Tag Archives: evaluative diversity

Our Responsibility to Manage Evaluative Diversity

Published in this month’s Computers & SocietyOur Responsibility to Manage Evaluative Diversity, summarizes Moral Ecology Approaches and the GRINSQ validation study. Responding to Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, it describes the responsibility of the information technology industry to protect evaluative diversity (much like the responsibilities of the energy and manufacturing industries to protect biodiversity).

We all need to be aware of the value of diversity, but certain industries have special responsibility because mass-production can have especially high impact (good, as well as bad) on ecosystems. Massive swathes of decision-making are already designed in bulk by software makers and distributors such as Samsung, Apple, Accenture, Tata, Deloitte, Foxconn, HP, IBM,  Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Dell, Oracle, PWC, Yahoo, Baidu, KPMG, Ernst & Young, SAP, Wikimedia, Symantec, eBay, Tencent, and Infosys. If  no trusted-third-party monitors specific impacts, these kinds of companies will likely take blame by default. On the other hand, the discovery of social responsibility also provides opportunity to differentiate themselves.

If you cannot access the article from the Computers & Society website, you can find a cached draft here.

Natural Gadfly, Chapter 3 of GRIN Free-GRIN Together

Natural GadflyA draft of “Natural Gadfly,”  the third chapter of the proposed book, GRIN Free – GRIN Together: How to let people be themselves (and why you should), has been posted at GRINFree.com. This is the first of four chapters describing the heritage, social importance, and needs of people by GRIN-type. It is designed to foster sensitivity and appreciation for natural gadflies, and to offer practical suggestions about creating social environments which support them.

Join the movement to promote tolerance of creativity, love, obedience, and ambition

We all know society would be handicapped if there were no creativity, love, obedience, or ambition, yet these evaluative dispositions face discrimination in practice. Creative people are called “deviant.” Those who embrace love are accused of cronyism. The obedient are called “dogmatic,” and the ambitious are called “greedy.” When it comes to our most intimate relationships, studies show that we are even more inclined to segregate along these lines than on the basis of race.

Each social movement has its time. Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot,” but in 1814 urged Edward Coles not to free his slaves. Jefferson believed that America was not ready to face the truth about racism, and that Coles would damage both his slaves and his country if he abandoned them to fend for themselves. In the late 1960s, Americans similarly debated whether coming-out would harm homosexuals and society. Today, the biggest research question in the field of evaluative diversity is, “Are we ready to face the truth about evaluativism, and, if not, what stands in our way?”

In one sense, we already know the answer to that question: As with every social advance before it, most people will hope for the end of evaluativism only when they see a critical mass of other people who exhibit that same hope. In another sense, the answer is up to you. If you want to end oppression and allow social flourishing now, here are ways you can make yourself counted among the hopeful:

  1. The most powerful way to promote tolerance may be to complete the GRIN Self-Quiz (GRINSQ) and share the badge it generates with your friends and loved ones.
  2. If you are a leader, start monitoring the GRIN-dynamics of your team to protect against sudden degradation.
  3. If you as a social organizer, host a musical-chairs party or an interdependent meal.
  4. If you are a researcher, consider refining the GRIN model, contributing to post-publication peer-review, developing tools to measure GRIN-freedom (e.g. wearable EEG), and exploring the impacts of GRIN-diversity (e.g. in prison populations and computer simulations).
  5. If you are theologian, discuss what your tradition can teach us about GRIN-diversity (humanity has been facing it for thousands of years, after all).
  6. Anyone can forward posts on this site (especially the video) to friends using the Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, and email links at the bottom of each post.  Sign up to get new posts by email.

If you have other ideas about how to promote tolerance, please contact us.

Find yourself with the GRIN Self-Quiz

The GRIN Self-Quiz (GRINSQ) measures your perception of your own evaluative nature. You can share your results or keep them completely confidential—it’s up to you. You need not pay anything nor reveal any personally identifying information.

Click to begin

The GRIN Self-Quiz is intended to supplement other measures of evaluative diversity (e.g. genetic tests, behavioral tests, fMRI, etc.) by providing initial screening at very low cost: just two-minutes to make twenty-four pairwise choices.  To promote tolerance, we need to offer inexpensive ways for our loved-ones and other teammates to discover their natural preferences.

Your freedom, as well as that of your loved-ones and coworkers, depends upon self-awareness.  Distributing a link to the quiz is an obvious first step for any manager or parent seeking to honor evaluative diversity in their team or family.  We can begin to understand the ways we may discriminate against each other only after we recognize the ways we differ.

You are free to use the GRIN Self-Quiz with attribution for research or other purposes. The validation study can be found here.  A nice explanation and worksheet for manual scoring can be found in Chapter 2 of GRIN Free – GRIN Together: How to let people be themselves (and why you should).

GRIN FREE — GRIN Together: How to let people be themselves (and why you should)

by Christopher Santos-Lang

Expert scholarship related through stories, this book empowers readers to free themselves from GRIN-closeting, free their loved-ones from GRIN-discrimination, and maintain environments where GRIN-diversity can flourish.


Part 1: GRIN Free

Chapter 1: Discovering How to Be More Free
The story of how evaluative diversity is being discovered.

Chapter 2: Identify Yourself
A self quiz which allows readers to benchmark themselves.

Chapter 3: Natural Gadfly
The legacies, social value, and needs of natural gadflies.

Chapter 4: Naturally Relational
The legacies, social value, and needs of the naturally relational.

Chapter 5: Naturally Institutional 
The legacies, social value, and needs of the naturally institutional.

Chapter 6: Natural Negotiator
The legacies, social value, and needs of natural negotiators.

Chapter 7: Discovering Other Orientations
How to extend the GRIN model.

Chapter 8: Monitor Your Freedom via Smartphone
Emerging technologies for promoting GRIN-freedom.

Part 2: GRIN Together

Chapter 9: GRIN Ecosystem Management
Applying lessons from biological ecosystems

Chapter 10: Altruism
How flourishing societies balance individualism

Chapter 11: Mysticism
How flourishing societies balance reason

Chapter 12: Social Change
How flourishing societies balance inherited norms

Chapter 13: Expecting the Unexpectable
How flourishing societies balance negotiation

Chapter 14: Rules Against Rule-Following
How flourishing societies balance institutions

Chapter 15: Imitating Non-imitators
How flourishing societies balance relationship

Chapter 16: Deviating from Deviance
How flourishing societies balance gadflies

I’d like to secure a literary agent before finishing this book, so it will benefit from the agent’s input. If you’d like to recommend a literary agent, please contact me. If you’d like to see it published, please join the newsletter list.  The larger the list, the more potential publishers will expect publishing this book to be worth their investment.

Ancient tools for managing evaluative diversity

The Teachings are a set of tools used to balance evaluative types in Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Science, and perhaps other institutions as well. The fact that all eight of these institutions employ this same set of tools raises the question of whether it is possible for a society to flourish long-term without the Teachings, without the humility they facilitate, and without the active evaluative diversity which humility permits.

Humility is itself a balance between relinquishing power and maintaining one’s identity. Being humble is different from being closeted (i.e. when one hides one’s identity), but it nonetheless resolves conflict. If humility is spread across all evaluative types, then none is oppressed and there is a truly rich collaboration. Thus, among social creatures, humility is extremely valuable. However, it may be difficult to obtain without the help of the Teachings.

Less institutional tools exist for managing evaluative diversity, but the Teachings are time-tested, so excluding them from one’s management strategy could be risky. As their name suggests, to implement the Teachings involves communicating them. That may require translating them into other languages, explaining them, motivating learners to attend to them (especially when the communication is a reminder), and/or creating learning capacities and environments.

The full set of Teachings includes:

To balance individualism: The Teaching of Altruism
To balance reason: The Teaching of Mysticism
To balance inherited norms: The Teaching of Social Change
To balance negotiation: Expecting the Unexpectable
To balance institutions: Rules Against Rule-Following
To balance relationship: Imitating Non-imitators
To balance gadflies: Deviating from Deviance