_”The bug_ is my name for a group. I have a little saying about this: _A group is a bug with a brain in each leg._ I should be famous for this saying, and maybe I will someday, because of how true it is. With little effort it could serve as the basis for a revolutionary new theory of why groups suck. For now I will share but one key postulate: The bigger the bug (that is, the more legs it has), the less chance it has of moving in any particular direction. One need only recall one’s experience in groups to confirm this.”
–Michael Barrish, Bug

5 thoughts on “Bug”

  1. Wrong. Groups are usually smarter than individuals.
    Hence the practice of people to live in groups rather than lurk individually in the woods.
    Rugged individuals like John Wayne and Dubya notwithstanding.


  2. Meh. I’m going to fight you on this one, Tom. The Surowiecki book is thin at best–in some situations, like stock markets, masses of people who don’t know one another will make better decisions than experts. That’s not the same as going on a camping trip, or building a rocket.

    I agree that we’re probably designed to get stuff done in communities, which is is why our babies are so helpless. And I agree that when a true team has formed out of a group, everyone is smarter. And there’s lots you can only do in a group, like fight a war.

    But think of all the crappy family dinners, or by-election committees, or The Office, and the Bug is obvious. Michael’s piece captures how it goes even when people like each other.

    We, the Bug Group, contend that groups often get less done, more painfully, than the constituent individuals would in smaller groups or alone. You have teenagers, right? What about your last family holiday? 😉


  3. If you read Oblivio’s post about his second trespassing adventure on The High Line this “Bug” post makes even more sense.


  4. I was just stirring it up.
    I’ve been on committees and boards of directors.
    IQ of committee = IQ of dopiest person divided by the number of people.
    That said, most managers I work with are right wingers who think we need One Good Leader (of Furher). Now that don’t work.


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