[unrev-II] OT: Collective Intelligence

From: Dennis E. Hamilton (infonuovo@email.com)
Date: Sun Feb 04 2001 - 22:04:11 PST

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    You triggered some observations that I have been mulling over for a while.
    Today is a rest day while I recuperate from some minor surgery, so I give
    myself the luxury of indulgence ...

    1. Consider that there is already global collective intelligence.
    [clearly not the one that we are dreaming of, but one that is perhaps
    already in place]. I am not proposing this as a fact, I am proposing it as
    something to consider.

    2. If we were the neurons of a global collective intelligence, would we be
    aware of it, and would it matter one way or the other whether we were? For
    that matter, would this "collective intelligence" be aware of us, and would
    it matter one way or the other whether it (or they) did? [Terminology
    point: differentiation of collective intelligence from collective
    consciousness is worth considering too. And wondering just what the
    conscious attention would be on. Us? Seems unlikely. I don't know about
    you, but I don't even know how to contemplate my neurons, and I'm certainly
    not moved to do it. Is it even possible?]

    3. One of the things that fascinate me about the theory of evolution, and
    the theory of economics, for a system closer to the one that we may be
    looking for in this conversation, seems to be the following. If the real
    world provides a valid interpretation of those (macro-) theories, then it is
    irrelevant whether we individuals are aware of those theories or not, and it
    is irrelevant whether we believe them or not, cooperate with them or not
    (whatever that could mean), and so on. (Consider that there has been no
    "escape" from evolution. Consider that the theory of evolution applies just
    fine. Why do we find that idea objectionable? Consider that it doesn't
    make any difference -- in the framework of evolution -- whether we do or

    4. Consider the prospects for the neurons of a collective intelligence
    actively controlling the emergence of the collective intelligence through
    their apparent autonomous behavior. I notice that we have this conceit that
    the forces of evolution are somehow in our hands (and that the "natural" and
    the "artificial" are different, etc.). It would appear that our having a
    theory of economics has led to some kind of economic efficiency in the
    world, yet I am distrustful of that. (I have been noticing externalities,
    for example, at the household level and how, in my household, there is
    excessive use of the automobile, lack of commitment around recycling,
    cleaning up ones own mess, and so on, although it is clear what, by
    extension, the inevitable global consequences are. Self-indulgence is
    winning, referenced to my local view of things. Moving externalities to
    others is not merely malignant corporate behavior, by a long shot. The
    practice is internalized far more locally, in my experience.)

    5. Finally, I notice that the example given seems to be one of finding
    dispersed communities of common interest. I can support this as a precursor
    to finding a basis for coordinated action. It might not be a prerequisite.
    And it certainly doesn't ensure that consequence, or that the consequence
    will be one that is desired by the global community. (Consider the use of
    the Internet to bring together so-called hate groups and other people whose
    activities are not acceptable in their societies.)

    6. I am not proposing that there is no basis for action, or that there isn't
    cooperative activity that can make a difference at the global level. I do
    think it is very important to get a grip on the background assumptions and
    agendas that we don't bother to state. And be very careful about anything
    we give tacit acceptance as a silver bullet.

    7. I notice that I am moved to speak in this ongoing collective
    conversation. My hand is in the air and I am grabbing for the chalk.
    Consider that, whether we can ever be aware of collective intelligence (or
    collective consciousness), everything anyone has to offer to the human
    conversation matters, and it matters that we speak up. Consider that every
    neuron matters, even when it doesn't mean anything to the existence of the
    collective intelligence how the neurons get there. It will have the neurons
    it has.

    8. Neurons arise and be organized. You have nothing to lose but your

    -- Dennis

    -----Original Message-----
    From: univers immedia [mailto:universimmedia@wanadoo.fr]
    Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2001 01:59
    To: unrev-II@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: Re: [unrev-II] about synergy


    [ ... ]
    So we have to build that global collective intelligence we are
    dreaming of. We have no choice.
    [ ... ]

    Individual cells, sometime very far away in the past, have escaped the
    darwinian laws and built organisms and living brains.
    If human beings can't achieve what their far monocellular ancestors did
    achieve a billion years ago, well, tell me about evolution :)

    [ ... ]

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