News

Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Fred Benenson, May 12th, 2009

Collective IntelligenceWe somehow missed last March’s release of Mark Tovey’s collection of essays called “Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace” from the Carleton University Press. The book is a 648 page collection of essays from the likes of Yochai Benkler, Howard Rheingold and David Weinberger and is now available to download as a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial PDF. If you want to support the book’s non-profit publisher, we encourage you to purchase the hardcover copy at Amazon.

2 Responses to “Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace”

  1. tramky says:

    This comes across as a 21st century, digitized, electronicized version of control by committee. This quickly brings us to a discussion of individualism versus the collective.

    One of the problemse seen in collectivist institutions and societies is that it ultimately flies in the face of human nature. Eventually, individuals in the collective disagree, become annoyed by those disagreement, and start to rock the collective boat. Things get confrontational, proposals are challenged, emotions escalate, and the process freezes up as the people within this system either give up or, as has been seen in attempts at governmental collectives, organize factions that become willing to use coercion and force to get their way, to dominate the collective. When things get to that point, those who protest the takeover will quickly find a gun at their collective heads or, at best, shunted into a neglected social & functional underclass.

    Eventually the social structure disintegrates and the collective fails.

    As for the use of current technologies to promulgate this notion of collective intelligence, it is wonderful–so wonderful that we now are informed that terrorist cells are using Facebook to organize themselves, hardly supportive of peace & tranquility.

    The complexities & capabilities of technology serve as the great equalizer of today. But none of this is an argument against the use of these technologies, or a call for the banning of such technology any more than the horrors of 9/11 mean that we should ban commercial airliners. But recognize that technology is simply a tool and does not represent any intrinsic morality or legality and its use does not guarantee that others will not use the same technology to undermine your efforts.

  2. JZ says:

    A question I have is can large-scale systems become/be intelligent on a diverse level..meaning a level that has intelligent outcomes when intricate/varying circumstances are encountered by a diverse number people.

    And it seems that hierarchy on a large scale needs to be severely augmented in order to have intelligent outcomes.
    We have been ruled for so long through the large entities of governments + military and corporations that I understand that it’s a challenge to envision potential alternatives. But I think we should experiment with virtual tools and social activities to come up with new ideas that might touch a breakthrough. In some cases it seems as though that certain people have to die-off before needed changes can arise, if they arise at all.

    Public intelligence in the public interest to me is a valuable contribution to stir more reality into the decision-making process.