An empirical approach to being nice (but not a pushover) in the workplace

In life, many of us grapple with the balance between being kind or assertive to advance ourselves, whether in personal interactions or professional pursuits. We’re constantly faced with choices: to cooperate for mutual benefit or to compete to gain advantage over others.

We are often caught in a dilemma because advice from management experts and life coaches often fluctuates between extremes, urging us to either always be accommodating or to adopt a fiercely competitive stance. 

In 1984, Dr. Robert Axelrod of the University of Michigan devised an ingenious empirical experiment to tackle this dilemma, based on an iterative version of the classic game theory experiment known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

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Time for a new laptop

Recently, I had been bitten by the upgrade bug for a notebook. I was looking for something to replace the very reliable Surface Pro 4 2-in-1 that I had been using everyday since it was launched as the main daily driver at work. My must-haves were simple. The following are compulsory features that I am looking for:-

  • Light (I had really grown to like the ultra portability of the Surface Pro line of computers);
  • Large high resolution screen (not necessarily 4k but definitely not 16:9 as I had found the 3:2 form factor to be ideal for work and photography); and
  • Powerful enough to handle my daily work routine (which could range from creating Powerpoint presentations to analyzing complex Excel worksheets to occasionally editing photos on Lightroom).
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