Sketchplanations

Explaining one thing a week in a sketch

Sketchplanations

Explaining one thing a week in a sketch

Climate anxiety - Sketchplanations

Climate anxiety

While talking on a walk with our 9-year old he suddenly said "Well, what does it matter anyway? We've messed up our planet and it's filling up with plastic." This is a mighty burden to bear for a 9-year old. With increased awareness and education across society, climate anxiety is real. One good thing however, is that one way to alleviate climate anxiety is to be taking action, and fortunately action is also what the planet needs too. One small action I am taking is a new commitment to plant 5 trees every month for every person who is supporting me on Patreon at any level. So a small contribution could also see you plant 60 trees a year. Together I think we can make a difference. Plant trees and support Sketchplanations on Patreon. Update 28/2/21: Today I planted 370 trees with awesome Eden Reforestation Projects 🙌 🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳 Order a print
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Fact tennis - Sketchplanations

Fact tennis

There are both constructive and unproductive ways to argue. One classic unproductive style is what Philippa Perry, in The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, calls fact tennis. With fact tennis, the goal can seem more like scoring points over your opponent rather than actually finding a workable solution — facts are hit back and forth until one person wins when the other has no more reasons left to counter with. But of course the argument isn't resolved and the result is a hollow victory and a still frustrated loser. For a more productive argument we can reframe from winning to understanding — we can seek to share how we feel about it, and to understand how the other person feels about the conflict and their point of view, and take that into consideration. When we have a greater understanding we can move forward together to find a workable solution. As Philippa explains "Finding out about differences and working through them is about understanding and compromise, not about winning." Order a print
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Wabi sabi - Sketchplanations

Wabi sabi

Wabi sabi is a beautiful Japanese idea and worldview of appreciating the small traits of imperfection, the changes in things as they age, and that nothing is wholly complete. It might be appreciating the unique unevenness in a hand made bowl, the cracks and weathering of wood as it is grows old, or the softened and coloured pages of an old book. It's a lovely frame of mind that helps us see the beauty in things that aren't perfect and brand new. As a society it's probably something we could do with more of. The simple phrasing of nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect is from Wabi Sabi Simple by Richard Powell. Buy a print
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The bandwagon effect - Sketchplanations

The bandwagon effect

There are a lot of reasons why it can make sense to go with the majority. Going with the popular view is a shortcut for taking the time and effort to make our own decisions from scratch. We might reason that if others believe it, then it's probably true. But we can also keenly feel the desire to conform to the majority view because it's uncomfortable to hold a different opinion — the easy choice is so often to go with the flow even if, deep down, you disagree. So we get the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect can lead to the Abilene paradox — where a group can make a decision that no one in the group agrees with. On a night out it may lead to just following the crowd, but in a company it could lead to launching a product that no one thinks is good or, more seriously, in safety critical industries like airlines, if people don't feel comfortable speaking up against the group or authority it could lead to accidents.
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The Bystander Effect - Sketchplanations

The Bystander Effect

The essence of the bystander effect is that in a situation where someone needs help, if others are around who could help then it discourages us as individuals from stepping in. While there may be many reasons for this, and it has been replicated in lots of different contexts, a recent study of CCTV footage paints a more optimistic picture. In the study they saw that although the likelihood of any individual intervening may be reduced with other bystanders present, the chances of someone coming to help increases the more people are around. In 9 out of 10 public conflicts they studied at least one person and often several came to help. So the lady in the sketch would probably be OK. Given the bystander effect I remember being taught that if you are in a motor vehicle accident don't assume that someone has called for help already: it could help to choose someone directly and ask them to call for help to avoid everyone thinking everyone else will do it. It reminds me of the story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody: There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have. The paper referenced is: Philpot, Richard & Liebst, Lasse & Levine, Mark & Bernasco, Wim & Lindegaard, Marie. (2019). Would I be helped? Cross-national CCTV footage shows that intervention is the norm in public conflicts. The American psychologist. 75. 10.1037/amp0000469. (pdf)
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