I find myself returning to this question a lot: can the United States ever escape its individualism? Should it? Most recently this came to mind in a small way, when I was reading over Cal Newport’s “Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done.” The article is interesting for a number of reasons — as a history of Merlin Mann, 43 Folders and Gettings Things Done, and a critique of mechanisms of modern industrial “knowledge work” — but it illuminates this point rather well. Through our individualism, we have cultivated a workplace environment that incentivizes autonomy and personal efficency. A greater collectivism at work, thinking of others first, may lead to a less stressful, more productive workplace for everyone. But it is not something I think we can every truly do.