How fooling around improves decision making
Lots of animals laugh, like monkeys and dogs: monkeys with a panting sound when they are tickling each other and doing other monkey things, dogs with a playful bark-pant. Monkeys and dogs are just so cute when they are having fun, but if a monkey or a dog lacks the ability to laugh the result is not so cute – they do not fare well in their monkey and dog worlds.
Laughing is a signal that it is a playful and friendly interaction. Without the ability to laugh, our poor monkey or dog’s actions are taken to be aggressive. This is similar to that time when you sent that supposed-to-be funny text to your girlfriend who could not hear your playful giggles. She was so mad. And you were a monkey in the dog house.
The laughter proto-language develops in tiny little baby humans long before words do. Scientists think laughter in early humans served the same purpose as it does today in other laughing mammals. It communicated that there were no imminent threats and survival needs were taken care of. It was time to play, learn and explore – cognitively, emotionally and socially. It contagiously put those around at ease and recruited others to join in.
It is exactly the situation in government meetings that there are no imminent threats, survival needs are met and it is time to explore and learn. It is exactly the goal of a meeting to recruit others to engage in social interaction. Yet politics is a barren laughter-desert. When it does happen, it is divisive, at someone’s expense.
Humour can radically change the course of a meeting. It dissolves emotional barriers in a way that logic or yelling often cannot.
We do very well at electing politicians who wear proper suits and have proper hair cuts, but we should also be selecting for sense of humour. It might be wise to elect an entire party whose stated agenda is to use the power of humour to improve decision making. If we didn’t already have enough reasons for electoral reform, this is another one.
Somebody's gotta take out the trash and that somebody is everybodyREAD POST
How to make mail relevant againREAD POST
To get serious about the economy, get serious about nappingREAD POST
Adding maple syrup to our anthem and tackling other national branding problemsREAD POST
How the Amish are more tech savvy than the rest of usREAD POST
How should we respond to these abundant times?READ POST
Reduce tax fraud without additional audits or threats of retributionREAD POST
Since 1991, crime in Canada has been declining, but if we use our imaginations, statistics can be whatever we pleaseREAD POST
Why we should count in twelves not tensREAD POST
How to reduce whining in ParliamentREAD POST
Introducing mandatory inter-party beer league for MPsREAD POST
Why doesn't anyone look much like their ID?READ POST