Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hive mind

Kevin Kelly with some cautionary remarks on the embrace of pure "adhocracy" and hive/swarm technology:

"It is important to remember how dumb the bottom is in essence. In biological natural selection, the prime architect is death. Death powers evolutionary selection. Death is one binary bit. Either off or on. What's dumber than that? So the hive-mind of evolution is powered by one-bit intelligence. That's why it takes millions of years to do much.

"We are too much in a hurry to wait around for a pure hive mind. Our best technological systems are marked by the fact that we have introduced intelligent design into them. This is the top-down control we insert to speed and direct a system toward our goals. Every successful technological system, including Wikipedia, has design wired into it.

"What's new is only this: never before have we been able to make systems with as much "hive" in it as we have recently made with the web. Until this era, technology was primarily all control, all design. Now it can contain both design and no-design, or hive-ness. In fact, this Web 2.0 business is chiefly the first step in exploring all the ways in which we can combine design and the hive in innumerable permutations."


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