Ground Rules

It's not just Dr. Yuval (pronounce, "Dr. Evil") who knows that gossip is key to a healthy sapiens community. David Sloan Wilson, a professor of biology and anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the author of "Darwin's Cathedral," a book on evolution and group behavior explains in a New York Times interview: "Gossip appears to be a very sophisticated, multifunctional interaction which is important in policing behaviors in a group and defining group membership." ... This reporter, in the early days of blogging, curated political notes of interest in a Herb Caen-inspired style for the San Francisco Examiner, a publication read daily by a small but influential group. ...

Contributions will be moderated for good taste. You all have it, so please do post. ... Questions in comments will be answered. ... If something's interesting, log in and post it. If it's really interesting, tell the reporter and he'll post it. ... First, last or nicknames only - you'll not get Google alerts on mentions of your name, you have to check in daily. ... If it's been covered in an all-staff email or a staff meeting, it's not gossip. ... In addition to the name dropping convention, this blog has other quirks of style that you will come to know and love. ... This whole project frightens Henry. ...

More from the Times: "We all know people who are not calibrated to the social world at all, who if they participated in gossip sessions would learn a whole lot of stuff they need to know and can't learn anywhere else, like how reliable people are, how trustworthy," said Sarah Wert, a psychologist at Yale. "Not participating in gossip at some level can be unhealthy, and abnormal." ... Now, get back to work. ...

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