- a New Research Discipline
A talk by +Jean-François Noubel
This was held at the 12th ECCO/GBI Seminar Series (Nov. 6/2015)http://ecco.vub.ac.be/?q=node/108
(ECCO = Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group, GBI = +Global Brain Institute
Abstract:"Collective intelligence has become a new discipline that explores how collectives, in the animal and plant world, can exist as coherent autonomous wholes. What conditions does it take for a social organism to exist? How many forms of collective intelligence can we observe? How do they differ from one another? Which ones apply to the human species? What does evolution show us? Collective intelligence helps us address all these questions, it also provides us with powerful methods to investigate human evolution and the rise of a planetary super-organism."http://noubel.com/http://cir.institute/
Wow, what an amazing wide-ranging talk!
The following are some of my notes/thoughts/interpretations in response to the talk:Forms of Collective Intelligence:
Swarm -> Original -> Pyramidal -> Holomidal
More explanation here:http://cir.institute/collective-intelligence/#Different_forms_of_collective_intelligenceAugmented Holopticism:
Potentially, the next step in the evolution of collective intelligence will be through augmented holopticism. This means tools and processes are created to enable the individuals within a group to sense the emergent whole. With our current capacities, it seems certain forms of collective intelligence breaks down when a group grows too large. (This is one reason why pyramidal or hierarchical structures have proven useful in enabling larger groups of humans to coordinate/cooperate/collaborate effectively)
A video explaining holopticism: https://vimeo.com/10221567
So, if we augment our ability to better sense the whole, then larger groups in a networked structure can produce a collective intelligence. I have heard +George Pór
refer to something along the lines of a "collective sensing organ"… and I wonder if augmenting holopticism might be a function of such an organism, as we move into more and more complexity. Maybe he can expand.Invisible Architectures:
In trying to envision new ways that humanity could act with collective intelligence and wisdom, it would be wise
to take a broad systemic perspective… It is pointed out that amongst our various human ecosystems there are invisible architectures
. These structures are called "invisible" because it seems that they sometimes get taken for granted, are assumed to be a "fact" of reality, or simply never arise into our conscious awareness. To neglect the consideration of such structures in the design and observation of emerging social systems is to perpetuate them, and their influence.
One example of an invisible architecture that was pointed out in the talk is the use of the verb to be
in typical English communication. It is pointed out that there are pitfalls to using this verb, and that it is entirely possible to communicate effectively without ever using it. The derivative of English that avoids use of the verb to be
is called E-Prime. "Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Prime
(I thought about it, but decided not to go back and re-write this entire post in E-Prime :P )
The We in the I:
It seems common to think of Collective Intelligence from a very atomistic perspective. That it is just an emergent phenomenon that can arise out of the interaction of individuals. Jean-Francois calls this the I in the We
(The ways that the individuals are embodied in the whole) However, he says the reverse is also true…. That the collective is also embodied in the individuals. They co-evolve. I can see this as being true when I think about how things like culture live within individuals. This reflexive feedback loop connecting the parts and the whole seems to be a powerful evolutionary mechanism for ratcheting upwards. Composable Abstractions / New Expressive Capacities:
- Quantum leaps in human collective intelligence seem to coincide with certain revolutionary technologies, such as: language, writing, the printing press, the internet/web etc…
- carrier -> protocol -> signal -> flow is introduced as a useful model for looking at many flows of information (not just human language, but seeing things like money as flows of information too)
- each new paradigm of complexity needs a new level of composability
- If we can get access to lower levels of composability, then we can potentially build back up into realms that humans can more readily comprehend/sense.
This leads into the Metacurrency Project, and its sub-project Ceptr. Which involves creating the infrastructure for enabling humans to reveal, interact, and even design these information flows. (Some currently visible, some invisible)http://metacurrency.org/http://ceptr.org/Post-Monetary:
- We can design any currency we want... ("Currency" hear meaning anything that enables us to see the flows of information/truth in our reality… and not just the narrow view of currency as "money")
- Currencies embed a values system (Invisible architectures).
- In many ways, our current monetary/economic system is at odds with many of our values, and also reality.
- We can play new games together economically.
- gift economiesTransrational:
I took this to represent the truths of our reality that haven't been/can't be arrived at through rationality (Things like scientific proofs, computable truths)…. And yet, we have an intuitive sense of the validity of these truths through direct experience.
"We have all the bricks"… Lets create more beautiful realities together... Collective Intelligence is not just about "problem-solving", and certainly not everything should be thought of as a problem to be solved.