Talk About Collective Intelligence

11 11 2008

Frisky cock of the snook to Chris O’Donnell for flagging this as fascinating —

“This seems like a really clever way of using data that is created unintentionally by the users of Google to see patterns in the world that would otherwise be invisible,” said Thomas W. Malone, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T.

“I think we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible with collective intelligence.”

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9 responses

12 11 2008
JJ

Another application comes from Al Gore:

Mr. Gore called on President-elect Barack Obama to set a national goal of getting 100 percent of America’s electricity from renewable and non-carbon sources within a decade.

John F. Kennedy’s declaration that the nation would land a man on the moon in 10 years was thought to be impossible, but was achieved eight years later. The engineers who made it possible were an average age of 18 when President Kennedy issued the challenge, Mr. Gore said. “We need exactly that all over this country,” dedicated to reversing climate change, he said.

. . .The Internet — specifically, the “cloud” where information is stored — also has a role to play, Mr. Gore said. “We have to have the truth — the inconvenient truth, forgive me — stored in the cloud so that people don’t have to rely on that process, and so we can respond to it collectively.”

I never thought about how young the (not yet minted) space engineers must have been, when Kennedy’s challenge was first made. Cool stuff to tell the kids poised to change the world right now . . .

12 11 2008
Daryl Cobranchi

Gore for Energy Sec.!

12 11 2008
NanceConfer

How long until schools teach about global warming as an integrated idea, effecting all the areas of the students’ lives? Not just a nifty idea here about recycling and a chart there about photosynthesis and a “the teacher needs a break” film in science class once a month. But a problem that reaches across the arbitrary “subjects” of math and science and language arts.

For enough generations that the 10-year-olds grow up understanding that they have to live differently from their parents. And do.

Listening to the “The World is Flat” Friedman talk about retooling the auto industry right now. He’s pissed and he wrote about it — http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/opinion/12friedman.html?hp

But he’s also envisioning a major change — not just more money to do the same things.

Maybe we should put some 10-year-olds in charge of the auto industry. 🙂

Nance

12 11 2008
JJ

But how will we keep literalists like the Flat Earth Society out of science class? 😉

12 11 2008
JJ

So much of the Sarah Palin commentary this week is about how she’s intelligent but not knowledgeable yet. That she just needs some cram sessions to get all her facts straight, memorize acronyms and capitals (and continents and court decisions etc.)

More schooling, in other words. When what she really needs but isn’t likely to ever create (from what I see) isn’t schooling but EDUCATION.

Which brought to mind Bloom’s Taxonomy of Knowledge — and Edward deBono’s Six Thinking Hats. It’s not so much what you cram into the mind, it’s what that mind does with it. The saying goes that a MIND is a terrible thing to waste, not a TEXTBOOK or TEST SCORE is a terrible thing to waste. 🙂

This of course, relates back to innovative young people poised to save the world. Do they need to be memorizing test fodder in various carved up subject areas on a nationalized schedule under NCLB? Is that what will spark world-saving progress? Even pedestrian minds know the answer to that is no.

Let’s say you believe, like Palin does, that there’s a god who planned all this out and made everything exactly as is it. Then wouldn’t you care much more about learning everything you could about that plan, and that god, and submitting yourself to it, instead of faking your way through beauty pageants and a lame pseudo-college degree and some bare-knuckle political campaigns? Wouldn’t you believe that if god planned for you to be governor or president, that there was a divine purpose, other than personal ambition and family perks like travel and free clothes? What is it she wants these awesome roles FOR? What’s the point?

I can only conclude that either she’s empty of all thought and meaning and purpose — and no amount of cramming and schooling will provide it! — which is why she’s literally a one-woman tower of Babel (babble)
OR
she has a deep driving purpose, something she feels destined to do once she rules the earth in god’s name, but she knows it has to stay buried until it’s too late for us to resist.

Which do you find more frightening? And either way, do you really believe some geography tutoring will help?

12 11 2008
JJ

What our collective intelligence seems to be thinking these days — and how to think about it:

The Center Left Nation

So add [conservatives] to the 44% of the electorate that says they are “moderates,” and you get a center-right majority.

But do a little analysis. “Moderate” isn’t a place holder, as voters who describe themselves that way have attitudes on the issues of the day. And when you look at attitudes, rather than addition, there is no question: Conservatives have had their day. This is a center-left, not a center-right nation.

The Center for America’s Future joined with Democracy Corps to do a nationwide poll on election eve (for full report and poll go here) and with an expanded sample, we could probe attitudes of voters by political identification.

What we found was clear: on both values and issues, moderates line up with liberals to form a strong majority that isolates conservatives.

16 11 2008
Betty Malone

We were just talking about that Kennedy Moon challenge today around the Sunday dinner table..and how that’s what we need for the energy crisis and lo and behold it comes true..by way of Friedman..who is a God in my opinion!! 🙂

I do not want us to bail out the auto industry for more of the same old didn’t work the first time, or the second time, or the ongoing times that they refused to get on board..

I’m just waiting…waiting to see what the Great and Mighty Wizard of Obama comes up with as some novel ideas…please Lord, let there be novel ideas!!

16 11 2008
JJ

Hey, Betty, did you see in the NYT today that they’re probably gonna take his Blackberry and email away when he’s President? This had never occurred to me but I guess it makes sense.
Ironic though, considering how innovative and productive he’s been with it —

16 11 2008
JJ

Favorite Daughter’s honors seminar this term has been listening to great lectures and then discussing them, some in person and some on video. They did a recent one of Friedman’s and now she’s a big fan. We watched him on Stewart the other night about his new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded.

He quotes Henry Ford saying that if horses could vote, we never would’ve gotten cars. Now if we could just get the car lobby to stop influencing so many votes . . .

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