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, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, 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: 371 words: 108,317

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


3D printing, 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, 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, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, 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, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

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: 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, East Village, financial innovation, Firefox, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, 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: 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, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, 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, 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: 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, Occupy movement, 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: 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, 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.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

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, 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, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, 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, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, 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 von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, 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, 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


3D printing, 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, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser,, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, 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,’_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,, and “What Type of Game Cheater Are You?” Wired, April 23, 2007, accessed March 24, 2013, 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,


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, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the scientific method, Yogi Berra

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, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, 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, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, 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: 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, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 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, 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, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, 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: 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.


Wireless by Stross, Charles


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, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, peak oil, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, security theater, sensible shoes, Turing machine

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: 481 words: 125,946

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


3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, 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, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, 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, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, 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.


Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak


Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism,, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, 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, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

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, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, 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, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, 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.


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, 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 supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, 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 44 216 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, 160 216 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 283 154 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: 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, 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, 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, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, 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: 298 words: 151,238

Excession by Iain M Banks - Culture 05


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: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller,, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping,, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, 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, 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.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

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


3D printing, 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, 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, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, 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: 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, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism,, 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, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, 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

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: 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, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, 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, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, 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 web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, 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: 184 words: 53,625

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


airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, 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, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize

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: 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, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, 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: 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, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, 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: 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, 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: 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, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix,, 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, 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, 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, 22 “InnoCentive Solver Develops Solution to Help Clean Up Remaining Oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster,” InnoCentive press release, November 14, 2007, 23 “2010 International Contest on LTPP Data Analysis,” 24 Stefanie Olsen, “DOT Proposes Contest to ‘Green’ Jet Fuel Industry,” July 10, 2008,–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, 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, 27 The British National Maritime Museum has an excellent article on Harrison, by J.


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, deliberate practice, 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, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

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: 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, technological singularity, Turing test, web application

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: 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, offshore financial centre, 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: 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, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, 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: 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,, 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, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, 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, 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.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

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


1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics,, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, 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, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, 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: 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, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, 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: 313 words: 95,077

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


Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle,, crowdsourcing,, 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, Kuiper Belt, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, 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, 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: 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, 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: 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, 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, online collectivism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, 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: 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, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

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: 292 words: 97,911

Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies by Nick Frost


call centre, David Attenborough, hive mind, impulse control, job-hopping

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: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, 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, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, 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 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: 518 words: 107,836

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


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, 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, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, 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.


Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace


3D printing, AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, 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: 330 words: 91,805

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


3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk,, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, 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 lending, 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 Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and 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.


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, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, 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.


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


Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, 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: 413 words: 119,587

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


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, 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 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, 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 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, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, 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

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: 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, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, 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 163 HACKING POLITICS 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: 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, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, 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;, 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: 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, 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, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, 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 Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, 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, 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: 559 words: 155,372

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


Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, 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: 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, 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, 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.


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, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, 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, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel,, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, 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, 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, Yogi Berra

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: 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, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil,, 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, 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, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, 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: 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, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, 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, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, 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, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, 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, 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 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, 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: 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, buttonwood tree, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, 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, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, paper trading, passive investing, 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

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, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Naomi Klein, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, 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.