To write up, having read JeanFrancoisNoubel's paper. (And needs to be read with his site : http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Invisible+Revolution))
Collective Intelligence, as studied by PierreLevy and his followers, studies collaborative work. Or the collective pooling of intelligence. Should be compared with CollectiveActionProblems, thought CAPs are concerned with why people should work together, whereas CI is more concerned with how.
In particular. CI studies identify an OriginalCollectiveIntelligence which occurs in small, tightly connected groups such as packs of wolves or football teams, or jazz bands. Organized around CirculatingObjectLink
Interesting portal site : http://ru3.org/ru3/index.html
First thoughts on very quick skimming of 'Collective Intelligence - the invisible revolution'; and how it relates to collective action theory. Will definitely read more on this and develop these thoughts:
Most of the idea of original collective intelligence could fit quite easily with most rational choice accounts. Here we are talking about eg. small, highly inter-connected, inter-visible, groups with repeated interactions. In some contexts, what we might call 'communities' (thinking of Michael Taylor book on Anarchy, Liberty and Community). Even within crude economistic game theory, can show how small stable group characteristics can make for stable cooperative outcomes - a key factor being reputation.
Question is then - what (if any) technologies can allow us to extend small-group collective intelligence to large-group 'planetary' collective intelligence. The paper lists four: currency; norms; information system; cyberspace.
Maybe can crudely lump currency, information system and cyberspace together as 'information technologies' which allow you to extend visibility and spatial etc. characteristics of small groups onto a larger scale.
But the issue isn't just one of information. What I think rational choice / game theory brings to the discussion is tools to analyse how different incentive structures are crucial. The fundamental point: individuals won't cooperate unless they believe it is beneficial to do so, (or maybe unless they have internalised a norm that tells them they should). Game theory models can show why individuals will be incentivised to cooperate in small groups with ongoing interactions, but also how these incentive structures break down when - your individual contribution becomes marginal in a large group; you do not have to interact again with the same individuals. Discussions about how new technologies can help re-structure social incentives (by increasing visibility, extending ability to track reputations, etc.) are very interesting - but can't be all of it. We may 'hear the voice of the multiple' - but why should we listen?
Thus the inclusion of collective intelligence norms/standards as a fourth factor. Here I think again need to apply game theory approach, because I believe this is the way to ask: what norms are sustainable as ways of indviduals managing social interactions?; how can/do these change? The problem is similar - you are not going to be able to persuade people to adopt new norms that go against existing incentives. Here's where I think the really important discussion begins.'What forms will these communities take tomorrow? No one can predict. But it seems certain that they will be more and more abundant, incredibly diverse, ubiquitous, interoperable. They will take over on pyramidal and centralized organizational forms that we are accustomed to.' The question is both 'why' - will the individuals of today move to less hierarchical forms of collective organisation; and 'how' - can we outline new kinds of feasible structures that will persuade people to adopt them. Want to find out more on what collective intelligence says on this. – DariusSokolov
Any relation? : http://www.co-intelligence.org/
Doesn't ChristopherAlexander talk about our collective-intelligence, too, being our "traditions", the modernist architectures being more individual/ego-centric (focused on the architect) turning their back on the traditional ways? There's a lovely quote by AlfredNorthWhitehead along the same lines...
:"Civilisation advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them"
If we individually re-invent the wheel (calculus) we go forward slower than if we collaborate and build upon the work of our elders. In it's larger context the quote is even better, if you like maths :) Then there's the Kipling quote about the strength of the pack, is anybody else a QuoteJunkie? It's kind of nice, how all the new-sciences are coming back together after splitting into specialities, the reconvergence of truth-beauty-good and all that. – kk
My favourite quote, from Marcus Aurelius: 'We are made for co-operation, like the upper and lower sets of teeth.' Or something like that. – DS
For me, the most intriguing lure of the Co-intelligence crowd (one which I've been meaning to look into more over the last few months, ho hum) is the way in which disagreement is handled, i.e. "we know we're different, let's accept that and work on it, rather than try to make ourselves all the same". In other words, this should tie in with how the left handles disagreement - link added below... – GrahamLally
- via (Hmmm. http://scalefree.net/archives/000239.html (Hmmm. why ain't I reading scalefree more regularly? And note ZbigniewLukasiak is already commenting on this.)
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