The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind | Jonathan Haidt | Talks at Google


"Mystical experiences are an off button for self. When self is 'off' a person becomes a cell in a larger body."

  1. Intuitions come first, strategic reason second
  2. There's more to morality than harm and fairness
  3. Morality binds and blinds

Selfish: Our mind has many mechanisms that make us adept at promoting our own interests, in competition with our peers.

Varieties of Religious experiences/Self transcendent experiences

  • Loss of worry
  • Joy and peace
  • World looks new and beautiful
  • Moral commitment, desire to serve

Different methods to get it

  • Meditation
  • Psychedelics

Hive method of co-operation

  • No competition within the hive
  • Able to function as a 'super-organism'
  • Yields massive efficiency

Synchronized physical movement is found to be a psychological 'hive' sync. Think dances, religious motions, Army drills etc. This will bind teams more closely.

Benefits of hivishness

  1. Higher Social Capital: Higher Productivity and flexibility
  2. Higher Employee moral: Lower costs(Lower turnover, less litigation, better recruiting and retention)

Costs/Risks of Hivishness

  1. Too much time hiving -> Lower productivity
  2. Love of group -> less concern for other stakeholders(?)
  3. More Loyalty -> More cover-ups, more pressure on whistle blowers(?)
  4. More Group think(or more trust and hence freedom to diverge)

How to grow a hive

  1. SHared fate, shared sacrifice
  2. Free riders should be punished and quickly. Generally this is done thru gossip - which is a positive thing in hivish orgs.
  3. Heightened similarity(Uniform, commonalties)
  4. Moving together/synchrony
  5. Healthy Competition
  6. Noble Mission

Leader Behavior

  • Must be worthy of respect, admiration, and awe
  • Impartiality: followers can trust and cede control
  • Self-sacrifice: Shows shared fate
  • Eloquence: noble words uplift and inspire