hive mind

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pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

If money is flowing to advertising instead of musicians, journalists, and artists, then a society is more concerned with manipulation than truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and contentless. The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians, and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising. It’s true that today the idea can work in some situations. There are a few widely celebrated, but exceptional, success stories that have taken on mythical qualities.

The same mistakes that have stultified some recent digital culture would be disastrous if applied to the sciences, for instance. And yet there is some momentum toward doing just that. In fact, there is even a tendency to want to think of nature as if she were a hive mind, which she is not. For instance, nature could not maximize the meaning of genes without species. There’s a local system for each species within which creativity is tested. If all life existed in a undifferentiated global gloop, there would be little evolution, because the process of evolution would not be able to ask coherent, differentiated questions. A Wikified Science Conference The illusions of the hive mind haven’t thus far had as much influence in science as in music, but there’s a natural zone of blending of the Silicon Valley and scientific communities, so science hasn’t been entirely unaffected.

For instance, Stanford University researcher Jeremy Bailenson has demonstrated that changing the height of one’s avatar in immersive virtual reality transforms self-esteem and social self-perception. Technologies are extensions of ourselves, and, like the avatars in Jeremy’s lab, our identities can be shifted by the quirks of gadgets. It is impossible to work with information technology without also engaging in social engineering. One might ask, “If I am blogging, twittering, and wikiing a lot, how does that change who I am?” or “If the ‘hive mind’ is my audience, who am I?” We inventors of digital technologies are like stand-up comedians or neurosurgeons, in that our work resonates with deep philosophical questions; unfortunately, we’ve proven to be poor philosophers lately. When developers of digital technologies design a program that requires you to interact with a computer as if it were a person, they ask you to accept in some corner of your brain that you might also be conceived of as a program.


pages: 247 words: 64,986

Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own by Garett Jones

centre right, clean water, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hive mind, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, law of one price, meta analysis, meta-analysis, prediction markets, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Those millions of small cognitive contributions are what create each nation’s collective intelligence, each nation’s hive mind. Members of society all draw on that collective intelligence, they all get benefits from the hive mind that they never pay for, benefits that, by my lights at least, they don’t deserve. And it’s typically better to be the less-skilled honeybee in the highly productive hive than to be the highly skilled honeybee in the less-productive hive: your neighbors have an important influence on what you can accomplish. That the hive mind exists for every nation is almost obvious. The key question is whether a nation’s average IQ scores are an important driver of the hive mind. It Pays to Be Around the Cognitively Skilled In the next three chapters we’ll review the basics of modern IQ research: brain scans and job performance and nutrition and whether we really can compare average test scores across countries.

Tel: (650) 736-1782, Fax: (650) 736-1784 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free, archival-quality paper Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Jones, Garett, author. Hive mind : how your nation’s IQ matters so much more than your own/Garett Jones. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8047-8596-9 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Intelligence levels—Economic aspects. 2. Intelligence levels—Political aspects. I. Title. BF431.J596 2015 153.9—dc23 2015021620 ISBN 978-0-8047-9705-4 (electronic) Designed by Bruce Lundquist Typeset at Stanford University Press in 11.75/16 Baskerville HIVE MIND How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own Garett Jones STANFORD ECONOMICS AND FINANCE An Imprint of Stanford University Press Stanford, California “The area which I am about to enter is one that excites a great deal of emotional feeling; nevertheless it is worth examining.”

In the rich countries, IQ scores have consistently risen over the twentieth century, a phenomenon known as the Flynn Effect, after the philosopher—the philosopher, mind you—who discovered it. We’ll talk about Flynn’s world-shaking research in Chapter 3, but keep the Flynn Effect in mind when people tell you that IQ can’t be changed. Collective Intelligence: Each Nation as Hive Mind Animal researchers, computer scientists, and occasionally social scientists sometimes use the metaphor of “collective intelligence” or a “hive mind” to explain group actions. Why do animal herds run together to avoid predators, dodging this way and that? How do honeybees and ants share information and collaborate to build vast structures and complex economies that no one insect could ever build alone? Indeed, human society in every nation today is a form of collective intelligence, in which the accumulated knowledge of the past makes its members richer today, and in which the many small, daily cognitive contributions of millions of their neighbors—in offices, in factories, in the halls of government, and elsewhere—help to make their lives better as if by Adam Smith’s invisible hand.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

., 14–15, 26 CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy, 164 cash, disappearance of, 195–96 Celgene, 163, 164 Cell, 178 cells, immunological, 164 cellular medicine, 163–65 cellular senescence, 171 Celularity, 90–91, 164 change, acceleration of, 69–91 convergence and, see convergence exponential technologies and, see exponential technologies ChargePoint, 223 chatbots, 33, 36, 37 Chen, Yan, 71 Chile, 217 China, 192 electric cars in, 221 renewable energy projects in, 216 unbanked population of, 194–95 Xiaoice chatbot in, 33, 36, 37 Choose Your Own Adventure (film), 138 Christensen, Clayton, 87 chromosomes, 170 Chung, Anshe, 248 Church, George, 159 cities: floating, 199–200 innovation and, 82–83, 244 migration to, 243–45 productivity and, 244 smart, 235, 245 sustainability of, 244–45 Clean Air Task Force, 218 Climate Central, 241 climate change, 44, 48, 199–200, 207, 212–13, 215–18, 223 greenhouse gases and, 206, 207, 215–16, 221, 226 migration and, 211, 241–42 Netherlands and, 232 Clinton, Bill, 213 closed-loop economies, 85 clothing, 3–D printed, 109 Cluep, 137 coal, 216–17 Coca-Cola, 213–14 coffee houses, rise of, 82 cognitive function, brain implants and, 81–82 cognitive psychology, 136 collaboration, 227, 230, 240 human/AI, 47, 130, 162, 229 see also hive-mind collaborations collective consciousness, see hive-mind collaboration Collins, Francis, 169, 172–73 Collins, Marc, 200 communication, brain-to-brain, 256–57 communications technologies: and economic paradigm shifts, 98 in rise and fall of Sears, 98 computer-aided design, 11 computers, computing: affective, 136–38 demonetization and, 78 emotionally intelligent, 103 3–D printing and, 54 computer simulations, 11, 17–18 Congress, US, mail delivery and, 96–97 connectivity, see networks consciousness, collective, see hive-mind collaboration construction industry, 55 contact lenses, AR and, 139, 140 content, entertainment: AI and, 130, 131–32 AR and, 139–42 brain-computer interfaces and, 141–42 deepfakes and, 131–32 democratization of, 131–32 immersive, 132–35 new forms of, 130–38 new venues for, 138–42 sensory input in, 134–35 user-generated, 127–30 contracts, blockchain and, 58 convergence, 8–9, 68 affective computing and, 136–38 BCIs and, 255 business and, 23, 181–200 disruptive innovation and, 9 environmental threats and, 226–27 existential risks and, 235–36 finance industry and, 189–96 flying cars and, 9–12 food industry and, 201–8 healthcare and, 68, 89, 154–55 Hyperloop and, 17–18 insurance industry and, 183–89 longevity and, 169, 173, 179 real estate industry and, 196–200 renewable energy and, 217–18 robotics and, 48 secondary forces unleashed by, 22–24, 69–70; see also capital, availability of; demonetization; genius, nurturing of; longevity; networks; time, saving of of technologies and markets, 127 3–D printing and, 54–55 transportation revolution and, 21 of VR and AI, 148–50 Cook, Tim, 140, 155 Cooking with Dog (YouTube program), 128 Cooper, Al, 249 coral reefs, 223–25 Cortana, 132 Costa Rica, renewable energy in, 217 CRISPR, 67, 68, 154, 160 crowd economy, 84 crowdfunding, 73–75, 84 crowdlending, 194–95 crowdsurance, 183, 185–87 cryptocurrencies, 31, 56–57, 59, 190 ICOs and, 75–76 customer-designed products, 3–D printing and, 110–11 customer service, AI and, 102–3 cutin, 203–4 Daimler Financial Services, 103, 221 dairy products, animal-free, 208 Dakota Pipeline, 190 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), 256 Grand Challenge of, 13 Robotics Challenge of, 45–46 DART project, 233 data mining, see big data Daugherty, Paul, 229 David Rubenstein Show, The, 77 decentralized autonomous organizations, 85–86 deception, exponential technologies and, 31, 32, 33, 39, 215 Deep Blue computer, 28, 35–36 deep brain stimulators, 253–55 deepfake technology, 122–23, 131–32 DeepMind, 167 Defense Department, US, 36 deforestation, 48, 206, 207, 223, 224, 226 de Grey, Aubrey, 173 dematerialization, 31, 32, 200 democratization, xi, 31, 32, 108 of content creation, 128, 131–32 of healthcare, 162 real estate industry and, 200 demonetization, xi, 31–32, 15, 77–79 autonomous-car ridesharing and, 15 real estate industry and, 200 Denmark, 196 Department for International Development (UK), 191 “Destination 2028,” 112, 115 diabetes, 171, 175 diagnostics, personal, 156–58 Diamond Age, The (Stephenson), 149 digital assistants, see AI assistants digital currency, see cryptocurrencies digital mimicry, 121–22 see also deepfake technology digital technology, 31 and availability of capital, 73–77 Digital Trends, 122 digital world, boundaries between physical world and, 118–20 disaster relief, drones and, 48 discount pricing, Sears as pioneer of, 96, 98 discrimination, VR in combatting of, 52 disease, 41, 213 early detection of, 158, 159 disruption: exponential technologies and, 31, 32, 33, 215 innovation as, 9 distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs), 103 distributed electric propulsion (DEP), 10 DNA, 65, 66–67 Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), 106 dopamine, 246–47 double-spending problem, 56, 57 Dracula myth, 178 Dragon TV, 33 Dreamscape, 135 Drexler, K.

If solitary minds working in collectivist organizations—aka, business, culture, and society—produced converging exponential technologies—aka, the fastest innovation accelerant the world has yet seen—imagine what a hive-minded planet—aka, a kinder, gentler Borg—might be capable of creating. Put differently: How fast is our future if we’re all thinking together? And if you’ve come out the other side of all this thinking or feeling a little unsettled, there’s actually a technical term for this as well: loss aversion. One of our most potent cognitive biases, loss aversion is the evolutionarily programmed suspicion that if I take away whatever you have today, whatever I replace it with tomorrow will be a whole lot worse. This is why people stay stuck in ruts, it’s among the main reasons companies have such difficulty innovating, and why cultural change is so molasses slow. Yet, who knows, maybe our hive mind will get us past this particular blind spot, but, until then, that sense of converging exponentials meets five great migrations meets holy-shit vertigo that you might be feeling is perfectly natural.

From the future of education and entertainment to the transformation of healthcare and business, this portion provides a blueprint for tomorrow, a map of the major shifts coming to society, and a playbook for anyone interested in surfing that wave. In Part Three, we move to the bigger picture, looking at a series of environmental, economic, and existential risks that threaten the progress we’re about to make. Next, we’ll expand our view from the decade ahead to the full century, focusing on five great migrations—economic relocations, climate-change upheavals, virtual worlds explorations, outer space colonization, and hive-mind collaborations—that will play now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t with, well, just about everything. But before we do all that, as Steve Jobs liked to say: Wait, wait… There’s one more thing. Avatars It’s 2028 and you’re having breakfast at home in Cleveland, Ohio. You stand up, kiss the kids goodbye, and head out the door. Today, it’s a meeting in downtown New York. Your personal AI knows your schedule so has an Uber autonomous on standby.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

I would guess that in 50 years a significant portion of Wikipedia articles will have controlled edits, peer review, verification locks, authentication certificates, and so on. That’s all good for us readers. Each of these steps is a small amount of top-down smartness to offset the dumbness of a massively bottom-up system. Yet if the hive mind is so dumb, why bother with it at all? Because as dumb as it is, it is smart enough for a lot of work. In two ways: First, the bottom-up hive mind will always take us much further than we imagine. Wikipedia, though not ideal, is far, far better than anyone believed it could be. It keeps surprising us in this regard. Netflix’s personal recommendations derived from what millions of other people watch succeeded beyond what most experts expected. In terms of range of reviews, depth, and reliability, they are more useful than the average human movie critic.

We thought, “That amateur do-it-yourself thing died long ago, back in the horse-and-buggy era.” The enthusiasm for making things, for interacting more deeply than just choosing options, is the great force not reckoned—not seen—decades ago, even though it was already going on. This apparently primeval impulse for participation has upended the economy and is steadily turning the sphere of social networking—smart mobs, hive minds, and collaborative action—into the main event. When a company opens part of its databases and functionality to users and other startups via a public API, or application programming interface, as Amazon, Google, eBay, Facebook, and most large platforms have, it is encouraging the participation of its users at new levels. People who take advantage of these capabilities are no longer a company’s customers; they’re the company’s developers, vendors, laboratories, and marketers.

In the short list below I include only those kinds of minds that we might consider superior to us; I’ve omitted the thousands of species of mild machine smartness—like the brains in a calculator—that will cognify the bulk of the internet of things. Some possible new minds: A mind like a human mind, just faster in answering (the easiest AI mind to imagine). A very slow mind, composed primarily of vast storage and memory. A global supermind composed of millions of individual dumb minds in concert. A hive mind made of many very smart minds, but unaware it/they are a hive. A borg supermind composed of many smart minds that are very aware they form a unity. A mind trained and dedicated to enhancing your personal mind, but useless to anyone else. A mind capable of imagining a greater mind, but incapable of making it. A mind capable of creating a greater mind, but not self-aware enough to imagine it.


pages: 313 words: 91,098

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, attribution theory, bitcoin, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, combinatorial explosion, computer age, crowdsourcing, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Flynn Effect, Hernando de Soto, hindsight bias, hive mind, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

In that sense, people are like bees and society a beehive: Our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mind. To function, individuals rely not only on knowledge stored within our skulls but also on knowledge stored elsewhere: in our bodies, in the environment, and especially in other people. When you put it all together, human thought is incredibly impressive. But it is a product of a community, not of any individual alone. The Castle Bravo nuclear testing program is an extreme example of the hive mind. It was a complex undertaking requiring the collaboration of about ten thousand people who worked directly on the project and countless others who were indirectly involved but absolutely necessary, like politicians who raised funds and contractors who built barracks and laboratories. There were hundreds of scientists responsible for different components of the bomb, dozens of people responsible for understanding the weather, and medical teams responsible for studying the ill effects of handling radioactive elements.

If we’re building a house, the carpenter and the plumber better be on the same page about the location and shape of the bathroom, who gets to make which decision, and how big the appliances will be. Even if the carpenter knows nothing about plumbing, the bathroom has to be built to allow water pipes in and sewage pipes out. Similarly, our knowledge of things has to be structured so that the knowledge we expect others to fill in has an appropriate place to go. The Benefits and Perils of the Hive Mind In the preface to Saint Joan, his play about Joan of Arc, the teenager whose visions of saints and archangels stirred soldiers into battle early in the fifteenth century, George Bernard Shaw makes a surprisingly compelling argument that following Joan of Arc’s mystical visions was at least as rational as following a modern-day general into today’s battlefield full of highly technological and incomprehensible weapons of war.

If our team just won a big game or our candidate just won an election, then we feel like we knew it all along and others should have expected that outcome too. The curse of knowledge is that we tend to think what is in our heads is in the heads of others. In the knowledge illusion, we tend to think what is in others’ heads is in our heads. In both cases, we fail to discern who knows what. Because we live inside a hive mind, relying heavily on others and the environment to store our knowledge, most of what is in our heads is quite superficial. We can get away with that superficiality most of the time because other people don’t expect us to know more; after all, their knowledge is superficial too. We get by because a division of cognitive labor exists that divides responsibility for different aspects of knowledge across a community.


pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

Kevin Kelly, in his enthusiasm, unwittingly conveyed the darker implications of his vision. He extolled the “hive mind”—which is what happens when we get past our fetish for the author and give in to crowdsourcing and wikis and the hordelike tendencies of social media, when we surrender ourselves to the wise crowd. The hive mind was meant to describe a thing of beauty, humanity working in gorgeous concert. But really, who would want to live in a hive? We know from history that this sort of consensus is a plastic beauty, a stifling sameness. It deadens disagreement, strangles originality. This is true of our politics. Our era is defined by polarization, warring ideological gangs that yield no ground. Division, however, isn’t the root cause of our unworkable system. There are many causes, but a primary problem is conformism. Facebook has created two hive minds—the hive always has a queen bee—each residing in an ecosystem that nurtures head-nodding agreement and penalizes dissenting views.

There is a theory of knowledge embedded in this celebration of sharing: the notion that individuals can achieve only a limited understanding of the world while reading and thinking at their own desks. Before the arrival of the new technologies, information, like the isolated scholar, was atomized. But now, information can be sorted and processed by a much larger community—that could correct mistakes, add insights, and revise conclusions. Technology enabled what H. G. Wells once called the World Brain, or what Wired editor Kevin Kelly called the hive mind. The assumption that undergirds this strain of technological thinking is that humans aren’t simply self-interested economic creatures. Linus Torvalds, the engineer who created Linux, argued, “Money is not the greatest of motivators. It’s been well established that folks do their best work when they are driven by a passion.” At times, this collectivist view of human nature was difficult to discern.

Facebook has created two hive minds—the hive always has a queen bee—each residing in an ecosystem that nurtures head-nodding agreement and penalizes dissenting views. A hive mind is an intellectually incapacitated one, with diminishing ability to sort fact from fiction, with a bias toward evidence that confirms the party line. Facebook has managed to achieve consensus, but not quite as it promised. Instead of drawing the world together, the power of its network has helped tear it apart. Say all the ill things that can be said about our old ideas of genius and originality—none are worse than this. SECTION III TAKE BACK THE MIND Nine IN SEARCH OF THE ANGEL OF DATA IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAST CENTURY, the tech companies wouldn’t have had the run of the field. They would have been closely watched and occasionally leashed.


pages: 103 words: 32,131

Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff

banking crisis, big-box store, citizen journalism, cloud computing, digital map, East Village, financial innovation, Firefox, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, WikiLeaks

This is uncomfortable for many, but the refusal to adopt a new style of engagement dooms us to a behavior and psychology that is increasingly vulnerable to the biases and agendas of our networks—many of which we are utterly unaware we programmed into them in the first place. Resistance is futile, but so is the abandonment of personal experience scaled to the individual human organism. We are not just a hive mind operating on a plane entirely divorced from individual experience. There is a place for humanity—for you and me—in the new cybernetic order. The good news is we have undergone such profound shifts before. The bad news is that each time, we have failed to exploit them effectively. In the long run, each media revolution offers people an entirely new perspective through which to relate to their world.

And almost none of the original creators—if that term still means anything—are credited for their work. In the best light, this activity breaks through sacrosanct boundaries, challenging monopolies on culture held by institutions from the church to Walt Disney. After all, if it’s out there, it’s everyone’s. But what, if anything, is refused to the churn? Does committing a piece of work to the digital format mean turning it over to the hive mind to do with as it pleases? What does this mean for the work we have created? Do we have any authority over it, or the context in which it is used? We applaud the teenager who mashes up a cigarette commercial to expose the duplicity of a tobacco company. But what about when a racist organization mashes up some video of your last speech to make a false point about white supremacy? This is the liability of “processing” together.

Very specific ideas about collaboration, such as open source development and Creative Commons licensing, are equated with a free-for-all revolution of openness. Down with the corporations, up with the people. Following the logic of this side of the net wars, everything anybody does must be posted online, for free, with comments on. Denying the free distribution of everything prevents the hive from having a crack at it, improving it, taking it apart and putting it back together. If you don’t render your work unto the hive mind, then you are seen to be denying society its right to work with and repurpose your creations. Just as smart phone purchasers want the right to tinker with the software on their devices, media consumers want the right to remix and re-release the content they view. Charging money for access or, worse, asking people not to give away or change your work is attacked as selfish disregard for the foundations of open networks and open society.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

There were three different old encyclopedias kicking around my parents’ home, and a bookshelf full of history books whose information was harder to “access” than Wikipedia entries but far more detailed and diverse in the perspectives it presented. On the Internet, unless you’re a true specialist, anyone who sets out to research the art of the fifteenth century or the music of Mozart or the antiquity of China will start in the same place, find the same deposit of information, encounter the same hive mind—a hive mind that is larger than the team that wrote the 1910 Encyclopædia Britannica but hardly immune to bias and groupthink, and skewed in its own strange ways toward the obsessions of the male, the tech oriented, and the Very Online. And a hive mind that, unlike the authors of the old Britannica and its competitors, can’t produce a single perfect sentence, a single memorable turn of phrase, save by accident in the back matter of some obscure entry that the teams of homogenizing editors might forget to touch. Which, again, raises the problem of mediocrity.

.), 97 Handmaid’s Tale, The (Atwood), 47–50, 65 Handmaid’s Tale, The (TV show), 95 Hanson, Robin, 234 Harris, Mark, 93–94 Harris, Sam, 224 Hazony, Yoram, 218, 219 health care reform: interest groups and, 73 Obama and, 68, 69–70, 73–74, 76 Heavens and the Earth, The (McDougall), 2 Herbert, Frank, 229 Heterodox Academy, 97 Hinduism, 225 history: end of, 112–15, 135, 163, 177 return of, 129, 183, 195 viewed as morality play, 157 hive mind, 106–7 Holmes, Elizabeth, 18–19, 22 hookup culture, 121 horoscopes, 225 Houellebecq, Michel, 155–57, 159, 160–61, 172, 226, 227 House of Representatives, US, 68 “How the Wealth Was Won” (2019 paper), 26 Hubbard, L. Ron, 231 Huebner, Jonathan, 45 Hungary, 85–86, 164 Huntington, Samuel, 159 Hurrican Maria, 71 Hustler, 119–20 Huxley, Aldous, 127–28, 130, 184–85 Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 156 hyperloops, 37 Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Fukuyama), 115 identity politics, 115 ideological debates, repetition in, 100–101 “illiberal democracy,” 163–64 immanent divine, 224 immigrants, 64 birthrate of, 50 immigration: economic and social insecurities exacerbated by, 63–64 see also mass migration immigration reform, 70 impeachment hearings, 71 Inca Empire, 189–90 India, economic growth in, 167 inequality, economic, 31–32 declining birthrate and, 57–58 infant mortality rates, 50–51 innovation, 30 decline of, 45, 46 declining birthrate and, 57–58 repetition vs., 9 Instagram, 18 institutions: decadence and, 8–10, 69 technological acceleration and, 213–15 intellectuals, intellectual realm, repetition in, 96–101, 180 interest groups, health care and, 73–74 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 174 Internet, 40 anonymity on, 144–45 Chinese censoring of, 139 and decline in risky social behavior, 122–23 and declining rates of sexual violence, 121–22 extremist elements of, 194 hive mind and, 106–7 homogenization of, 104–5, 106 illusion of progress fed by, 11 journalism and, 105–6 mediocrity and, 107 NSA and, 146, 147 pornography and, 120–21 productivity and, 41 repetition in, 104–7 right to privacy and, 145, 146–47 as surveillance state, 144–47 unfulfilled promise of, 104–5 Internet economy, 17, 22 consolidation in, 27 Ip, Greg, 167 IPCC, 195 iPhone, 37, 40, 107 IQ scores, Flynn effect and, 35 Iran, Islamic Republic of, 160, 163 Iran nuclear deal, 71 Iraq War, 69, 70, 80, 150 Ireland, 52, 84 Islam, Islamic world, 201, 223 falling birthrates in, 161 modernity and, 227 as path to renaissance, 226–28 Islamic State (ISIS), 70, 113, 148, 152, 160 Islamists, Islamism, 113, 114, 155, 207 as alternative to liberal order, 159–62 Israel: birthrate in, 50, 54, 217 as model for nationalist renaissance, 217–18 Italy, 84, 85 iTunes, 105 Ivanov, Vyacheslav, 7 James, P.

., 9 Instagram, 18 institutions: decadence and, 8–10, 69 technological acceleration and, 213–15 intellectuals, intellectual realm, repetition in, 96–101, 180 interest groups, health care and, 73–74 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 174 Internet, 40 anonymity on, 144–45 Chinese censoring of, 139 and decline in risky social behavior, 122–23 and declining rates of sexual violence, 121–22 extremist elements of, 194 hive mind and, 106–7 homogenization of, 104–5, 106 illusion of progress fed by, 11 journalism and, 105–6 mediocrity and, 107 NSA and, 146, 147 pornography and, 120–21 productivity and, 41 repetition in, 104–7 right to privacy and, 145, 146–47 as surveillance state, 144–47 unfulfilled promise of, 104–5 Internet economy, 17, 22 consolidation in, 27 Ip, Greg, 167 IPCC, 195 iPhone, 37, 40, 107 IQ scores, Flynn effect and, 35 Iran, Islamic Republic of, 160, 163 Iran nuclear deal, 71 Iraq War, 69, 70, 80, 150 Ireland, 52, 84 Islam, Islamic world, 201, 223 falling birthrates in, 161 modernity and, 227 as path to renaissance, 226–28 Islamic State (ISIS), 70, 113, 148, 152, 160 Islamists, Islamism, 113, 114, 155, 207 as alternative to liberal order, 159–62 Israel: birthrate in, 50, 54, 217 as model for nationalist renaissance, 217–18 Italy, 84, 85 iTunes, 105 Ivanov, Vyacheslav, 7 James, P.


pages: 260 words: 67,823

Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever by Alex Kantrowitz

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, hive mind, income inequality, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, new economy, Peter Thiel, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, wealth creators, zero-sum game

Inside Jeff Bezos’s Culture of Invention Meet Amazon’s Science Fiction Writers Jeff Bezos’s Robot Employees Hands off the Wheel Life After Yoda Insist on the Highest Standards “That Article” Outputs 2. Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Culture of Feedback Facebook the Vulnerable Building a Feedback Culture Pathways Facebook’s Day One From Broadcast to Private “The Most Chinese Company in Silicon Valley” Enter the Machines Robot Compensation New Inputs Facebook’s Next Reinvention 3. Inside Sundar Pichai’s Culture of Collaboration The Hive Mind The Toolbar Episode The Path to Chrome The Shift The Split AI Answers The Great Reinvention Uprising Exodus 4. Tim Cook and the Apple Question A Culture of Refinement The Refiner’s Mindset Silos and Secrecy “A Form That’s Right” The HomePod Debacle Hands on the Wheel The IS&T Problem Face-off A Drive down 280 5. Satya Nadella and the Microsoft Case Study Nadella’s Day One Democratic Invention Constraint-free Hierarchy Collaboration Microsoft’s New Decade 6.

In a note to employees, Pichai made clear that while he welcomed dissent, Damore’s implication that women were less biologically suited for Google’s work crossed a line. “Our coworkers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic,” Pichai wrote. He fired Damore. The Hive Mind Ideas move fast inside Google—so fast that those advancing them regularly lose control. And that’s by design. Sometimes, this means conversations traditionally confined to the watercooler become international incidents. But the communication tools through which Damore’s memo spread have also turned Google into one of the most collaborative companies on earth, linking its employees in a collective consciousness and breaking down the typical boundaries between divisions.

Google’s communication tools are critical to its success: They cut down the execution work required to get up to speed on a new project, and make room for new ideas. They send ideas rocketing around the company, sparking invention and improvement. They enable collaboration and signal it’s expected, removing red tape and driving home the importance of working together with fellow members of the hive mind. These tools have helped Google reinvent search repeatedly over the past fifteen years. And through each evolution, Sundar Pichai has been critical. The Toolbar Episode Pichai joined Google as a product manager in 2004, amid a developing crisis. At the time, approximately 65 percent of Google’s search traffic originated from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, leaving the company fairly exposed.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Wave and Pay

This can prevent those seeking a solution, from being served a solution that is radically different (and effective), and may over-serve obvious solutions. #4: THE HIVE MIND Most platforms start within a small micro-market, as we noted in Section 4. Once the micro-market is saturated, these platforms spillover to adjacent micro-markets. Sometimes, the culture developed while saturating the initial micro-market may become so strong and insular that it may discourage adjacent micro-markets from coming on board. This problem is compounded because of a platform’s need for governance. If certain forms of behavior are encouraged during the early days and certain others are discouraged, the platform runs the risk of creating a hive mind. With scale, certain behaviors get reinforced and established as desirable behaviors. The governance on Reddit and Hacker News is so stringent that it overtly favors existing users (who have earned their karma) over new ones.

The links were posted by fake profiles and the vote counts assigned, to indicate activity, were fake as well. This fake activity was based on one principle: to ensure the seeding of content that the founders wanted the community to eventually discuss. As Reddit gathered traction, the initial content signaled high quality and encouraged user-producers to contribute content of similar quality, eventually creating a culture of such content in the community. Reddit is often criticized for encouraging a hive mind but there is no denying the strong network effects that the platform has succeeded in building. PLATFORM SCALE IMPERATIVE Platforms that try to create entirely new consumption behaviors may benefit from faking production initially. Platforms that require new consumption behaviors will often find it difficult to attract producers. Producers will likely be skeptical of participating in an interaction without a proven consumption behavior.

The governance on Reddit and Hacker News is so stringent that it overtly favors existing users (who have earned their karma) over new ones. These communities are often criticized for developing a hive mind. #5: CROWD-AS-A-HERD On platforms, reputation and influence are often conferred by the community. The best answer to a question on Quora is decided by the community through upvotes and downvotes. The best restaurants are determined by user-curators on Yelp. Value is dynamic and constantly evolving, best exemplified by a Wikipedia article in constant flux. Curation by the crowd is often shown as being superior to that by experts, but it comes with its unique set of disadvantages. If enough curators accept something as true, it becomes the new truth, even if it is untrue. As a community scales, user-curators tend to help the rich get richer.


pages: 303 words: 75,192

10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less by Garett Jones

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, business cycle, central bank independence, clean water, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, game design, German hyperinflation, hive mind, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, rent control, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization

If you want good government policies, you’ll often want them determined and enforced by anonymous bureaucrats, far from the reach of the voters. 2. If you want policy determined and enforced by anonymous bureaucrats—like judges, central bankers, or trade commissioners—don’t say you want oligarchic, undemocratic bureaucrats in charge. Just say you want “independent” bureaucrats. It goes over much better. Enhancing the Hive Mind I spent about a decade researching the many ways in which smarter neighbors can improve our lives. My first book, Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own, brings together that line of research. Through the process, I learned about the workings of the human brain, the value of intelligence tests, the merits and joys of listening to psychologists. 10% Less Democracy has nothing to do with any of that, at least not directly. But one relevant lesson I did learn from that experience was that voter skill matters for the wealth of nations—that the clichés are true and that informed voters are an extremely important ingredient in the recipe for good government.

se, 153–54 government credit rating, 130, 134 government debt/sovereign debt, 118–19, 125, 128–29; of Greece, 133, 165; of Italy, 136; ratio of national income to, 136; of United States, 118 government ownership: of banks, 74, 75, 76; of telecoms, 89 government regulation: by administrative court judges, 73; by appointed vs. elected regulators, 73, 80–89; captured regulators, 81–83; vs. central banks, 83, 84, 89; of electricity, 65, 71, 80–85; of employment, 74; financial independence of regulatory agencies, 90–91; independence of regulators, 88–91; judiciary vs. government regulators, 82–83, 88, 90–91; of telecommunications, 65, 80–82, 85–88, 89 grandfathering, 114 “great man” theory of history, 25–26 Greek sovereign debt, 133, 165 Grilli, Vittorio: on independent central banks, 49 gun owners’ rights, 64–65 Gurri, Martin: on Arab Spring, 144–45; on declining public authority, 144–45, 147; The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, 144–45; on social media, 144–45 Hamilton, Alexander: on bondholders, 119, 121, 177–78; Federalist No. 9, 177; First Report on the Public Credit, 128; on political science, 177–78; on republics vs. democracies, 180–81; on reputation, 128; on sovereign debt, 118, 119; on taxation, 118 Handbook of Economic Growth, 24 Hanisch, Carol: on the personal as political, 138 Harlow, Caroline Wolf, 109 Hatch, Orrin, 191n3; relationship with Ted Kennedy, 3 Hayek, Friedrich: on prices, 87; “The Use of Knowledge in Society”, 87 hegemonic political parties, 22 Hegre, Håvard: on levels of democracy, 17; on peace and democracy, 17; on socioeconomic development, 17 Heinlein, Robert: on minimum intelligence for voting, 116–17; voting in Starship Troopers, 106, 116 Helland, Eric: on elected judges and voters, 66–68 Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, 157 Hirschman Albert: on capitalism and peace, 16; The Passions and the Interests, 16 Hive Mind, 6 Hong Kong: foreign judges in, 71–72 Houellebecq, Michel: on Europe as oligarchy, 148, 149, 154 human rights, 20, 66, 102–4, 117, 168, 186 Hungary, 156 Hussein, Saddam, 181 Illinois: redrawn legislative districts in, 38–39 IMF. See International Monetary Fund income distribution and trade, 32 income growth and central bank independence, 48, 49 Index of Democratization, 19 Index of Economic Freedom, 157 India: appointment of judges in, 69; Bengal famine, 9–10; as democracy vs. colony, 9–10 inflation: and central banks, 43–44, 45–48, 49, 51, 52, 53–55, 56, 57, 58–59, 60, 90, 179; and economic growth, 23–25; in EU, 155; hyperinflation, 122; policy regarding, 43; and printing money, 121–22; problems with, 23–24, 25; relationship to happiness, 24; relationship to independent central banks, 45–48, 49, 52, 56, 57, 58–59, 60, 90; relationship to unemployment, 43–44, 48–49; and taxation, 23; in United States, 45–46, 47, 90, 122–23, 201n5; voter attitudes regarding, 30 Initiative on Global Markets (IGM), 31–32, 34–35 Inter-American Development Bank, 133 interest rates, 83, 165, 201n5; on bonds, 122, 123; and central banks, 41–42, 45; and French monarchs, 129–31; on municipal debt, 77–79 International Monetary Fund (IMF): conditions on loans, 34–35, 125, 133–34 investor-inclusive governance, 119, 126–27 Ireland: economic freedom in, 157; Seanad Éireann, 112 Israel: appointment of judges in, 69–70 Italy: age and voter knowledge in, 106–7; education and voter knowledge in, 98, 102; North vs.

South, 98; ratio of government debt to national income in, 136; relations with EU, 155 Japan: appointment of judges in, 70; finance ministry, 124; government bonds, 124, 126; ratio of government debt to national income in, 136; Supreme Court, 65 Johnson, Lyndon, 43 Jones, Benjamin: on democracies vs. autocracies regarding economic performance, 25–26; “Do Leaders Matter?”, 25–26 Jones, Garett: Hive Mind, 6; talk at Stanford on “10% Less Democracy”, 1–3 judiciary: appointment of judges, 65, 67, 69–73, 83, 187; vs. central banks, 64, 65, 70–71, 74, 76, 83; committee decisions by, 65; decisions as local, 66–68; election of judges, 65, 66–68, 69, 72–73, 76, 83, 187, 188; vs. government regulators, 82–83, 88, 90–91; impeachment of U.S. federal judges, 91; as independent, 15, 64–65, 67–68, 69–76, 175, 179, 186, 187; relationship to economic freedom, 69–76; relations with voters, 66–68; respect for judicial precedent among, 68–69, 72, 73, 74; supreme court judges vs. administrative court judges, 73, 74; term length of judges, 43, 64, 65, 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 177, 181 Kennedy, Ted: relationship with Orrin Hatch, 3 Keynes, John Maynard, 16, 145 Kleine, Mareike, 36, 37 Klein, Ezra: on Supreme Court, 64 Klomp, Jeroen: on central banks and financial crises, 57 Kydland, Finn: on real business cycle (RBC) theory, 55 labor market regulation, 34–35, 74, 75, 76, 100 Laffer curves, 19–22, 65, 81, 117 La Porta, Rafael: on judicial independence and economic freedom, 73–76 Latin American debt crisis, 133 Lawson, Robert: on economic freedom in EU, 155 Lee Kuan Yew, 175; on democracy, 172–73; From Third World to First, 172 legislative productivity: impact of longer terms on, 37–38; impact of looming elections on, 36–37 liberal institutions and peace, 16–17 Lincoln, Abraham: on fooling people all the time, 53 Lipset, Seymour Martin: on prosperity and democracy, 11 logrolling, 139–42, 143 Long, John: on real business cycle (RBC) theory, 55 looming elections: impact on exchange rate policy, 36; impact on labor market policy, 34–35, 36; impact on legislative productivity, 36–39; impact on trade policy, 32–34, 36; impact on U.S.


pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

The more comments, the more likely it would stay on the home page and attract more comments, and so on. A raid was more likely to happen if lots of people agreed to take part. But it could be manipulated if a small group of four or five people suggested a raid and repeatedly commented on it to make it look like the hive mind was latching on. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. It was a game where seconds counted—if the original poster couldn’t post for two minutes, the chance could be lost and the hive mind would lose interest. Another reason to stick around: /b/ was an endless source of learning, whether it was how to prank pedos or unearth someone’s private data. Soon enough, the /r/ requests for porn weren’t just for celebrities but for the n00dz of real-life girls, exes, or enemies of /b/tards. As they took up the challenge to sniff out homemade porn, /b/ users taught one another best practices—for instance, how to find a unique string of numbers from each Facebook photo URL, or website address, and use that to access someone’s profile and their information.

Others, who embraced the anonymity feature, mocked the signers and christened them “tripfags.” Perhaps as an omen of what was to come, conflict ensued. Supporters of anonymity and tripcodes started creating separate threads, calling on anyone who supported their own view to post a message and demonstrate support, or starting “tripcode vs. anon” threads. The tripfags began mocking the anonymous users as a single person named “Anonymous,” or jokingly referring to them as a hive mind. Over the next few years, however, the joke would wear thin and the idea of Anonymous as a single entity would grow beyond a few discussion threads. Poole would fade into the background as Anonymous took on a life of its own. Over the years, /b/ in particular would take on a dedicated base of users whose lives revolved around the opportunities the board afforded them for fun and learning. These users were mostly in the English-speaking world, aged between eighteen and thirty-five, and male.

“They honestly believed that because of the amount of people it would be impossible to prosecute any single individual,” the programmer later remembered. “No one talked about prosecutions. They didn’t want to hear about your IP being exposed or anything like that.” And the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and accomplishment dominated reasonable argument. The world’s media were paying attention to Anonymous and its extraordinary hive mind; the last thing they needed was to start fiddling with the technology they were relying on and slowing things down. Even when Dutch police swiftly arrested sixteen-year-old AnonOps IRC operator Jeroenz0r and nineteen-year-old Martijn “Awinee” Gonlag on December 8 and 11, 2010, people on AnonOps initially didn’t believe it. “BS, no one is getting arrested,” said a user called Blue when links to the arrest stories started getting passed around.


pages: 376 words: 93,160

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds

clockwatching, friendly fire, hive mind, illegal immigration, place-making, Stanford prison experiment

Chapter 141 - The Right Choice Chapter 142 - The Slow Attrition of the Soul Chapter 143 - Knee Chapter 144 - Extended Role Chapter 145 - The Stanford Experiment Chapter 146 - Da Boss Chapter 147 - Standing Back Chapter 148 - Two in Two Nights Chapter 149 - MHU Transfers Chapter 150 - No Boom Today, Maybe Boom Tomorrow Chapter 151 - A Little Good Chapter 152 - Anger Chapter 153 - A Night on the FRU Chapter 154 - Attention Chapter 155 - Meal-Breaks Chapter 156 - Battered Chapter 157 - The Long Job Chapter 158 - Christmas Chapter 159 - Man Down Chapter 160 - Pre-Christmas Crisis Chapter 161 - Bus/Follow Up Chapter 162 - Curse of the Observer Chapter 163 - His and Hers Chapter 164 - On the Possible Causes for a Collapse Chapter 165 - Non-Carers Who Care Chapter 166 - Canvas, with Handles Chapter 167 - Essex Boy Chapter 168 - Parents Chapter 169 - A Query on a Phone Call Chapter 170 - Wheelchair Chapter 171 - More of the (Shameful) Usual Chapter 172 - Violence Chapter 173 - Increasing Calls Chapter 174 - Mr Grumpy Chapter 175 - Yellow Card Chapter 176 - Fat Bastard Chapter 177 - On the Failings of My Stab Vest Chapter 178 - Broken Finger Chapter 179 - Returnee Chapter 180 - Another Good Job Chapter 181 - Infested Chapter 182 - Small Annoyances Chapter 183 - Friday Chapter 184 - The Same Old Story Chapter 185 - Yellow Chapter 186 - Hive Mind Chapter 187 - From Sun to Scum Chapter 188 - More Real Work Chapter 189 - More Strokes Chapter 190 - Midwife to Tragedy Chapter 191 - Rat Poison Chapter 192 - Filth Chapter 193 - Why I Like Old Folk Chapter 194 - Cordoned Off Chapter 195 - Invisible Dogs Chapter 196 - Why the Government Hates Us Chapter 197 - Thanks to a Bystander Chapter 198 - Smoky Chapter 199 - How to Fix the Ambulance Service (Part One) Chapter 200 - HOW to Fix the Ambulance Service (Part Two) Chapter 201 - Hidden Abuse?

Hundreds of souvenirs, all covered with a patina of tar, nicotine and heaven knows what else, told me of their life before they became housebound. They were quite happy in their life, they had each other, they had their ‘little sin’ and they weren’t hurting anyone. They were lovely, we had a little laugh and a joke with them, I stroked the dog a bit more and we took our patient off to hospital. But I could taste that house for the rest of the day. Hive Mind There I was, sitting outside the newsagent’s shop at the end of the hospital road. The newsagent whom I’m sure I keep financially stable with my purchases of large amounts of caffeinated beverages. As I finished off the paperwork from my previous job one of our ambulances raced past me on the way to a job. A woman chose that moment to cross the road without looking first for big lumps of yellow metal and blue flashing lights moving at speed.

‘You ambulance drivers think you own the fucking road!’ She continued in a similar vein with much more swearing. Most of it directed at me. She wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways. I considered stepping out of the ambulance and punching her on the nose. I reconsidered as it was not a good career choice. I told her to go away. Maybe a little less politely than policy would suggest. Apparently, because we all share a uniform we all share a hive mind. Also I suspect that she wouldn’t shout at me if she were to come across me in the street wearing my jeans and hoodie. From Sun to Scum It was a beautiful day, early afternoon and the sun was making everything in Newham look lovely. A stationmate had been showing his young children around the back of our ambulance when we got the call. ‘Male, overdose, not breathing.’ So we whizzed around to find two FRUs already there.


pages: 315 words: 92,151

Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future by Brian Clegg

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Brownian motion, call centre, Carrington event, combinatorial explosion, don't be evil, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, game design, gravity well, hive mind, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Turing test

Not only was their ship, a messy cube of incomprehensible artifacts, incomparably more convincing and ominous than any flying saucer, this was a hive mind, a collective whose individual components had all the flexibility of a human being, but were scarily enhanced as an interacting whole. In the TV show and the movies, humans eventually triumphed. But anyone who rationally assessed the stories realized that the Borg would really have won the day, leaving the Federation assimilated. Frankly, Captain Picard, transformed to “Locutus of Borg,” came across better than he did as a human. Although the main scientific thrust of the Borg as a creation is the combination of human and machine, it is worth briefly contemplating that “hive mind” aspect, because the more we find out about collective insects like bees or termites, the more impressively different and alien they are—an ideal model for science fiction.

See also antigravity aliens and creating artificial Einstein on manipulation of SF use of spacecraft launch and tractor beams and Griffin (fictional character) Guiney, Sue Hal (HAL 9000 computer) AI design of chess game of conversation ability of expert system approach and homicidal actions of naming convention for physical design of speech interpretation of Haldeman, Joe Hawking, Stephen on aliens voice of Heinlein, Robert A. “helicoidal ray” Hendo board Herbert, Nick Herschel, William Hewish, Antony Higgs field hive mind holodeck computer game inspiring implications of problems with virtual reality compared to hologram color definition of first moving restrictions Hothouse (Aldiss) hoverboard Hoyle, Fred Hughes Aircraft Company “human batteries” human-machine. See cyborg technology The Hunt for the Meteor (Verne) hydraulic systems hyperspace hypnopedia. See sleep learning I, Robot IBM implants brain skin Inception infrared technology insects cyborg technology with DNA of preserved instantaneous transmitter.

See also Hal Upatnieks, Juris Venus Verne, Jules Moon travel by tractor beam use by Wells compared to Vicary, James virtual learning virtual reality dreaming as gaming and holodeck compared to Matrix and in movies technology for linking to virtual-reality goggles von Braun, Wernher von Kempelen, Wolfgang von Neumann, John La Voyage dans la Lune “Vril” Vulcans walkie-talkie radios The War in the Air (Wells) The War of the Worlds (Wells) Wardenclyff warp drive “Warrior Web” Warwick, Kevin weapons. See also beam weapons EMPs as optical projectile Wells, H. G. aliens of exoskeleton inspiration of genetic engineering and hive mind and invisibility and nuclear power and perpetual motion machine of predictions of ray guns and Verne compared to Whedon, Joss White, Harold (“Sonny”) wing suits wireheads Wolfenstein 3D Woods, Don The World Set Free (Wells) wormhole Wright, Lan Wyndham, John Xenostorm: Rising (Clegg) The X-Files X-ray Yaeger, Gordon Yoshiyuki Sankai Zambonelli, Franco Zeilinger, Anton ABOUT THE AUTHOR BRIAN CLEGG holds a physics degree from Cambridge and has written regular columns, features, and reviews for numerous magazines.


pages: 1,171 words: 309,640

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

back-to-the-land, clean water, Colonization of Mars, cryptocurrency, dark matter, friendly fire, gravity well, hive mind, low earth orbit, mandelbrot fractal, megastructure, random walk, risk tolerance, Vernor Vinge

Original site of the Wranaui Conclave (later the Abyssal Conclave) prior to the joining of the Arms and the ascendency of the regnant form. HIGHMOST: wielder of the Staff of Blue. Leader of the Heptarchy. HIVE MIND: psycho-mechanical joining of two or more brains. Usually accomplished by continual-beam synchronization of subject implants, ensuring agreement between intero-, extero-, and proprioceptive stimuli. Total exchange of prior sense memory is a common (though not required) part of establishing a hive mind. Effective range depends on signaling bandwidth and tolerance for lag. Breakdown tends to occur when physical proximity exceeds tolerance. Largest recorded hive mind was forty-nine, but experiment was short-lived as participants experienced debilitating sensory overload. HUNTER-SEEKER: small drones used for surveillance and assassination.

You can probably see that. But the weirdest things happened.…” “What, Ms. Kira?” Vishal asked, leaning in, brow pinched. She tried to find the words. “The Soft Blade, it connected my brain to his.” Vishal’s eyes widened. “No. A direct neural link?!” Kira nodded again. “I wasn’t trying to. The xeno just did it. For a while, we had a … a…” “A hive mind?” said Hwa-jung. “Yeah. Like the Entropists.” Vishal clucked his tongue as he helped Kira to her feet. “Forming a hive mind with a ship mind is very dangerous for an unaugmented human, Ms. Kira.” “I know. Good thing I’m augmented,” said Kira wryly. She tapped the fibers on her arm to make her meaning clear. Hwa-jung said, “Were you able to talk with him at all?” Kira frowned, troubled by the memory. “No. I tried, but ship minds are…” “Different,” Hwa-jung supplied.

“You don’t understand,” said Jorrus between hitching breaths. “Explain.” “She—Me—Us—” He wrung his hands, which caused him to start floating away. Falconi caught him, stabilized him. “There is no us! No we. No I. All gone. Gone, gone, gone, ahhh!” And his voice dropped into meaningless rambles again. Falconi shook him. “Pull yourself together! The ship’s almost here.” It made no difference. “Their hive mind is broken,” said Hwa-jung. “So? He’s still himself, isn’t he? “That’s—” Veera woke with a gasp and a wild start that sent her spinning. An instant later she clutched her temples and began to scream. At the sound, Jorrus curled into a fetal ball and whimpered. “Great,” said Falconi. “Now we’ve got a pair of crazies to deal with. Just great.” Soft as a falling feather, the Wallfish slowed to a stop outside the airlock.


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

See also adolescence chilling effect, 472; and extended chilling effect, 472, 489 China: conflation of instrumentarian and authoritarian power in, 389, 393–394; crisis of social trust in, 389–390; funding Pentland’s research lab, 417; Shenzhen trade show and surveillance technology industry, 393–394, 395; Skinner’s views on, 443; social credit system in, 388–394; use of location data in, 246 China Daily, 391 chips, 189, 245, 289, 392 choice architectures, 294, 370 Chomsky, Noam, 323, 441 Choudhury, Tanzeem, 419, 420 Chrome browser, 400, 487 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), 114, 116, 117, 321–322 Cisco, 227, 264, 417 Cisco Kinetic, 227–228 cities, 227–232 civil society organizations, 126 Clapper, James, 387 click-through rates, 76, 82, 83–84, 95–96, 277 click-wrap agreements, 48–50, 108 climate, sensors of, 206 climate change, 126, 346 cloud, the: Google’s, 188, 218; and human relationships, 410; and machine relations, 408; Microsoft’s, 400 Cohen, Jared, 103, 223 Cohen, Leonard, 255 cold war, 108, 320–321 collaboration: and contractual agreements, 333, 334, 335–336, 337; and social pressure, 435–436 collective action: confluence as new form of, 409, 413; and contractual agreements, 333; needed to challenge asymmetries of knowledge and power, 344–345, 485–486, 520–525 collective decision making, 407, 432–433 collective mind. See hive mind collectivism: behavior for the greater good, 431–432; and death of individuality, 436–437, 438–440, 444, 469; neoliberal ideology in opposition to, 38, 39, 108, 504–505; and surveillance capitalism’s collectivist social vision as departure from market democracy, 21, 495, 504–512, 519. See also hive mind Columbus, Christopher, 176–177 Columbus, Ohio, 229 co-marketing, 217 commodity fictions (Polanyi), 99, 345–346, 514 Common Rule (legal standards for experimentation), 303–304, 320, 325 Communications Decency Act (1996), Section 230, 110–112 communism, 321 Communist Manifesto, The (Marx and Engels), 222 Communist Party, 356, 389 compulsion: elements of, 451; and mobile advertising, 242–243; of social media, 449–453, 457–458, 463, 466–467; through uncontract, 221 CompuServe, 111 “Computer for the 21st Century, The” (Weiser), 199–202, 398 computer-mediated transactions, new uses of, 64–65, 212–213, 256 Concept of the Corporation (Drucker), 64 conditioning: definition of, 296–297; “mind control” as system of, 322; operant conditioning, 296, 322, 361 confluence: as core social process of instrumentarianism, 397f; in the hive, 466; as machine relations, 20–21, 407–411; as new form of collective action, 409, 413; as new template for social order, 21, 411–415, 429 conquerors, Spanish, 12, 176–177, 177–178, 193 conquest: through declaration, 176–180; and domination of souls, 354, 359, 365 Conquest, Robert, 356, 357 conquest pattern, 176, 177–178, 338 conscientiousness, 275, 277 consciousness.

., 155 Harvard Law Review, 326 Harvey, Adam, 490–491 Harvey, David, 99 hate speech: and calculation of radical indifference in Facebook content moderation, 509–510; First Amendment rejection of restrictions on, 109 Hawkins, Amy, 389–390 Hayden, Michael, 114 Hayek, Friedrich, 37–39, 106–108, 181, 496–498, 505, 519–520 health care: and internet of things, 247–251; and wearable technologies, 240, 247–249 health insurance, 216, 295 Heatherton, Todd, 308 Heinrich, Bernd, 467 herding approach to behavioral modification, 8–9, 202, 295–296, 463 Heritage Action, 126 Herrnstein, Richard, 368 heteronomy, 308, 320 Heyman, Steven, 109 hiding, from surveillance, 489–492 Hilbert, Martin, 183, 188 Hildebrand, Grant, 475 hiQ, 174 Hive (Facebook data log storage area), 483 the hive: for children/youth, 444, 445–449, 465–466; and compulsion, 449–450, 451; dangers of, 455–456, 492; and Facebook design, 451, 456–461; and homing to the herd, 465–470; as instrumentarianism’s ideal for a third modernity, 443–445; life in, 445–474; and no exit, 470–474; psychological processes in, 461–465; and psychological processes of adolescence, 449, 452–455; and social comparison, 461–465. See also hive mind hive mind: as core social process of instrumentarianism, 397f; instrumentarian society as, 20–21, 419; human hive, 414–415; machine confluence as, 409; machine hive, 413–415, 492; and radical indifference, 504–512; and social hive, 431; social pressure exerted by, 436–437 HIV research, 61–62 Hoffman-Andrews, Jacob, 167, 168 Hölzle, Urs, 189 home: and Big Other, 477–479; and digital assistants, 261–262; house fire, author’s, 12–13, 475–476; and lack of Fourth Amendment protection from Big Other, 480–481; as private domain, 6, 478–479; search for, 4–5; as sanctuary of self, 475–477.

Part III follows surveillance capitalism into a second phase change. The first was the migration from the virtual to the real world. The second is a shift of focus from the real world to the social world, as society itself becomes the new object of extraction and control. Just as industrial society was imagined as a well-functioning machine, instrumentarian society is imagined as a human simulation of machine learning systems: a confluent hive mind in which each element learns and operates in concert with every other element. In the model of machine confluence, the “freedom” of each individual machine is subordinated to the knowledge of the system as a whole. Instrumentarian power aims to organize, herd, and tune society to achieve a similar social confluence, in which group pressure and computational certainty replace politics and democracy, extinguishing the felt reality and social function of an individualized existence.


pages: 230 words: 61,702

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael P. Lynch

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, Internet of things, John von Neumann, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patient HM, prediction markets, RFID, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, WikiLeaks

A device that gives you a world of information also gives the world huge amounts of information about you, and that might seem like a threat to privacy. Others might fret about fragmentation—that neuromedia encourages people to share more information with those who already share their worldview, but less with those who don’t. They would worry that this would make us less autonomous, more dependent on our particular hive-mind—less human. But we can imagine that many in the society see these potential drawbacks as a price worth paying for immediate and unlimited access to so much information. New kinds of art and experiences are available, and people can communicate and share their selves in ways never before possible. The users of neuromedia are not only free from the burden of memorization, they are free from having to fumble with their smartphone, since thoughts can be uploaded to the cloud or shared at will.

Crowdsourcing is not simply any activity that uses the World Wide Web as a platform for people to network about problems—like Intrade or rankings on Amazon. As computer scientist Daren Brabham defines it, crowdsourcing is an online problem-solving and production model that “leverages the collective intelligence of online communities to serve specific organizational goals.”2 In other words, it is the top-down organized use of the Internet hive-mind. An organization throws out a problem, and those who want (or those granted access to the relevant site or network) contribute solutions, and see what sticks. The popular incentive-based innovation platform InnoCentive is often cited as an example of the inclusivity of crowdsourcing. (InnoCentive is ancient in Web 2.0 terms: it was founded in 2002.) Here’s how it works: nonprofits and businesses post prize competitions for solutions to challenges.

., 102 French Revolution, 58 Freud, Sigmund, 184 Fricker, Miranda, 146–48, 201 Galileo, 34, 68 Galton, Francis, 120 games, gaming, 20, 191 gatekeeping, 128, 134, 146 gender, 162 in marriage, 53–54, 72 in problem solving, 137 Georgetown University, 77–78 Gilbert, Margaret, 117–19, 200 Glass, Ira, 78 Glaucon, 54 Glauconian reasoning, 54–55, 56–58 global economy, 139, 142, 152 global warming, 56, 100, 124, 144, 185, 198 Goldberg, Sandy, 115 Goldman, Alvin, 194 Google, 5, 23, 30, 113, 128, 130, 135, 163, 174, 182, 203 business model of, 9 data collection and tracking by, 90, 155–56, 158, 161 as hypothetical “guy,” 24 monopolization by, 145–46 propaganda disseminated on, 66 in reinforcement of one’s own beliefs, 56 Google Complete, 155 Google Flu Trends, 158, 183 Google Glass, 149, 186 Google-knowing, xvi, 21–40, 25 defined, 23 limitations of, 174, 180 reliance on, 6–7, 23, 25–26, 30–31, 36, 113, 116, 153, 163, 179–80 Google Maps, 116 Google Street View, 23 Gordon, Lewis, 148 gorilla suit experiment, 30 government: autonomy limited by, 109 closed politics of, 144–45 data mining and analysis used by, 9, 90–91, 93, 104, 107 online manipulation used by, 81 purpose of, 38 transparency of, 137–38 Greece, classical philosophy of, 13, 47, 166–67, 171–72 Grimm, Stephen, 164 Guardian, 81 Gulf of Mexico, oil spill in, 118 H1N1 flu outbreak, tracking of, 158 Haidt, Jonathan, 51–54, 56, 57, 60, 196–97 Halpern, Sue, 106 Harvard Law Review, 89 Hazlett, Allan, 49 HBO GO, 145 Heidegger, Martin, 177 Hemingway, Mark, 46 Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), 61 Hippocrates, 13 hive-mind, 4, 136 HM (patient), 168–69 Hobbes, Thomas, 38, 109 holiness, logical debate over, 166–67 homosexuality, changing attitudes toward, 53–54 Houla massacre, 83 Howe, Jeff, 136 Huffington Post, 43 human dignity: autonomy and, 58, 59–60 information technology as threat to, 187 interconnectedness and, 184–88 privacy and, 101–9 human rights, 54, 60 digital equality as, 142–48 protection of, 145 Hume, David, 48 hyperconnectivity, 184–88 identity: digital reshaping of, 73–74 manufactured online, 80–81 “scrubbing” of, 74 illegal searches, 93 illusion, distinguishing truth from, 67–74 incidental data collection, 95–96, 99 inclusivity, 135–37 income inequality, 142 inference, 29, 60, 172 information: accuracy and reliability of, 14, 27–30, 39–40, 44–45 collected pools of, 95–100, 107–9 distribution vs. creation of, 24 immediate, unlimited access to, 3–4, 23, 30, 42, 56, 113–16, 135–36, 141, 149, 153, 180 as interconnective, 184–88 vs. knowledge, 14 sorting and filtering of, 12, 26–29, 44–45, 127–28 information age, 111 information analysis, techniques of, 8–9 information cascades, 36, 66, 121 defined, 32 information coordination problem, 38–39, 56 information “glut,” 9–10, 44 information privacy, 94–100 and autonomy, 102–7 information sharing, coordination in, 4–5 information technology: costs of, 145 data trail in, 9 democratization through, 133–38, 148 devices and platforms of, xvii–xviii, 3, 7–8, 10, 41–43, 69, 70, 77–78, 90–91, 106–7, 144, 148–49, 156, 180, 185–87 disquieting questions about, 6 in education, 148–54 experience vs., 173–74 hypothetical loss of, 5 paradox of, 6, 12, 179 pool of data in, 95–100 surveillance and, 89–109 typified and dephysicalized objects in, 69 unequal distribution of, 144–45 see also Internet of Things information theory, 12 infosphere: defined, 10 feedback loop of social constructs in, 72–73 network of, 180 pollution of, 148 vastness of, 128 InnoCentive, 136–37, 141 institutions, cooperative, 60–61 intellectual labor, 139–40 International Telecommunications Union, 135 Internet: author’s experiment in circumventing, 21–24, 25, 35 in challenges to reasonableness, 41–63 changes wrought by, xv–xviii, 6–7, 10–11, 23, 180, 184–88 as a construction, 69 cost and profit debate over, 145 as epistemic resource, 143–45 expectations of, 80–83 as force for cohesion and democracy, 55–63 freedom both limited and enhanced by, 92–93 international rates of access to, 135, 144–45 monopolization and hegemony in, 145–46 as network, 111–13 “third wave” of, 7 see also World Wide Web; specific applications Internet of Everything, 184 Internet of Things: blurring of online and offline in, 71 defined, 7–8 integration of, 10 shared economy in, 140–41 threat from, 107, 153, 184–88 Internet of Us, digital form of life as, 10, 39, 73, 83–86, 106, 179–88 interracial marriage, 54 interrogation techniques, 105 In the Plex (Levy), 5–6 Intrade, 122–23, 136 intuition, 15, 51–53 iPhone, production of, 77–78, 80, 139, 144 IQ, 52 Iraq, 83 Iraq War, 137 ISIS, 128 isolation, polarization and, 42–43 I think, I exist, 127 James, William, 11 Jefferson, Thomas, 143 Jeppesen, Lars Bo, 137 joint commitments, defined, 117–18 journalism, truth and, 84 judgment, 51–55, 57 collective vs. individual, 117, 120–25 justice, 54 “just so” stories, 27–28 Kahneman, Daniel, 29, 51 Kant, Immanuel, 34, 58–60, 62, 85 Kitcher, Philip, 182 knowing-which, as term, 171 knowledge: in big data revolution, 87–190 changing structure of, 125–32 common, 117–19 defined and explained, xvii, 12–17 democratization of, 133–38 digital, see digital knowledge; Google-knowing distribution of, 134–35, 138, 141 diverse forms of, 130 economy of, 138–45 hyperconnectivity of, 184–88 individual vs. aggregate, 120–24 information vs., 14 Internet revolution in, xv–xviii minimal definition of, 14–15 as networked, 111–32 new aspects in old problems of, 1–86, 90 personal observation in, 33–35 political economy of, 133–54 as power, 9, 98–99, 133, 185–86 practical vs. theoretical, 169, 172 procedural, 167–74 recording and storage of, 127–28 reliability of sources of, 14, 27–31, 39–40, 44–45, 114–16 as a resource, 38–39 shared cognitive process in attainment of, 114–25 three forms of, 15–17 three simple points about, 14–17 truth and, 19, 126 understanding vs. other forms of, 6, 16–17, 90, 154, 155–73, 181 value and importance of, 12–13 knowledge-based education, 61 Kodak camera, 89 Koran, 48, 61 Kornblith, Hilary, 194 Krakauer, John, 169 Kuhn, Thomas, 159–60 Lakhani, Karim, 137 Larissa, Greece, 13, 15, 182 Leonhardt, David, 122–23 Levy, Steven, 5–6 liberals, 43 libraries, 22, 134, 153–54 of Alexandria, 8 digital form of life compared to, xvi, 17, 20, 44–45, 56, 63, 128 as epistemic resource, 145 Google treated as, 24 “Library of Babel” (Borges), 17 “Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact-Checking’: The Liberal Media’s Latest Attempt to Control the Discourse” (Hemingway), 46 Lifespan of a Fact, The (D’Agata), 79 literacy, 35, 134 literal artifacts: defined, 69 social artifacts and, 71, 72 lobectomy, 168 Locke, John, 33–36, 39, 60, 67–70, 85, 127, 143 “Locke’s command,” 33–34 London Underground, mapping of, 112–13 machines, control by, 116 “mainstream” media, 32 censorship of, 66 majority rule, 120 manipulation: data mining and, 97, 104–6 of expectations, 80–82 persuasion and, 55, 57–58, 81–83, 86 manuals, 22 manufacturing, 138–39 maps, 21–22 marine chronometer, 137 marketing: bots in, 82 Glauconian, 58 targeted, 9, 90, 91, 105 marriage: changing attitudes toward, 53–54 civil vs. religious, 58–59 as social construct, 72 martial arts, 170 mass, as primary quality, 68 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 150–53 mathematics, in data analysis, 160, 161 Matrix, The, 18–19, 75 Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor, 8, 158–59 measles vaccine, 7, 124 Mechanical Turk, 136, 141 media, 134 diversity in, 42 opinion affected by, 53 sensationalist, 77 memory: accessing of, 114, 115 in educational models, 152 loss of, 168–69 superceded by information technology, xv–xvi, 3, 4, 6, 94, 149 trust in, 28, 33 Meno, 13 merchandising, online vs. brick and mortar, 70 Mercier, Hugo, 54 metrics, 112 Milner, Brenda, 168–69 mirror drawing experiment, 169 misinformation, 6–7, 31–32 in support of moral truth, 78–80, 82 mob mentality, 32–33 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), 150–53 moral dumbfounding, 52 morality, moral values, xvii, 6, 44, 53–54, 195 “Moses Illusion,” 29–30 motor acuity, mastery of, 170–71, 173 motor skills, 167–74 Murray, Charles J., 147 music, as dephysicalized object, 69–70 Nagel, Thomas, 84 naming, identification by, 94 narrative license, truth and falsehood in, 78–79 National Endowment for the Humanities, 61 National Science Foundation, 61 Nature, 158, 161 Netflix, 69, 145 Net neutrality, defined, 145 netography, 112–13 of knowledge, 125–32 networked age, 111 networks, 111–32 collective knowledge of, 116–25, 180 knowledge reshaped and altered by, 125–32, 133, 140 in problem solving, 136 use of term, 111–12 neural system, 26 neural transplants, 3, 5 Neurath, Otto, 128–29 neuromedia, 3–5, 12, 17–19, 113–14, 132, 149, 168, 180–82, 184 limitations of, 174 as threat to education, 153–54 Newton, Isaac, 175 New Yorker, 25, 26 New York Times, 122, 174 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 111 Nobel laureates, 149 noble lie, 83, 86 nonfiction, 79–80 NPR, 78, 80 NSA: alleged privacy abuses by, 98–100, 138 data mining by, 9, 91, 95–96, 108, 167 proposed limitations on, 109 Ntrepid, 81 nuclear weapons technology, xvii nullius in verba (take nobody’s word for it), 34 Obama, Barack, 7, 100 administration, 109 objectivity, objective truth, 45, 74 as anchor for belief, 131 in constructed world, 83–86 as foundation for knowledge, 127 observation, 49, 60 affected by expectations, 159–60 behavior affected by, 91, 97 “oceanic feeling,” 184 “offlife,” 70 OkCupid, 157 “onlife,” 70 online identity creation, 73–74 online ranking, 119–21, 136 open access research sharing sites, 135–36 open society: closed politics vs., 144–45 values of, 41–43, 62 open source software, 135 Operation Earnest Voice, 81 Operation Ivy, ix opinion: knowledge vs., 13, 14, 126 in online ranking, 119–20 persuasion and, 50–51 truth as constructed by, 85–86 optical illusions, 67 Oracle of Delphi, 16–17, 171 Outcome-Based Education (OBE), 61–62 ownership, changing concept of, 73 ox, experiment on weight of, 120 Oxford, 168 Page, Larry, 5–6 Panopticon, 91, 92, 97 perception: acuity of, 173 distinguishing truth in, 67–74 expectations and, 159–60 misleading, 29–30, 67 as relative, 67–68 perceptual incongruity, 159–60 personal freedom, 101 persuasion, 50–51, 54–55, 56–58 by bots, 82 phone books, 22 phone data collection, 95, 108 photography: privacy and, 89, 93 sexually-explicit, 99 photo-sharing, manipulation in, 82–83 Plato, 13–14, 16–17, 54, 59, 83, 126, 165–67 polarization, 7 herd mentality in, 66 isolated tribes in, 43–46 politics, 162, 196 accessibility in, 23 activism in, 66, 67 bias in, 43–46 closed, 144–45 elections in, 120–23 of knowledge, 133–54 opposition to critical thinking in, 61–62 persuasion in, 57–58, 82–83 power in, 86, 133 prediction market in, 122–23 Politifact, 46 Popper, Karl, 41–43 Postman, L.


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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

So it is very hard for me to take the “Woe is us, we’re growing stupid and collectivized like sheep” narrative seriously. If you feel yourself growing ovine, bleat for yourself. I get the sense that many writers on these issues aren’t much bothered by the unfocusing, de-liberating effects of joining the hive mind. Don Tapscott has suggested that the instant availability of information means we don’t have to memorize anything anymore—just consult Google and Wikipedia, the brains of the hive mind. Clay Shirky seems to believe that in the future we will be enculturated not by reading dusty old books but in something like online fora, plugged into the ephemera of a group mind, as it were. But surely, if we were to act as either of these college teachers recommend, we’d become a bunch of ignoramuses.

But, like other students, I did this with the same brain we’ve all had for millennia. The math surely changed how I think about the world. But did it change the way I think? Did it change my brain? The answer is mostly no. To be clear, the Internet is assuredly changing quite a few things related to cognition and social interaction. One widely appreciated and important example of both is the way the Internet facilitates hive-mind phenomena, like Wikipedia, that integrate the altruistic impulses and the knowledge of thousands of far-flung individuals. To the extent that I participate in such things (and I do), my thinking and I are both affected by the Internet. But most thinking serves social ends. A strong indicator of this fact is that the intellectual content of most conversation is trivial, and it certainly is not focused on complex ideas about philosophy or mathematics.

Social networks have reinforced this ideology by seeming to make knowledge and judgment collective functions. But the progressivist position on the importance of learning facts and training individual judgment withers under scrutiny, and, pace Tapscott and Shirky, events of the last decade have not made it more durable. In sum, there are two basic issues here. Do we have any choice about ceding control of the self to an increasingly compelling hive mind? Yes. And should we cede such control, or instead strive, temperately, to develop our own minds very well and direct our own attention carefully? The answer, I think, is obvious. Acknowledgments I wish to thank Peter Hubbard of HarperCollins for his encouragement. I am also indebted to my agent, Max Brockman, who saw the potential for this book, and to Sara Lippincott for her thoughtful and meticulous editing.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

They had transformed the consciousness of the individuals in the room and, by doing so, made possible the destruction of [ 202 ] Chapter 6 political hierarchy, the elimination of psychological boundaries between the individual and the group, and the establishment of a powerful social whole. Moreover, Kelly preceded this story by the account of his neighbor’s bees and followed it with a discussion of yet another “hive mind,” in an anthill. For all its technological advancement, this ordering suggested, the computer was in fact deeply in accord with natural principles. Like the geodesic domes and camping gear favored by the New Communalists, the computer had in fact helped its users integrate their lives more closely with the “laws” of nature. The new hive mind represented the sort of world-saving social revolution that many New Communalists had hoped to spark. According to Kelly, the Pong game, the bee swarm, and the anthill were all examples of “parallel operating wholes.” These wholes could be called “networks, complex adaptive systems, swarm systems, vivisystems, or collective systems.”56 Whatever they were called, together they would overthrow the rigid, hierarchical logic of the old atomic era: “The Atom is the icon of 20th century science. . . .

Kelly even went so far as to suggest that “a short-hand synopsis of Out of Control would be to say it Networking the New Economy [ 201 ] is an update on the current state of cybernetic research.” On the other hand, in keeping with Kelly’s Whole Earth background, the book linked that research to a New Communalist social ideal. For instance, Kelly devoted an early chapter to a phenomenon that he called “hive mind.” The chapter opened with a discussion of bees and beekeeping, in which Kelly described the hives he kept outside his house as single, collective organisms. The scene then shifted to the backyard of Kelly’s friend and fellow beekeeper Mark Thompson. One day, Thompson saw a bee swarm forming up: “Mark didn’t waver. Dropping his tools he slipped into the swarm, his bare head now in the eye of a bee hurricane.

Suddenly mankind had entered a new stage of evolution: the scientists of the artificial-life movement, wrote Kelly, had already shown that “evolution is not a biological process. It is a technological, mathematical, informational, and biological process rolled into one.”61 Soon after the book was released, it became a well of symbolic resources for corporate executives looking to understand the technological and [ 204 ] Chapter 6 economic context in which they worked. Reviewers repeatedly took up Kelly’s hive-mind analogies and applied them to the New Economy.62 In 1994, for instance, a reviewer for the august Harvard Business Review argued that Kelly’s “image of 5,000 passengers copiloting a jet neatly captures the promise of work and organization in the New Economy. In the ‘company’ created by Carpenter, everyone makes his or her own decisions, everyone has fun—and the enterprise doesn’t crash and burn.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

The point, Bridle wrote, was to make visible just how much debate goes into the creation of a factual record: “This is historiography. This is what culture actually looks like: a process of argument, of dissenting and accreting opinion, of gradual and not always correct codification.” Public thinking is messy, but so is knowledge. I’m not suggesting here, as have some digital utopians (and dystopians), that traditional “expert” forms of thinking and publishing are obsolete, and that expertise will corrode as the howling hive mind takes over. Quite the opposite. I work in print journalism, and now in print books, because the “typographical fixity” of paper—to use Elizabeth Eisenstein’s lovely phrase—is a superb tool for focusing the mind. Constraints can impose creativity and rigor. When I have only six hundred words in a magazine column to make my point, I’m forced to make decisions about what I’m willing to commit to print.

Watch what fan fiction writers are doing or what activists are doing. Or even watch how smart individuals do it—the ones who cultivate broad, diverse networks of friends or followers online. The potential of collective thinking is only going to grow. Each new tool for expression, each new vehicle for talking to one another, opens up new potential forums for collaboration. Some regard this as alarming: Critics have complained that the online “hive mind” is dehumanizing. And it’s true that thinking of people as bees in a hive, devoid of agency, is rather depressing. But this is precisely why the hive metaphor isn’t all that accurate. Humans are not ants, as the philosopher Pierre Lévy noted in his 1994 book Collective Intelligence. We participate in larger groupings when there’s something there that enhances our individual humanity. The collaborative thought projects that succeed are the ones where each act of participation, no matter how small, excites and rehumanizes us.

“You can get an invincible companion dog”: Skkragggh, “Ye Grande Olde Liste of Skyrim Tips n’ Tricks,” The Elder Scrolls Wiki, last updated April 9, 2012, accessed March 24, 2013, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Skkragggh/Ye_Grande_Olde_Liste_of_Skyrim_Tips_n’_Tricks. most players use crowdsourced documents sparingly: Mia Consalvo, Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009); and a personal interview with the author. This writing draws on previous reporting I’ve done on Consalvo’s work, specifically “Clive Thompson on Puzzles and the Hive Mind,” Wired, April 2009, accessed March 24, 2013, www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-05/st_thompson, and “What Type of Game Cheater Are You?” Wired, April 23, 2007, accessed March 24, 2013, www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/commentary/games/2007/04/gamesfrontiers_0423. According to one estimate in 2008: Barb Dybwad, “SXSW08: How Gamers Are Adopting the Wiki Way,” Massively by Joystiq, March 8, 2008, accessed March 24, 2013, massively.joystiq.com/2008/03/08/sxsw08-how-gamers-are-adopting-the-wiki-way/.


pages: 469 words: 132,438

Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, demand response, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, financial innovation, fixed income, global supply chain, global village, Google Earth, hive mind, hydrogen economy, index fund, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, M-Pesa, market clearing, market design, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Negawatt, off grid, oil shock, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, renewable energy transition, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, time value of money, undersea cable, wikimedia commons

In addition to being economically favorable, these installations—equipped with smart inverters—are an ideal size to help stabilize the grid.39 Finally, a smarter, market-driven decentralized grid also could make it easier to deal with the unreliability of solar PV installations—be they big, small, or Goldilocks-sized. Such a grid could modulate customer demand so that it matches up with fluctuating solar output. This demand-side solution to the problem of solar’s intermittent supply is what we turn to next. A Grid Hive Mind Each January, while the world’s most powerful business and political leaders hobnob at the World Economic Forum, leaders of the North American energy industry meet in Vail, Colorado, for the “Davos of Energy.” Just as Davos has increasingly shined a spotlight on clean energy and climate change, so too has the Vail crowd expanded beyond just the oil and gas industry. On the final day of the 2017 summit, when participants took to the ski slopes, I found myself seated on a chair lift next to Microsoft’s chief sustainability officer, Rob Bernard, with a long ride ahead of us.

But numerous local networks may also operate at the grid’s edge, connecting individuals within a local community, such as a neighborhood or a university. Autonomous software algorithms at the local level could speedily coordinate the functioning of distributed energy resources to match up local supply and demand and respond to the coarse signals sent from the central utility. This might resemble an ant colony, in which decision-making is decentralized but manages to advance the goals of the entire collective.47 What could the grid’s new hive mind mean for solar power? One exciting prospect is the emergence of virtual power plants. If distributed energy resources all over the grid could act in concert, their collective effect could be the ideal complement to solar’s intermittency. For example, batteries might absorb energy as surplus solar power floods the grid. Or a combination of thermostats, water heaters, and electrical equipment might instantaneously scale back power demand to compensate for drooping solar output.48 Already, countries around the world are experimenting with this strategy.

And combining the best features of centralized and distributed grids could integrate even more solar power. Expanding a centralized grid—possibly culminating in a supergrid—would smooth out solar output through geographical aggregation and also connect faraway solar supplies with the needs of power-hungry cities. Meanwhile, the demand response capability that could emerge from a decentralized grid’s hive mind would complement the supergrid’s activities, adjusting demand in response to variable solar supply. Back at Microsoft, engineers are working to bridge the gap between the supergrid and distributed-grid strategies by combining virtual power plants with virtual transmission lines. Their idea is to swap out electrical HVDC transmission lines for much cheaper optical fibers that could create a different kind of supergrid.


Wireless by Charles Stross

anthropic principle, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Buckminster Fuller, Cepheid variable, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, cosmic microwave background, epigenetics, finite state, Georg Cantor, gravity well, hive mind, jitney, Khyber Pass, lifelogging, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, MITM: man-in-the-middle, peak oil, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, security theater, sensible shoes, Turing machine, undersea cable

Or could you have become someone completely different—an airline pilot, for example, or a banker? Alternatively, could someone else have become you? What set of circumstances combine to produce an astronomer and exobiologist? Why should a God not harbor the same curiosity?” “So you’re saying it’s introspection, with a purpose. The galactic civilization wants to see its own birth.” “The galactic hive mind,” Gregor soothes, amused at how easy it is to deal with Sagan. “Remember, information is key. Why should human-level intelligences be the highest level?” All the while he continues to breathe oxytocin and other peptide neurotransmitters across the table toward Sagan. “Don’t let such speculations ruin your meal,” he adds, phrasing it as an observation rather than an implicit command. Sagan nods and returns to using his utensils.

As do the hyphae of the huge rhizome network spreading deep beneath the park, thinking slow vegetable thoughts and relaying his sparky monadic flashes back to his mother by way of the engineered fungal strands that thread the deep ocean floors. The next version of him will be created knowing almost everything: the struggle to contain the annoying, hard-to-domesticate primates with their insistent paranoid individualism, the dismay of having to carefully sterilize the few enlightened ones like Sagan . . . Humans are not useful. The future belongs to ensemble intelligences, hive minds. Even the mock-termite aboriginals have more to contribute. And Gregor, with his teratomas and his shortage of limbs, has more to contribute than most. The culture that sent him, and a million other anthropomorphic infiltrators, understands this well: he will be rewarded and propagated, his genome and memeome preserved by the collective even as it systematically eliminates yet another outbreak of humanity.

IN WHICH RALPH EXPLAINS THE NATURE OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH LAURA Now, in the normal course of affairs it behooves a young fellow to remain discreet and close-lipped about matters of an embarrass ingly personal nature. But it’s also true to say that this story won’t make a lot of sense without certain intimate understandings—a nod’s as good as a wink to a deaf hedgehog and all that—and in any event, ever since the minutiae of my personal affairs became part of the public gossip circuit following the unfortunate affair involving the clankie dominatrix, the cat burglar, and the alien hive mind, it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to stand upon my privacy. So where a more modest cove might hesitate, please allow me to step in it and, at risk of offending your sensibilities, explain something about my complex relationship with Laura. I rather fancy that life must have been much simpler back in the days of classical Anglo-American civilization, when there were only two openly acknowledged genders and people didn’t worry about whether their intimate affairs were commutative, transitive, or reflexive.


pages: 443 words: 116,832

The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics by Ben Buchanan

active measures, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, family office, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, kremlinology, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nate Silver, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, risk tolerance, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, zero day

When a new version of Stuxnet infected a computer that had been previously infected by an earlier version, the two copies of the worm compared notes and combined their information. Versions landing on internet-connected computers sent their information back to Stuxnet’s creators in messages disguised to look like visits to innocuous soccer websites.14 Thus, the list of machines the operation had infected across Iran was constantly updated, and the data it had collected steadily accumulated. The worm had a strange sort of hive mind. No doubt, this talk of newfangled cyber sabotage, secret infections, and hive minds would have worried any lawyer. In national security, at least in the West, lawyers are ever-present, and the Stuxnet operation was no exception. At key moments, these attorneys raised concerns about unintended consequences—and rightly so. While the Stuxnet code tried to stay mostly contained within a fairly narrow set of targets, its worm-like nature made it far harder to control than other sophisticated cyber operations tools.15 Throughout the development and testing process, Stuxnet’s creators added a series of target verification checks, using information acquired from earlier reconnaissance.

See also election interference, Russian (2016); NotPetya; Russia GSM Association, 51, 52 Guardians of Peace, 173, 180 Guccifer 2.0, 224, 225, 227 hack-and-leak operations, 315 hackers / hacker groups: Cutting Sword of Justice, 151; Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-din Al Qassam, 156; Dukes, 216; God’sApstls, 171; Guardians of Peace, 173, 180; Guccifer 2.0, 224, 225, 227; Intrusion Truth, 316; Sandworm, 202; underappreciation of, 7. See also Chinese hackers; cyber operations; Shadow Brokers hacking operations: flexibility of, 306; goals of, 189; process of, 307. See also cyber operations Hamre, John, 318 harm, latent, 310–311 Havex, 198 Hayden, Michael, 25, 38, 50, 82, 165, 301 history, home-field advantage and, 16–18 Hitler, Adolf, 108 hive minds, 135 home-field advantage, 13–39; access to data from internet firms, 15–16; American corporations and, 15–16; AT&T’s partnership with NSA, 20–24; China’s efforts to undermine, 90–91; China’s lack of, 88; embassies / consulates and, 33; in friendly countries, 28–33; in Greece, 28–30, 31; impact of, 16; importance of, 27; informing senior policymakers and, 27; overseas, 28–35; secrecy and, 16; spying on UN and, 21–22; telecommunications companies during World War II, 24; telecommunications hubs and, 16–19.


pages: 218 words: 65,422

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A. O. Scott

barriers to entry, citizen journalism, conceptual framework, death of newspapers, hive mind, Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sexual politics, sharing economy, social web, the scientific method

The lurking, philosophical question that haunted our earlier trips to the museum—Who decided what should hang on these walls? Who told us to look at this picture?—can now be supplied with the happiest possible answer. We did! Those ever-proliferating lists of the essential books to read, movies to see, albums to download, and places to go are the result of our collective activity. We vote online or at the box office, and our hive-mind tendencies are collated and packaged and fed back to us. If they are to survive—if they are to remain relevant instead of fading and crumbling—venerable institutions like museums, symphony orchestras, opera companies, and theaters will have to pander. The Louvre may be a palace, a relic, an archive, and a bazaar, but it is also, and maybe preeminently, a brand. Why are we here, stumbling along a hallway lined with masterpieces toward the room where the world’s most famous painting hangs behind protective Plexiglas and a velvet-rope cordon?

The first is the desire to dissolve the distance between oneself and the public, to form an allegiance, tactical or definitive, with the conventional wisdom. Since that phrase is always pejorative—who wants to be an apostle of the obvious, or a mouthpiece for the ordinary?—it is generally preferable to invoke more obviously democratic values and speak of the wisdom of the crowd, plain old common sense, or, in the current jargon of evolutionary psychology and social media, the genius of the hive mind. Fifty thousand Elvis fans can’t be wrong! While no critic is entirely comfortable standing on popularity as the sole or primary determinant of value, very few can avoid relying on it in a pinch. Art is tested in the public arena, after all, and one way of scoring the game is through quantitative measures: box office returns, weeks on the best-seller list, rank on the pop charts. Very few people would claim that something is good because a lot of other people like it.


pages: 436 words: 124,373

Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, hive mind, information retrieval, Kickstarter, risk/return, stem cell, trade route

The shuttle’s airframe was flexing around them, morphing to a low- altitude profile with wide, bat like wings. “I was just hoping you might have some clue as to why Galiana keeps wasting valuable lives with escape attempts.” Voi shrugged. “Maybe to her the lives aren’t anywhere near as valuable as you’d like to think.” “Do you honestly think that?” “I don’t think we can begin to guess the thinking of a true hive-mind society, Clavain. Even from a Demarchist standpoint.” There was a chirp from the console; Galiana signaling them. Clavain opened the channel allocated for Coalition-Conjoiner diplomacy. “Nevil Clavain?” he heard. “Yes.” He tried to sound as calm as possible. “I’m with Sandra Voi. We’re ready to land as soon as you show us where.” “Okay,” Galiana said. “Vector your ship toward the westerly rim wall.

He watched a subset of the nest file into the conference room. Galiana was their leader only inasmuch as she had founded the lab here from which the original experiment had sprung and was accorded some respect deriving from seniority. She was also the most obvious spokesperson among them. They all had areas of expertise which could not be easily shared among other Conjoined; very distinct from the hive-mind of identical clones which still figured in the Coalition’s propaganda. If the nest was in any way like an ant colony, then it was an ant colony in which every ant fulfilled a distinct role from all the others. Naturally, no individual could be solely entrusted with a particular skill essential to the nest—that would have been dangerous over-specialization—but neither had individuality been completely subsumed into the group mind.

She may not be very good at recognizing faces, but she recognizes the need for companionship.” He raised his hands. “I never doubted it.” “Then why are you arguing?” Clavain smiled. He'd had this conversation so many times before, with so many women. He had been married to some of them. It was oddly comforting to be having it again, light-years from home, wearing a new body, his mind clotted with machines and confronting the matriarch of what should have been a feared and hated hive-mind. At the epicenter of so much strangeness, a tiff was almost to be welcomed. “I just don't want anything to hurt her.” “Oh. And I do?” “Never mind,” he said, gritting his teeth. “Let's just get in and out, shall we?” The base, like all the American structures, had been built for posterity. Not by people, however, but by swarms of diligent self-replicating robots. That was how the Americans had reached Diadem: they had been brought here as frozen fertilized cells in the armored, radiation-proofed bellies of star-crossing von Neumann robots.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, do-ocracy, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, low cost airline, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

By considering this tactic historically, we can plainly see that DDoSing is nothing new—virtually every movement advocating social change in the past two hundred years (from abolitionists to ACT UP) has relied on large scale, rowdy, disruptive tactics to draw attention and demand change.24 The novelty lay in how the availability of a software tool, LOIC, and an Anonymous hype machine publicizing its existence, enabled such sizable and disruptive demonstrations to take root and unfold nearly spontaneously on the Internet. In a detailed analysis of the tool’s features, Molly Sauter convincingly argues that the “Hive Mind mode” helped secure the hefty numbers: “Although Anons may not have ‘hit the streets’ as EDT envisioned Hive Mind mode did enable them to go to school, work, sleep, or anywhere while still participating in DDOS actions as they arose.”25 But even if DDoS simply extends a longer tradition of disruptive activism, it still sat uneasily with many Anons and hackers—even those who had no issue with law breaking. One day, chatting with an Anonymous hacker about the morality of the protests, I was told, “Trying to find a sure-fire ethical defense for Anonymous DDoSing is going to twist you into moral pretzels.”

As the events unfolded, the recently christened #OpEgypt public channel was awash in excitement and horror (pseudonyms have been changed): WebA18: yes, they censor twitter in egypt WebA18: and they are trying to censure facebook 0n: cell phones too t23: not being in egypt i cannot confirm 100% 0n: PANIC TIME t23: but is known tactic WebA18: a friend in egypt is telling me they censor it eb: Ps, if it is enarby, consider demonstrating at the egyptian embassy Ion: JOIN #propaganda TO CREATE & DESIGN MATERIAL FOR #opegypt jeb: to get media attention and support our egyptian /b/rothers […]WebA18: thanks! mib: The protests are spreading and becoming bigger bi: Egyptians have balls of steel. GO Go GO! pi: is there a hive mind i have to get to work ? mib: we should not stop untill this regimes fallsAlgeria: translation: Gov blocked the cell phones b: Spread that POSTER to RECRUIT more people: http://i.imgur.com/LfLhN.png What had at first been a sporadic flicker of government-initiated communication disruptions became wholesale on January 28. The Egyptian government shut the whole damn Internet off. In order to reestablish some connectivity, Anonymous teamed up with another hacktivist crew, Telecomix.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, global pandemic, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

ABBAS RAZA The Values of Artificial Intelligence BRUCE PARKER Artificial Selection and Our Grandchildren NEIL GERSHENFELD Really Good Hacks DANIEL L. EVERETT The Airbus and the Eagle DOUGLAS COUPLAND Humanness JOSH BONGARD Manipulators and Manipulanda ZIYAD MARAR Are We Thinking More Like Machines? BRIAN ENO Just a New Fractal Detail in the Big Picture MARTI HEARST eGaia, a Distributed Technical-Social Mental System CHRIS ANDERSON The Hive Mind ALEX (SANDY) PENTLAND The Global Artificial Intelligence Is Here RANDOLPH NESSE Will Computers Become Like Thinking, Talking Dogs? RICHARD E. NISBETT Thinking Machines and Ennui SAMUEL ARBESMAN Naches from Our Machines GERALD SMALLBERG No Shared Theory of Mind ELDAR SHAFIR Blind to the Core of Human Experience CHRISTOPHER CHABRIS An Intuitive Theory of Machine URSULA MARTIN Thinking Saltmarshes KURT GRAY Killer Thinking Machines Keep Our Conscience Clean BRUCE SCHNEIER When Thinking Machines Break the Law REBECCA MACKINNON Electric Brains GERD GIGERENZER Robodoctors ALISON GOPNIK Can Machines Ever Be As Smart As Three-Year-Olds?

It’s not owing to breakthroughs in understanding human cognition or even significantly different algorithms. But eGaia is already partly here, at least in the developed world. This distributed nerve-center network, an interplay among the minds of people and their monitoring electronics, will give rise to a distributed technical-social mental system the likes of which has not been experienced before. THE HIVE MIND CHRIS ANDERSON Curator, TED conferences, TED talks Thinking is our superpower. We’re not the strongest, fastest, largest, or hardiest species. But we can model the future and act intentionally to realize the future we model. Somehow it’s this power, not the ability to fly high, dive deep, roar loudly, or produce millions of babies, which has allowed its lucky recipients to visibly (as in literally visible from space) take over the planet.

I wake up in the morning, make my tea, and then drift over to my computer, which is calling to me. I flick it open and instantly I’m connected to 100 million other minds and machines around the world. I then spend forty-five minutes responding to its irresistible invitations. I initiate this process of my own free will. But then I surrender much of my will to the machine. So do you. Together we’re semiunconsciously creating a hive mind of vastly greater power than this planet has ever seen—and vastly less power than it will soon see. “Us versus the machines” is the wrong mental model. There’s only one machine that really counts. Like it or not, we’re all—us and our machines—becoming part of it: an immense connected brain. Once we had neurons. Now we’re becoming the neurons. THE GLOBAL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS HERE ALEX (SANDY) PENTLAND Toshiba Professor of Media Arts & Sciences, MIT; director, Human Dynamics Lab & Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program; author, Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science The Global Artificial Intelligence (GAI) has already been born.


pages: 312 words: 93,504

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

The latter is redefining the boundaries of social expertise and knowledge hierarchies. Are open-collaboration communities the avant-garde of a movement liberating society from a neoliberal regime or the prelude to totalitarian and ideological control? Additionally, I discuss the future of the Wikimedia community. Hive Minds, Schmucks, Losers, and Other Misconceptions About Wikipedia Some say that the contemporary Internet in general, and Wikipedia in particular, promotes amateurs and everyday Joes—that Wikipedia’s “hive mind mentality” and “digital Maoism” suppress human intelligence and dilute individual judgments and tastes (Lanier, 2006). Andrew Keen, the author of the ominously titled The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (2007), even states in an interview that no normal person would give away labor for free and anonymously and that “only schmucks would do that.

See Gdańsk/Danzig edit war gift-economy principle, 56, 230n7 global development work (Wikimedia), 130 global locks, 40 Godwin, Mike, 231n6 going native, 193–194, 227n2 (intro) Goldman, Eric, 185 good-article designation, 24 “good enough” quality, 122 Good Samaritans, 88 Google, 172, 189, 191 Gorman, Michael, 1 governance tensions, 149–150 Grandmaster Editor (Lord High Togneme Vicarus), 26 grant recommendations and FDC, 132 Grognard Extraordinaire (Yeoman Editor), 26 growth rate of Wikipedia, 13 Habermas, Jürgen, 186 hackers/hacker culture, 187–188; antielitism of, 30–31, 96, 124; and cabal concept, 50; compared to guild, 101; “copyleft” philosophy, 2; Debian, 187; sociability of, 23, 187 Halfaker, Aaron, 89 Halibutt (user), 73 Hayat, Tsahi, 84 Herbythyme (admin, checkuser), 168 Hergueux, Jérôme, 138 heterarchy, 151 hierarchical, Wikipedia as, 6, 56–57 Hilbert, Martin, 188 Himanen, Pekka, 187 Hine, Christine, 200 “hive mind mentality,” 182 hoaxes, 38, 228nn7–8 hobby versus worker exploitation, 189 Ho Chi Minh, 162 homeopathy, 21 Homopedia, 5 honesty rule, 117 The Human Stain (Roth), 21 humility as social obligation, 31 humor and inside jokes, 24 identity work, 27–28 ideology as motive, 188–191 “idiosyncrasy credit,” 177 “ignore all rules” policy, 96, 179 illustrating a point (POINT) rule, 20 image building through user pages, 27–28 image filtering.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

The method used by modern science, especially within a focused group such as this—sending details of experiments and results to each other, publishing findings as soon as possible, colluding and at the same time rapaciously competing to be first with a groundbreaking discovery—would in the web argot of the next century be called hive mind, a collective effort of human brainpower that would create far more than any one person or team could achieve alone. Scientists have been hive-minding, it turns out, since the Royal Academy began publishing during the Enlightenment. By the end of 1935, however, the ragazzi Corbino were undone, with Rasetti at Columbia, Segrè at Palermo, Pontecorvo in France, and the atmosphere in Italy relentlessly gloomy as the country prepared for war in Ethiopia and the limitations brought by globally imposed sanctions.

Beginning in 1923, Leo regularly dropped by for visits at the world’s premier scientific research facility, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, where he interrupted the scientists in their labs to ask questions, often explaining why they were wrong, and suggesting entirely new avenues for them to pursue. Besides his lack of professional courtesy, Leo was widely disliked by fellow scientists for his vigor and speed in applying for patents, which he thought was his only course of guaranteeing an income, but which many found selfish and contrary to the hive-mind keystone of the modern scientific method. He was obnoxious, rude, haughty, and staggeringly offensive, yet so often right and inspiring that he was made a Generaldirektor, teaching nuclear physics and chemistry with Germany’s Marie Curie, Lise Meitner. In 1925, he was promoted to the choice spot of being von Laue’s assistant—Max von Laue had won his Nobel for showing how X-rays could be focused with crystals.

In Paris, the Joliot-Curies were also investigating fission, and Szilard urged the Americans and the French to keep their studies private to safeguard this information from the Fascists. Beginning at the start of the Enlightenment in the seventeenth century with the Journal des sçavans and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, publishing scientific findings became a method of announcing one’s achievements, expanding the understanding of the natural world, contributing to the public good, and, of course, competing with your professional colleagues—the highway of hive mind. Szilard’s insistence that scientists should not publish was such a shocking and contrary notion that a number of physicists in 1939 couldn’t comprehend it. I. I. Rabi even took Szilard aside to warn that, by promoting such a bizarre notion, his guest status at Columbia was in danger. Bohr thought there was little future in atomic bombs since it was so difficult to produce the needed U-235 isotope that was known to be an effective source for a chain reaction and so didn’t feel this remote possibility meant upending a three-hundred-year scientific tradition of free discourse, even if it involved Hitler.


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Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl

Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Has any playwright in recent years topped Shakespeare or Euripides? We have learned a lot in 2,000 years, yet much ancient wisdom still seems sound – which makes me suspect that we haven’t been making much progress. We still don’t know how to deal with conflicts between individual goals and global interests. We are so bad at making important decisions that, whenever we can, we leave to chance what we are unsure about. The idea of creating a ‘hive mind’ of sorts captured the zeitgeist at a time when the Internet was just taking off. But Minsky didn’t simply want to save information and make it available for future generations. He wanted to be around to see it. ‘Eventually we will entirely replace our brains using nanotechnology,’ he wrote. ‘Once delivered from the limitations of biology, we will be able to decide the length of our lives – with the option of immortality – and choose among other, unimagined capabilities as well.’

To find a specific word or phrase from the index, please use the search feature of your ebook reader. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 2, 228, 242–4 2045 Initiative 217 accountability issues 240–4, 246–8 Active Citizen 120–2 Adams, Douglas 249 Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) 19–20, 33 Affectiva 131 Age of Industry 6 Age of Information 6 agriculture 150–1, 183 AI Winters 27, 33 airlines, driverless 144 algebra 20 algorithms 16–17, 59, 67, 85, 87, 88, 145, 158–9, 168, 173, 175–6, 183–4, 186, 215, 226, 232, 236 evolutionary 182–3, 186–8 facial recognition 10–11, 61–3 genetic 184, 232, 237, 257 see also back-propagation AliveCor 87 AlphaGo (AI Go player) 255 Amazon 153, 154, 198, 236 Amy (AI assistant) 116 ANALOGY program 20 Analytical Engine 185 Android 59, 114, 125 animation 168–9 Antabi, Bandar 77–9 antennae 182, 183–5 Apple 6, 35, 56, 65, 90–1, 108, 110–11, 113–14, 118–19, 126–8, 131–2, 148–9, 158, 181, 236, 238–9, 242 Apple iPhone 108, 113, 181 Apple Music 158–9 Apple Watch 66, 199 architecture 186 Artificial Artificial Intelligence (AAI) 153, 157 Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) 226, 230–4, 239–40, 254 Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2 authentic 31 development problems 23–9, 32–3 Good Old-Fashioned (Symbolic) 22, 27, 29, 34, 36, 37, 39, 45, 49–52, 54, 60, 225 history of 5–34 Logical Artificial Intelligence 246–7 naming of 19 Narrow/Weak 225–6, 231 new 35–63 strong 232 artificial stupidity 234–7 ‘artisan economy’ 159–61 Asimov, Isaac 227, 245, 248 Athlone Industries 242 Atteberry, Kevan J. 112 Automated Land Vehicle in a Neural Network (ALVINN) 54–5 automation 141, 144–5, 150, 159 avatars 117, 193–4, 196–7, 201–2 Babbage, Charles 185 back-propagation 50–3, 57, 63 Bainbridge, William Sims 200–1, 202, 207 banking 88 BeClose smart sensor system 86 Bell Communications 201 big business 31, 94–6 biometrics 77–82, 199 black boxes 237–40 Bletchley Park 14–15, 227 BMW 128 body, machine analogy 15 Bostrom, Nick 235, 237–8 BP 94–95 brain 22, 38, 207–16, 219 Brain Preservation Foundation 219 Brain Research Through Advanced Innovative Neurotechnologies 215–16 brain-like algorithms 226 brain-machine interfaces 211–12 Breakout (video game) 35, 36 Brin, Sergey 6–7, 34, 220, 231 Bringsjord, Selmer 246–7 Caenorhabditis elegans 209–10, 233 calculus 20 call centres 127 Campbell, Joseph 25–6 ‘capitalisation effect’ 151 cars, self-driving 53–56, 90, 143, 149–50, 247–8 catering 62, 189–92 chatterbots 102–8, 129 Chef Watson 189–92 chemistry 30 chess 1, 26, 28, 35, 137, 138–9, 152–3, 177, 225 Cheyer, Adam 109–10 ‘Chinese Room, the’ 24–6 cities 89–91, 96 ‘clever programming’ 31 Clippy (AI assistant) 111–12 clocks, self-regulating 71–2 cognicity 68–9 Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organises (CALO) 112 cognitive psychology 12–13 Componium 174, 176 computer logic 8, 10–11 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) 96–7 Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) 168, 175, 177 computers, history of 12–17 connectionists 53–6 connectomes 209–10 consciousness 220–1, 232–3, 249–51 contact lenses, smart 92 Cook, Diane 84–6 Cook, Tim 91, 179–80 Cortana (AI assistant) 114, 118–19 creativity 163–92, 228 crime 96–7 curiosity 186 Cyber-Human Systems 200 cybernetics 71–4 Dartmouth conference 1956 17–18, 19, 253 data 56–7, 199 ownership 156–7 unlabelled 57 death 193–8, 200–1, 206 Deep Blue 137, 138–9, 177 Deep Knowledge Ventures 145 Deep Learning 11–12, 56–63, 96–7, 164, 225 Deep QA 138 DeepMind 35–7, 223, 224, 245–6, 255 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 33, 112 Defense Department 19, 27–8 DENDRAL (expert system) 29–31 Descartes, René 249–50 Dextro 61 DiGiorgio, Rocco 234–5 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) 31 Digital Reasoning 208–9 ‘Digital Sweatshops’ 154 Dipmeter Advisor (expert system) 31 ‘do engines’ 110, 116 Dungeons and Dragons Online (video game) 197 e-discovery firms 145 eDemocracy 120–1 education 160–2 elderly people 84–6, 88, 130–1, 160 electricity 68–9 Electronic Numeric Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) 12, 13, 92 ELIZA programme 129–30 Elmer and Elsie (robots) 74–5 email filters 88 employment 139–50, 150–62, 163, 225, 238–9, 255 eNeighbor 86 engineering 182, 183–5 Enigma machine 14–15 Eterni.me 193–7 ethical issues 244–8 Etsy 161 Eurequa 186 Eve (robot scientist) 187–8 event-driven programming 79–81 executives 145 expert systems 29–33, 47–8, 197–8, 238 Facebook 7, 61–2, 63, 107, 153, 156, 238, 254–5 facial recognition 10–11, 61–3, 131 Federov, Nikolai Fedorovich 204–5 feedback systems 71–4 financial markets 53, 224, 236–7 Fitbit 94–95 Flickr 57 Floridi, Luciano 104–5 food industry 141 Ford 6, 230 Foxbots 149 Foxconn 148–9 fraud detection 88 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) 211 Furbies 123–5 games theory 100 Gates, Bill 32, 231 generalisation 226 genetic algorithms 184, 232, 237, 257 geometry 20 glial cells 213 Go (game) 255 Good, Irving John 227–8 Google 6–7, 34, 58–60, 67, 90–2, 118, 126, 131, 155–7, 182, 213, 238–9 ‘Big Dog’ 255–6 and DeepMind 35, 245–6, 255 PageRank algorithm 220 Platonic objects 164, 165 Project Wing initiative 144 and self-driving cars 56, 90, 143 Google Books 180–1 Google Brain 61, 63 Google Deep Dream 163–6, 167–8, 184, 186, 257 Google Now 114–16, 125, 132 Google Photos 164 Google Translate 11 Google X (lab) 61 Government Code and Cypher School 14 Grain Marketing Adviser (expert system) 31 Grímsson, Gunnar 120–2 Grothaus, Michael 69, 93 guilds 146 Halo (video game) 114 handwriting recognition 7–8 Hank (AI assistant) 111 Hawking, Stephen 224 Hayworth, Ken 217–21 health-tracking technology 87–8, 92–5 Healthsense 86 Her (film, 2013) 122 Herd, Andy 256–7 Herron, Ron 89–90 High, Rob 190–1 Hinton, Geoff 48–9, 53, 56, 57–61, 63, 233–4 hive minds 207 holograms 217 HomeChat app 132 homes, smart 81–8, 132 Hopfield, John 46–7, 201 Hopfield Nets 46–8 Human Brain Project 215–16 Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) 153, 154 hypotheses 187–8 IBM 7–11, 136–8, 162, 177, 189–92 ‘IF THEN’ rules 29–31 ‘If-This-Then-That’ rules 79–81 image generation 163–6, 167–8 image recognition 164 imagination 178 immortality 204–7, 217, 220–1 virtual 193–8, 201–4 inferences 97 Infinium Robotics 141 information processing 208 ‘information theory’ 16 Instagram 238 insurance 94–5 Intellicorp 33 intelligence 208 ambient 74 ‘intelligence explosion’ 228 top-down view 22, 25, 246 see also Artificial Intelligence internal combustion engine 140–1, 150–1 Internet 10, 56 disappearance 91 ‘Internet of Things’ 69, 70, 83, 249, 254 invention 174, 178, 179, 182–5, 187–9 Jawbone 78–9, 92–3, 254 Jennings, Ken 133–6, 138–9, 162, 189 Jeopardy!


pages: 475 words: 134,707

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

The combination of digital social networks, machine intelligence, and smartphones (or the Hype Machine’s next-generation medium) form the technological backbone of this revolution in human communication. The interplay of these three technologies propels three trends that the Hype Machine enables at scale. Hypersocialization wires us into a staggering amount of new digital social signals from our friends, families, and the crowd, connecting our thoughts, behaviors, and actions with those of over 3 billion people in a new hive mind. Personalized mass persuasion creates a new wave of targeted, individually tailored persuasive messaging designed to influence what we buy, how we vote, and even who we love. And the institutionalization of the attention economy keeps us engaged long enough to monetize our attention and create a tyranny of trends. Figure 3.10 The Hype Machine encompasses the technology trifecta of digital social networks (the substrate), smartphones (the medium), and machine intelligence (the Hype Loop process); the four levers of money, code, norms, and laws; and the three trends, including personalized mass persuasion, hypersocialization, and the attention economy (the tyranny of trends).

If a sufficient number of votes are cast in private, the independence of crowd opinions is maintained, at least until single votes are unlikely to influence the crowd. In a blog post, Reddit explained that it made the change to avoid social influence bias and discourage fraud. In 2019, Instagram began hiding likes on its platform for an entirely different reason. How will these policy changes affect society? We’ll soon see. Collective Intelligence in the Shadow of the Hype Machine The Hype Machine is often described as a precursor to the hive mind. Its algorithms, when appropriately applied, can enhance our collective intelligence by rapidly aggregating the opinions of the crowd in smart ways. But when those algorithms bake our collective flaws into crowd behavior, they can derail our predictive capacity and send our collective judgment off the rails. A perfect example is found in our collective algorithmic attempts to predict pandemics.

The most recent experiments on the wisdom of crowds show that this type of adaptive network can achieve crowd wisdom that outperforms independent groups and the best-performing individuals when it is provided with high-quality performance feedback. This means, under the right conditions, our increasing interdependence and hypersocialization can be assets for human civilization rather than liabilities. The question now becomes: how can we design this system to harness the power of our collective intelligence and avoid the madness of crowds? We’re like bees adapting our hive mind to the challenges we face. But we are in a far more enviable position because we can actually design the feedback mechanisms and social adaptations that will make us wiser as a species. In the next chapter I will sketch the promise and the peril that lie before us. What does a world where we get this right look like? And what does it look like if we get it wrong? Then in Chapter 12, I will consider how we can adapt our use of this incredibly powerful and disruptive technology to steer it toward the promise and away from the peril


pages: 272 words: 83,378

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto by Mark Helprin

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, computer age, crowdsourcing, hive mind, invention of writing, Jacquard loom, lateral thinking, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the scientific method, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

From the Amazonblogs (how awkward and hideous a word) comes the following about “the fallacy of intellectual property” and the “hoarding of ideas”: “The sooner we can all get past the ‘idea’ that anyone can own the thoughts, the words, the music, the sooner we can survive the possibly ensuing class war and get down to the business of evolving our eventual hive mind.”96 I trust that the reader need not be reminded that “the dream of the commons” and the “hive mind” are things that do not and cannot exist. Connecting people via the internet will not produce such things anymore than will connecting them via telephone, bringing them together in an auditorium, or publishing newspaper articles or letters to the editor. These conceptions are not confined to the fringe. A letter in the venerable Claremont Review of Books states that, “ideas and art are inextricably intertwined [and]…contemporary copyright is notoriously used by owners to protect ‘concepts’ (that is, ideas) from unauthorized use by others.”97 To quote once again and cite § 102 of Title 17 of the United States Code, “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.”


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

The innovation power of the marketplace derives, in part, from this most elemental math: no matter how smart the “authorities” may be, if they are outnumbered a thousand to one by the marketplace, there will be more good ideas lurking in the market than in the feudal castle. Cities and markets recruit more minds into the collective project of exploring the adjacent possible. As long as there is spillover between those minds, useful innovations will be more likely to appear and spread through the population at large. In thinking about networked innovation this way, I am specifically not talking about a “global brain,” or a “hive mind.” There are indeed some problems that are wonderfully solved by collective thinking: the formation of neighborhoods in cities, the variable signals of market pricing, the elaborate engineering feats of the social insects. But as many critics have pointed out—most recently, the computer scientist and musician Jaron Lanier—large collectives are rarely capable of true creativity or innovation. (We have the term “herd mentality” for a reason.)

On the emergence and innovations of early Renaissance towns, Braudel’s Wheels of Commerce remains the canonical text. The history of double-entry accounting is told in John Richard Edwards’s History of Financial Accounting. For more on the power of collective decision-making, see James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Jaron Lanier’s critique of the “hive mind” appears in his book You Are Not a Gadget, and in shorter form in the essay “Digital Maoism.” For more on Kevin Dunbar’s research, see “What Scientific Thinking Reveals About the Nature of Cognition.” Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the Jane Jacobsian future of workspace design appeared in the New Yorker in the essay “Designs for Working.” Stewart Brand devotes a chapter of How Buildings Learn to the “low road” approach of Building 20.


pages: 294 words: 87,986

4th Rock From the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, Astronomia nova, cuban missile crisis, Elon Musk, game design, hive mind, invention of the telescope, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, Pluto: dwarf planet, retrograde motion, selection bias, silicon-based life, Skype, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism

Radio astronomers claimed to detect odd signals coming from the Red Planet. Could intelligent Martians be trying to signal to us? Here, science fiction weighed in and furthered the excite­ment; authors excitedly penned (and later filmed) stories of a planet filled with aliens – little green men, aggressive robot warriors, thirsty canal-building architects, a civilisation of creepy human replicas, even an invisible collective conscious­ness or airborne hive mind. We’ve imagined ourselves both desperately trying to get to Mars and experiencing Martians coming to visit us (sometimes with catastrophic consequences). In a way, the word ‘Martian’ has become synonymous with ‘alien’, which would make it all the more significant if we were to find life on Mars. This is perhaps the most pressing motivation to visit the Red Planet – the potential discovery of life.

The British television series Doctor Who, for example, drew heavily on the idea of water for their multiple Martian species, some of which were developed in the 1960s (when the possibility of extant and developed Martian life was just about dying out). Despite having an entire fictional universe to play with, Doctor Who has used Mars as a home planet for several different species, namely the Gandorans, the Flood and the Ice Warriors. The Flood was the collective name for a hive-mind virus that existed within and spread through water – the species starred in a Doctor Who special episode set in 2059 (entitled The Waters of Mars), in which it managed to infect the water supply of the appropriately named Bowie Base One colony. The residents of the base were humans that had relocated from Earth; after eating food washed in infected water due to a broken water filter, the residents of the base began showing symptoms including spasms, convulsions, cracked skin, black teeth, icy blue eyes, the ability to survive unscathed on the surface of Mars and – most prominently – a constant flood of water streaming from their skin, hands and mouth.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

“The professional is being replaced by the amateur, the lexicographer by the layperson, the Harvard professor by the unschooled populace,” according to Andrew Keen, obstinately oblivious to the failings of professionally produced mass culture he defends. The Internet is decried as a province of know-nothing narcissists motivated by a juvenile desire for fame and fortune, a virtual backwater of vulgarity and phoniness. Jaron Lanier, the technologist turned skeptic, has taken aim at what he calls “digital Maoism” and the ascendance of the “hive mind.” Social media, as Lanier sees it, demean rather than elevate us, emphasizing the machine over the human, the crowd over the individual, the partial over the integral. The problem is not just that Web 2.0 erodes professionalism but, more fundamentally, that it threatens originality and autonomy. Outrage has taken hold on both sides. But the lines in the sand are not as neatly drawn as the two camps maintain.

Why should an essayist have to surrender all rights to a magazine that published his piece or a filmmaker be forced to assign ownership of her creation to a corporate entity? And yet the most vocal critics of these disagreeable practices increasingly share the assumption that artists must forfeit control of their work, only with control going not to executives but to what Jaron Lanier calls the “hive mind.” The problem, though, is that it is not clear how file sharing actually addresses financial improprieties or points the way to an arrangement that’s more equitable: unlike a label or studio, where a percentage of profits trickles back to creators, peer-to-peer sites and online locker services return nothing to artists, though they can be incredibly lucrative for those who run them.28 The Pirate Bay, for example, is bedecked by advertising.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

Advances made within military laboratories, corporate research departments, and hacker houses will accelerate until the sheer energy of all that innovation ignites a great spark, at which time all will behold the physical and metaphysical merger of humanity and computers. Then, once there is no more distinction between man and machine, all matter will awaken, bringing about a new era in which the disembodied hive mind of what was once Homo sapiens unifies the cosmos in eternal ecstasy. That’s the idea, anyway. The Singularity is the most popular subset of “transhumanist” thinking, an eclectic set of theories that posit that the human species, by converting its brain power into more and more advanced forms of technology, will one day wrest control of the evolutionary process from nature and simply decide how it will thereafter exist in and interact with the universe.

What did it mean that the leaders of a corporation more powerful than most governments were willing to tacitly endorse what Kurzweil called Singularitarianism? Was it not extraordinary that these iconic and influential tech magnates would lend credence to the Kurzweilian prophecy that further human evolution meant an irreversible merger with machines and the sacrifice of our individual biological identities to an immortal hive mind? Was such a thing actually possible? If there was substance to Singularitarianism, then the ascension of Kurzweil at Google would one day be seen as a decisive moment in history, analagous to the Roman emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. And if the Singularity turned out to be nothing more than some lunatic reverie, a daydream for some lifelong science fiction fans who had lucked into tremendous wealth, I still had questions.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The system of ‘followers’, ‘@ing’ and threading encourages sprawling conversations to develop from initial tweets, favouring constant interaction. This is what people like about it, what makes it engaging: it is like texting, but in a public, collective context. Meanwhile, hashtagging and ‘trending topics’ underline the extent to which all of these protocols are organized around the massification of individual voices – a phenomenon cheerfully described by users with the science fiction concept of the ‘hive mind’ – and hype. The regular sweet spot sought after is a brief period of ecstatic collective frenzy around any given topic. It doesn’t particularly matter to the platforms what the frenzy is about: the point is to generate data, one of the most profitable raw materials yet discovered. As in the financial markets, volatility adds value. The more chaos, the better. IV. From print capitalism to platform capitalism, the apostles of ‘big data’ see in this story nothing but human progress.

However, of course, this left in place a cornucopia of grotesquery, from stretched anuses to anti-Semitic jokes. Trolls took anonymity to another level. They were not simply evading surveillance. A troll who gave away personal information, or let slip a private conviction, would risk being trolled by the community. The only way to get by as a troll was to identify fully with the collective, and its value of detachment. The laughter of the individual troll was secondary to that of the hive mind. ‘None of us’, their motto had it, ‘is as cruel as all of us.’ In this sense, trolls appear to be the only social industry users who are genuinely liberated from the constraints of identity, enacting in their perverse way the utopian promise of the internet. The mask they don is not so much an identity as an anti-identity. The idea of a mask that liberates someone from their prohibitions is culturally resonant.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

If an autonomous car can drive 1,000 miles per day, then its MDBF could be verified in 400 days, or just over one year. Alternatively, a fleet of 1,000 cars could verify an MDBF of 400,000 miles in twenty-four hours. To add statistical significance, the people testing the cars would probably need to repeat this test a few times. One of the great advantages of teaching robots how to think is that they have a hive mind. If one robot learns something, that software can be copied to dozens of other robots, who will use that knowledge to continue to learn. As many different robotic systems learn in parallel, their individual learnings can be pooled into a central knowledge base and then poured back into the individual robotic minds, which in turn continue to learn at an even faster rate. Some call this sort of collective learning fleet learning.

The second force will be, ironically, automation. Once cars are capable of driving themselves around, they can automatically update and enhance the level of detail in their own on-board HD digital maps. When human labor costs are removed from the equation, the once-prohibitive costs of making highly detailed digital maps will drop precipitously. Driverless cars will be top-notch map updaters thanks to their own robotic energy, patience, and hive minds. Robot, automate thyself One of the fascinating side effects of applying deep-learning software to driving is that while the proficiency of the guiding software improves slowly at first, once it reaches a critical tipping point, its performance continues to improve at an increasingly accelerated rate. In other words, the more data that driverless cars collect, the better drivers they become.


pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

“[It’s] a peak state,” explains psychologist Keith Sawyer in his book Group Genius,4 “a group performing at its top level of ability. . . . In situations of rapid change, it’s more important than ever for a group to be able to merge action and awareness, to adjust immediately by improvising.” Whatever the description, for the SEALs, once that switch was flipped, the experience was unmistakable. Their awareness shifted. They stopped acting like individuals, and they started operating as one—a single entity, a hive mind. In the high-stakes hot zone that is their job, this collective awareness is, as Davis says, “the only way to get the job done.” And isn’t that peculiar? It means that on the night in question, during a critical mission to capture and not to kill, an altered state was the only thing standing between Al-Wazu and a preemptive double tap to the chest. As isolated individuals, with fingers on the trigger, someone was bound to twitch.

So, when the founders heard that Eric Schmidt, the forty-six-year-old veteran of Sun Microsystems and a Berkeley Ph.D. computer scientist, was the sole CEO finalist who had already been to the event, they rejiggered their rankings and gave the guy a callback. “Eric was . . . the only one15 who went to Burning Man,” Brin told Doc Searls, then a Berkman Center fellow at Harvard. “We thought [that] was an important criterion.” Stanford sociologist Fred Turner16 agrees, arguing that the festival’s appeal to Silicon Valley is that it brings that hive mind experience to the masses. “[It] transforms the work of engineering into . . . a kind of communal vocational ecstasy.” One of Turner’s research subjects, a Googler himself, explained his experience on a pyrotechnic team: “[We were] very focused, very few words, open to anything . . . no egos. We worked very tightly. . . . I loved the ‘feeling of flow’ on the team—it was an extended, ecstatic feeling of interpersonal unity and timelessness we shared throughout.”


Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, linked data, low cost airline, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, mass immigration, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Other experts such as neurophysiologist Bill Calvin suggest that the human brain is so “buggy” that computers will never be able to emulate it. Ultimately, though, this might not be the point; as some have suggested — such as James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds — the internet is already fostering an unanticipated form of AI, a highly efficient marketplace for ideas and information known as collective intelligence or the “hive mind”. In other words, if we connected up all the computers on the planet and asked the resultant network or grid a question like “Is there a God?” the answer may very well be “There is now”. 46 FUTURE FILES Nothing but the truth In the same way in which Adam Smith suggested that buyers and sellers, each pursuing their own interests, would together produce more goods more efficiently than under any other arrangement, so too online suppliers of collective intelligence, like bloggers, can create more knowledge with less bias and over a wider span of disciplines than any group of experts could.

A 311 Index ‘O’ Garage 170 3D printers 56 accelerated education 57 accidents 159, 161–6, 173, 246 ACNielsen 126 adaptive cruise control 165 Adeg Aktiv 50+ 208 advertising 115–16, 117, 119 Africa 70, 89, 129, 174, 221, 245, 270, 275, 290, 301 ageing 1, 10, 54, 69, 93, 139, 147–8, 164, 188, 202, 208, 221, 228–9, 237, 239, 251, 261, 292, 295, 297–8 airborne networks 56 airlines 272 allergies 196–7, 234, 236 Alliance Against Urban 4x4s 171 alternative energy 173 alternative futures viii alternative medicine 244–5 alternative technology 151 amateur production 111–12 Amazon 32, 113–14, 121 American Apparel 207 American Express 127–8 androids 55 Angola 77 anti-ageing drugs 231, 237 anti-ageing foods 188 anti-ageing surgery 2, 237 antibiotics 251 anxiety 10, 16, 30, 32, 36, 37, 128, 149, 179, 184, 197, 199, 225, 228, 243, 251, 252, 256, 263, 283–4, 295–6, 300, 301, 305 Apple 61, 115, 121, 130, 137–8, 157 Appleyard, Bryan 79 Argentina 210 Armamark Corporation 193 artificial intelliegence 22, 40, 44, 82 131, 275, 285–6, 297, 300 Asda 136, 137 Asia 11, 70, 78, 89, 129, 150, 174, 221, 280, 290, 292 Asimov, Isaac 44 Asos.com 216 asthma 235 auditory display software 29 Australia 20–21, 72–3, 76, 92, 121, 145, 196, 242, 246, 250, 270, 282 Austria 208 authenticity 32, 37, 179, 194, 203–11 authoritarianism 94 automated publishing machine (APM) 114 automation 292 automotive industry 154–77 B&Q 279 baby boomers 41, 208 bacterial factories 56 Bahney, Anna 145 Bahrain 2 baking 27, 179, 195, 199 Bangladesh 2 bank accounts, body double 132 banknotes 29, 128 banks 22, 123, 135–8, 150, 151 virtual 134 Barnes and Noble 114 bartering 151 BBC 25, 119 Become 207 Belgium 238 313 314 benriya 28 Berlusconi, Silvio 92 Best Buy 223 biofuel 64 biomechatronics 56 biometric identification 28, 35, 52, 68, 88, 132 bionic body parts 55 Biosphere Expeditions 259 biotechnology 40, 300 blended families 20 blogs 103, 107, 109, 120 Blurb 113 BMW 289 board games 225 body double bank accounts 132 body parts bionic 55 replacement 2, 188, 228 Bolivia 73 Bollywood 111 books 29, 105, 111–25 boomerang kids 145 brain transplants 231 brain-enhancing foods 188 Brazil 2, 84, 89, 173, 247, 254, 270, 290 Burger King 184 business 13, 275–92 Bust-Up 189 busyness 27, 195, 277 Calvin, Bill 45 Canada 63, 78, 240 cancer 251 car sharing 160, 169, 176 carbon credits 173 carbon footprints 255 carbon taxes 76, 172 cars classic 168–9 driverless 154–5 flying 156, 165 hydrogen-powered 12, 31, 157, 173 pay-as-you-go 167–8 self-driving 165 cascading failure 28 cash 126–7, 205 cellphone payments 129, 213 cellphones 3, 25, 35, 51, 53, 120, 121, FUTURE FILES 129, 156, 161, 251 chicken, Christian 192 childcare robots 57 childhood 27, 33–4, 82–3 children’s database 86 CHIME nations (China, India, Middle East) 2, 10, 81 China 2, 10, 11, 69–72, 75–81, 88, 92–3, 125, 137, 139–40, 142, 151, 163, 174–5, 176, 200, 222, 228, 247, 260, 270–71, 275, 279, 295, 302 choice 186–7 Christian chicken 192 Christianity, muscular 16, 73 Chrysler 176 cinema 110–11, 120 Citibank 29, 128 citizen journalism 103–4, 108 City Car Club 168 Clarke, Arthur C. 58–9 Clarke’s 187 classic cars 168–9 climate change 4, 11, 37, 43, 59, 64, 68, 74, 77–9, 93, 150, 155, 254, 257, 264, 298–9 climate-controlled buildings 254, 264 cloning 38 human 23, 249 CNN 119 coal 176 Coca-Cola 78, 222–3 co-creation 111–12, 119 coins 29, 128, 129 collective intelligence 45–6 Collins, Jim 288 comfort eating 200 Comme des Garçons 216 community 36 compassion 120 competition in financial services 124–5 low-cost 292 computers disposable 56 intelligent 23, 43 organic 56 wearable 56, 302 computing 3, 33, 43, 48, 82 connectivity 3, 10, 11, 15, 91, 120, Index 233, 261, 275–6, 281, 292, 297, 299 conscientious objection taxation 86 contactless payments 123, 150 continuous partial attention 53 control 36, 151, 225 convenience 123, 178–9, 184, 189, 212, 223, 224 Coren, Stanley 246 corporate social responsibility 276, 282, 298 cosmetic neurology 250 Costa Rica 247 Craig’s List 102 creativity 11, 286; see also innovation credit cards 141–3, 150 crime 86–9 forecasting 86–7 gene 57, 86 Croatia 200 Crowdstorm 207 Cuba 75 cultural holidays 259, 273 culture 11, 17–37 currency, global 127, 151 customization 56, 169, 221–2, 260 cyberterrorism 65, 88–9 Cyc 45 cynicism 37 DayJet 262 death 237–9 debt 123–4, 140–44, 150 defense 63, 86 deflation 139 democracy 94 democratization of media 104, 108, 113 demographics 1, 10, 21, 69, 82, 93, 202, 276, 279–81, 292, 297–8 Denmark 245 department stores 214 deregulation 11, 3 Destiny Health 149 detox 200 Detroit Project 171 diagnosis 232 remote 228 digital downloads 121 evaporation 25 315 immortality 24–5 instant gratification syndrome 202 Maoism 47 money 12, 29, 123, 126–7, 129, 132, 138, 150, 191 nomads 20, 283 plasters 241 privacy 25, 97, 108 readers 121 digitalization 37, 292 Dinner by Design 185 dirt holidays 236 discount retailers 224 Discovery Health 149 diseases 2, 228 disintegrators 57 Disney 118–19 disposable computers 56 divorce 33, 85 DNA 56–7, 182 database 86 testing, compulsory 86 do-it-yourself dinner shops 185–6 dolls 24 doorbells 32 downshifters 20 Dream Dinners 185 dream fulfillment 148 dressmaking 225 drink 178–200 driverless cars 154–5 drugs anti-ageing 231, 237 performance-improving 284–5 Dubai 264, 267, 273 dynamic pricing 260 E Ink 115 e-action 65 Earthwatch 259 Eastern Europe 290 eBay 207 e-books 29, 37, 60, 114, 115, 302 eco-luxe resorts 272 economic collapse 2, 4, 36, 72, 221, 295 economic protectionism 10, 15, 72, 298 economy travel 272 316 Ecuador 73 education 15, 18, 82–5, 297 accelerated 57 lifelong learning 290 Egypt 2 electricity shortages 301 electronic camouflage 56 electronic surveillance 35 Elephant 244 email 18–19, 25, 53–4, 108 embedded intelligence 53, 154 EMF radiation 251 emotional capacity of robots 40, 60 enclosed resorts 273 energy 72, 75, 93 alternative 173 nuclear 74 solar 74 wind 74 enhancement surgery 249 entertainment 34, 121 environment 4, 10, 11, 14, 64, 75–6, 83, 93, 155, 171, 173, 183, 199, 219–20, 252, 256–7, 271, 292, 301 epigenetics 57 escapism 16, 32–3, 121 Estonia 85, 89 e-tagging 129–30 e-therapy 242 ethical bankruptcy 35 ethical investing 281 ethical tourism 259 ethics 22, 24, 41, 53, 78, 86, 132, 152, 194, 203, 213, 232, 238, 249–50, 258, 276, 281–2, 298–9 eugenics 252 Europe 11, 70, 72, 81, 91, 141, 150, 174–5, 182, 190, 192, 209 European Union 15, 139 euthanasia 238, 251 Everquest 33 e-voting 65 experience 224 extended financial families 144 extinction timeline 9 Facebook 37, 97, 107 face-recognition doors 57 fakes 32 family 36, 37 FUTURE FILES family loans 145 fantasy-related industries 32 farmaceuticals 179, 182 fast food 178, 183–4 fat taxes 190 fear 10, 34, 36, 38, 68, 150, 151, 305 female-only spaces 210–11, 257 feminization 84 financial crisis 38, 150–51, 223, 226, 301 financial services 123–53, 252 trends 123–5 fish farming 181 fixed-price eating 200 flashpacking 273 flat-tax system 85–6 Florida, Richard 36, 286, 292 flying cars 165 food 69–70, 72, 78–9, 162, 178–201 food anti-ageing 188 brain-enhancing 188 fast 178, 183–4 functional 179 growing your own 179, 192, 195 history 190–92 passports 200 slow 178, 193 tourism 273 trends 178–80 FoodExpert ID 182 food-miles 178, 193, 220 Ford 169, 176, 213, 279–80 forecasting 49 crime 86–7 war 49 Forrester Research 132 fractional ownership 168, 175, 176, 225 France 103, 147, 170, 189, 198, 267 Friedman, Thomas 278–9, 292 FriendFinder 32 Friends Reunited 22 frugality 224 functional food 179 Furedi, Frank 68 gaming 32–3, 70, 97, 111–12, 117, 130, 166, 262 Gap 217 Index gardening 27, 148 gas 176 GE Money 138, 145 gendered medicine 244–5 gene silencing 231 gene, crime 86 General Motors 157, 165 Generation X 41, 281 Generation Y 37, 41, 97, 106, 138, 141–2, 144, 202, 208, 276, 281, 292 generational power shifts 292 Genes Reunited 35 genetic enhancement 40, 48 history 35 modification 31, 182 testing 221 genetics 3, 10, 45, 251–2 genomic medicine 231 Germany 73, 147, 160, 170, 204–5, 216–17, 261, 267, 279, 291 Gimzewski, James 232 glamping 273 global currency 127 global warming 4, 47, 77, 93, 193, 234 globalization 3, 10, 15–16, 36–7, 63–7, 72–3, 75, 81–2, 88, 100, 125, 139, 143, 146, 170, 183, 189, 193–5, 221, 224, 226, 233–4, 247–8, 263, 275, 278–80, 292, 296, 299 GM 176 Google 22, 61, 121, 137, 293 gout 235 government 14, 18, 36, 63–95, 151 GPS 3, 15, 26, 50, 88, 138, 148, 209, 237, 262, 283 Grameen Bank 135 gravity tubes 57 green taxes 76 Greenpeace 172 GRIN technologies (genetics, robotics, internet, nanotechnology) 3, 10, 11 growing your own food 178, 192, 195 Gucci 221 Gulf States 125, 260, 268 H&M 217 habitual shopping 212 Handy, Charles 278 317 Happily 210 happiness 63–4, 71–2, 146, 260 health 15, 82, 178–9, 199 health monitoring 232, 236, 241 healthcare 2, 136, 144, 147–8, 154, 178–9, 183–4, 189–91, 228–53, 298; see also medicine trends 214–1534–7 Heinberg, Richard 74 Helm, Dieter 77 Heritage Foods 195 hikikomori 18 hive mind 45 holidays 31, 119; see also tourism holidays at home 255 cultural 259 dirt 236 Hollywood 33, 111–12 holographic displays 56 Home Equity Share 145 home baking 225 home-based microgeneration 64 home brewing 225 honesty 152 Hong Kong 267 hospitals 228, 241–3, 266 at home 228, 238, 240–42 hotels 19, 267 sleep 266 human cloning 23, 249 Hungary 247 hybrid humans 22 hydrogen power 64 hydrogen-powered cars 12, 31, 157, 173 Hyperactive Technologies 184 Hyundai 170 IBM 293 identities, multiple 35, 52 identity 64, 71 identity theft 88, 132 identity verification, two-way 132 immigration 151–2, 302 India 2, 10, 11, 70–72, 76, 78–9, 81, 92, 111, 125, 135, 139, 163, 174–5, 176, 247, 249–50, 254, 260, 270, 275, 279, 302 indirect taxation 86 318 individualism 36 Indonesia 2, 174 industrial robots 42 infinite content 96–7 inflation 151 information overlead 97, 120, 159, 285; see also too much information innovation 64, 81–2, 100, 175, 222, 238, 269, 277, 286–8, 291, 297, 299 innovation timeline 8 instant gratification 213 insurance 123, 138, 147–50, 154, 167, 191, 236, 250 pay-as-you-go 167 weather 264 intelligence 11 embedded 53, 154 implants 229 intelligent computers 23, 43 intelligent night vision 162–3 interaction, physical 22, 25, 97, 110, 118, 133–4, 215, 228, 243, 276, 304 interactive media 97, 105 intergenerational mortgages 140, 144–5 intermediaries 123, 135 internet 3, 10, 11, 17–18, 25, 68, 103, 108, 115–17, 124, 156, 240–41, 261, 270, 283, 289, 305 failure 301 impact on politics 93–4 sensory 56 interruption science 53 iPills 240 Iran 2, 69 Ishiguro, Hiroshi 55 Islamic fanaticism 16 Italy 92, 170, 198–9 iTunes 115, 130; see also Apple Japan 1, 18, 26, 28–9, 54–5, 63, 80–81, 114, 121, 128–9, 132, 140, 144–5, 147, 174, 186, 189, 192, 196, 198, 200, 209–10, 223, 240, 260, 264, 271, 279, 291 jetpacks 60 job security 292 journalism 96, 118 journalism, citizen 103–4, 107 joy-makers 57 FUTURE FILES Kaboodle 207 Kapor, Mitchell 45 Kenya 128 keys 28–9 Kindle 60, 121 Kramer, Peter 284 Kuhn, Thomas 281 Kurzweil, Ray 45 Kuwait 2 labor migration 290–91 labor shortages 3, 80–81, 289–90 Lanier, Jaron 47 laser shopping 212 leisure sickness 238 Let’s Dish 185 Lexus 157 libraries 121 Libya 73 life-caching 24, 107–8 lighting 158, 160 Like.com 216 limb farms 249 limited editions 216–17 live events 98, 110, 304 localization 10, 15–16, 116, 128, 170, 178, 189, 193, 195, 215, 220, 222–3, 224, 226, 255, 270, 297 location tagging 88 location-based marketing 116 longevity 188–9, 202 Longman, Philip 71 low cost 202, 219–22 luxury 202, 221, 225, 256, 260, 262, 265–6, 272 machinamas 112 machine-to-machine communication 56 marketing 115–16 location-based 116 now 116 prediction 116 Marks & Spencer 210 Maslow, Abraham 305–6 masstigue 223 materialism 37 Mayo Clinic 243 McDonald’s 130, 168, 180, 184 McKinsey 287 Index meaning, search for 16, 259, 282, 290, 305–6 MECU 132 media 96–122 democratization of 104, 108, 115 trends 96–8 medical outsourcing 247–8 medical tourism 2, 229, 247 medicine 188, 228–53; see also healthcare alternative 243–4 gendered 244–5 genomic 231 memory 229, 232, 239–40 memory loss 47 memory pills 231, 240 memory recovery 2, 228–9, 239 memory removal 29–30, 29, 240 Menicon 240 mental health 199 Meow Mix 216 Merriman, Jon 126 metabolomics 56 meta-materials 56 Metro 204–5 Mexico 2 micromedia 101 micro-payments 130, 150 Microsoft 137, 147, 293 Middle East 10, 11, 70, 81, 89, 119, 125, 129, 139, 174–5, 268, 301 migration 3, 11, 69–70, 78, 82, 234, 275, 290–91 boomerang 20 labor 290–91 Migros 215 military recruitment 69 military vehicles 158–9 mind-control toys 38 mindwipes 57 Mitsubishi 198, 279 mobile payments 123, 150 Modafinil 232 molecular biology 231 monetization 118 money 123–52 digital 12, 29, 123, 126–7, 129, 132, 138, 150, 191 monitoring, remote 154, 168, 228, 242 monolines 135, 137 319 mood sensitivity 41, 49, 154, 158, 164, 187–8 Morgan Stanley 127 mortality bonds 148 Mozilla Corp. 289 M-PESA 129 MTV 103 multigenerational families 20 multiple identities 35, 52 Murdoch, Rupert 109 muscular Christianity 16, 73 music industry 121 My-Food-Phone 242 MySpace 22, 25, 37, 46, 97, 107, 113 N11 nations (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam) 2 nanoelectronics 56 nanomedicine 32 nanotechnology 3, 10, 23, 40, 44–5, 50, 157, 183, 232, 243, 286, 298 napcaps 56 narrowcasting 109 NASA 25, 53 nationalism 16, 70, 72–3, 139, 183, 298, 302 natural disasters 301 natural resources 2, 4, 11, 64, 298–9 Nearbynow 223 Nestlé 195 Netherlands 238 NetIntelligence 283 networkcar.com 154 networks 28, 166, 288 airborne 56 neural nets 49 neuronic whips 57 neuroscience 33, 48 Neville, Richard 58–9 New Economics Foundation 171 New Zealand 265, 269 newspapers 29, 102–9, 117, 119, 120 Nigeria 2, 73 Nike 23 nimbyism 63 no-frills 224 Nokia 61, 105 Norelift 189 320 Northern Rock 139–40 Norwich Union 167 nostalgia 16, 31–2, 51, 169–70, 179, 183, 199, 203, 225, 303 now marketing 116 nuclear annihilation 10, 91 nuclear energy 74 nutraceuticals 179, 182 Obama, Barack 92–3 obesity 75, 190–92, 199, 250–51 oceanic thermal converters 57 oil 69, 72–3, 93, 151, 174, 176, 272, 273, 301 Oman 2, 270 online relationships 38 organic computers 56 organic food 200, 226 osteoporosis 235 outsourcing 224, 292 Pakistan 2 pandemics 4, 10, 16, 59, 72, 128, 232, 234, 272, 295–7, 301 paper 37 parasite singles 145 passwords 52 pictorial 52 pathogens 233 patient simulators 247 patina 31 patriotism 63, 67, 299 pay-as-you-go cars 167–8 pay-as-you-go insurance 167 payments cellphone 129, 213 contactless 123, 150 micro- 130, 150 mobile 123, 150 pre- 123, 150 PayPal 124, 137 Pearson, Ian 44 performance-improving drugs 284–5 personal restraint 36 personal robots 42 personalization 19, 26, 56, 96–8, 100, 102–3, 106, 108–9, 120, 138, 149, 183, 205–6, 223, 244–5, 262, 267, 269 Peru 73 FUTURE FILES Peters, Tom 280 Pharmaca 244 pharmaceuticals 2, 33, 228, 237 Philippines 2, 212, 290 Philips 114 Philips, Michael 232–3 photographs 108 physical interaction 22, 25, 97, 110, 118, 133–4, 215, 228, 243, 276, 304 physicalization 96–7, 101–2, 106, 110, 120 pictorial passwords 52 piggy banks 151 Pink, Daniel 285 plagiarism 83 polarization 15–16, 285 politics 37, 63–95, 151–2 regional 63 trends 63–5 pop-up retail 216, 224 pornography 31 portability 178, 183–4 power shift eastwards 2, 10–11, 81, 252 Prada 205–6, 216 precision agriculture 181–2 precision healthcare 234–7 prediction marketing 116 predictions 37, 301–2 premiumization 223 pre-payments 123, 150 privacy 3, 15, 41, 50, 88, 154, 165–7, 205, 236, 249, 285, 295 digital 25, 97, 108 Procter & Gamble 105, 280 product sourcing 224 Prosper 124, 135 protectionism 67, 139, 156, 220, 226, 301 economic 10, 15, 72, 299 provenance 178, 193, 226 proximity indicators 32 PruHealth 149 psychological neoteny 52 public ownership 92 public transport 171 purposeful shopping 212 Qatar 2 quality 96–7, 98, 101, 109 Index quantum mechanics 56 quantum wires 56 quiet materials 56 radiation, EMF 251 radio 117 randominoes 57 ranking 34, 83, 109, 116, 134, 207 Ranking Ranqueen 186 reality mining 51 Really Cool Foods 185 rebalancing 37 recession 139–40, 202, 222 recognition 36, 304 refrigerators 197–8 refuge 121 regeneration 233 regional food 200 regional politics 63 regionality 178, 192–3 regulation 124, 137, 143 REI 207 Reid, Morris 90 relationships, online 38 religion 16, 58 remote diagnosis 228 remote monitoring 154, 168, 228, 242 renting 225 reputation 34–5 resistance to technology 51 resorts, enclosed 273 resource shortages 11, 15, 146, 155, 178, 194, 254, 300 resources, natural 2, 4, 11, 64, 73–4, 143, 298–9 respect 36, 304 restaurants 186–8 retail 20–21, 202–27, 298 pop-up 216, 224 stealth 215 theater 214 trends 202–3 Revkin, Andy 77 RFID 3, 24, 50, 121, 126, 149, 182, 185, 192, 196, 205 rickets 232 risk 15, 124, 134, 138, 141, 149–50, 162, 167, 172, 191, 265, 299–300, 303 Ritalin 232 321 road pricing 166 Robertson, Peter 49 robogoats 55 robot department store 209 Robot Rules 44 robotic assistants 54, 206 concierges 268 financial advisers 131–2 lobsters 55 pest control 57 soldiers 41, 55, 60 surgery 35, 41, 249 robotics 3, 10, 41, 44–5, 60, 238, 275, 285–6, 292, 297 robots 41, 54–5, 131, 237, 249 childcare 57 emotional capacity of 40, 60 industrial 42 personal 42 security 209 therapeutic 41, 54 Russia 2, 69, 72, 75, 80, 89, 92–3, 125, 174, 232, 254, 270, 295, 302 safety 32, 36, 151, 158–9, 172–3, 182, 192, 196 Sainsbury’s 215 Salt 187 sanctuary tourism 273 satellite tracking 166–7 Saudi Arabia 2, 69 Schwartz, Barry 186 science 13, 16, 40–62, 300 interruption 53 trends 40–42 scramble suits 57 scrapbooking 25, 108, 225 Sears Roebuck 137 seasonality 178, 193–4 second-hand goods 224 Second Life 133, 207–8 securitization 124, 140 security 16, 31, 151 security robots 209 self-driving cars 165 self-medication 242 self-publishing 103, 113–14 self-reliance 35, 75 self-repairing roads 57 322 self-replicating machines 23, 44 Selfridges 214 sensor motes 15, 50, 196 sensory internet 56 Sharia-based investment 125 Shop24 209 shopping 202–27 habitual 212 laser 212 malls 211–5 purposeful 212 slow 213 social 207 Shopping 2.0 224 short-wave scalpels 57 silicon photonics 56 simplicity 169–70, 179, 186, 202, 218, 224, 226, 272 Singapore 241 single-person households 19–20, 202–3, 208–9, 221, 244, 298, 304 skills shortage 293, 302 sky shields 57 sleep 159–60, 188, 228, 231, 246–7, 265 sleep debt 96, 266 sleep hotels 266 sleep surrogates 57 slow food 178, 193 slow shopping 213 slow travel 273 smart devices 26–7, 28, 32, 35, 44, 50, 56, 57, 164, 206, 207 smart dust 3, 15, 50, 196 smartisans 20 Smartmart 209 snakebots 55 social networks 97, 107, 110, 120, 133, 217, 261 social shopping 207 society 13, 15–16, 17–37 trends 15–16 Sodexho 193 solar energy 74 Sony 114, 121 South Africa 84, 149, 242 South America 82, 270 South Korea 2, 103, 128–9 space ladders 56 space mirrors 47 space tourism 271, 273 FUTURE FILES space tugs 57 speed 164, 202, 209, 245, 296–7 spirituality 16, 22, 282, 298, 306 spot knowledge 47 spray-on surgical gloves 57 St James’s Ethics Centre 282 stagflation 139 starch-based plastics 64 stealth retail 215 stealth taxation 86 Sterling, Bruce 55 storytelling 203 Strayer, David 161 street signs 162–3 stress 32, 96, 235, 243, 245–6, 258–9, 265, 257–9, 275, 277, 283–5 stress-control clothing 57 stupidity 151, 302 Stylehive 207 Sudan 73 suicide tourism 236 Super Suppers 185 supermarkets 135–6, 184–6, 188, 191–2, 194, 202–3, 212, 215, 218–19, 224, 229 surgery 2, 31 anti-ageing 2, 237 enhancement 249 Surowiecki, James 45 surveillance 35, 41 sustainability 4, 37, 74, 181, 193–5, 203, 281, 288, 298–9 Sweden 84 swine flu 38, 251, 272 Switzerland 168, 210, 215 synthetic biology 56 Taco Bell 184 Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model 49 tagging, location 86, 88 Taiwan 81 talent, war for 275, 279, 293; see also labor shortages Target 216 Tasmania 267 Tata Motors 174, 176 taxation 85–6, 92, 93 carbon 76, 172 conscientious objection 86 Index fat 190 flat 85–6 green 76 indirect 86 stealth 86 Tchibo 217 technology 3, 14–16, 18, 22, 26, 28, 32, 37, 40–62, 74–5, 82–3, 96, 119, 132, 147–8, 154, 157, 160, 162, 165–7, 178, 182, 195–8, 208, 221, 229, 237, 242–3, 249, 256, 261, 265–6, 268, 275–6, 280, 283–4, 292, 296–7, 300 refuseniks 30, 51, 97 trends 40–42 telemedicine 228, 238, 242 telepathy 29 teleportation 56 television 21, 96, 108, 117, 119 terrorism 67, 91, 108, 150, 262–3, 267, 272, 295–6, 301 Tesco 105, 135–6, 185, 206, 215, 219, 223 Thailand 247, 290 therapeutic robots 41, 54 thermal imaging 232 things that won’t change 10, 303–6 third spaces 224 ThisNext 207 thrift 224 Tik Tok Easy Shop 209 time scarcity 30, 96, 102, 178, 184–6, 218, 255 time shifting 96, 110, 116 time stamps 50 timeline, extinction 9 timeline, innovation 8 timelines 7 tired all the time 246 tobacco industry 251 tolerance 120 too much choice (TMC) 29, 202, 218–19 too much information (TMI) 29, 51, 53, 202, 229; see also information overload tourism 254–74 cultural 273 ethical 259 food 273 323 local 273 medical 2, 229, 247 sanctuary 273 space 271, 273 suicide 238 tribal 262 Tourism Concern 259 tourist quotas 254, 271 Toyota 48–9, 157 toys, mind-control 38 traceability 195 trading down 224 transparency 3, 15, 143, 152, 276, 282, 299 transport 15, 154–77, 298 public 155, 161 trends 154–6 transumerism 223 travel 2, 3, 11, 148, 254–74 economy 272 luxury 272 slow 273 trends 254–6 trend maps 6–7 trends 1, 5–7, 10, 13 financial services 123–5 food 178–80 healthcare 228–9 media 96–8 politics 63–5 retail 202–3 science and technology 40–42 society 15–16 transport 154–6 travel 254–6 work 275–7 tribal tourism 262 tribalism 15–16, 63, 127–8, 183, 192, 220, 260 trust 82, 133, 137, 139, 143, 192, 203, 276, 282–3 tunnels 171 Turing test 45 Turing, Alan 44 Turkey 2, 200, 247 Twitter 60, 120 two-way identity verification 132 UAE 2 UFOs 58 324 UK 19–20, 72, 76, 84, 86, 90–91, 100, 102–3, 105, 128–9, 132, 137, 139–42, 147–9, 150, 163, 167–8, 170–71, 175, 185, 195–6, 199, 200, 206, 210, 214–16, 238, 259, 267–8, 278–9, 284, 288 uncertainty 16, 30, 34, 52, 172, 199, 246, 263, 300, 303 unemployment 151 Unilever 195 University of Chicago 245–6 urban rental companies 176 urbanization 11, 18–19, 78, 84, 155, 233 Uruguay 200 US 1, 11, 19–21, 23, 55–6, 63, 67, 69, 72, 75, 77, 80–83, 86, 88–90, 92, 104–5, 106, 121, 129–33, 135, 139–42, 144, 147, 149, 150, 151, 162, 167, 169–71, 174, 185, 190–3, 195, 205–6, 209, 211, 213, 216, 218, 220, 222–3, 237–8, 240–8, 250, 260, 262, 267–8, 275, 279–80, 282–4, 287, 291 user-generated content (UGC) 46, 97, 104, 289 utility 224 values 36, 152 vending machines 209 Venezuela 69, 73 verbal signatures 132 VeriChip 126 video on demand 96 Vietnam 2, 290 Vino 100 113 Virgin Atlantic 261 virtual adultery 33 banks 134 economy 130–31 protests 65 reality 70 sex 32 stores 206–8 vacations 32, 261 worlds 157, 213, 255, 261, 270, 305 Vocation Vacations 259–60 Vodafone 137 voice recognition 41 voice-based internet search 56 voicelifts 2, 237 FUTURE FILES Volkswagen 175 voluntourism 259 Volvo 164 voting 3, 68, 90–91 Walgreens 244 Wal-Mart 105, 136–7, 215, 219–20, 223, 244, 282 war 68–9, 72 war for talent 275, 279; see also labor shortages war forecasting 49 water 69–70, 74, 77–9, 199 wearable computers 55 weather 64 weather insurance 264 Web 2.0 93, 224 Weinberg, Peter 125 wellbeing 2, 183, 188, 199 white flight 20 Wikipedia 46, 60, 104 wild swimming 273 Wilson, Edward O. 74 wind energy 74 wine producers 200 wisdom of idiots 47 Wizard 145 work 275–94 trends 275–94 work/life balance 64, 71, 260, 277, 289, 293 worldphone 19 xenophobia 16, 63 YouTube 46, 103, 107, 112 Zara 216–17 Zipcar 167 Zopa 124, 134


pages: 339 words: 105,856

Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey

agricultural Revolution, Donner party, hive mind, Kevin Kelly, RFID, side project

A child of mine screams out in danger, a warning, a cry for help, for solutions, and I know in an instant that there are none, but I’m made to talk to them all, because we’re all connected, and I have to say the truth, like the brave parents do, and cradle their thoughts with mine the whole dreadful way down, like I rode with my threader, sorry, sorry, in my mind, as men below listen to sirens and klaxons and stir from the images on their retinas to move, move, move for once, getting out of my way, backs bent in hurried bows, before a son or daughter of mine craters to the cold Earth. Hive mind. Your analogy. The way all our thoughts are one, the way I feel every worker who has ever toiled for me, the way they are me and I am them. We talked over telex, you and I. And the voice that went out on your show, sandwiched between music, was a voice without a body. Just a hive mind, as you tried to grasp it. You need there to be one. Singular. A politician. A voice. A speech. A ribbon. A moment when the job is complete. A signal that now is the time for applause. Silver beaks biting down. Ribbons recoiling in space. Our mind is not a hive.


pages: 122 words: 38,022

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, citizen journalism, crony capitalism, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, feminist movement, game design, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mass immigration, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, open borders, post-industrial society, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

Compare the first election won by Obama, in which social media devotees reproduced the iconic but official blue-and-red stylized stencil portrait of the new president with HOPE printed across the bottom, a portrait created by artist Shepard Fairey and approved by the official Obama campaign, to the bursting forth of irreverent mainstream-baffling meme culture during the last race, in which the Bernie’s Dank Meme Stash Facebook page and The Donald subreddit defined the tone of the race for a young and newly politicized generation, with the mainstream media desperately trying to catch up with a subcultural in-joke style to suit two emergent anti-establishment waves of the right and left. Writers like Manuel Castells and numerous commentators in the Wired magazine milieu told us of the coming of a networked society, in which old hierarchical models of business and culture would be replaced by the wisdom of crowds, the swarm, the hive mind, citizen journalism and user-generated content. They got their wish, but it’s not quite the utopian vision they were hoping for. As old media dies, gatekeepers of cultural sensibilities and etiquette have been overthrown, notions of popular taste maintained by a small creative class are now perpetually outpaced by viral online content from obscure sources, and culture industry consumers have been replaced by constantly online, instant content producers.


pages: 693 words: 204,042

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, Black-Scholes formula, Burning Man, central bank independence, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, East Village, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, liquidity trap, Mason jar, mass immigration, megastructure, microbiome, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, the built environment, too big to fail

A nice perk, boathouse parking, if expensive. Then up the elevator to the thirtieth floor and over to the northwest corner, where I settled into my aerie, looking through a scattering of skybridges midtown, and the superscrapers looming uptown in all their gehryglory. I started the day as always, with a giant mug of cappuccino and a review of the closing markets in East Asia, and the midday markets in Europe. The global hive mind never sleeps, but it does nap while crossing the width of the Pacific, a half-hour nap between when New York closes and Shanghai opens; this is the pause that puts the day into day trading. On my screen was displayed all the parts of the global mind most concerned with drowned coastlines, my area of expertise. It wasn’t really possible to understand at a single glance the many graphs, spreadsheets, crawl lines, video boxes, chat lines, sidebars, and marginalia displayed on the screen, much as some of my colleagues would like to pretend that it is.

In fact no one is really home, so all the intelligence in this system, such as it was, was really in the people participating in it. Which meant there might not be very much intelligence there. And it was definitely massively fragmented. So, many fine or not-very-fine intelligences had in effect combined to make a team, but with no coherence and no way to get purchase on the situation. Schizophrenic but not crazy. Hive mind, but no mind. The stack, as in stacked emergent properties, but really stacked emergencies. Really best to think of it as a kind of game. Maybe. A game, or a system for gaming things. Anyway, on this afternoon my screens showed things were fine. No crash in the last two hours. I would have thought the Chelsea wreck would have dragged the local IPPI down a little more. There had been a shiver, a shock wave resembling the little tsunami that had radiated from the collapsed building itself, but stop that; it was a drop of about 0.06 in the global IPPI, 2.1 in the New York regional.

She listened to my stories of Oak Park, Illinois, and we ate seafood on pasta and drank a bottle of white wine. She watched me closely and yet I didn’t feel observed or judged. I tried to make it clear that trading had interested me as a puzzle to be solved, a story to be pulled together out of the data. I explained my theory of the screen and its multiple simultaneous genres, giving when taken altogether a glimpse into the global mind. A hive mind. “Like history,” she said as I tried to describe it. “Yes, but visible on a screen. History as it’s happening.” “And quantified, so you can bet on it.” “Yes, that’s right. History made into a betting game.” “I guess it always is. But is that good?” I shrugged. “I used to think so. I enjoyed it as such. But now I’m thinking it has to be more than just something to bet on. With this building project, it’s more, I don’t know …” “Making history.”


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Naturally, one might ask why big business data is still so often used on faith, even after it has failed spectacularly. The answer is of course that big business data happens to facilitate superquick and vast near-term accumulations of wealth and influence. Game On Why is big business data often flawed? The unreliability of big business data is a collective project we all participate in. Blame the hive mind. A wannabe Siren Server might enjoy honest access to data at first, as if it were an invisible observer, but if it becomes successful enough to become a real Siren Server, then everything changes. A tide of manipulation rises, and the data gathered becomes suspect. If the server is based on reviews, many of them will suddenly start to be fakes. If it’s based on people trying to be popular, then suddenly there will be fictitious fawning multitudes inflating illusions of popularity.

Such illusions might be erected by clever third parties trying to get a little of the action, or they might be wielded by individuals trying to get some small personal advantage out of the online world. In either case, once a Siren Server starts to get fooled by phony data, a dance begins. The Server hires mathematicians and Artificial Intelligence experts who try to use pure logic at a distance to filter out the lies. But to lie is not to be dumb. An arms race inevitably ensues, in which the hive mind of fakers attempts to outsmart a few clever programmers, and the balance of power shifts day to day. What is remarkable is not that the same old games people have always played continue to be played over digital networks, but that smart entrepreneurs continue to be drawn into the illusion that this time they’ll be the only one playing the game, while everyone else will passively accept being studied for the profit of a distant observer.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Conflicts in the future will also be influenced by two distinct and largely positive trends that stem from connectivity: first, the wisdom of the online crowd, and second, the permanence of data as evidence, which we alluded to earlier as making it harder for perpetrators of violence to deny or minimize their crimes. Collective wisdom on the Internet is a controversial subject. Many decry the negative extremes of online collaboration, such as the aggressive mediocrity of the “hive mind” (the collective consensus of groups of online users) and the viciousness of anonymity-fueled pack behavior on forums, social networks and other online channels. Others champion the level of accuracy and reliability of crowd-sourced information platforms like Wikipedia. Whatever your view, there are potential gains that collective wisdom can bring to future conflict. With a more level playing field for information in a conflict, a greater number of citizens can participate in shaping the narratives that emerge.

., 2012, 4.1 elections, Venezuela electricity Emergency Information Service empathy encryption, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.1 Ennahda party entertainment Equatorial Guinea Ericsson, 3.1, 3.2 Eritrea Estonia, 3.1, 6.1 Ethiopia Etisalat Etisalat Misr European Commission European Union, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 evolution, 3.1, con.1 exiles expectations gap explosive-ordnance-disposal (EOD) robots extortionists Facebook, itr.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2 data safeguarded by facial-recognition software, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1, con.1 failed states FARC Farmer, Paul FBI, 2.1, 5.1 Ferrari, Bruno fiber-optic cables, itr.1, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 filtering, 2.1, 3.1 financial blockades fingerprinting Finland Fixing Failed States (Lockhart and Ghani), 7.1n Flame virus, 3.1, 3.2 Food and Drug Administration food prices foreign aid forgetfulness Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Foster-Miller 4G, 7.1, 7.2 France, 6.1, 7.1, nts.1 Freakonomics (Levitt and Dubner), 2.1 Fred freedom of assembly free expression free information French Data Network Fukushima nuclear crisis, n gacaca, 249–50 Gadhafi, Muammar, 4.1, 4.2, 7.1 Gallic Wars “Gangnam Style,” 24n Gates, Robert Gaza General Motors genocide virtual genome sequencing geography Georgia (country) Georgia (state) Germany gesture-recognition technology Ghana Ghani, Ashraf, n GiveWell globalization, 1.1, 3.1 Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Goldsmith, Jack, n Google, itr.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3n, 163, 5.1, 7.1 Chinese cyber attacks on, itr.1, 3.1, 3.2 data safeguarded by driverless cars of Project Glass in tweet-by-phone service of Google App Engine Google Earth Google Ideas Google Map Maker Google Maps, 6.1, nts.1 Google+ Google Voice GPS, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 GPS data Great Firewall of China, 3.1, 3.2 GreatNonprofits Green Revolution GuideStar hackers, 2.1, 2.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 Hackers’ Conference, n hacktivists Hague, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2 haircuts Haiti, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Haiti After the Earthquake (Farmer), 7.1 Hama, Syria Hamas, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 Han Chinese handheld mobile devices Hanseatic League haptic technology, 1.1, 2.1n, 203–4 harassment, 6.1, 6.2 hard-drive crashes hawala, 69 Hayden, Michael V. health, 1.1, 1.2 data about health care, 2.1, 2.2 heart rate Hezbollah, 5.1, 5.2 hidden people high-quality LCD screens hijacking accounts hive mind Hizb ut-Tahrir Holbrooke, Richard Holocaust denial holographic “avatars,” 29 holographic projections, 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1 holographic “tablets,” 29 Homeland Security Department, U.S. Hormuud https encryption protocols Huawei human rights, 1.1, 3.1 humiliation Hussein, Saddam, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 Hutus Identity Cards Act identity theft identity-theft protection, 2.1, 2.2 IEDs (improvised explosive devices), 5.1, 6.1 IEEE Spectrum, 107n income inequality, 1.1, 4.1 India, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 individuals, transfer of power to Indonesia infiltration information blackouts of exchange of free movement of see also specific information technologies Information and Communications Technologies Authority Information Awareness Office information-technology (IT) security experts infrastructure, 2.1, 7.1 Innocence of Muslims (video), 4.1, 6.1 innovation Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, n insurance, for online reputation integrated clothing machine intellectual property, 2.1, 3.1 intelligence intelligent pills internally displaced persons (IDP), 7.1, 7.2 International Criminal Court, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2 internationalized domain names (IDN) International Telecommunications Union Internet, 2.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 Balkanization of as becoming cheaper and changing understanding of life impact of as network of networks Internet asylum seekers Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) internet protocol (IP) activity logs internet protocol (IP) address, 3.1, 3.2, 6.1 Internet service provider (ISP), 3.1, 3.2, 6.1, 7.1 Iran, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.1 cyber warfare on “halal Internet” in Iraq, itr.1, 3.1, 4.1, 6.1, 6.2 reconstruction of, 7.1, 7.2 Ireland iRobot Islam Israel, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 iTunes Japan, 3.1, 6.1n, 246 earthquake in Jasmine Revolution JavaOne Conference Jebali, Hamadi Jibril, Mahmoud Jim’ale, Ali Ahmed Nur Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World (Rosenberg), 4.1 Joint Tactical Networking Center Joint Tactical Radio System Julius Caesar justice system Kabul Kagame, Paul, 7.1, 7.2 Kansas State University Karzai, Hamid Kashgari, Hamza Kaspersky Lab Kenya, 3.1, 7.1, 7.2 Khan Academy Khartoum Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Khomeini, Ayatollah Kickstarter kidnapping, 2.1, 5.1 virtual Kinect Kissinger, Henry, 4.1, 4.2 Kiva, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Klein, Naomi, n Kony 2012, 7.1 Koran Koryolink “kosher Internet,” 187 Kosovo Kurds, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 Kurzweil, Ray Kyrgyzstan Laârayedh, Ali Lagos language translation, 1.1, 4.1, 4.2 laptops Latin America, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 law enforcement Law of Accelerating Returns Lebanon, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2 Lee Hsien Loong legal options, coping strategies for privacy and security concerns legal prosecution Lenin, Vladimir Levitt, Steven D.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Third, and perhaps most important, the cloud means that every member of a robot or drone tribe can quickly know what every other member does. As Pratt puts it, “Human beings take decades to learn enough to add meaningfully to the compendium of common knowledge. However, robots not only stand on the shoulders of each other’s learning, but can start adding to the compendium of robot knowledge almost immediately after their creation.” An early example of this kind of universal “hive mind” is Tesla’s fleet of cars, which share data about the roadside objects they pass. This information sharing helps the company build over time an understanding of which objects are permanent (they’re the ones passed in the same spot by many different cars) and thus very unlikely to run out into the middle of the road. Exponential improvements in digital hardware. Moore’s law—the steady doubling in integrated circuit capability every eighteen to twenty-four months—celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2015, at which time it was still going strong.

Louis, 163 fees Stripe, 172–73 in two-sided networks, 215 fiat currencies, 280, 286, 305 FICO scores, 46–47 file sharing platforms, 144–45 film photography, 131 financial crisis (2008), 285, 308 financial services automated investing, 266–70 crowdlending platforms, 263 as least-trusted industry, 296 and regulation, 202 TØ.com, 290 virtualization of, 91 find-fix-verify, 260 firms economics of, 309–12 theory of, See TCE (transaction cost economics) FirstBuild, 11–14 Fitbit, 163 5G wireless technology, 96 fixed costs, 137 flat hierarchy, 325 Fleiss, Jennifer, 187 Flexe, 188 focus groups, 189–90 “food computers,” 272 food preparation recipes invented by Watson, 118 robotics in, 93–94 Forbes magazine, 303 forks, operating system, 244 Forsyth, Mark, 70 “foxes,” 60–61 fraud detection, 173 “free, perfect, instant” information goods complements, 160–63 economics of, 135–37 free goods, complements and, 159 freelance workers, 189 free market, See market “freemium” businesses, 162 Friedman, Thomas, 135 Friendster, 170 Fukoku Mutual Life, 83 Gallus, Jana, 249n garments, 186–88 Garvin, David, 62 Gazzaniga, Michael, 45n GE Appliances, 15 Gebbia, Joe, 209–10 geeky leadership, 244–45, 248–49 gene editing, 257–58 General Electric (GE), 10–15, 261 General Growth Properties, 134 General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, The (Keynes), 278–79 generative design, 112–13 genome sequencing, 252–55, 260–61 Georgia, Republic of, 291 Gershenfeld, Neil, 308 GFDL, 248 Gill, Vince, 12n Giuliano, Laura, 40 global financial crisis (2008), 285, 308 GNU General Public License (GPL), 243 Go (game), 1–6 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 178 Go-Jek, 191 golden ratio, 118 Goldman Sachs, 134 gold standard, 280n Goodwin, Tom, 6–10, 14 Google, 331; See also Android acquiring innovation by acquiring companies, 265 Android purchased by, 166–67 Android’s share of Google revenue/profits, 204 autonomous car project, 17 DeepMind, 77–78 hiring decisions, 56–58 iPhone-specific search engine, 162 and Linux, 241 origins of, 233–34 and self-driving vehicles, 82 as stack, 295 Google AdSense, 139 Google DeepMind, 4, 77–78 Google News, 139–40 Google search data bias in, 51–52 incorporating into predictive models, 39 Graboyes, Robert, 274–75 Granade, Matthew, 270 Grant, Amy, 12n graphics processing units (GPUs), 75 Great Recession (2008), 285, 308 Greats (shoe designer), 290 Grid, The (website design startup), 118 Grokster, 144 Grossman, Sandy, 314 group drive, 20, 24 group exercise, See ClassPass Grove, William, 41 Grubhub, 186 Guagua Xiche, 191–92 gut instincts, 56 gyro sensor, 98 Haidt, Jonathan, 45 Hammer, Michael, 32, 34–35, 37, 59 hands, artificial, 272–75 Hannover Messe Industrial Trade Fair, 93–94 Hanson, Robin, 239 Hanyecz, Laszlo, 285–86 Hao Chushi, 192 “hard fork,” 304–5, 318 Harper, Caleb, 272 Hart, Oliver, 313–15 Hayek, Friedrich von, 151, 235–39, 279, 332 health care, 123–24 health coaches, 124, 334 health insurance claims, 83 Hearn, Mike, 305–6 heat exchangers, 111–13 “hedgehogs,” 60–61 Hefner, Cooper, 133 Hefner, Hugh, 133 hierarchies flat, 325 production costs vs. coordination costs in, 313–14 Hinton, Geoff, 73, 75–76 HiPPOs (highest-paid person’s opinions), 45, 63, 85 hiring decisions, 56–58 Hispanic students, 40 HIStory (Michael Jackson), 131 hive mind, 97 HMV (record store chain), 131, 134 Holberton School of Software Engineering, 289 “hold-up problem,” 316 Holmström, Bengt, 313, 315 Honor (home health care platform), 186 hotels limits to Airbnb’s effects on, 221–23 Priceline and, 223–24 revenue management’s origins, 182 “hot wallet,” 289n housing sales, 39 Howell, Emily (music composition software), 117 Howells, James, 287 Hughes, Chris, 133 human condition, 121, 122 human genome, 257–58 human judgment, See judgment, human Hyman, Jennifer, 187 hypertext, 33 IBM; See also Watson (IBM supercomputer) and Linux, 241 System/360 computer, 48 ice nugget machine, 11–14 idAb algorithm, 253, 254 incentives, ownership’s effect on, 316 incomplete contracting, 314–17 incremental revenue, 180–81 incumbents advantages in financial services, 202 inability to foresee effects of technological change, 21 limits to disruption by platforms, 221–24 platforms’ effect on, 137–48, 200–204 threats from platform prices, 220–21 Indiegogo, 13–14, 263, 272 industrial trusts, 22–23 information business processes and, 88–89 in economies, 235–37 O2O platforms’ handling of, 192–93 information asymmetries, 206–10 information goods bundling, 146–47 as “free, perfect, instant,” 135–37 and solutionism, 297–98 information transfer protocols, 138 infrared sensors, 99 InnoCentive, 259 innovation crowd and, 264–66 ownership’s effect on, 316 Instagram, 133, 264–66 institutional investors, 263 Intel, 241, 244 Internet as basis for new platforms, 129–49 economics of “free, perfect, instant” information goods, 135–37 evolution into World Wide Web, 33–34 in late 1990s, 129–31 as platform of platforms, 137–38 pricing plans, 136–37 intuition, See System 1/System 2 reasoning inventory, perishing, See perishing/perishable inventory investing, automated, 266–70 investment advising, 91 Iora Health, 124, 334 Iorio, Luana, 105 iOS, 164–67, 203 iPhone apps for, 151–53, 161–63 Blackberry vs., 168 curation of apps for, 165 demand curve for, 156 introduction of, 151–52 and multisided markets, 218 opening of platform to outside app builders, 163–64 user interface, 170 widespread adoption of, 18 iron mining, 100 Irving, Washington, 252 Isaac, Earl, 46 Isaacson, Walter, 152, 165 iteration, 173, 323; See also experimentation iTunes, 217–18 iTunes Store, 145, 165 Jackson, Michael, 131 Java, 204n Jelinek, Frederick, 84 Jeopardy!


pages: 331 words: 47,993

Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind by Susan Schneider

artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Elon Musk, Extropian, hive mind, life extension, megastructure, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, Stephen Hawking, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons

72 CHAPTER SIX: Getting a Mindscan    82 CHAPTER SEVEN: A Universe of Singularities    98 CHAPTER EIGHT: Is Your Mind a Software Program?    120 CONCLUSION: The Afterlife of the Brain    148 APPENDIX: Transhumanism    151 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS    153 NOTES    157 REFERENCES    165 INDEX    173 ARTIFICIAL YOU INTRODUCTION It is 2045. Today, you are out shopping. Your first stop is the Center for Mind Design. As you walk in, a large menu stands before you. It lists brain enhancements with funky names. “Hive Mind” is a brain chip allowing you to experience the innermost thoughts of your loved ones. “Zen Garden” is a microchip for Zen master-level meditative states. “Human Calculator” gives you savant-level mathematical abilities. What would you select, if anything? Enhanced attention? Mozart-level musical abilities? You can order a single enhancement, or a bundle of several. Later, you visit the android shop.


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

A slime-mold colony can solve the shortest distance to food in a maze, much like a rat. The animal immune system, whose primary purpose is to distinguish between self and nonself, retains a memory of outside antigens it has encountered in the past. It learns in a Darwinian process and in a sense also anticipates future variations of antigens. And throughout the animal kingdom collective intelligence is expressed in hundreds of ways, including the famous hive minds of social insects. The manipulation, storage, and processing of information is a central theme of life. Learning erupts over and over again in the history of evolution, as if it were a force waiting to be released. A charismatic version of intelligence—the kind of anthropomorphic smartness we associate with apes—evolved not just in primates but in at least two other unrelated taxa: whales and birds.

Planetary-scale problems will require some kind of planetary-scale mind; complex networks made of trillions of active nodes will require network intelligences; routine mechanical operations will need nonhuman precision in calculations. Since our own brains are such poor thinkers in terms of probability, we’d really benefit by discovering an intelligence at ease with statistics. We’ll need all varieties of thinking tools. An off-the-grid stand-alone AI will be handicapped compared with a hive-mind supercomputer. It can’t learn as fast, as broadly, or as smartly as one plugged into six billion human minds, several quintillion online transistors, hundreds of exabytes of real-life data, and the self-correcting feedback loops of the entire civilization. But a consumer may still choose to pay the penalty of lesser smarts in order to have the mobility of an isolated AI in distant places, or for privacy reasons.


Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community by Diana Leafe Christian

back-to-the-land, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, hive mind, off grid, oil shock, peak oil

As every Trekkie knows, after the half-human/halfmachine Borg suddenly materialize and deliver their chilling announcement, they beam you off to their starship where you are biomechanically morphed into a cyborg yourself — destined to an immortal, never-escape existence as one more cell in the Borg’s “hive mind.” Fortunately, this won’t happen. Unlike with the Borg on Star Trek, people who join communities don’t get assimilated, and in most groups community members don’t all think alike. Members of any given community do hold many more values and beliefs in common than a comparable group of typical neighbors, since the community is organized around a common vision or purpose. However, disagreements about what they want or how to spend their funds are a common occurrence in most communities, just as in the wider society. Community members certainly don’t all live in a “hive mind,” but can have widely diverging opinions. Just ask any process and communications consultants called in to help resolve disputes!


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

They carefully designed a representative system with checks, balances and periodic elections that would delegate authority upwards and serve as a check on the confusion and fury of the multitude. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes on Twitter would recognise Charles Mackay’s definition. The modern technologist, however, doesn’t believe the mob is faceless and mad, but rather wise and just: he reads books like Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs and talks endlessly about ‘crowd sourcing’ solutions and ‘the wisdom of the crowd’. He trusts the ‘hive mind’. Crowds certainly are wise when it comes to solving technical, non-value based problems like fixing computer bugs, but politics is very different.4 Humans were perfectly good at killing each other because of politics long before the iPhone turned up. But Silicon Valley, in its optimistic quest for a global village of total information and connectivity, has inadvertently let tribalism back out of the cage that modern representative democracy built for it.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

Some of the discoveries have been subtle but brilliant. For example, officials now know that the first warm day of spring will bring a surge in use of the city’s chlorofluorocarbon recycling programs. The connection is logical once you think about it: The hot weather inspires people to upgrade their air conditioners, and they don’t want to just leave the old, Freon-filled units out on the street. The 311 hive mind is deft not just at detecting reliable patterns but also at providing insights when the normal patterns have been disrupted. Clusters of calls about food-borne illness or sanitary problems from the same restaurant now trigger a rapid response from the city’s health department. And during emergencies, callers help provide real-time insight into what’s really happening. After US Airways flight 1549 crash-landed on the Hudson, a few callers dialed 311 asking what they should do with hand luggage they’d retrieved from the river.


pages: 298 words: 151,238

Excession by Iain M. Banks

continuous integration, gravity well, hive mind, place-making

He'd tried physical alteration (he'd been quite handsome, for a while), he'd tried being female (she'd been quite pretty, she'd been told), he'd tried moving away from where he'd been brought up (he'd moved half the galaxy away to an Orbital quite different but every bit as pleasant as his home) and he'd tried a life lived adream (he'd been a merman prince in a water-filled space ship fighting an evil machine-hive mind, and according to the scenario was supposed to woo the warrior princess of another clan) but in all the things he'd tried he had never felt anything else than awkward: being handsome was worse than being gangly and bumbling because his body felt like a lie he was wearing; being a woman was the same, and somehow embarrassing, as well, as though it was somebody else's body he had kidnapped from inside; moving away just left him terrified of having to explain to people why he'd wanted to leave home in the first place, and living in a dream scenario all day and night just felt wrong; he had a horror of immersing himself in that virtual world as completely as his merman did in his watery realm and thus losing hold of what he felt was a tenuous grip on reality at the best of times, and so he'd lived the scenario with the nagging sensation that he was just a pet fish in somebody else's fish tank, swimming in circles through the prettified ruins of sunken castles.

He'd tried physical alteration (he'd been quite handsome, for a while), he'd tried being female (she'd been quite pretty, she'd been told), he'd tried moving away from where he'd been brought up (he'd moved half the galaxy away to an Orbital quite different but every bit as pleasant as his home) and he'd tried a life lived adream (he'd been a merman prince in a water-filled space ship fighting an evil machine-hive mind, and according to the scenario was supposed to woo the warrior princess of another clan) but in all the things he'd tried he had never felt anything else than awkward: being handsome was worse than being gangly and bumbling because his body felt like a lie he was wearing; being a woman was the same, and somehow embarrassing, as well, as though it was somebody else's body he had kidnapped from inside; moving away just left him terrified of having to explain to people why he'd wanted to leave home in the first place, and living in a dream scenario all day and night just felt wrong; he had a horror of immersing himself in that virtual world as completely as his merman did in his watery realm and thus losing hold of what he felt was a tenuous grip on reality at the best of times, and so he'd lived the scenario with the nagging sensation that he was just a pet fish in somebody else's fish tank, swimming in circles through the prettified ruins of sunken castles. In the end, to his mortification, the princess had defected to the machine hive-mind. The plain fact was that he didn't like talking to people, he didn't like mixing with them and he didn't even like thinking about them individually. The best he could manage was when he was well away from people; then he could feel a not unpleasant craving for their company as a whole, a craving that quite vanished - to be replaced by stomach-churning dread - the instant it looked like being satisfied.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Sometimes, though, there are real-world consequences to being wrong. After the Boston Marathon bombing, the New York Post splashed two young, brown-skinned men on its cover and said that the government was looking for them. The two men were never suspects and had nothing to do with the attack; later they sued the Post for libel. It’s during major events such as the Boston bomber manhunt that the supposedly self-correcting tendencies of the Twitter hive mind are far less appealing. Indeed, the Internet is filled with would-be armchair detectives and vigilantes, who operate in uneasy accordance with journalists and law enforcement. Police departments tweet out photographs and screencaps from CCTV cameras, asking the public for help in identifying suspects. The social news site Reddit became notorious for its role in incorrectly identifying suspects in the marathon bombing and other attacks, with some site moderators eventually trying to ban the practice.

Shaming and viral villainy are made all the easier by the use of real names and the ways in which data travels between social networks. The practice is flexible, as easily applied to an airline that’s mistreated a passenger as it is to a relatively unknown Twitter user from Nevada guilty of tweeting a racist epithet. Shaming remains problematic because of its close association with vigilantism and because, in its leveraging of viral channels, it can spin out of control, producing a disproportionate response. The hive mind may respond with a dozen people tut-tutting, only to then melt away, or it may be ten thousand people issuing death threats, publicizing the target’s address, calling his employer, and ensuring a permanent data trail of shame and embarrassment—what has been termed “SEO-shaming,” after the practice of gaming Internet search results. When is someone taking the initiative to dox or shame another person a courageous act, or, at the very least, an effort to defend an injured party, and when is it self-righteous or malicious?


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Predictive texting and automated spellchecking are early examples. Rare earths A series of rare elements or metals increasingly used in high-technology machinery and devices. Smart agents Generally, software that exhibits a level of intelligence or understanding. Smart dust Very small sensors that are networked wirelessly. Swarm robotics Robots that swarm together or display crowd-like behavior. Links with swarm intelligence, collective intelligence, hive minds and so on. Telemedicine Medicine or healthcare delivered via ITC or telecommunications. Vertical farming The growing of animals or plants in vertical buildings or skyscrapers, usually in urban environments. Virtual currency Digital currency used primarily in computer gaming. Links with digital payments, micropayments, stored value, embedded currency and mobile payments. Virtual duplicate An object’s virtual twin in cyberspace.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

But people had that look all the time. “So,” Wahram said. “You see our problem. And now it’s getting more urgent, because there’s solid evidence that these qube humanoids were ordered up by other qubes—qubes in boxes or robots, or asteroid frameworks, as was usual.” “Why would they do that?” Swan asked. Wahram shrugged. “Is it bad?” Swan asked, thinking it over. “I mean, they can’t band together into some kind of hive mind creature, because of decoherence. And so ultimately they’re just people with qube minds.” “People without emotions.” “There have always been people like that. They get by.” Wahram squinted. “Actually, they don’t. But look, there’s more.” He looked at Genette, who said to Swan, “The attacks we’ve been investigating, on Terminator and the Ygassdril, both had a qubical involvement. Also, I had that photo you gave me of your lawn bowler couriered to Wang, and he went through his unaffiliated files, and though he couldn’t ID the bowler, he had photos that show your person at a meeting Lakshmi organized in Cleopatra in the year 2302.

Along the top of one levee they rode a tram, headed for Olympus Mons. Wide streets angled out into the green fields that flitted by below them. These grassy boulevards were flanked by blocky buildings that were often faced with ceramic murals and had an Art Deco look. They passed white plazas under palm trees and remarked to each other the lush beauty, also the uniformity of style, with its hexagonal suggestion of a hive mind. A green and pleasant land. They trammed from oasis to oasis, in a regular flashing of light and shadow created by the long rows of cypress trees by the tracks. Gardens in the desert. The hyperterran look combined with the Mercury-light gravity created a dreamscape feel. Mercury would never look like this. Nowhere else could look like this. Inspector Genette, standing on the chair by the window and looking out intently at the passing scene, said, “I lived there once,” gesturing down at one swiftly passing town square.


pages: 247 words: 71,698

Avogadro Corp by William Hertling

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, invisible hand, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, standardized shipping container, technological singularity, Turing test, web application, WikiLeaks

After the failed attack on ELOPe, he had dropped into a deep bout of depression that had lasted for six weeks. He stayed up nights watching TV, dropping off only when he couldn’t hold his eyes open. Then the nightmares would start. But then came the night that changed everything, all because of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. The crew of the Enterprise had been faced with an unstoppable enemy called the Borg that had a hive mind, not totally unlike what might be happening inside ELOPe. Faced with this all powerful enemy, the crew of the Enterprise had captured one of the Borg, and developed a mental virus to implant in the Borg they captured. Their plan was to allow the captured Borg to return to its fellows, thus infecting the entire hive with the virus. In the episode, the crew eventually decided not to use the virus, but the plot planted a seed in David’s brain.


pages: 211 words: 67,975

The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty by Ethan Sherwood Strauss

Broken windows theory, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, hive mind, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

The 26-year-old proceeded to go back and forth with a reporter, arguing the intent behind the incessant questioning was for “the likes and clicks.” It’s easy to empathize with Kyrie Irving’s displeasure. He was being spied on, his secrets stolen and used by strangers toward ends that further complicate his life. This is indeed a crazy way to live. No individual is solely at fault for Kyrie’s travails, and that might be another frustrating aspect of living inside The Take Zone. There’s nobody to blame. It’s just the hive mind and its minions, doing what comes naturally. You are always being watched and recorded by anonymous informants. When they find what they crave, your business will become everyone’s business and you will have no specific enemy to fault for that. When the Boston Globe reporter told Irving that the fans were interested in his private conversation, Kyrie responded, “Oh the fans? This is about the fans?


Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize

There is nothing wrong with people who have lived on little for centuries living on more. It is difficult to blame any Chinese citizen, who is used to saving nearly all of his pay, for being pleased with the opportunity to spend more. But consumption has its limits. Cities will need to be centers for collaboration and information, and will need to provide means to monetize those pursuits. • Population density contributes to the making of good ideas. The hive mind is an attractive place for those who are eager to collaborate, and these people tend to be young. With so many nations facing the challenge of employing populations that are growing younger (and, presently, underemployed), cities are the best opportunities. • Rather than discouraging social interaction, Internet technology seems to encourage it. The smart city, with modern communication techniques, is not filled with millions of isolation tanks outfitted with screens.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In his book Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky argues that the web is making us smarter, collectively. Humanity is working together like never before, each individual contributing something so minute as a single correction to an obscure Wikipedia entry or a photograph uploaded to Flickr. Even our Google queries help the search giant perfect its algorithms. Whether we realize it or not, we are behaving as a hive mind, and those tiny trivial inputs add up to monumental social change. Reddit 4chan’s influence in the memesphere isn’t going anywhere soon, but Reddit is definitely catching up. Reddit is currently the biggest social content aggregator, recently taking the reins from Digg after that site’s troubled redesign. Reddit users post pieces of content and “upvote” ones they like or “downvote” ones they don’t.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

Then, one car pulled over to the side of the circuit for a pit stop, “and we just realized,” Dr. Elliott said, “that the pit stop where they changed tires and topped up the fuel was pretty well identical in concept to what we do in handover.” In seven seconds, the pit crew tore off four tires, filled a tank of gas, screwed on four new tires, and leapt out of the way for the car to scream back onto the track. Working as if controlled by a hive mind, the Formula 1 crews made the GOSH staff look like monkeys fighting over ventilator tubes. “So we phoned them up.” Before long, the GOSH doctors found themselves hanging out with a Ferrari pit team in Italy. The mechanics demonstrated their process for the doctors up close and in detail. Right away the GOSH team observed several differences between the Ferrari routine and their own. The pit crew meticulously planned out every possible scenario of what could go wrong during a handover and practiced each scenario until it became habit; GOSH staff, on the other hand, handled surprises on the fly.


pages: 312 words: 78,053

Generation A by Douglas Coupland

Burning Man, call centre, Drosophila, hive mind, index card, Live Aid, Magellanic Cloud, McJob, new economy, post-work, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

“No, you’re made of DNA, and it’s your DNA that helps make Solon. And farming your brains is much cheaper and easier than building Solon molecules from scratch.” Sam said, “This is like one of our stories. No, this is weirder than any of our stories.” I replied, “Haven’t all of you noticed that your personalities and your ideas have begun to morph into each other’s? It’s a terrible pun, but the five of you are turning into a hive mind. I think it would have happened to you anyway—your minds are somehow rigged to melt together; it’s the storytelling chemical you make—but eating each other’s brain material only sped up the process. You heard each other’s stories. The five of you almost arrived at the truth on your own. Your bodies know the truth.” I looked at Harj. “You guessed it, Apu.” Diana said, “You know this is all being taped and webcast, right?”


pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

(The ORR is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.) 21 Kermit Pattison, “Crowdsourcing Innovation: Q&A with Dwayne Spradlin of InnoCentive,” FastCompany, December 15, 2008, http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kermit-pattison/fast-talk/millions-eyes-prize-qa-dwayne-spradlin-innocentive. 22 “InnoCentive Solver Develops Solution to Help Clean Up Remaining Oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster,” InnoCentive press release, November 14, 2007, http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/InnoCentive-Solver-Develops-Solution-Help-Clean-Up-Remaining-Oil-From-1989-Exxon-Valdez-792827.htm. 23 “2010 International Contest on LTPP Data Analysis,” http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/ltpp/contest.cfm. 24 Stefanie Olsen, “DOT Proposes Contest to ‘Green’ Jet Fuel Industry,” July 10, 2008, http://news.cnet.com/8301–11128_3–9987675–54.html. 25 Adam Ash, “Deep Thoughts: The Internet, Is It a Stupid Hive Mind, or the Potential Savior of Mankind?” May 31, 2006, http://adamash.blogspot.com/2006/05/deep-thoughts-internet-is-it-stupid.html. See also Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, “Ideagora, a Marketplace for Minds,” BusinessWeek, February 15, 2007. 26 Cornelia Dean, “If You Have a Problem, Ask Everyone,” New York Times, July 22, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/science/22inno.html. 27 The British National Maritime Museum has an excellent article on Harrison, by J.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

When Agobot took over a machine, the user might not notice anything but a sudden sluggishness in performance. But deep in the PC’s subconscious, it was joining a hacker’s private army. The malware was programmed to automatically log in to a preselected IRC room, announce itself, and then linger to accept commands broadcast by its master in the chat channel. Thousands of computers would report at once, forming a kind of hive mind called a botnet. With one line of text, a hacker could activate keystroke loggers on all the machines to capture passwords and credit card numbers. He could instruct the computers to open secret e-mail proxies to launder spam. Worst of all, he could direct all those PCs to simultaneously flood a targeted website with traffic—a distributed denial-of-service attack that could take down a top site for hours while network administrators blocked each IP address one at a time.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

The web could enforce conformity rather than encouraging individuality. Jaron Lanier, in a widely read online essay published in May 2006, alleged that ‘digital Maoism’ was promoting collective stupidity. People were taking their lead, Lanier argued, from the all-wise ‘collective’ rather than bothering to think for themselves. His case is only strengthened by web advocates, such as Kevin Kelly, the original editor of Wired, who claim that the web is creating a ‘hive mind’, that of an anonymous collective in which individuals are like bees or ants. The American sociologist Sherry Turkle has echoed these fears, questioning whether young people will form a sharp sense of individual identity if they are tethered to their phone and social relationships, unable to be alone and to reflect on what matters to them because they are acting up to the online audience that constantly accompanies them.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Starve any living thing of information and it will quickly perish. Professor Melanie Mitchell defines a complex adaptive system as “a system in which large networks of components with no central control and simple rules of operation give rise to complex collective behavior, sophisticated information processing, and adaptation via learning or evolution.” In this way, a complex adaptive system is a kind of hive mind, capable of solving problems the individual agents cannot. Organizations are no different. Every single activity we conduct at work—recruiting, sales, accounting—is dependent on information processing and knowledge transfer. If we can tap into our collective intelligence, we can accomplish amazing things. And so it’s somewhat surprising how little time we spend on our information architecture—our approach to discovering, storing, and sharing what we know.


pages: 330 words: 83,319

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

Autocracies have developed active measures to disrupt democracies, so the West should return the favor. Ridicule works exceptionally well against autocrats, who must manufacture a cult of personality and fear to stay in power. Democracies should “unmanufacture” it. Seek to corrupt the enemy’s trusted information sources and its intelligence agencies. The Russian general staff is said to have a hive mind. “Unhive” it by sowing uncertainty, causing its officers to make bad decisions that can be exploited. Over time, this uncertainty may even catalyze internal dissent, cracking the edifice of autocracy. Counter terrorist ideologies through covert denigration campaigns that make the world laugh at the terrorists’ cause. When dealing with anti-Western regimes like Tehran, bomb them with Barbie dolls.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

New Dark Age New Dark Age Technology and the End of the Future James Bridle First published by Verso 2018 © James Bridle 2018 All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Verso UK: 6 Meard Street, London W1F 0EG US: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201 versobooks.com Verso is the imprint of New Left Books ISBN-13: 978-1-78663-547-1 ISBN-13: 978-1-78663-549-5 (UK EBK) ISBN-13: 978-1-78663-550-1 (US EBK) British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress Typeset in Sabon by Biblichor Ltd, Edinburgh Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY For Navine Contents 1.Chasm 2.Computation 3.Climate 4.Calculation 5.Complexity 6.Cognition 7.Complicity 8.Conspiracy 9.Concurrency 10.Cloud Acknowledgements Notes Index 1 Chasm ‘If only technology could invent some way of getting in touch with you in an emergency,’ said my computer, repeatedly. Following the 2016 US election result, along with several other people I know and perhaps prompted by the hive mind of social media, I started re-watching The West Wing: an exercise in hopeless nostalgia. It didn’t help, but I got into the habit, when alone, of watching an episode or two in the evenings, after work, or on planes. After reading the latest apocalyptic research papers on climate change, total surveillance, and the uncertainties of the global political situation, a little neoliberal chamber play from the noughties wasn’t the worst thing to sink into.


Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal by Erik Vance

fixed income, hive mind, impulse control, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, side project, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Yogi Berra

“Everybody going into that theater looks at that Rolls-Royce and thinks, ‘Whoa, he must be good.’ This is all part of the show. The show starts when they are queuing outside to get in,” he says. And if the venue isn’t full, Newton figures out a way to fill it, even giving away tickets. This not only makes the audience think the man on stage is a serious professional, it also creates a sense of community within the building, a belief in the hive mind of the viewers that the hypnotist has total power. Before each performance, Newton comes onstage to get the crowd warmed up. Different performers have different tricks, but the key is to get the audience to act as one: Get them to stand up and then sit down on your command. Get them to laugh together. Newton, a keen observer of human behavior, says this works because humans evolved in communities.


The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

failed state, fear of failure, hiring and firing, hive mind, interchangeable parts, job automation, Larry Wall, microservices, pull request, risk tolerance, Schrödinger's Cat, side project, Steve Jobs, WebSocket

Are you thinking about 14 | THE MANAGER’S PATH your own work? Are you doing anything other than listening to the words coming out of his mouth? If so, you’re not listening well. One of the early lessons in leadership, whether it is via direct management or indirect influence, is that people are not good at saying precisely what they mean in a way that others can exactly understand. We have yet to achieve Borg hive mind or Vulcan mind meld, so we’re constantly pushing complex ideas through the eye of the needle of language. And language is not something that most engineers have mastered in nuance and interpretation. So listening goes beyond hearing the words your mentee is saying. When you’re face to face with another person, you also have to interpret his body language and the way he’s saying those words. Is he looking you in the eye?


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

Yes, there are book groups and public readings, but most of the production and reception of books involves another social architecture, not solitary exactly, but more like a series of one-on-one exchanges: between writer and editor; writer and reader; writer and critic. (Not to mention the one-on-one interviews that are so crucial to a book like this one.) I remember running up against this tension as I was writing Emergence in 2000 and early 2001; here was a book that was a full-throated celebration of the hive mind, but the medium of the book itself—the medium that I most loved, and around which I was beginning to build a career—seemed to belong to a different class: a dialogue between individuals, not a chorus. But then the book came out, and the world surprised me: the swarm in the story of Emergence the book didn’t manifest until its readers started to do things with it. In the years that followed its publication, I began to hear word of the book’s influence on a wonderfully diverse range of fields and professions: from New Urbanists rebuilding neighborhoods and planning new communities; from city mayors in Brazil creating new models of participatory democracy; from the strategists behind Howard Dean’s groundbreaking use of the Internet to build grassroots support for his presidential run in 2004; from Web entrepreneurs and game designers; from experts in management theory, who had begun to think of supply chains as ant colonies; from artists designing new forms of algorithmic expression that showcased the unpredictable creativity of emergent systems.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

What exactly happens? Do they start converging on abortion clinics? Probably. Do they start converging on legislatures and take them over? I don’t know, maybe. I shouldn’t speak it. It is almost a curse to imagine these things. But any intelligent person can see the scenario I am afraid to see. There is a potential here for very bad stuff to happen. The utopian promoters of the Internet insist that the “hive mind,” the vast virtual collective, will propel us toward a brave new world. Lanier dismisses such visions as fantasies that allow many well-intentioned people to be seduced by an evolving nightmare. “The crowd phenomenon exists, but the hive does not exist,” Lanier explained: All there is, is a crowd phenomenon, which can often be dangerous. To a true believer, which I certainly am not, the hive is like the baby at the end of 2001 Space Odyssey.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

Wikipedia is predicated on openness not as a theoretical way of working but as a practical one. This pragmatism often comes as a shock to people who hold up Wikipedia as a beacon of pure openness, but the curious fact is that many of Wikipedia’s most vociferous boosters actually don’t know much about its inner workings and want to regard it, wrongly, as an experiment in communal anarchy. The people most enamored of describing Wikipedia as the product of a free-form hive mind don’t understand how Wikipedia actually works. It is the product not of collectivism but of unending argumentation. The articles grow not from harmonious thought but from constant scrutiny and emendation. The idea behind Nupedia was that it should be possible to improve on traditional encyclopedias by keeping the process but dropping the commercial aspect. This turned out to be a bad idea, because much of the process for creating a traditional encyclopedia has less do with encyclopedias than with institutional imperatives.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

Quirky understands that the power to innovate and be creative lies with individuals, while the company is better at guiding and ultimately producing consumer goods—taking over all the complex steps that lie between the idea and a mass-market product. Quirky does everything it can to support close collaboration. When Josh Dean profiled the company in Inc. magazine, he made a compelling case for what a good platform for participation does: If all Quirky did was tap a motivated hive mind for latent ideas that fill small and important market gaps, it would be a clever company. But it does something far bigger and more complicated. Those ideas need to become things, and that’s where Quirky really brings the muscle. Immediately after a product has been selected [during evaluation], it moves on to design and conception, where Quirky’s industrial designers and engineers use several million dollars’ worth of prototyping equipment to realize and refine what most likely arrived on their desks as a thinly sketched idea.


Microserfs by Douglas Coupland

car-free, computer age, El Camino Real, game design, hive mind, Kevin Kelly, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence

* * * I looked at Dad's hands and they are indeed all chafed and red. * * * Susan's dating some guy from Intel, but I don't think it's going to work, because Intel's corporate culture is so weird. "They're like Borgs," says Susan. "They have one mind. They're like this sci-fi movie I once saw where if one child in a village learned something, all the other children learned it simultaneously. It's a hive mind. You get the feeling there's a sub-audible tape playing that says, resistance is futile . . . you WILL assimilate . . ." And then Susan got thoughtful and said, "The more I think about it, it's actually like Microsoft. In fact all huge tech firms are like Microsoft." * * * Went out for a drink with Ethan at the Empire Tap Room on Emerson Street. He said, "There is no center to the Valley in any real sense of the word.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, twin studies, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

PNAS 108 (25): 10081—86. doi:10.1073/pnas.1103228108. Jaeggi, Susanne M., Barbara Studer-Luethi, Martin Buschkuehl, Yi-Fen Su, John Jonides, and Walter J. Perrig. 2010. “The Relationship between n-back Performance and Matrix Reasoning—Implications for Training and Transfer.” Intelligence 38 (6): 625—35. Jones, Garett. Interview with James D. Miller, June 30, 2011a. Jones, Garett. 2011b. “National IQ and National Productivity: The Hive Mind Across Asia.” Asian Development Review 28 (1): 51—71. Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2006. “IQ and the Wealth of States.” Intelligence 34 (6): 593—600. Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2011. “Intelligence and Physical Attractiveness.” Intelligence 39 (1): 7—14. Kaplan, Karen, and Denise Gellene. December 20, 2007. “Forget Sports Doping. The Next Frontier is Brain Doping.” Los Angeles Times. http://www.nootropics.com/smartdrugs/braindoping.html.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

“It’s a very complicated system, when you think of all the millions of people that are involved in it. That’s how I put it together, and that’s why it worked so damn well. It was engineered to be that from day one.” “So you see the whole activity as a life-form that spreads on its own? Are we all little neurons in this big brain?” “That’s right!” But for all my absorption into the geocaching hive-mind, there’s one coveted caching honor I don’t have: an FTF, or “First to Find.” Some cachers specialize in finding virgin caches—being the first to sign a newly placed hide. If twenty-four-hour power cachers are the marathoners of the geoworld, then First-to-Find hounds are its sprinters. Bryan Fix, a Portland, Oregon, native who caches as “Scubasonic,” has a near-superhuman FTF track record: more than nine hundred FTFs notched, fully 14 percent of his finds.


pages: 311 words: 94,732

The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross

3D printing, Ayatollah Khomeini, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, Drosophila, epigenetics, Extropian, gravity well, greed is good, haute couture, hive mind, margin call, negative equity, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, union organizing

He leans against the wall, throat raw as the ambassador chatters to the ant colony—biological carriers for the engines of singularity, its own ancestral bootstrap code—and he can just barely grasp what’s going on. There are complex emotions here, regret and loss and irony and schadenfreude and things for which human languages hold no words, and he feels very stupid and very small as he eavesdrops on the discourse between the two hive minds. Which is, when the chips are down, a very small discourse, for the ambassador doesn’t have enough bandwidth to transmit everything the ants have ever stored: it’s just a synchronization node, the key that allows the Hypercolony to talk to the cloud in orbit high above it. And Bonnie is still dead, for all that something that remembers being her is waking up upstairs, and he’s still lying here in a cell waiting to be chopped up by barbarians, and there’s something really weirdly wrong with the way he feels in his body, as if the ants have been making impromptu modifications, and as the ambassador says good-bye to the ants, a sense of despair fills him— The door opens.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

The effect of this publicity was to make no place safe from the idea of normalcy.5 INDIVIDUALITY IS PASSÉ Merely to raise concern about the fate of individuality in contemporary culture is probably to appear old-fashioned. It would seem to be a 1950s through 1970s sort of preoccupation, the stuff of The Catcher in the Rye or the cigarette and hi-fi advertisements in your dad’s old Playboys. “Conformity” was the great worry of half a century ago. Now we are fascinated with “the wisdom of crowds” and “the hive mind.” We are told that there is a superior global intelligence arising in the Web itself. This collective mind is more meta, more synoptic and synthetic, than any one of us, and aren’t these the defining features of intelligence? Of course all this crowd-loving lines up pretty well with Silicon Valley’s distaste for the concept of intellectual property, and with the fact that there is a lot more money to be made as an aggregator of “content” than as a producer of it.


pages: 292 words: 97,911

Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies by Nick Frost

Alexander Shulgin, call centre, David Attenborough, hive mind, impulse control, job-hopping, Norman Mailer, Rubik’s Cube

I was responsible for anything that was cooked on the grill, steaks, fajitas, ribs, and every kind of burger. It’s the kind of stress I like. The whole kitchen can fall or thrive on the strength of their Grill Man. At times on busy nights you could have fifty things on that griddle all at different points of readiness. Like most things that involve a lot of people, communication is the key. When it’s flowing and going well it feels amazing. We’re all one beautiful Ugandan hive mind moving as one, making sure all the items the waiters need find their way onto one big tray all at the same time. When it wasn’t that, you were fucked, hard and quick. Although I liked working in the kitchen more than I’d liked working on the floor, it had its downsides. The worst one was the clean-up after a busy night, having to degrease that griddle and the floor and every other bit of your section was a pain in the potty-hole.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

Builders of open platforms, Wilson wrote, need no longer be limited to universities, government institutes, or other non-profit entities that don’t need to keep shareholders happy. So, whereas those entities always struggled to compete for engineering talent with for-profit creators of the Internet’s commercial applications, platforms like Ethereum can now attract the best of the best. They can quickly tap into a “hive mind” of creative power across a global network of open-source coder communities. This speaks to our broader notion that tokens, by incentivizing the preservation of public goods, might help humanity solve the Tragedy of the Commons, a centuries-in-the-making shift in economic reality. Though it is still tiny in comparison to traditional capital markets and will no doubt look quite different if and when the bubble bursts, this ecosystem of tokens and open platforms is starting to look like the map of a new, decentralized economic future.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

In the end, in Shirky’s view, it comes down to a “question of philosophy”: “Does the world make sense or do we make sense of the world?” If you believe the former then any program runs the risk of being wrong. And if you believe the latter any system you devise will be artificial and dangerously top-down. The essay distills a prevalent mindset on the Web: that cataloging and classification are antiquated models, that the truth is relative, and that the hive mind of the collective intellect will sort everything out. It’s an appealing notion, but in practical terms crowdsourced classification, which is what this represents, may prove no less a fantasy than Otlet’s dream of a world government managing the world’s intellectual output. For several years in the mid-2000s, Web cognoscenti held out high hope for so-called folksonomies (a neologism coined by Thomas Vanderwal), participatory tagging systems in which users classify material en masse using open-ended keywords, rather than relying on expert cataloging systems.


Data and the City by Rob Kitchin,Tracey P. Lauriault,Gavin McArdle

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, bike sharing scheme, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, floating exchange rates, global value chain, Google Earth, hive mind, Internet of things, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lifelogging, linked data, loose coupling, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, open economy, openstreetmap, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, semantic web, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, statistical model, TaskRabbit, text mining, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, urban planning, urban sprawl, web application

London: SAGE. pp. 56–65. Thatcher, J., O’Sullivan, D. and Mahmoudi, D. (2016) ‘Data colonialism through accumulation by dispossession: New metaphors for daily data’, Environment and Planning D. doi:10.1177/0263775816633195. Townsend, A.M. (2013) Smart Cities. New York: W.W. Norton. Wolcott, J. (2013) ‘Wired up! Ready to go!’ Vanity Fair. Available from: www.vanityfair. com/culture/2013/02/quantified-self-hive-mind-weight-watchers [accessed 10 February 2017]. Zetter, K. (2008) ‘Six-year-old news story causes united airlines stock to plummet – Update Google placed wrong date on story’, Wired. Available from: www.wired.com/2008/09/ six-year-old-st/ [accessed 10 February 2017]. Zittrain, J. (2012) ‘Meme patrol: “When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product”’, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Human beings are impossibly complex tarballs of muscle, blood, bone, breath, and electrical pulses that travel through nerves and neurons; we are bundles of electrical pulses carrying payloads, pings hitting servers. And our identities are inextricably connected to our environments: No story can be told without a setting. My generation is the last generation of human beings who were born into a pre-Internet world but who matured in tandem with that great networked hive-mind. In the course of my work online, committing new memories to network mind each day, I have come to understand that our shared memory of events, truths, biography, and fact—all of this shifts and ebbs and flows, just as our most personal memories do. Ever-edited Wikipedia replaces paper encyclopedias. The chatter of Twitter eclipses fixed-form and hierarchical communication. The news flow we remember from our childhoods, a single voice of authority on one of three channels, is replaced by something hyperevolving, chaotic, and less easily defined.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

I discovered, after a little digging on GoDaddy, that the domain roughtype.com was still available (an uncharacteristic oversight by pornographers), so I called my blog Rough Type. The name seemed to fit the provisional, serve-it-raw quality of online writing at the time. Blogging has since been subsumed into journalism—it’s lost its personality—but back then it did feel like something new in the world, a literary frontier. The collectivist claptrap about “conversational media” and “hive minds” that came to surround the blogosphere missed the point. Blogs were crankily personal productions. They were diaries written in public, running commentaries on whatever the writer happened to be reading or watching or thinking about at the moment. As one of the form’s pioneers, Andrew Sullivan, put it, “You just say what the hell you want.” The style suited the jitteriness of the web, that needy, oceanic churning.


pages: 345 words: 104,404

Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace

AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, lateral thinking, mega-rich, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing test, Wall-E

David reached across and placed his hand on top of Matt’s. Matt smiled and there was a warm murmur in the audience. ‘So,’ Matt continued, ‘if we do manage to upload human minds, perhaps their components will start to separate a little, and re-combine in different ways. After all, they will probably be hosted at least partially in the cloud for safety reasons. Perhaps if we do manage to upload, then the destination will be some kind of hive mind.’ ‘It sounds as though you’ve been inspired by your experiences to read around the subject, Matt,’ Ross teased him. ‘I’m sure your tutors will be impressed.’ Matt laughed. ‘They’d probably be more impressed if I stuck to maths – at least until I’ve finished my degree.’ ‘I’m sure they’ll cut you a bit of slack, given what you’ve been through.’ Ross paused to smile at the audience, contemplating the ratings that he was confident Matt was providing.


pages: 319 words: 108,797

Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash

hive mind, invisible hand, Joan Didion, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Year of Magical Thinking

I sprint out of the wheelhouse and onto to the starboard side of the deck to take a look at the top of the net floating all around us in the water. Outside I am met by a gaping black stillness, as if the air itself were letting out a large exhalation of breath to recover from the scene it has just witnessed. I stand on my tiptoes to try and catch sight of the pilchards swarming below in the water. In the gloom, I can see almost nothing, but fancy I sense the presence of a great hive-mind teeming below us. Out of the aircraft hangar of silence comes a single screech like a crack of lightening. The sound intensifies until there blows through the night a whole chorus of screaming. It sounds like insanity, how I imagine madness would speak. And then, there appears out of the darkness a clyne in the form of what must be tens of hundreds of seagulls heading right for our nets like a flight of kamikaze pilots.


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

Similarly, back at Patrick Tucker’s World Future Conference I sit in a packed room and listen to a presentation on the construction of a global knowledge hub called the Millennium Project. This project features “a coherent and cumulative process that collects and assesses judgments from over 3,500 people” who are invited into the project via “U.N. Organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, universities, and individuals from around the world.”11 Their goal, too, is the building of a kind of massive hive mind of crowdsourced pundits—a postmodern oracle to soothe the fragmentation of our age by converting the mystery of future into information. Sensing that interest in the psychology of prediction and future perception has never been greater, I again check in with social psychologist Cheryl Wakslak, who teaches and researches at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles and has a PhD in psychology from New York University.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

Albert Einstein, American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

A sideways look at some of the discourse about online commerce today proposes the enduring relevance of the Soviet socialist revolution that was consummated a century ago. Both the Internet and the Soviet command economy promise the revolutionary realization of the means for socialist or collectivist production on a mass scale. In the rhetoric of networking collective consciousness and crowd-sourced collaboration, we see the unlikely alliance of Wired editor Kevin Kelly’s hive mind, open-source software promoter Eric Raymond’s bazaar, and Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky’s collective farm.9 Long before Internet enthusiasts were around, Soviet enthusiasts were promising that workers (users) could meet the needs of the masses (crowds) through collective modes of resource sharing and collaboration (peer-to-peer production). Few, if any, contemporary scholars recognize these concerns as fundamental to our modern network culture, and yet they persist in coloring views of both past and future.


pages: 363 words: 105,039

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg

air freight, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, clean water, data acquisition, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global supply chain, hive mind, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, pirate software, pre–internet, profit motive, ransomware, RFID, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

That NSA outpost resides on a small U.S. Army base in the west of the country whose role as an intelligence operation was at the time secret and would only later be revealed in the classified documents leaked by the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. 9 THE DELEGATION Rob Lee describes starting his job at the NSA as something like connecting his brain to a vast, ultra-intelligent hive mind. Suddenly he had access to not only expert colleagues but the agency’s corpus of classified knowledge, as well as its vast intelligence collection abilities. Lee, of course, says little about the details of where that intelligence came from. But thanks in part to Edward Snowden, we know that it included a broad array of secret data-gathering tools, labeled broadly as “signals intelligence,” or “sigint,” that ranged from the ability to siphon vast quantities of raw internet data from undersea cables to hacking enemy systems administrators and looking over their shoulders at private networks.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

But the mighty force that pulled these trends together was the rise of the World Wide Web, which lent both cool and gravitas to the idea of collaboration. On the Internet, wondrous creations were produced via shared brainpower: Linux, the open-source operating system; Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia; MoveOn.org, the grassroots political movement. These collective productions, exponentially greater than the sum of their parts, were so awe-inspiring that we came to revere the hive mind, the wisdom of crowds, the miracle of crowdsourcing. Collaboration became a sacred concept—the key multiplier for success. But then we took things a step further than the facts called for. We came to value transparency and to knock down walls—not only online but also in person. We failed to realize that what makes sense for the asynchronous, relatively anonymous interactions of the Internet might not work as well inside the face-to-face, politically charged, acoustically noisy confines of an open-plan office.


pages: 457 words: 112,439

Zero History by William Gibson

augmented reality, business intelligence, dark matter, edge city, hive mind, invisible hand, new economy, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, RFID, too big to fail

“But Reg, he had his doubts about you working for Bigend.” “But he was the one who suggested it. It was his idea.” “That was before he decided Bigend’s up to something.” “Bigend’s defined by being up to something.” “This is different,” said Heidi. “Inchmale doesn’t know what it is, right? Otherwise, he’d tell. Can’t keep a secret. But his wife’s been getting the signals at work, some kind of London PR hive-mind thing. Wires are humming, she says. Wires are hot, but there’s no actual signal. Kind of subsonic buzz. PR people dreaming of Bigend. Imagining they see his face on coins. Saying his name when they mean someone else. Omens, Reg says. Like before a quake. He wants to talk to you about that. Just not on the phone.” “There’s something going on at Blue Ant. Corporate spook stuff. Hubertus doesn’t seem that concerned about it.”


The Next Great Migration by Sonia Shah

Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, open borders, out of africa, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, trade route, urban sprawl

Bringing individuals together, in other words,48 produces varying forms of social cooperation, which help individuals survive and thrive. It is why fish form schools in the sea, why birds flock, why mammals travel together in herds, and even why, Allee suspected, newcomers form neighborhoods when they settle in strange new cities. Ecologists called it the “Allee effect.” Experts from a range of fields recognize the phenomenon, too. Modern neuroscientists call it the “hive mind.” In other words, ecologists who’d adopted the simple Malthusian calculation had left out an important part of the equation. They considered the costs of each additional human being: more mouths to feed, more cars on the road, more stress on natural resources. But they hadn’t considered the benefits. The Allee effect shed new light on the tragedies of the Kaibab and St. Matthew Island. The collapse of the ungulate populations in these predator-free locales shocked because they’d been characterized as places of easy living where the ungulates should have thrived.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

But for a traffic geek, the Roman intersection presents something else as well: a spectacle of improvisation and flow that is beautiful to behold as cars, buses, motorcycles, and pedestrians weave among one another. If there are rules being followed, they are not the simple kind that can be stated in a driving manual, or readily condensed for a visitor. The drivers pay attention and find their way through the mess, seeming to rely on some uncanny Italian “hive mind” capacity more than traffic lights or rules. The efficiency of it is stunning, to judge from the visual impression it makes on a visitor.1 But what about safety? According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 road fatalities in Italy were 6.3 per 100,000 vehicles, while in the United States they were 14.2 per 100,000 vehicles. Before we congratulate the Italians, we should note that this is a highly imperfect measure of road safety; one would prefer to know fatalities per vehicle mile driven, but this is reported only for a handful of countries, not including Italy.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

A decade later Licklider pointed to the significance of the impending widespread use of computing and how the arrival of computing machines was different from the previous era of industrialization. In a darker sense Licklider also forecast the arrival of the Borg of Star Trek notoriety. The Borg, which entered popular culture in 1988, was a proposed cybernetic alien species that assembles into a “hive mind” in which the collective subsumes the individual, intoning the phrase, “You will be assimilated.” Licklider wrote in 1960 about the distance between “mechanically extended man” and “artificial intelligence,” and warned about the early direction of automation technology: “If we focus upon the human operator within the system, however, we see that, in some areas of technology, a fantastic change has taken place during the last few years.


pages: 502 words: 124,794

Nexus by Ramez Naam

artificial general intelligence, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, crowdsourcing, Golden Gate Park, hive mind, low earth orbit, mandatory minimum, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, the scientific method, upwardly mobile

Maybe you wouldn't use it to hurt people, but others would." "It's not like that," said Kade. "It's a way of bridging the gap between people. It makes us smarter together than we could be apart. It can raise collective intelligence, collective empathy. Ilya talks about…" Sam cut him off. "Ilya talks about creating things that aren't human, Kade. Non-human intelligences." "Groups of humans," Kade retorted. "Human networks." "Hive minds. Borgs. Super-organisms," Sam spat out. "What if they don't like us?" "How could they not like us? They'd be us." Kade was getting heated now. "And what if I didn't want to join a hive? Would I be forced to? Assimilated? Could I keep up if I didn't? Would there be a place for ordinary humans?" Kade exhaled in frustration. "Look, that's all paranoia. There are positive effects too." "It's not just paranoia, Kade.


pages: 461 words: 125,845

This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg

Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, domain-specific language, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, hive mind, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Mahatma Gandhi, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Mohammed Bouazizi, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, X Prize, Zimmermann PGP

Specifically, anonymity tools hide that one metadatum that counts most, the IP address that can be linked immediately to a user’s location and device. Protecting that one fact is a harder trick than it sounds: In the end, strong anonymity tools have taken more than a decade longer than mere strong encryption to make their way into the hands of the average Internet user. But that strong anonymity, as it slowly matured over the course of two decades, was the lever WikiLeaks used to upend the world. Today, a schizoid hive-mind of Internet pundits and social media theorists claims, simultaneously, that everyone knows no anonymity exists on the Internet (“These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone,” states a New York Times headline from 2011) and that everyone knows no identity exists on the Internet—that “no one knows you’re a dog,” as the New Yorker cartoon caption reads. Half of security gurus preach about the Internet’s invasion of privacy, while the other half bemoan the Internet’s lack of authentication, which they say makes the task of identifying bad actors—what they call the “attribution problem”—nearly impossible.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

We use it to describe women who choose to commit social suicide from the mainstream by permanently marking their bodies with tattoos. This concept of social suicide also explains why there’s a natural affinity between us and social justice movements that promote progressive ideas that exist outside of the mainstream. When SOPA and its ugly sister PIPA first reared their ugly heads, unlike the technological Neanderthals who drafted it, the hive mind on Twitter soon zoned in on the problematic small print and the ramifications thereof. Reading the tweets that bore the #SOPA hashtag that swarmed within our stream, it rapidly became apparent that this legislation would have a chilling effect on sites such as SuicideGirls, which incorporate massive amounts of user generated content. It would be utterly impractical and economically unviable to police the providence of all the links and content posted by our models and members on their blogs and in the countless forums and comments threads prior to publishing.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

It wasn’t until very recently that researchers began studying the sociability of cities by looking at the flow of telecommunications happening inside cities rather than between them. In 2006 another SENSEable City Lab project, Real-Time Rome, mapped the movements and communications of an entire city. Drawing on subscriber data harvested from Telecom Italia’s mobile network, Real-Time Rome was the first crude EEG of a city’s untethered hive mind, depicting millions of fans moving and communicating across the city during Italy’s 2006 World Cup victory.27 As new sources of geographically tagged data from social networks like Twitter and Foursquare proliferate, these diagnostics of urban sociability are becoming more prevalent and more captivating. One of the most compelling projects visualized Twitter traffic in Spain leading up to the massive anti-austerity protests of May 15, 2011.


pages: 509 words: 147,998

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins

airport security, Albert Einstein, Columbine, game design, hive mind, out of africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics

We had a kid who wanted to be cool but he wore eyeliner, so we invited him to a party and got him drunk and pushed him into a fire and then some guys peed on him when he passed out. He moved the next week. [Supposedly due to technicalities, charges against the aggressors were dropped.] We cut off a Pentecostal girl’s hair and hid her skirt in gym class, just because we were all Baptist and thought Pentecostals were weird. We felt like it was our right to do whatever we pleased. Part of being cool was uniformity and anything that isn’t part of our hive mind needs to be mocked.” Granted, populars are certainly not the only students who are mean. Many teens told me about members of various other groups dumping kids in trash cans Glee-style, shouting insulting racist or weight-related comments, and cyber-bullying. Violence and burning books have not disappeared from American high schools, despite anti-bullying campaigns. Female athletes described teammates who gang up on newcomers they don’t like, “accidentally” causing black eyes, sprained ankles, nosebleeds, or concussions at practice until the target quits the team.


pages: 688 words: 147,571

Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence by Jacob Turner

Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Basel III, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, friendly fire, future of work, hive mind, Internet of things, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Loebner Prize, medical malpractice, Nate Silver, natural language processing, nudge unit, obamacare, off grid, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Consciousness can be formed by collective experience, as opposed to individual. A bee may not have a particularly strong conception of a singular self which suffers, but it certainly appears to know of a greater self—the colony or the nest—of which it is part, and which can collectively suffer or thrive. One example of collective consciousness portrayed in popular culture is the Borg, an alien race in Star Trek: a vast collection of drones linked to a hive mind known as “the Collective”.56 Some experimental AI systems which are based on swarm intelligence displayed collectively by a number of individual “bots” may eventually develop group consciousness .57 Without this I or we then there is no thing which can be said to suffer. Psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Jason Riis suggest that the human mind comprises an “experiencing self” and an “evaluating self”.


pages: 528 words: 157,969

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

cloud computing, experimental subject, friendly fire, gravity well, hive mind, pattern recognition, prisoner's dilemma

Amongst the ants’ network of reactive decision making it has inculcated a strategy of experimentation and investigation that approaches rigorous scientific method, but it has not led to intellect such as any human or spider would recognize. Ant colonies evolve and adapt, throw up new castes, investigate and make use of resources, devise new technologies, refine them and interrelate them, and all this without anything approaching a consciousness to direct it. There is no hive mind, but there is a vast and flexible biological difference engine, a self-perfecting machine dedicated to the continuance of itself. It does not understand how what it does functions, but it constantly expands its behavioural repertoire and builds upon those trial-and-error paths that prove fruitful. Portia’s understanding of all this is very limited, but she has a grasp of how ants do and do not work.


pages: 501 words: 145,097

The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, Donner party, estate planning, Etonian, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, James Watt: steam engine, Joi Ito, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

The Internet was formed in America, based in America, a godchild of all the earlier technologies born or first used in America that helped to connect its people and landscape as one, and now its business is in connecting the world. Connecting America to the world, true, and connecting the world to America. But while many of the networks that employ the Internet—Twitter, especially—have proved themselves unimaginably adroit in linking together people and causes and helping create the new phenomenon of mass thinking that has come to be known as the hive mind, it is no longer a stated or perceived mission of the network to help anneal the nation that made it all into one. If California is to feel at one, to be at one, with Maine and the Dakotas and Florida and Alabama, then it has to be hoped that the structures already settled into place by the great men and great visions of the past will continue to endure, as the republic endures. It is surely evident now that the Internet, the great new technological missionary of the age, is obliged to a future lying well beyond America.


Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks

Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Norman Mailer, period drama, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair

When you’re writing for it, you’re writing for him. At The Onion, our goal was to maintain the consistency of the “Onion voice.” Because it was this collective thing, and there was no single creator, we could argue endlessly about what was in the Onion voice and what wasn’t. The whole process was very democratic—in both good and bad ways. The Onion voice at its best is rather cold and stiff and clinical, which I suppose is why the hive-mind system works so well. Community, on the other hand, is a very warm show, and that’s because of Dan Harmon and his love for his characters. People who don’t watch it sometimes have the misconception that Community is all genre parody and pop culture references—I myself made that mistake before I actually saw it. But the genius of Community is that even within those genre-joke episodes it never sells out its characters or abandons the emotionality of the story.


pages: 636 words: 140,406

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

“Borrowing Constraints, College Enrollment, and Delayed Entry.” Journal of Labor Economics 31 (4): 669–725. Jones, Charles. 1995. “Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 110 (2): 495–525. ———. 2005. “Growth and Ideas.” In Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 1, edited by Philippe Aghion and Steven Durlauf, 1063–111. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Jones, Garett. 2016. Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Jones, Garett, and W. Schneider. 2010. “IQ in the Production Function: Evidence from Immigrant Earnings.” Economic Inquiry 48 (3): 743–55. Juhn, Chinhui, and Kevin Murphy. 1997. “Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply.” Journal of Labor Economics 15 (1): 72–97. Julian, Tiffany, and Robert Kominski. 2011.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

(If we had been masochists, we could have looked at the Web server logs and realized that a half dozen of those views originated from AdGrok or from our families.) As always, when the cards are favorable, double down. We still had the second Goldman Sachs post in the ammo bin. I had included a link to the Goldman Sachs post in the New York tech scene one, but few had bruited about it. The PR tsunami had crested nicely on Wednesday, and continued on through the rest of the week. By Monday, the hive mind would be on to its next amusing post, and we’d need to rekindle interest. This post would be the first in a series of hyperviral blog posts that would put AdGrok on the startup map (if not quite the customer one). Every three to four weeks, another gaseous emanation from the latrine of human thought (a.k.a. me) would appear and rocket us to the top of Hacker News (the tech geek’s Cosmo), and make another stir in the evanescent tech buzz-o-sphere.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

As nations develop, societies work in increasingly technical, mechanised and complex ways, and entirely new jobs emerge to support these industries, most of which demand literacy and numeracy. Globalisation favours those who speak international languages, and the people who will shape our lives in the Anthropocene will be those whose understanding and experience goes far beyond small village life, and those who are able to negotiate the accumulated learning, wisdom and knowledge generated by millions of global citizens via the hive mind of the worldwide web. It starts with school – with reading and writing and the self-confidence and awareness that sprout from those uniquely human skills. Done effectively, education is the bridge out of poverty, and educating girls is now recognised as a transformative development goal. Educated women marry on average four years later, have at least two fewer children and provide better health care for their families, for example.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

By the 2000s, most stock shares were being bought and sold by professional asset managers. The several biggest mutual funds are now the majority shareholders of 90 percent of the four hundred biggest companies, and such institutional investors control 80 percent of all the stock in all U.S. public companies. It’s a huge concentration of economic power. I always imagined the market as a vast democratic hive mind producing the self-correcting wisdom of crowds. But for practical purposes, the financial market has been reduced to a small group of people, in the low thousands, who share a mindset. That’s financialization. So in addition to the new power of stock-price obsession over corporate executives, and VCs often effectively running companies they fund, and private equity guys actually running companies they take over, the big mutual funds also now closely meddle in the operations of most big companies, ranging from being backseat drivers to co-pilots sitting on boards.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Some worry about our ability to create jobs or get paid in an economy crowded with an abundance of free goods and services. Others fear that online social networking is ruining true relationships and destroying communities. To be sure, the digital age will herald a mix of good and bad. But in tackling each of these “dark side” issues, it is also clear that solutions for each are at hand and, if anything, macrowikinomics provides the right framework for deriving fresh thinking. The Hive Mind, Collective Consciousness, and Collectivism There are many critics of the digital age, but one of the most articulate is Jaron Lanier, who, unlike many pundits, has a lot of street cred. Being a forerunner in virtual reality, he can’t be dismissed as a Luddite. In fact, in 2010 Time magazine chose him as one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.2 His much-awaited first book You’re Not a Gadget is certainly the most erudite discussion of the downside of the digital age to date.


pages: 512 words: 165,704

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, call centre, cellular automata, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, congestion charging, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, DARPA: Urban Challenge, endowment effect, extreme commuting, fundamental attribution error, Google Earth, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, Induced demand, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, megacity, Milgram experiment, Nash equilibrium, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, statistical model, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, traffic fines, ultimatum game, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor

After passing dozens of cars, I made it to the bottleneck point, where, filled with new-found swagger, I took my rightful turn in the small alternating “zipper” merge that had formed. I merged, and it was clear asphalt ahead. My heart was beating faster. My wife covered her face with her hands. In the days after, a creeping guilt and confusion took hold. Was I wrong to have done this? Or had I been doing it wrong all my life? Looking for an answer, I posted an anonymous inquiry on Ask MetaFilter, a Web site one can visit to ask random questions and tap into the “hive mind” of an anonymous audience of overeducated and overopinionated geeks. Why should one lane move faster than the other, I wanted to know, and why are people rewarded for merging at the last possible moment? And was my new lifestyle, that of the late merger, somehow deviant? I was startled by the torrent of responses, and how quickly they came. What struck me most was the passion and conviction with which people argued their various cases—and the fact that while many people seemed to think I was wrong, almost as many seemed to think I was right.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

It may take as long as forty-five minutes before their packages are added to the sort, which is why—in an operation where every minute is weighed and measured—there is a definite hierarchy to the jockeying planes. Those bound to and from the West Coast are given the best spots, as they arrive last and must depart first due to the distances traveled. (Second-day-air packages are typically absent altogether, routed through the hub during the more relaxed daytime sort.) All of this is calculated by the UPS hive mind of intelligent software more adept at sorting planes and packages than any harried human planner. What emerges from the planes is not a loose stream of boxes but a sequence of aluminum canisters, abbreviated by the ramp workers to “cans.” Pie-sliced and semicircular, cans are to air cargo what the container is to shipping and trucking. Depending on the shape, they’re roughly the size of a U-Haul truck or van.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Chesterton summed it up nicely by declaring, “The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.” The dark side of this creativity plays out daily in the world of Crime, Inc. The challenge for the rest of society is that technological innovation is proceeding at an exponential pace, and, importantly, Moore’s law works for criminals too. Technological innovation from the underworld is thriving, and the criminal hive mind is leaving antivirus companies, technology vendors, and law enforcement in the dust. No longer is hacking the province of a select few digital masters; rather, today it has become democratized with all necessary information readily available at Crime U. Modern criminals are innovating not just technologically but in their business models as well. Crime, Inc. has incorporated subscription models for malware services, gamification for staff members, and open-source software development for banking Trojans.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

After unveiling HIVE to his employees, Peretti wanted to step back and explain how the new tool fit into his broader vision for BuzzFeed, which he did by way of analogy: “Self-driving cars are starting to get better than humans at driving. Humans crash a lot more. The reason is that you only have your own experience when you drive. If you’ve never had a ball roll out into the street, or driven on an icy patch, you don’t know how to do that.” That was the limitation on human expertise: it was necessarily confined to the lived experience of an individual. It was a limitation that technological utopians like Peretti promised the hive mind would render a thing of the past. “If you’re a Google car,” he said, “you have the experience of every other Google car—any car that drives on an icy patch sends that knowledge and experience to the hub, and every car gets it and benefits from it.” In the audience Smith, his editor in chief, was laughing. “You do know we’re humans, right?” he chimed in. “Most of you are humans,” Peretti granted.


pages: 1,028 words: 267,392

Wanderers: A Novel by Chuck Wendig

Black Swan, centre right, citizen journalism, clean water, Columbine, coronavirus, currency manipulation / currency intervention, game design, global pandemic, hiring and firing, hive mind, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, private military company, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, supervolcano, uber lyft, white picket fence

So we are left with a lot of questions that have few answers. But that, maybe, is emblematic of life. Life is rife with questions we never answer. What we can do is be thankful we’re here and live the best life we can muster.” Shana swallowed. She felt dizzy. The room spun. “Yes,” she said, her own voice sounding faraway. “The others,” Benji said, “described a simulated town. Which I’m to understand you were a part of? A kind of…not a hive-mind, but a shared virtual experience? But they said that you disappeared. They thought you had been killed in the attack like many others. But we found your body, slumbering in the Beaumont with your sister. Where had you gone?” “I don’t know,” she lied. “And you can’t tell us anything?” “No.” Another lie. She felt shame. Tell them, she thought. “A shame. The mystery shall remain, then.”


pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan

asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

They were trying their very hardest to prove how well they could perform, whether they were a lower-level person or an upper-level person. There was a real sort of humming feeling of people striving. Then, there’s also an incredible stress put on doing everything with group consensus. And it takes a good deal of getting used to because one of the reasons I think that Goldman is so good is because it’s like this giant hive mind where you have all these smart people and they’re also all talking to each other. Everyone is very quickly focusing on the same issue and getting the best result they can think of all together and then they go on to the next issue and the next issue. So it’s the advantages of having a lot of smart people focus on something without the usual disadvantage of it getting bogged down. In order to function well there, you have to put a lot of attention on posting people on what’s going on and getting people to sign off.


pages: 1,327 words: 360,897

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, different worldview, do-ocracy, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liberation theology, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Naomi Klein, open borders, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the market place, union organizing, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Long before primitivism became fashionable among young urban sophisticates, Fredy Perlman, associated with the Detroit-based journal Fifth Estate, wrote a fiery roll against Western civilization and its deep-rooted patriarchy in Against His-story, Against Leviathan! (1983). This passionate rant traced the emergence of the first State in Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age when a king began to enslave neighbouring tribes. The resulting Leviathan of a State, Perlman argued, developed a ‘hive mind’ which tried to absorb or destroy any egalitarian peoples and cultures it came across. It became deeply authoritarian and repressive: whereas Nature springs from our inner voice and says ‘Thou Canst and Thou Shalt Be’, the Leviathan has ‘closed gates’ and with its laws declares ‘Thou Shall Not’.36 Wherever the Leviathan emerged — whether in ancient Mesopotamia, India or China — it saw the beginning of the rule of kings and emperors, the origins of hierarchy and domination and the foundation of State and Empire.