

Working in this manner was logical. We decided to use email because it was rational decision

solution to the requirement for asynchronous communication that is practical and practical in large

offices. The hyperactive mind in a way, picked us

after this tool had been widely distributed when it was discovered, we appeared to have all checked out

From our recently empowered inboxes, he shrugged, and chuckled: “I guess this is

How we do our work.”

The Hive Mind is a stumbling block. Hive Mind

The horse stirrup created the creation of a new kind of shock troop, which was named was the Carolingian

Empire was not able to last without. This resulted in land acquisitions which, in turn, led to land grabs.

changed the nature of the government and this is what we have the

introduction of a small but useful part of leather and metal to full-on

feudalism. I’ve argued that, over a millennium after and the beginning of the new millennium, we have the introduction

of a different, but incredibly useful technology of a similar technology, electronic messaging, that led to by the

modern office that embraces the hyper-active hive brain workflow. To justify

This claim is true, but let’s take a take a closer look at the kinds of forces that are at the core of this claim.

could have conceivably swayed us from the rationale adoption of email. This could have led us to abandon the rationale of

A less rational approach to the more unscientific approach of the. There is at the very least

Three of these hive mind drivers, who could have had a hand in this

Unintentionally, the office was transformed.

Hive Mind Driver #1: The Hidden Costs of Asynchrony

As we’ve discussed previously, email was instrumental in solving the issue of practicality created by

the increasing size of offices: the need for effective communications that are synchronous

— that is, a speedy method of sending message back and forth, without having to wait for the

Sender and receiver communicating simultaneously. Instead of

needing to play the game of phone tag with a colleague who is on the other side of the office

In the building, you could replace the conversation that is happening in real time with brief message

Delivered when it is convenient for you and read later when it is convenient for you.


For many, this method of synchronous communication to communication was a bit confusing.

It’s just more effective. One tech commentator I found in my

research compares synchronous communication, the type that needs

Actual conversation — to outdated office technology such as the fax machine

It’s a treasure it’s a relic, writes he, it “will puzzle your grandkids” when they examine it

on the way individuals used to work.18

The issue, naturally was that email did not perform to the standards it was advertised as an email service.

Silver bullets for productivity. A quick phone call, as it turns out, isn’t always be a

could be replaced by a single short message, however it typically, it takes dozens of

of digital notes unclearly passed back and forth in order to reproduce the interaction

the nature of conversations. When you multiply the numerous previously real-time

exchanges are now managed through multiple messaging systems, so you receive a lengthy

method to understand the reason that the average worker transmits and

receives 126 emails per day.


But not everyone was astonished by the additional complex nature of

drawn-out communication. The rise of email had taken over office spaces,

Researchers in the theory of distributed systems — the subfield of computer science

the science I am studying as part of my academic research was studying the

trade-offs between synchrony and. In reality, there are trade-offs between asynchrony and synchrony.

Their conclusion was the opposite of the current

Consensus at work.

The synchrony-versus-asynchrony issue is fundamental to the history

of computing of computer. The first two years of digital

revolution, programs were created to run on computers. Later,

as computers developed, and with the advent computers, software were developed to be

placed on multiple computers that worked together on the network

developing what are known as distributed systems. These are referred to as distributed. Finding out how to manage

the computers that comprised these systems compelled computer researchers to

Examine with the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of communication.

If you connect a set of computers on an internet, their

Communication, by default, will be synchronous. Machine A transmits an

The message is sent to machine B and hoping that it will be delivered to Machine B and

is being processed however, Machine A does not know how long until it is

Machine B interprets the message. This uncertainness could be the result of numerous

Factors, for example, the fact that machines have different speed (if

Machine B may also be running various other processes unrelated to it that could require an

as it waits for it to get around to reviewing its queue of messages),

unpredictability of network delays and equipment malfunctions.

Distributed system algorithms can deal with this

Asynchrony proved to be far more challenging than what engineers had thought. initially believed.

believed. A remarkable computer science breakthrough in this period,

For instance, the issue with the so-called consensus issue. Imagine this

Every machine in a distributed system begins an operation, like entering into a

the transaction to a database with an initial choice to continue or

abort. The aim is to allow these machines to come to a conclusion, or at least all or

either consenting to abandon.

The easiest way to solve this is to have each machine take in the preferences of

their peers, and then apply a specific rules, such as counting votes of its peers and then apply a fixed rule, such as counting the

to choose a winner – and then determine which option to choose. If all the

Machines will all cast the same set of votes, and they each take the same decision.

The issue is that some machines may fail to function before the vote. If

when that happens, the remainder members of the group could be waiting in silence for years to learn about it from

peers which are no longer in operation. Because delays are unpredictably unpredictable in

Asynchronous systems, waiting peers aren’t aware of what time to provide

Up and go on using the votes they’ve already collected.

Initially for the engineers who investigated this issue it was to be a simple matter

Instead of having to be able to understand the preference of each machine, one could instead

Just wait for the majority of you. For instance, imagine the next

rule: If I hear from the majority of machines and they all are eager to continue the same way, I’ll

Decide to continue; else I’ll opt to abort in the interest of safety. In the beginning, I

On the surface, this rule looks like it could lead to an agreement, as that it is only one

A small percentage of machines fail. To the delight of many in

The field was covered in a paper in 1985 Three computer scientists, including Michael Fischer,

Nancy Lynch (my doctoral adviser) and Michael Paterson–proved,

through a spectacular demonstration of mathematical logic which is synchronized

No distributed algorithm could ensure that a consensus will

It is always possible to reach always be reached, even if it was certain that at the most, one computer could


The specifics of this result are technical, 21

however, its effects on distribution

Systems was evident. It was clear that synchronous communication

makes it difficult to coordinate which is why it’s nearly always worthwhile

the cost of additional equipment required to implement more synchronization. in the context of

distributed systems, and the additional synchronization that is explored as a result of this

The famous 1985 paper had many kinds of. One solution that was heavy-handed, as employed in

some of the first fly-by-wire systems as well as the fault-tolerant credit card transaction

processing machines were connected to processing machines to an electrical common to all

circuits, which allows them to work at the same speed. This method allows them to operate at the same lockstep pace.

This eliminates unpredictability in communication delays and lets you use your application to function smoothly.

to quickly determine the moment a machine is in danger of crashing.

Because circuits like these were often difficult to design,

Software solutions to add synchronization also gained popularity. By

By leveraging information about delays in messages and processor speed using this knowledge, it can turn

It is feasible to create programs which organize communications into

well-behaved roundsor the reliability of machines that can aid

Synchronize the unreliable machines involved in the system.

The fight against asynchrony ended with a significant part in the rise of asynchrony.

of the internet age, which allows the internet age to create, among other things of the internet age, software that drives

the massive data centers operated by these companies like Amazon, Facebook, and

Google. In 2013, Google hired Leslie Lamport, a major name on the subject of distributed

systems, was awarded the A. M. Turing Award, the highest honor in

computer science – for his work on algorithms to help to synchronize

distributed systems.22

What’s interesting about these results on asynchrony is the difference between

The measure of synchrony is the extent to which they differ from the conclusion of the business

Thinkers who tackle these issues at work. We’ve seen,

Office managers are obsessed on removing the burden of

Asynchronous communication – the annoyance of playing telephone tag, or the

lift to another floor to talk with an individual. They believed

the idea of reducing this cost with tools like email would reduce the amount of time spent on email.

collaboration more efficient. Computer scientists, in turn joined the

Contrary conclusion. Examining synchronous communication using the

from the perspective of algorithm theory they realized that spreading

Communication with unpredictable delays has been created a new and tense issue

complexities. The business world began to view synchrony as a

difficulty that computers had to conquer, scientists realized that it was

essential to ensure effective collaboration.

Humans are different from computers However, there are many forces

Asynchronous systems can be complicated to design. distributed systems. They loosely apply to

individuals trying to collaborate within the office. Synchrony might be

costly to set up, both in the office and computers

But trying to coordinate the absence of it can be costly. This is the reality.

provides a concise summary of what people were experiencing as office communication changed

To email, they exchanged the frustration of calling tag, notes in scribbles, and endless

sessions to ease the agony of a massive amount of unambiguous

electronic messages are sent through the day. As the

engineers were able to discover the problem when they attempted to influence their computers connected to the network

in achieving a consensus. to reach a consensus, dispersed; it

However, it also creates its own challenges. An issue that could be solved

It is possible to solve in just a few minutes of live-time interactions in a meeting room or online

The phone could now send many messages. And even then, it the phone could

Still, we aren’t able to reach the right result. There is a possibility that it will not.

In other words, once you change your workplace towards this type of

Communication, the hyperactive feature of the hyperactive mind

The process becomes inevitable.

Hive Mind Driver #2: The Cycle of Responsiveness

Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow is an expert on the subject of culture.

of continuous connectivity that is the norm in the of the workplace today. As she

In her book from 2012, Sleeping with Your Smartphone the seriousness of

This issue was discovered by a number of studies she

that took place between 2006 and 2012 — the time when the brain of the hive was active

workflow was transformed into a new mode of hyperactivity as smartphones gained in popularity

common. These surveys targeted more than the 2,500 professionals and managers

who had who held what Perlow says were “high-pressure and demanding jobs.”23


The survey asked participants about their work habits, including how long they were at work, and how many hours they

every week, and what frequency they regularly checked their accounts at work during the day,

whether they were sleeping in their cell phones. The results were shocking the results showed that these

The professionals were constantly “on.”

What makes Perlow’s work especially relevant to the discussion?

She then went on to go deeper in her research, chatting with her subject matter experts to gain a better understanding of them.

know how they got in this continuous communication.

What she found was a feedback loop in the social world that had gone wrong.

The cycle of responsiveness is referred to as the cycle. The cycle starts with the legitimate

There are demands on your time. Maybe it’s 2010 and you’ve just begun using an

You’re on your smartphone and are able to respond to client inquiries

that show up after hours or respond promptly to colleagues from various

time zones. Clients and colleagues now are aware that you’re accessible at

These new times will allow you to send out more requests and anticipate a faster response.

responses. In the face of this increased volume of calls, you look at your phone frequently

frequently to keep track of the latest frequently to keep up with the incoming messages. But now the

expectations regarding your availability and your responsiveness increase even more, and

You feel pressured to react to the situation faster. You feel pressured to respond faster. Perlow describes it:

The cycle continues to spin teams, superiors and subordinates

Continue to submit more requests, and are conscientious employees

allow these minor rises in the demands placed on their time, and

their expectations of one another (and their expectations of) are raised