thinking our way out of the darkness

out of the darkness

Farmers used to think that it was in the nature of chickens to peck at one another, that they were basically loners, unsocial animals that couldn’t mingle without being nasty.

On some farms, their beaks were clipped, but this only made it more difficult for the chickens to eat – which made them hungrier, so they pecked at themselves and one another even more. Then a chicken farmer somewhere noticed something exquisitely simple that changed everything: chicken coops were dark, and the absence of light was what was causing the chickens to peck at themselves and one another. As soon as that farmer introduced a light source into his coops, his chickens stopped pecking—it was as simple as that.

People are not all that different. When we don’t know what our minds need to think well together, we are like chickens pecking around in the dark. This isn’t as far afield as it might seem. When we are communicating and thinking well together, our faces actually “light up.” When our minds don’t get enough light, our thinking breaks down and we begin to peck at one another and ourselves.

Humans can no longer afford to think in division and darkness. Collaborative intelligence is the light that is necessary for our individual and collective survival. We have no choice now but to think together.

Dawna Markova & Angie McArthur

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