New Civilization News: Collective Intelligence    
 Collective Intelligence16 comments
picture 24 Apr 2004 @ 13:33, by Flemming Funch

George Por says:
Could collective intelligence be the foundation for the next social and spiritual revolution?

Craig did it! Craig Hamilton, one of the four editors of the "What Is Enlightenment?" magazine pulled together an amazing issue on collective intelligence. Their website says:
In our May 2004 issue, Craig Hamilton's groundbreaking feature, Come Together: The Mystery of Collective Intelligence introduces you to pioneers who are discovering that wholes are far more than the sum of their parts. When individuals unite in a shared intention, something mysterious comes into being - with capacities and intelligences that far transcend those of the individuals involved."
Not much of it online. But there are some audio interviews. And the people working together on the subject of Collective Intelligence seem to experience it themselves:
I'm noticing a new way of working together, where our interest in what is possible - from the most creative to the most practical - comes deeply alive and our flow of ideas is like a dance, where we are each paying attention to one another, taking in the thinking and research that each individual has done prior to the meeting, and responding in such a way that we really come together. It is so far from any meeting I've ever had in any other work setting - and I don't know how it is happening - but we're able somehow to bring forward the ideas we have without being attached to them, and without our identity being wrapped up in them. It is as if this creative mind just sweeps down on us, and the more we pay attention to each other and keep open the space between us, something else happens.
Laura Hartzell, Lenox, MA
And, yes, I think that collective intelligence is possibly the most important thing we can figure out. If groups of us routinely can be smarter than us as individuals, we might actually be getting somewhere. As opposed to groups of people becoming dumber and more unscrupulous together than they individually are. The understanding of collective intelligence is key. It happens sometimes, and it can be magical. And other times, despite being very needed, it doesn't. We have to understand how to do it.

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25 Apr 2004 @ 03:49 by Hamik @ : April 24th...
you know flemming, as i was telling birgit the other day about how innovative and creative your web-blog is, and how i sometimes take something from your writings to plug into my daily life. Even if you by chance cover something which i have some knowledge of for example: WiFi, ...etc. I still want to read your thoughts on it or know your opininons. I think it makes me look at the whole of it from a different angle.. or you introduce something new about the topic that i had not noticed before. so thank you first of all. Sometimes i wonder if I can introduce you to a new concept or way of thinking or thinking of something different. nonetheless i dont know how interested you are in history and historical incidents, but being April 24th i thought it would be proper to ask you if you had any thoughts on the Armenian Genocide of April 24th 1915?? Although i know much about it, again, i was hoping you would make me look at it from a different angle... see it somehow different than i've been seeing it all these years. just something i was pondering while reviewing the blogs for "collective intelligence", the blog on "the columbine killings" ...and so on. thought you mightve had some thoughts on the issue. i dont know something to do with way of thought, something to do with collectiveness, something to do with humans in general. anyway... keep up the good work. and Flemming its almost nearing towards a year youve been gone. A trip back is in order lol, we miss the Funch aura of positivity here in California. well till next time... take care....
-Hamik of Hollywood  

25 Apr 2004 @ 07:09 by istvan : How many books it will take to cre
ate a new civilisation?

I went through some of the latest postings within our sites and the sites recommended within, and searching the www within other sites found wery little content as to weather humanity is getting enlightened to the critical point of actually starting even the foundations of new civilisations remain not much more than somewhat intellectual concepts of occasional momentary glipses of temporary illuminations, signifying nothing more than ENLOLLMENT vs. ENLIGTENMENT.
Various contrived plans to create Universal, Global, Planetary, Cosmic or whatever kinds of Unity of the Human Condition remains as illusive a concept as GOD itself.
As long as Enlightenment and any movement toward new civilizations remains attached to a price tag real changes can and will not occur. What I am referring to are ideas and projects, those that may cost up to thousands of dollars of materials and peripheral gismos, membership fees, and certain social statues to participate in are not much more than collecting more conventional or so called new age garbage to make one feel not quite as miserable as one actually is.
If you think this is negative, you could be right. The power of the negative pole of a magnet is however as real/unreal as the positive.
Look for and find Zapatistas, they may have something to research.  

25 Apr 2004 @ 07:21 by shawa : Absolutely, Ming.
This is the way. It´s full of dangers, but there is no alternative; we will have to become creative, or Big Brother will fry us like unwilling chicken!...  

25 Apr 2004 @ 07:40 by ming : Collective Intelligence
The road is fraught with danger and uncertainty. We don't really know how to tap our collective intelligence yet. Certainly not on a wide scale. And there are strong forces that would much prefer if we didn't.

It can be good to have a realistic view on it. It hasn't really happened yet. Are we just providing a rapidly growing mass of intellectual masturbation that doesn't get us anywhere? Or do all of these glimpses add up to something? I suspect most of our fears and doubts about it come from the old ways we're used to doing things as individuals and small groups. If there is a clear purpose and a plan, and the job titles are properly assigned, we feel like we're actually doing something. But if it is too fuzzy, we don't really know. And collective intelligence is of a different nature than our normal way of organizing. It seems a bit beyond us, like we can't quite understand it individually. At least we can't quite understand it in the terms of management, control and planned organization. It somehow happens in different ways. Not just in any fuzzy way, so it isn't enough to be fuzzy and positive. But we might discover the circumstances in which it happens. The signs, the markers, and hopefully some of the principles, and the incantations that invite it to emerge.

I am quite positive that it will, even while most of us remain a bit confused about what approach to take.  

25 Apr 2004 @ 08:08 by ming : Genocides
Great to hear from you, Hamik! Yes, I know about the {link:|Armenian Genocide}. I didn't know it was the anniversary of it. I now that probably 1.5 million people died. I know that the Turkish government and other groups are trying hard to pretend it didn't happen, or that it wasn't a big deal. It obviously happened, and was a very big deal, and that deserves a lot of press.

But it is also so depressing that it is hard to decide on any constructive angle on it. We'd want to find ways of avoiding genocides in the future, of course. But how? If we make the horrors of past genocides very well known, I guess that helps a bit.

But so many people will believe that "it just can't happen here". Or if it did seem to happen "here", they will believe that it probably wasn't as bad as it sounded, or there were really good reasons for everything. A lot of Germans secretly believe that the Holocaust didn't really happen. I had Serbian friends in Yugoslavia around the time of the whole mess with Kosovo, etc. Despite being good and intelligent people, they believed that nothing much really happened. Reports of genocide must be greatly overblown and misunderstood. Because they consider themselves civilized people, and nobody would really do such a thing. And even if they didn't like Milosovich, they didn't really believe that he could order any such thing. I believe they were wrong. But I can see the mechanism of denial. Most of us are trying to be good people, and would like to believe we're part of groups of other good people. It is very difficult to face something as enormous as 100's of thousands of people being ruthless slaughtered.

We see the same defense reaction of denial many places. "No, our president couldn't possibly allow such a thing, he's such a nice man". A great many gruesome activities can be swept under the carpet, just because they're so gruesome, and we loll ourselves into the belief that we're living in a reasonably nice society where the worst that can happen is a few scandals and random crime and plane accidents. U.S. citizens would typically rather not want to really know what special forces have done in many parts of the world, that even hardened well-trained soldiers privately will shudder at the memory of. And Vietnam, and Iraq. Doesn't seem too bad in the news. But the horror of 100's of thousands of innocent people being killed in horrible ways is something we'd rather not face.

And that's what allows genocides to happen. The people who might do something don't really believe it, and they look the other way. So, early counter-measures don't get taken. And only later does the horror become undeniable.

Genocide is probably one of the biggest examples of collective stupidity.

We need to develop a habit of not looking the other way when presented with something that is hard to believe or hard to deal with. And we need to learn to work together constructively, way, way before some government decides it is time to get rid of us.  

25 Apr 2004 @ 08:46 by ming : Intelligence
The problem is indeed that it usually doesn't happen. The more teenage boys you put together, the stupider they become. A typical corporation might have the inteligence of maybe a handful of people. But it might control the resources of 10,000 people, and can do a lot of things and organize a lot of knowledge. But that's a problem, when the collective intelligence is way out of proportion to the resources commanded.

Sometimes, rarely, it does happen. Sometimes a group of people becomes smarter than its members. And it is that magic that is worth a quest - to discover how collective intelligence can emerge more often.  

25 Apr 2004 @ 10:03 by istvan : Collective? or collected?

It seems to me there is no need for "approach". We are not approaching life, we are instead fully immersed within, like fish are immersed in water. As living in water has it's realities and not obeying these leads to extinction, so does being a human type of life upon the surface of this global body the Earth. The confusion you are talking about is not real, yet it appears to exist within the mind of many, if not all beings who have gone so far from being natural, that can not even conceive going beyond what is their legacy of being just part of an ecosystem of preprogrammed survival.
Having the gift of thinking is not enough to break the confines of just being another animal, instead the developed ego creates ewer so clever ways of not accepting sometimes even basic realities.
Escape seems to be the norm for the mind of the majority of people. We are so adept at inventing escape routs for not having to be responsible (not being able to respond intelligently) to changes ( every single human born changes to ratio of survival or extinction of he species), Among the myriad’s of choices we invent the mind gets easily confused as a predator is confused by a school of fish or a large herd and have to accept the reality, no lunch today. We may be able to create dazzling pieces of artwork and beautiful poetry, incredible computing devices to solve the problems, yet still unable to provide sufficient food, conditions of health and shelter for most of humanity. So where is intelligent creativity? It, I think accepting one's inability to respond to basic needs, which are foundations of so well elaborate dreams of haven are still bound by the predatory nature of humanity and not seeing this is just cleverly designed individual forms of irresponsibility.  

15 May 2004 @ 08:57 by ming : Collective or Not
I think the reason we easily can doubt the existence of collective intelligence is that we don't really see much of it. It is easier to notice examples of where it isn't there, of where its occurance is mistaken. Like if an individual gets a great idea and he convinces a group of people to work together on it, and they work together well. That is not really collective intelligence. Yeah, we might think it is collective intelligence just because people agree with us, and it feels good. It isn't.

It is maybe easier to see in the natural world. Ecosystems where all the participating species work well together, in a way that goes beyond what any of them "want". Diversity is a big factor, of course. But not just any diversity. Just putting different things or different people together doesn't really do it. In human settings, diversity easily just leads to confusion and crashing into each other. So often it is easier if we just pick somebody to make a good plan and we follow it.

But sometimes it does happen. And if we can learn to recognize it and cultivate it better, I think we could operate at a much higher level.  

19 May 2004 @ 10:52 by Technoshaman @ : CI and curiosity, authenticity, & Dialog
> I think the reason we easily can doubt the existence of collective intelligence is that we don't really see much of it.

Right. Collective Intelligence has a chance to born only when the innocent and intense curiosity of the next stage of human/social evolution becomes a stronger mtoviation of the dialogue than the arrogance of already knowing andother egoistic motivations. The attitude that prevents CI is as rampant on the left as on the right. I saw anti-war activist as belligerent among themselves as any Pentagon hawk. I can't see CI really taking off without a true spiritual renaissaance of authenticity and Bohmian dialogues.  

20 May 2004 @ 04:53 by ming : Authenticity
I think that's exactly right.

And of course the hard part is that one can't really persuade or convince anybody into that state of innocent, curious openness and authenticity. One has to experience it, and gently. So the task is to create more spaces where it takes place, and make enough people relax enough to participate and actually notice what happens.  

5 Jun 2004 @ 08:24 by Abe Yonder @ : Collective intelligence
What are we talking about? Is collective intelligence the agrigate intelligence of all the input on a subject? Is it a list of ideas and good thinking about any subject. Is CI only the "brightest ideas" as opposed to the "stupid" input of those who do not agree with us intelligent people? What is your definition of what we are discussing?  

5 Jun 2004 @ 17:01 by ming : Collective Intelligence
Well, not quite any of those. It isn't just that we filter out bad ideas and leave the people with good ideas. Not just that we sort ideas somehow in order of goodness. Although that's useful too. But it is something more emergent than that. Something that will surprise even the smartest people with the brightest ideas. Which of course also makes it a little too mysterious and fuzzy.

It is something complex. I.e. it isn't voting on the best idea that a majority can support. It isn't any one best-of-breed approach that everybody adopts. It is more like a group of people do many things, moving independently, but remaining inter-connected, and the aggregate result is better than any of them could easily have engineered.

It is more like a well-functioning eco-system than like how an individual or a species might be successful at what it is doing. It is many things done well, in a way that ends up supporting each other, so that the sum is more than any of the parts. It is a systemic phenomenon of synergy.  

6 Jun 2004 @ 15:06 by Quirkeboy @ : Do I have this right?
So.. CI is more of a cooperative effort to accomplish interrelated activities to produce something so the sum is more than the parts???.. And its not really about making decisions or working out problems around a conference table?? Its more or less action based with intuitive wisdom behind the actions.. than about examining, discussing, disecting our problems in a commitee setting??.. So its more of a way of life than a way of running a commitee.. and if we perfect CI people will just intuitively perform actions which benefit the whole?
Sort of reminds me of a drum circle.. no one knows what the songs going to sound like before they start..but with each person adding his own personality to the music.. but keeping in the same rhythm.. the music produced by the combination of drummers is more than the sum of its parts..
Sound right??
I just have to say.. thanks for opening my mind to all the great topics on this website!  

6 Jun 2004 @ 18:31 by ming : Drum circle
Yeah, I'd say that's about right. Like a drum circle. Anybody can in principle play whatever they want, and they do, and then the whole sort of has a life of its own, as what emerges from what everybody's doing.

Oh, it might well involve conference tables and decisions. But it isn't about simplifying things down to one decision that can be made. Rather about enriching the conversation with all the beats that are there to be made, and then discovering the music that nobody heard before.  

24 Jun 2004 @ 09:08 by Philip Bogdonoff @ : Co-Intelligence
You may be interested to learn of the work of Tom Atlee and the Co-Intelligence Institute -- .

Best regards,

-- Philip  

24 Jun 2004 @ 10:11 by ming : Co-Intelligence
Yes, I'm very aware of that. Tom is certainly one of the first places to look for co-intelligence information, and he's doing a great job at cataloguing what is out there. {link:|Co-Intelligence Institute}  

Other entries in
8 Jul 2010 @ 02:27: Truth: superconductivity for scalable networks
11 Mar 2010 @ 17:55: The CascoDuro Case and who laughs last..
27 May 2008 @ 14:45: Thoughts on Navigating the Paradigm Shift
19 May 2008 @ 14:49: Mind Enslavement
15 May 2008 @ 06:22: 1001 Dialogues - 100 001 Actions for Dialogues and Unity in Diversity
20 Apr 2008 @ 10:57: How we unconsciously resist becoming enlightened, and what to do about it!
8 Apr 2008 @ 06:31: An open Dialogue on the Nature of Reality.
22 Feb 2008 @ 16:36: Blogging or Logging
9 Jan 2008 @ 22:45: A Communication Model
26 Oct 2007 @ 08:09: Humanities new “Canon” ?? - a new German Bildungskanon ??

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