Please see below selected recent openness-related change.
- What's New? - Openness
- What's Changing? - Curiosity
- What's Changing? - Democracy
- What's Changing? - Freedom
- What's Changing? - Knowledge
- What's Changing - Therapy
- Wilful ignorance occurs when someone intentionally avoids information about the negative consequences of their actions. Meta-analysis found that 40% of people will choose to remain ignorant of how their decisions affect others. The evidence suggests that wilful ignorance can provide people with a built-in excuse to act selfishly.
- The Economist noted that some introverted people might take the opportunity to get away from humans altogether, but sometimes the world - and the strangers who inhabit it - has other plans. It is reasonable to be wary of strangers; they are, after all, easy to misunderstand. But some people like to chat, so it is wise to prepare. Be it making a gesture, sharing a smile or partaking in small talk; studies show that such interactions can make people happier.
- A report claimed that that a record number of countries had enforced internet shutdowns in 2022. Internet rights group Access Now said 35 countries enacted 187 shutdowns, most triggered by mass protest or conflict. India came top of the list, with 84 shutdowns.
- The Japanese term shoshin is a concept that comes from Zen Buddhism. The idea is that everyone - no matter how advanced or experienced they are - should try to approach things with the same openness, curiosity, flexibility and desire to learn that characterises the attitude of beginners. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s, there are few,” wrote the Buddhist Monk Shunryu Suzuki in his 1970 book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. The expert, unlike the novice, has over time built up a whole range of assumptions, preconceptions and habits. These might have helped them reach their level of expertise, but holding on to them without any questioning or re-examination can end up clouding the mind instead.
- Further reading:
- Maria Popova noted that, with our reflex for teleological thinking - what see calls that childish grab at “I know!” - we habitually cut ourselves off from the mystery that houses the most creative, and therefore the most vulnerable and alive, part of our own souls, forgetting what Carl Sagan’s ghost so poetically reminds us: that “the universe will always be much richer than our ability to understand it.”
- Doubt is complex; sometimes, it allows the discovery of new truths whilst other times it cuts off instinctual reasoning in a dangerous manner. David Krakauer, an evolutionary biologist, reveals that these are, in fact, two completely different attitudes: scientific and conspiratorial scepticism.
- A growing body of research suggests our musings can do us a lot of good, writes Alice Freerackers in Nautilus. Meandering thoughts — the kind that sneak up on us during the day — can help us plan for the future, solve nagging problems and even help firm up our memories. They may even give us a creative boost, according to Stanford's Kieran Fox.
- The British Virgin Islands pledged to produce a publicly accessible register of company owners by 2023.
- TrendWatching talks about the emergence of the "glass box". The idea is this: an organisation used to be a black box. For the most part, no one could see inside. The brand – and any organisation projects a brand of some kind – was whatever those inside the box painted on the outward-facing walls. People could come and look at the brand. They either liked it, or they didn’t. And that, pretty much, was that. Today, an organisation is a glass box. People can see inside. They can see the people, the processes, and the values at work. In other words, they can see the organisation’s internal culture. And once people can see that culture, they will feel something about it. That is to say, it will become part of the set of cognitive and emotional associations that they tie to the organisation. It will become part of — perhaps the most important part of — the organisation’s brand.
- Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World discussed Leonard Mlodinow’s work on "elastic thinking" and his book on the subject. Elastic thinking helps generate new and novel ideas and helps balance the analytical style many generally prefer. It argues that the less rigid we are in our thinking, the more open-minded, creative, and innovative we can become.
- The BBC made its news site available on the TOR network. Commonly known as the ‘dark web’, traffic on the TOR browser is routed across the network via multiple nodes which make it hard to locate or identify individual users. The BBC’s initiative is designed to enable people in locations where authorities block access to international news to continue to access the site. The BBC’s Arabic, Persian, Russian news sites are available, as well as the English language international edition.
- Social media curation allows us increasingly to indulge our biases, rather than challenge them, exclude viewpoints we don’t agree with and live in a filter bubble, logging into a so-called “daily me”, where the only echo is of voices that sound like us. “We’re breeding ignorance in an age of enlightenment,” says Stephen Frost, chief executive of Frost Included. “It’s a double whammy; not only are we sleepwalking into polarised views, we simultaneously think we’re more informed or even objective than at any time before. The problem is greater than we realise at the same time as our propensity to tackle it is diminished.”
- For The School of Life, the gap between the knowledge we have of ourselves and the public evidence of the nature of others can end up feeling intensely bewildering and painful. We may wonder why we may have ended up quite so strange, our lives so difficult, our characters so crooked. Our sense of isolation is never greater than when we run into the armies, widely distributed through society, of the closed-minded. Full of broadly benevolent intention, these types nevertheless keep a close eye on any signs of the more regrettable aspects of human nature and are ready to censor their appearance from the first. We learn to recognise their disapproval and to keep our shadow sides especially private in their vicinity – which protects our reputations, but increases our underlying sense of freakish isolation.
- Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 found high corruption in more than two-thirds of nations. The value of transparency as an essential strategy to prevent fraud and waste has been cited by many organisations.
- In A New Way to Become More Open-Minded, Harvard Business Review claimed that history shows that we tend to choose political and business leaders who are stoic, predictable, and unflinching, but research indicates that the leadership we need is characterised by the opposite: creativity and flexibility. We need people who can be smart and strong-willed enough to persuade people to do great things, but flexible enough to think differently, admit when they’re wrong, and adapt to dynamic conditions. Changing our methods and minds is hard, added HBR, but it’s important in an era where threats of disruption are always on the horizon. In popular culture, we might call this kind of cognitive flexibility, “open-mindedness”.
- The Economist has begun Open Future - a global conversation with critics and supporters on the vital issues of today. From free trade and free speech, to immigration, diversity, and technology. It's a conversation the paper began in 1843 when it argued against tariffs on grain and continued with other causes like prison reform and ending slavery. Now it's time to shape the agenda for the challenges of the 21st century, believes The Economist.
- Wonder is very closely related to openness. Aeon notes that English contains many words related to this multifarious emotion. At the mild end of the spectrum, we talk about things being marvellous. More intense episodes might be described as stunning or astonishing. At the extreme, we find experiences of awe and the sublime.
- 18th-century Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith, better known for first articulating the tenets of capitalism, wrote that wonder arises "when something quite new and singular is presented… [and] memory cannot, from all its stores, cast up any image that nearly resembles this strange appearance".
- There are now reportedly more physical barriers at European borders than at any time during the Cold War, and it’s not just a European trend. According to a 2016 report in The Economist, since the fall of the Berlin Wall more than forty countries around the world have built fences against more than sixty of their neighbours.