Collective intelligence

The copy of Pierre Levy’s Collective Intelligence I bought online arrived just as I was packing my backpack to fly to Barcamp Floripa.

I threw it into my bag and started reading it as soon as the plane took off. The quotes below set the mood for the new “anthropological space” I first experienced in NZ at the FLNW and then again during this weekend as I remained again split between two communities who gathered to share their experience. One was international, meeting virtually, through a series of set and timed presentations at various online venues and the other was local and physical, composed of very loose, informal groups who debated on themes decided on the fly.

I could not attend both or impose one on the other. Virtual or real? Real or virtual? Polarities. Technology made me choose the real world. Both because it did not work as it should (the fickle wireless connection on Saturday threw me into some distress as I had taken the responsibility to chair some of the virtual presentations, so I spent too much time trying to connect and converge without result) and because I knew I could listen to the recordings, see the slides of the conference online later, interact with many of the participants, presenters, organizers and keynoters later on and comment on the assynchronous forums.

…. and the new communications systems should enable members of delocalized communities to interact within a mobile landscape of signification

I knew that I would never recover and reconstruct the open knowledge space which is created in the bonding moment with the other and the learning insights and relationships which result as we compare experiences.

The basis and goal of collective intelligence is the mutual recognition and enrichment of individuals rather than the cult of fetishized or hypostatized communities…far from merging individual intelligence into some indistinguishable magma, collective intelligence is a process of growth, differentiation and the mutual revival of singularities.

More later on the barcamp itself…going to bed…and have just come across this post through Stephen Downes’ Old Daily, which sums up the same experience from another angle.

I look forward to listening to the presentations at WiAOC and having the time to digest, piece these fragments and insights and try to perceive some bigger pattern.

3 thoughts on “Collective intelligence”

  1. Honey, it’s neither collective intelligence nor what you read on the plane that matters. It’s individual intelligence. Without all the little bits of that the hill of beans amounts to nothing.

    Ask Jimmy Joyce. Ulysses as a collaborative project?

    I don’t think so, love.

    Took the fecker 22 years though. Maybe a collaborative team of 22 could have done it in one. Yeah, I reckon that is the solution by your logic.

  2. Reading on the plane, in bed or in an armchair, as you say, does not make any difference. Maybe just how quick you fall asleep. You missed my point. I was just documenting for myself the pleasure and the anticipation I felt when I got a book I was looking forward to reading right before some quiet hours ahead.

    I do not think collective intelligence makes you do things faster and neither does individual intelligence for that matter.

    A collection of individual intelligences generates sparks, makes synapses connect and energizes the collective mind in different ways. The whole amounts to much more than its parts. Whether they take action, individually, collectively or how long it takes them – this is a whole new ball game I am not yet ready to play.


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