|We don't bite newbies here... much
Organizational Culture (Part I): Introductionby eyepopslikeamosquito (Archbishop)
|on Jun 11, 2021 at 11:58 UTC
The recent turmoil in Perl's organizational culture, discussed recently here at Perl Monks in:
For therapy, I've decided to follow up my nine-part series on Agile processes in organizations with a new (ten-part :-) series of articles exploring the perplexing multi-disciplinary topic of Organizational Culture. There's certainly no shortage of material, with a mind-boggling number and variety of disciplines in play, such as:
A possible breakdown by topic is:
Please note that I'm just an interested layman on all these topics, so please correct me when I veer off course. I also welcome your feedback and opinion, along with insights, anecdotes and any useful citations you may know of.
To kick off this series, given that I've just finished reading Sapiens, I thought it'd be fun to speculate on how our early evolutionary history helps explain some of the peculiar and counter-productive behaviour we witness today.
Around 2.5 million years ago, an unremarkable new species appeared in Africa. Now, I doubt these early humans, enduring their daily battle for survival along with many other species, had any inkling back then that they would one day walk on the moon, split the atom, map the genome, calculate the age of the universe ... and compose Perl programs, obfus and poetry.
How on earth did this unremarkable and physically weak new species win this brutal evolutionary war? Sapiens revealed the (surprising to me) secret:
The theory of evolution tells us that instincts, drives and emotions evolve in the sole interest of survival and reproduction ... yet when some of these evolutionary pressures abruptly disappear (due to sudden changes in human culture), these hard-won instincts do not instantly disappear with them ... which explains why today young men drive recklessly and fight in pubs. They are simply following ancient genetic impulses that, though counter productive today, made perfect sense 70,000 years ago, where a young hunter who risked his life chasing a mammoth outshone all his competitors to win the affections of the local beauty. Sadly, those same successful macho genes today give us a mouthful on Perl mailing lists, IRC and Twitter.
With their brain growing (to keep track of the thousands of connections, deceits and subterfuge required for superior gossiping) and their hips narrowing (to facilitate walking upright), evolution favoured early births ... leading to helpless babies ... requiring a tribe to raise them ... favouring those with strong social abilities. Being born immature and with a big brain further allowed humans to be taught more flexibly than any other species -- which explains why we witness today the appalling spectacle of impressionable youngsters being effortlessly led to love Python and hate Perl.
Other Articles in This Series
References Added Later
Updated: Make Homo sapiens stand out from surrounding text, and with the species name (sapiens) in all lower case, a convention used by biologists, such as erix. 13-June: added bee lawyer joke to quoted Sapiens passage.