[unrev-II] Designing for the Emergence of Global-scale Collective Intelligence

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 19:29:19 PDT

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    This paper quotes from Engelbart.

    Here's a teaser:
    "Designing for the Emergence
    of a Global-scale Collective Intelligence:
    Invitation to a Research Collaboration
    by George Pór
    an updated version of paper presented at the Global Brain Workshop,
    Brussels, July 3-5, 2001
    version 01.07.26
    The dual aim of this essay is to:
    • Identify design qualities and opportunities for optimizing our global
    nervous system for the emergence of web-enabled collective intelligence.
    That aim implies the possibility to design some indicators for an
    evolutionary threshold, beyond which the presence of a global-scale
    intelligence can be clearly detected.
    • Call for a large-scale research collaboration to explore the potential of
    globally distributed intelligence for solving world problems and closing
    the gap between the human condition and human potential. That mission is
    ambitious but not impossible, given that we’re living in a time of
    historical confluence when technological opportunity, economic imperative,
    and moral responsibility, all point in that direction.
    Our motivation is to present a framework for the "social evolution"
    dimension of Global Brain research, coherent enough to attract the peer
    attention necessary to refine it and collaboratively develop it into a
    source document suitable to guide our work in that dimension. We also hope
    that some of the specific research questions suggested for the agenda of a
    "GB/Social Evolution" learning expedition will engage the imagination of
    those who are fascinated by the epochal challenge of growing a global-scale
    symbiotic intelligence for closing the gap between the human condition and
    human potential.
    This paper is the final, updated version of my presentation at the GB
    workshop, complete with the graphics and references. It's "final" only in
    the sense that at some point I had to suspend my listening to the changes
    in my thinking on the subject, and focus on those thought patterns that
    seem to have most coherence and longevity. Because of that, the paper is
    more like the map of a terrain seen from a satellite. It's a temporarily
    frozen snapshot of an ongoing dialogue between my mind and the GB
    community's mind, between the internal discourse of frameworks and
    distinctions I use for making sense, and the unfolding, many-voice
    discourse of the GB community. The dialogue between those two discourses
    has been moving so rapidly that the current version is the third re-write
    in 3 weeks.
    It’s comprised of the following sections:
    1. Questions in focus
    2. An evolutionary opportunity/challenge
    3. Time bubbles of emergence
    4. Global brain, intelligence and systemic wisdom
    5. Designing a collaborative design inquiry
    6. The "learning expedition" metaphor and model of design inquiry
    7. Co-designing our learning community
    1. Questions in focus
    The two questions in focus of this essay correspond to its dual aim
    outlined in the Abstract.
    • What qualities will have to be present in the process of designing for
    the emergence of a global-scale Collective Intelligence (CI) as an enabler
    of solving world problems and closing the gap between the human condition
    and human potential? This question will be directly addressed in section 5
    on "Designing a collaborative design inquiry."
    • What will it take to learn how to design for the emergence of CI ? It is
    a fundamental, non-trivial question that we recommend to be considered by
    all those who are involved with "global brain" research and share a
    "designing for emergence" perspective. The answers will most likely differ
    from one researcher to another, and from one stage of the research to
    another. However, asking that question may help all of us get better
    equipped for the journey ahead. We will directly address it in section 6 on
    "The ‘learning expedition’ metaphor and model."
    Asking those two questions-in-focus, we imply that:
    a) Design and emergence are not contradictory and exclusive concepts.
    Social and techno-social systems can be designed for emergence, if the
    design inquiry is focused on generating the attractors and conditions
    favorable to emergence.
    b) Human choice and prioritization of societal values will remain a key
    element of solving global problems, even when more powerful technical
    systems will become instrumental to developing those solutions.
    c) What is unknown is not only how to design for the emergence of CI, but
    also, what it will take to learn to do so. As the late Dr. Aurelio Peccei,
    former President of the Club of Rome, wrote, "What we need at this stage of
    human evolution is to learn what it takes to learn what we need to learn,
    and then learn it."
    2. An evolutionary opportunity/challenge
    "[S]ocial progress is lagging behind technological progress, and because of
    the rapid pace of change, the gap has never been larger between what could
    be and what is." (Stock, 1993) We have never had in human history such an
    opportunity to optimize the design of social institutions for closing the
    gap between the human conditions and human potential. Whilst that
    opportunity is very real in the post-industrial world, it is not so in the
    developing countries. We will address that difference in the next section
    about the "time bubble."
    Here, we’re going to give a brief approximation of the opportunity inherent
    in the creative tension between the rapidly evolving means of intellectual
    and physical production and distribution, on one hand, and the social
    relationships of organizing work, that we inherited from the past century,
    on the other hand.
    As individual and collective knowledge and intelligence became the primary
    productive force, the caring for the well-being of all is no longer a
    utopian dream but an economic imperative illustrated by the following
    circle of increasing returns.

    The powerful opportunity expressed by the "virtuous circle" above exists in
    tandem with just as dramatic challenges:
    • A growing interdependence, uncertainty, and "complexity multiplied
    urgency" (Douglas Engelbart) make future-responsive decisions increasingly
    difficult. They created a global problematique, in which making sense out
    of the fast-changing, kaleidoscopic pictures of our knowledge landscapes,
    requires collective intelligence.
    • There’s an "exponential breakdown in people's ability to experience being
    related to the whole and to each other, as organizations become very large
    and distributed in geography. There also occurs a major breakdown in their
    members’ ability to relate, communicate, and express themselves in
    fulfilling and productive ways." (Michael McMaster, in email communication)
    The good news is that the very technologies that brought forth both of
    these challenges also have the potential to enable us to meet them. All we
    need to do is recognize that the augmentation of human intelligence,
    individual and collective, became a survival skill for our organizations
    and the species as whole. Then we must act on that insight.
    We can do this by growing a symbiotic, human/machine intelligence that
    elicits the synergy of the cross-impact of various scientific and
    technological breakthroughs combined with the human qualities of
    creativity, consciousness and compassion.
    The development of such a global-scale, symbiotic intelligence can lead us
    out of the prehistory of blind evolution, into the Emerging Planetary
    Reality of our conscious evolution that opens unprecedented opportunities
    for human freedom, creativity, and well-being.
    3.Time bubbles of emergence
    3.a Differentiation and integration
    Differentiation-and-integration is a foundational pattern in calculus, the
    life and social sciences, ancient wisdom traditions, and Western masters of
    dialectics. Given its central role in evolutionary theory, it cannot and
    shouldn’t be overlooked as we build a framework for addressing our two
    The main evolutionary drives of the biological, social and technical
    worlds, are differentiation (generating variety) and integration
    (generating interdependence) that occurs through the the selection of the fit.
    According to the Special Integration Group of the International Society for
    the Systems Sciences "the purpose of differentiation is for a further
    integration, and a further integration is for an even farther
    differentiation," (Tang, 1996). If so, then differentiation--without the
    requisite complementary integration--leads to a separation fallacy. On the
    other hand, we’ll know that integration is complete when we can observe
    that the subsystems are supporting one another’s goals.
    When integration is moving so slowly that it allows differentiation to
    threaten large bodies of the society with disintegration, then concerted
    corrective action is needed. It was Joël de Rosnay who introduced a form of
    the "differentiation-and-integration" pattern, particularly pertinent to
    the challenge of optimizing our global nervous system for facilitating the
    emergence of CI. It’s called the "time bubble" (de Rosnay, 2001).
    3.b The "time bubble" distinction
    De Rosnay compares the acceleration of time within specific domains of the
    technical-social world to the densification of sound waves in front of an
    airplane as it’s approaching the sound barrier.

    "When the speed of the airplane exceeds the speed of sound, it breaks the
    sound barrier, and sound bubbles form behind it. The time bubbles I have
    described are like those sound bubbles. They form contemporary sets,
    organized hierarchically according to their temporal density. The creation
    of new fractal bubbles within those that already exist corresponds to the
    phenomenon of emergence [emphasis added - GP]. When their high temporal
    density suddenly reveals their presence within the low-density bubbles, a
    mutation or explosion occurs. What is called a ‘technological revolution’
    (the industrial, biological, or digital revolution), the ‘explosion’ of a
    sector, or a ‘decisive mutation’ represents the opening up of a time bubble
    within our universe of reference." (de Rosnay, 2000)
    The "time bubble" is a rich metaphor, with implications for diverse
    possibilities such as re-interpreting theories of evolutionary emergence
    and managing how we fight attention overload. Whether this metaphor itself
    will become a "time bubble," it may influence how rapidly we can answer the
    question-in-focus of this essay.
    "The densities of time flows are mutually exclusive — it is as if two
    people, one on a high-speed train and the other riding a bicycle, are
    trying to exchange packages. Yet sharing is essential if we want to avoid
    the irreversible process of competitive exclusion between communities,
    people, and nations. The cybiont is beginning to develop and evolve in a
    hyper-accelerating time bubble, and it is up to human beings to prevent
    imbalances that could imperil the future of humanity." (de Rosnay, 2000)
    The galloping, unbalanced differentiation which is a source of the global
    problematique cannot only be better understood through de Rosnay’s theory,
    but additionally, the "time bubble" distinction points to the direction in
    which we may find some key ingredients of the answer.
    If system A is the environment of system B (and vice versa), and they are
    locked into time bubbles that move with different speed, then chances are
    that the system with a faster evolutionary trajectory will set a fitness
    criteria so that the other cannot meet. That’s a situation that threatens
    millions individuals, communities and nations, and not just those on the
    loosing side of the digital divide. Consider the price that "winners" would
    have to pay for leaving behind the "losers."
    3.c The challenge of harmonization across time bubbles
    A vital criteria of fitness for any global symbiotic intelligence is
    whether it can help humankind pass the evolutionary test of harmonization
    across time bubbles. There’s a conceptual path drawn by Francis Heylighen,
    that we consider suitable to allow harmonization--escaping into higher
    order complexity--across time bubbles of widely different velocities:
    "If B's configuration fits its environment A, by definition, their mutual
    configuration will be retained, and a constraint will be imposed on their
    relative variation. B has ‘snapped into place’, or ‘discovered a niche’.
    Thus, a new, higher order system or supersystem, consisting of the
    subsystems A and B bound together by their relative constraint, is formed."
    (Heylighen, 1996)
    This possibility raises more questions than it answers. They are fertile
    questions, worth pondering. For example: What could be a scenario which
    would bind together some of the richest and poorest countries of the world
    into a higher order learning system?
    Imagine, if a "learning society" agenda were to evolve in Canada, Norway or
    the Netherlands, and part of it was a global forum on the dangers of
    digital divides both between and within countries. What if its design was
    optimized for learning outcomes valuable to all participants. What if the
    organizers of the next G8 meeting and the accompanying Global Social Forum
    started collaborating on addressing the toughest issues in the center of
    their conflict, with the best possible design for a multi-stakeholder
    problem-solving conference held online and off-line? What could the rich
    countries get from it? Well, besides their contribution to a better world,
    wouldn’t it be highly valuable to them the development and testing of their
    competence to mobilize symbiotic intelligence to solve complex and wicked
    global problems?
    What is at stake, for all of us is this: Will the emerging symbiotic
    intelligence be capable to prevent the balkanization of humankind, by
    cultures locked into mutually exclusive time bubbles? Will it enable a
    future envisioned by Joel de Rosnay, as follows?
    "Just as different times coexist in our bodies, the cybiont will live by
    the harmonization of super-imposed times. Sharing, solidarity, temporal
    harmonization, and respect for differences will be the new rule, the new
    way of life of symbiotic humanity." (de Rosnay, 2000)
    4. Global brain, intelligence and systemic wisdom
    4.a Global brain and global society
    Can a GB help global society to pass the evolutionary test of harmonization
    across time bubbles?
    The definition of GB that we use as a starting point is the one offered by
    Francis Heylighen, according to which it is "the mental, information
    processing part of the cybernetic system" that we call the global society.
    The potential of GB to usefully inform societal evolution is proportionate
    with its capacity to map and improve the "collection of information
    gathering, interpretation and decision-making mechanisms" that the global
    society uses "to select the actions that seem most likely to achieve these
    goals.�" (Heylighen in an email message).
    Just like a living brain cannot exist outside a living organism, a global
    brain cannot exist abstracted from the global super-organism. The brain’s
    and the organism’s evolutionary paths may follow what Karl Popper termed
    "genetic dualism."
    "Popper differentiates between two distinct parts to an organism: 'roughly
    speaking a behavior-controlling part like the central nervous system of the
    higher animals, and an executive part like the sense organs and the limbs,
    together with their sustaining structures.' These parts are subject to the
    possibility of independent mutation." (Shapiro)
    I’d rather speak of "interdependent mutation," given the closely coupled
    relationships between an organism and its nervous system. A generalized
    representation of that relationship can be found in our double helix of
    "tool system / human system" evolution, at . See below.

    4.b Global brain, nervous system, and convivial technologies
    If the Web, as a globally interconnected hypertext document-linkage system
    and network of conversations, is a source of inspiration for the "global
    brain" concept, then the concept could be more appropriately termed a
    "global nervous system."
    Neither a "global brain" nor a "global nervous system" is synonymous with
    the intelligence that humankind needs if it is to complete the current
    evolutionary leap (or "meta-system transition"), at the lowest cost in
    terms of human suffering and wasted resources.
    The nervous system of the global super-organism has a potential to enable
    the emergence of a collective intelligence, the same way as organic nervous
    systems enable the emergence of intelligence in living systems.
    What are the nervous system’s functions which may serve that emergence?
    They include:
    • To facilitate the exchange and flow of information among the subsystems
    of the organism and with its environment.
    • To effectively coordinate the harmonious action of the subsystems and the
    • To store, organize, and recall information as needed by the organism.
    • To guide and support the development of new competences and effective
    behaviors. (Pór, 1995)
    Corresponding to those functions, the subsystems of a nervous system--which
    play a large role in enabling the emergence of intelligence--are the
    subsystems for sensing/learning, communication, coordination, and
    memory/knowledge. How well these subsystems are performing and coordinated,
    will strongly affect the organism’s chance for survival.
    "An ‘electrified’ nervous system is the infrastructure needed for the
    self-organization and self-improvement of a community's collective
    intelligence." (Pór, 1995) A global CI will most likely come into being as
    an ecosystem of globally interconnected intelligent communities growing a
    knowledge ecosystem of insights, information, and inspiration, supported by
    an ecosystem of technologies.
    The interface between community, knowledge and technology ecosystems can
    perform its enabling function only if its implemented in convivial
    technologies defined as the ones which enlarge "the range of each person's
    competence, control and initiative." (Illich, 1973)
    4.c Designing for the emergence of collective intelligence
    We use the term "design" in this context in a sense defined as follows. "
    most basic human activity system: the family " . Design is a creative,
    decision-oriented, disciplined inquiry that aims to: formulate expectations,
    aspirations and requirements of the system to be designed; clarify ideas
    and of alternative representations of the future system; devise criteria by
    which to evaluate those alternatives; select and describe or ‘model’ the
    most promising alternative; and prepare a plan for the development of the
    selected model." (Banathy, 1998)
    Banathy’s highest-potential contribution to the "social evolution"
    dimension of GB research is the concept of "evolutionary guidance system"
    (EGS) that he and his graduate students applied to the development of
    various types of organizations (Banathy, 1993). "If guided evolution is
    possible, as I suggest it is, we face three critical questions: (1) What
    kind of systems can enhance the creative purposeful unfolding of human
    evolution from the family on to the global human community, along the
    multi-dimensions of
    human experience? (2) What are those dimensions that represent the
    wholeness of human experience? (3) How do we go about designing those
    systems?" (Banathy, 1998)
    In the quoted article he proposes possible answer to those questions by
    introducing the "generic image an EGS as an arrangement of a set of
    interacting dimensions that enables purposeful evolutionary unfolding." In
    this stage of the evolution of our own thinking, it would be too early to
    try to assess whether the methodological challenges of applying Banathy’s
    EGS model to designing for the emergence of CI can be overcome. In any
    case, the GB/Social Evolution research will certainly gain some useful
    perspectives from a dialogue with Banathy and his theory. In its most
    recent and comprehensive expression, he wrote about designing social
    systems: " We cannot know the end state, but we can move toward our best
    vision of it" (Banathy, 2000).
    Another source for building our "designing for emergence" framework is de
    Rosnay’s symbionomics, the first rule of which is "Foster the emergence of
    collective intelligence: Many agents following simple rules and connected
    through communications network can solve complex problems (de Rosnay, 2000)
    The more complex the problems are, the more likely that it will be not
    simply connected agents who will solve them but communities of connected
    agents. It is an important distinction because focusing on learning
    communities rather than individuals as the substantive nodes of a global CI
    would give us better access to building scalable, fractal-like models of it.
    A fractal model of fostering the emergence of CI should be scalable across
    the nested hierarchies of 1. teams (small groups), 2. organizations (large
    communities), 3. inter-organizational webs and alliances (societies), and
    4. the global metabeing (cybiont).
    The Community Design Architecture™ of Community Intelligence Labs provides
    an early version of such a model. It has a 4-fold architecture comprised of
    a social, knowledge, technology and business architecture. Sample questions
    of which are listed in section 7.a.
    What are the key design principles that promote the emergence of CI? If
    we’re to foster the emergence of a global CI, that question should be on
    top of our high-priority research directions. At this point, all we can do
    to is to provide the following pointers that may guide the articulation of
    some of those design principles.
    • Respecting the need for the balanced cultivation of the four
    architectures listed above seems to be a prime candidate for a CI design
    • A well-designed CI should maximize the synergy potential of
    synchronous/asynchronous or "Real-Time/Delayed Time" (RT/DT) communication,
    collaboration and coordination. That’s because combining the best features
    of those two primary modes of collective cognition� has more chance to
    enable learning breakthroughs.
    • The evolutionary fitness of a community of any size depends on the
    development of its repertory of evolutionary competences. Investing in the
    strengthening of different segments of that repertory will have different
    impact on fostering the emergence of CI. An early work-in-progress
    articulation of this concept can be found in our Wheel of Evolutionary Fitness.
    • To serve as an evolutionary guidance system, CI will have to be able to
    accommodate and model multiple intelligences. Various models of multiple
    intelligences have been proposed by various authors, that will have to be
    4.d Awakening systemic wisdom in the global society
    "Any framework of knowledge that doesn’t include wisdom requires us to
    operate blind...." (Allee, 1997)
    "Wisdom" refers to our effective use of intelligence, as evidenced by our
    capacity to alleviate suffering and increase joy in human and
    organizational systems. "Wisdom is...a highly creative and connective way
    of processing knowledge that distills out essential principles and truths.
    Wisdom tells us what to pay attention to. Wisdom is the truth seeker and
    pattern finder that penetrates to the core of what really matters." (Allee,
    1997). "Systemic wisdom can help with intuiting the long view,
    understanding systems in the context of their larger whole, and
    anticipating future crises." (Pór & Molloy, 2000)
    Systemic wisdom is also described as "the ability to see and to know, in
    Gregory Bateson's phrase, the pattern that connects. This wisdom looks for
    and understands how to discern the interconnections, interdependencies and
    resonances that form the weave of life. We see the need for such systemic
    wisdom in dealing with the current crises in ecology, for actions taken
    narrowly dealing with a specific environmental symptom may have unexpected
    reverberations throughout the entire ecological web. We need to see the
    web, the whole system, not just the part in isolation. Systemic wisdom is a
    form of perception and insight and a willingness to look beyond the
    immediate moment and the surface of things for deeper connections and
    patterns. It is being sensitive to consequences that might be apparent
    unless we see the deeper patterns that connect." (David Spangler)
    How will we know that the systemic wisdom of the global society is awake?
    What will be the indicators of its activation? That’s another question that
    deserves a collaborative exploration by those who feel concerned by it. In
    the next few paragraphs, we will suggest some starting points for such an
    "Unless the awareness of interconnectedness can stir compassion, it is of
    little use. The real design challenge in cyberspace will be to use it as a
    basis for enlivening compassionate action." Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus
    Corporation and the Electronic Frontiers Foundation: Tricycle, Winter 1995
    • Can we say that an indicator of the presence of systemic wisdom would be
    when CI will be used for mobilizing global resources to address global crises?
    • Another candidate for a "wisdom indicator" would be the global brain’s
    measurable contribution to happiness described as follows.
    "Statistics about life satisfaction in different countries show that people
    are most happy when their society provides them with sufficient health,
    wealth, security, knowledge, freedom and equality. The GB can directly or
    indirectly contribute to each of these fundamental values." (The Global
    Brain FAQ,)
    Various instruments for measuring "Quality of Life Indicators" have been
    developed by economists, some of which are well-poised to overshadow GNP as
    a measure of a society’s advancement. If the activation of systemic wisdom
    in the global super-organism will manifest in increasing life satisfaction
    of more and more people of all countries, then it wouldn’t be impossible to
    detect its presence by creating and looking at "the ‘planetary indicators’
    of balance and evolutionary vitality: Hunger, poverty, violence are
    decreasing rapidly, and the rate of decrease is increasing. Integration and
    synergy between different areas is observed and increasing.�" (Larry
    Victor) That would also include the integration and synergy across the
    different time bubbles that we referred to in section 3.c.
    The same way that having a nervous system doesn’t make one wise, having a
    global brain won’t automatically lead to the activation of systemic wisdom
    in the global society. If and when that activation happens, it will be the
    result of more than just the enabling technical and knowledge
    infrastructures provided by GB. Its other condition is in the evolution of
    social innovation practices, for example the ones outlined in "How do we
    practice wisdom in cyberspace?" (Johnson-Lenz, 1998)
    5. Designing a collaborative design inquiry
    The design of a design inquiry in systems science corresponds to what is
    known in software engineering as "metamodeling" or "method engineering."
    This is the domain on which we clarify the epistemologic foundations of the
    research and specify the knowable requirements of its process. When this
    phase is overlooked or omitted, the design inquiry risk to be ineffective
    or inefficient, or both.
    The categories of qualities to pay attention to when we design a design
    inquiry, include the qualities of the inquiry and its product, and the
    qualities of the design team and its members. The following quotes from
    Bela Banathy, Professor Emeritus of Saybrook Graduate School, reflect also
    our view of the those qualities of the inquiry which will be the most
    influential on the outcome of any design for the emergence of a
    global-scale Collective Intelligence.
    Design Inquiry Qualities
    "Qualities of the design inquiry include: attaining the stated purpose,
    bringing about a viable authentic and sustainable system, using everyday
    language, applying up-to-date design technology and multiple perspectives,
    seeking the ideal, attending to the uniqueness of the design situation and
    the uniqueness of the Designing Community, and the seeking of aesthetics."
    (Banathy, 1996)
    Qualities of the Designing Community
    The community of designers seeks; high ethical qualities, sensitiveness
    toward the impact of design on future generations and on those who are
    affected by the design, taking responsibility for the design they create,
    and diversity in membership. Members of the Community accept and respect
    each other, they aspire to become a learning system and aim to develop
    their own design culture. They regard having a shared worldview a quality
    of the highest order." (Banathy, 1996)
    The Banathy paper quoted above has a systemic inventory of specific
    qualities that we will review in more depth and consider in the process of
    designing our design inquiry into fostering the emergence of CI.
    6. The "learning expedition" metaphor and model of design inquiry
    We call the design inquiry into the emergence of CI a "learning
    expedition," and use that term both as metaphor and a model for a specific
    genre of inquiry.
    In its broadest sense, the " learning expedition" metaphor refers to the
    evolution of human consciousness in individuals and communities. In a more
    specific sense, we use it for labeling the collaborative process in which
    an "expedition community" increases the learning capacity of itself and the
    larger community that it serves.
    The main metaphoric function of the "learning expedition" term is to
    "render comprehensible a complex set of elements and relationships... It is
    the peculiar strength of metaphor that it can convey the essential without
    excessive oversimplification, preserving its complexity by perceiving it
    through a familiar pattern of equivalent complexity." (Judge, 1987)
    While an expedition typically unfolds in physical space, the "learning
    expedition" unfolds in conceptual space. They both are a team endeavor, a
    joint enterprise of researchers linked by a shared purpose.
    The " learning expedition" model refers to an activity system of
    collaborative inquiry that includes such subsystems as: seeking shared
    meaning and purpose; designing and improving the expedition community’s
    communication and knowledge-creating systems and practices.
    A successful learning expedition has three types of outcomes:
    a) learning outcome - the development of new or enhanced individual and
    collective competence;
    b) research outcome - contributions to the evolution of knowledge and
    better maps of a particular knowledge landscape
    c) design outcome - a knowledge product, e.g. educational materials or
    newly developed, successful and replicable practices
    The "learning expedition" model is supported by a complementary set of
    metaphors and processes which includes "scouting parties" (self-organizing,
    special-focus discovery teams) and "base camps" (periodic, face-to-face
    gatherings of the scouting parties). In the context of the suggested
    research, the "scouting parties" will be self-organizing GB research teams
    focusing on various aspects of what needs to be discovered or invented. The
    "base camps" will be our periodic, in-person meetings to complement our
    online exchanges."

    Read and enjoy.

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