Tim O’Reilly: Collective Intelligence

Where Tim speaks of “medicine”, think “sustainability”.

We need collective intelligence about the whole planet. But we’re up against well-funded special interests that are interested in obfuscation. Sustainability therefore provides a special case in collective intelligence: how to filter out injected stupidity at the same time as doing the legitimate work of collectively finding our best path forward.

Tim O’Reilly Discusses Collective Intelligence from The Doctor's Channel on Vimeo.


  1. The folks at MIT (Tom Malone & co) are trying to build a research community on collective intelligence, and have an upcoming conference on the topic: http://www.ci2012.org/

    Tom's research group have applied their work specifically to climate policy making, through the cliamate colab project: http://climatecolab.org/

    I don't think the project has been very effective (yet?), although that might be just because it takes time to build community. But it does raise the interesting question of whether this particular instance of an attempt to build CI is what we need, and if not, what is it that they're not doing that is needed?

  2. > how to filter out injected stupidity

    Though it need not be stupid, it may be very cleverly crafted, to latch onto and block our cognitive & moral receptors.

    (I expect you agree, I'm just clarifying)

    Tim O'Reilly lives in a world populated solely by well-intentioned, curious, autonomous people.

  3. Anna: "X lives in a world populated solely by well-intentioned, curious, autonomous people."

    Yes, quite. There are, of course, many other values for X that work here too, including much of the science community. Reminds me about the comment about a scientist bringing a peer reviewed paper to a knife fight.

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