April 21, 2010

volcanic ash / distant proximities / Earth Commons rising / singularity / Teilhard de Chardin / Dilbert

In a conversation at World-Citizen Panels about the irruption of the Icelandic volcano, Rolf Carriere wrote, "a beautiful example of distant proximities in our glocal world."

Distant Proximities cover.jpgI googled "distant proximities" which led me to discover the book Distant Proximities: Dynamics beyond Globalization  by James Rosenau. You can download its first chapter here.

I can hardly wait to read the book because it seems to be very relevant to our deeper understanding of the phenomena of "Earth Commons rising"  .

The Foreign Affairs journal's reviewer wrote about the book: "In this sweeping study of global change, Rosenau argues that the world is undergoing an epochal transformation driven by relentless scientific and technological advances that collapse time and distance and alter the dimensions of political space. . . . Rosenau convincingly illustrates the increasing complexity of global relationships."

The destination of that growing collapse of time and distance is also known as "technological singularity."

Don't even think about whom to blame for that collapse. Why not, you ask?

Continue reading "volcanic ash / distant proximities / Earth Commons rising / singularity / Teilhard de Chardin / Dilbert" »

May 31, 2007

CI 2.0 governed by meaning and evolutionary values

Tor Nørretranders, author of C i v i l i s a t i o n 2.0 has just opened Reboot 9 with an inspiring talk on what mae us human: Dare, Care and Share. To get his message across he emphasized the role emotions and relationships in Civ 2.0, a bit at the expense of intelligence, as the essence of to be human. After his talk, Thomas the main organizer asked the 500 people in the main hall, what questions would be interesting to ask from ourselves for the next two days. I offered this one:

What would it look like if we didn't pit intelligence against emotions but go for their synergy, for Civilization 2.0? If the forms of CI 1.0 (and social organization) led to the global crises we are in, CI 2.0 will need to be governed by what has heart and meaning for us.

August 13, 2005

"Are you in for a phone call tonight?"

-- Are you in for a phone call tonight? - asked Ria.

I answered, tomorrow would be better because--while waiting for replies from Bud, Otto, Thierry, Federico, and Albert--I’m busy with observing the direction, in which my creative inspirations want to flow tonight.

After replying, I entered into a contemplation about the last part of the sentence that I've just written. As soon as I did, the Truth of Impersonality appeared in my awareness and shortly after, my inner ears heard a message as follows:

Leaning into the unknown,
you will see the direction emerging from the space within,
in which an intensely present creative impulse meets
one of the calls from the Field that are asking for your attention.

Tonight, the impulse was to write. The call came from the Blog of Collective Intelligence. I got out of the way, and this entry was born.

June 19, 2004

Intersubjectivity in an organic pub

I wrote about intersubjectivity as a direct experience of CI, in a couple of entries of this blog but until recently I didn't put myself in a situation of responsibility for facilitating it. That opportunity was given to me when following our conversation about How local meetings with global experts can boost CI, Chris Macrae invited me to talk to a small group in London, last week. We were all guests of the Duke of Cambridge who was very generous to us. No, not the member of the royal family but a trendy organic pub sporting his name, with good food and a lovely, little patio where we enjoyed the sun and an intriguing conversation. The invitation was to speak about my life's work. Given that it's CI, I thought it would be more interesting to not speak about but trigger an experience of it.

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April 13, 2004

Different types of emergence?

Regarding the questions of emergence, Ken Wilber has a very interesting and powerful distinction between 'individual holons' and 'social holons'. Each of them clearly illustrate 2 different types of emergence.

Here is what he says in an interview:

Briefly: individual holons are holons with a subjective interior (prehension, awareness, consciousness); they have a defining pattern (code, agency, regime) that emerges spontaneously from within (autopoietic); and they have four drives (agency, communion, eros, agape). Examples of individual holons (or compound individuals) include quarks, atoms, molecules, cells, organisms....

Social holons emerge when individual holons commune; they also have a defining pattern (agency or regime), but they do not have a subjective consciousness; instead, they have distributed or intersubjective consciousness. Examples include galaxies, planets, crystals, ecosystems, families, tribes, communities.... Both individual and social are holons, and they both follow the twenty tenets. Actually, individual and social holons are not different entities, but different aspects of all holons, since all holons have an interior and an exterior in singular and plural forms (the four quadrants), but they are indeed different aspects that cannot be merely equated.

Now, artifacts are any products made by an individual or social holon. A bird's nest, an anthill, a automobile, a house, a piece of clothing, an airplane, the internet--these are all artifacts. An artifact's defining pattern does not come from itself, but rather is imposed or imprinted on it by the agency or intelligence of an individual or social holon.


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April 12, 2004

What's between individual and collective intelligence?

Commenting on The emergence of CI, an online experiment, Charles Savage asked a powerful question that, I believe, deserves a lot of attention from all who don’t only want to theorize about CI but experience it live, vibrant, and tangible. He wrote:

>I have one questions, is there something between:
>Individual Intelligence
>Collective Intelligence

> Is it not possible to have a "collective intelligence" context where the "individual intelligence" comes alive?

Charles, thank you for inquiring into the very heart of what I find the most exciting about Collective Intelligence as theory AND practice. In my experience, individual intelligences come alive and shine best, indeed, in the context of a collective intelligence. Autonomy and community are not only not opposite but one doesn’t really exist without the other.

> In other words, how it is possible to have a dynamic interaction so that as individuals value the intelligence (and emotions) of the other, the collective intelligence emerges?

Continue reading "What's between individual and collective intelligence?" »

How would we know, we reached tipping point?

Here are some more comments from Jay Cross about Shift Happens!

> When I look back at your definition of Collective Intelligence: "the capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order integration and performance through collaboration and innovation," I have a tough time figuring out when the tipping point has tipped, e.g. when the ice turns to water or when the performance is of such a higher order that an observer would say, "Boy, that's really different."

Are you asking, what is the evolutionary threshold for a system-in-focus to reach metasystem transition? Discussing the Big Shift, or the threshold for entering the next phase of global society, a friend of mine, Larry Victor responded in an email, 10 years ago:

Continue reading "How would we know, we reached tipping point?" »

April 11, 2004

Emergent learning is figuring itself out

Jay Cross wrote some truly thought-provoking comments on Shift Happens!

> Okay, George, so you're looking for a phase change, the creation of something new & different.

Yes, indeed! To be more precise, I’m one in the thousands of voices exploring the possibility of blogging for Emergence as a self-fulfilling prophecy :-) The “thousands” is not a joke. I just googled [“tipping point” blog] and got 18,700. Even [“phase transition” blog] unearthed 388 pages!

> Emergent learning implies adaptation to the environment, timeliness, flexibility and space for co-creation. It is the future. We haven’t figured it out yet. Or, from the perspective of complexity science, it hasn’t figured itself out yet. (emphasis added - GP)

Right! I like your second statement because leaning in it, we may become more attentive to the processes by which it is figuring itself out. Like right here, if this dialogue manages sustain our shared-interest.

Phase transition from the unconscious social mind

I’ve just discovered in an interview that Seth Kahan made with John Seely Brown a very intriguing and fertile perspective on the role blogs may play in the emergence of a conscious social mind. See below. I added the emphasis for highlighting the potential that I sense for social innovation experiments using blogs for Emergence.

”Notice, also, that blogs can suddenly reach a critical mass that then forces something out into the open, into public consciousness. You might think of it as an analogy to the subconscious vs. the conscious. The formal or conscious part is what today’s journalism is about, New York Times and so on. But the informal layer, comprising things like blogs, is like our unconscious mind. It’s not publicly visible. But all kinds of things are happening there.”

Continue reading "Phase transition from the unconscious social mind" »

April 4, 2004

Shift Happens!

Commenting on my entry about The emergence of CI, an online experiment, Jay Cross wrote in his blog:

> I'm interested more in group mind than individual consciousness, but I figure they're both complex systems, why not see how one viewpoint cross-fertilizes the other.

I think of consciousness as a continually emergent quality of the self, individual or collective, by which it recognizes itself and its relationship to other selves.

An explorer of collective intelligence--defined as the capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order integration and performance through collaboration and innovation--I became curious of the tipping point, the transition from a collection of intelligences to collective intelligences. Jay's entry gave more fuel to that exploration. He wrote:

> George Por lit my fuse this morning. Using his blog entry as a starting point, I let whatever come to mind guide my thinking.

I guess, that's how our blog connections work most of the time; one person's entries become triggers of free associations in another person's mind and blog, creating a rich soil of loosely linked thoughts in the noosphere, at the tune of probably millions of new entries every day. That kind of connections occurs in loose networks or communities of learners that I differentiate from communities that learn.

In the slide of John Seely Brown that Jay posted in his blog (see below) JSB is talking about a shift from tools supporting individuals to tools supporting relationships.

The shift that I try to understand and promote is a more radical one that what JSB is referring to. I'm focusing on tha nature, enablers and obstacles of a qualitative jump from a collection of intelligences to a collective intelligence that transcends and includes the individual minds, from a community of learners to a community that learns, which transcends and includes the intelligence of its members.

Continue reading "Shift Happens!" »

April 3, 2004

The emergence of CI, an online experiment

As I said, in a recent entry in the blog on communities of practice , I've been away for a while but not idle. In the last couple of months I made friends with an amazing array of very remarkable people. One of them is Peter Merry who has just finished writing his forthcoming book on Evolutionary Leadership. This entry is originated as one of my contributions to it.

The meaning and accelerating the emergence of CI

Having learned ways to quiet their mind and strengthen their health and vitality, aspiring evolutionary leaders are ready to dance with the energies of the “We,” their teams, communities, the network of all of their relationships. They are ready to ask and see into powerful questions.

It is springtime in Europe and the air is gently sprayed with a scent of nature and human spirit coming alive again, after a long winter. It is a good time to look at generative questions, the seeds of transformation. Here's one that I believe worth of our attention:

How can a group of individual intelligences become truly collective intelligence? How can they escape into a more complex and capable collective intelligence, without sacrificing their autonomy?

The act of “seeing into” a powerful question is like holding a baby in your arm, in a mix of awe, wonder, and curiosity. Can you hold the following question, in that way?

"How to accelerate the emergence of a higher collective intelligence in communities?"

I offer the this meaning of CI, as a starting point: “Collective intelligence is a distributed capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order integration and performance through collaboration and innovation."

This is an updated version of the definition introduced in the chapter on "Liberating the Innovation Value of Communities of Practice" of the forthcoming textbook on Knowledge Economics: Emerging Principles, Practices and Policies.

CI sits in the lower left of Wilber’s quadrants, the space of “we,” culture, and inter-subjectivity. Wilbers4quadrant.jpg Wilber has been giving many good maps of it, even an excellent, 1-sentence summary: “These shared values, perceptions, meanings, semantic habits, cultural practices, ethics, and so on, I simply refer to as culture, or the intersubjective patterns in consciousness.” A student of Wilber, Steve McIntosh, further specified the content of those inter-subjective cultural structures that we share with others in groups:

“While the content of subjective consciousness consists of feelings, thoughts, and decisions, the content of inter-subjective cultural structures consists of the substance of what is shared by subjective consciousness—the substance of information, meaning, and value.”

Source: Intersubjective holons: dynamic systems of communication. An examination of the nature and behavior of the structures of consciousness and culture, by Steve McIntosh (.pdf)

In communities and organizations, besides those shared qualities, we also share a capacity to evolve and co-evolve with one another and with the surrounding social, technical, and market ecosystems.

CI is continually emerging from the connected conversations among members across ecosystems.

It's occurring all the time, in many invisible ways. Let's make one visible, by a simple, small-scale experiment, an open source, collaborative learning process that could give its participants a taste of that emergence. I imagine four steps:

• Discovering the seed conditions for the emergence of CI

• Sensing what hinders the evolution of CI

• Comparing notes

• Seeking patterns that connect actionable meaning

Continue reading "The emergence of CI, an online experiment" »

May 19, 2003

From networked individualism to "we" blogs

The blogging paradigm is barely 10 years old and its narcistic "beauty contest" tendency can be explained with what Shelley Powers in Tying Communication Threads Togethe compared to "our teen years with our fixation on popularity. S/he with the most links, wins." Using the faster-learning in "internet time," we can move into adulthood--tn regard to that phenomenon--without having to wait another 8 oir 10years. Let's see how.

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April 20, 2003

What are Blogs for

I have had a hard time understanding why blogs were so different from usual forums. George helped me build my own answers (in words and concept I understand).

Forums are made for building and following conversations under a defined topic or issue. It's the ideal tool for showing the thread of what's going on so that everyone can get in very easily.

The purpose of the blogs is different. I would say they are made to connect people through their published thoughts and content, and help them interact. Blogs are people linkers.

March 22, 2003

Content distribution network

In an email someone wrote about blogging, "Think of it as an alternative underground content distribution network."

I sent the following reply, then thought to post it here to, for the record and the sake those of those who seek to understand, as I do, the "bigger picture" potential of the bloggers movement.

Blogrolling may spread faster and faster as the number of bloggers keep growing. I heard about the current pace that there are 40 new blogs coming online in every second. So blogrolling will be less and less underground but let's hope it will remain alternative to the big-money media.

Blogrolling is only the very first stage towards a medium that can support massively global networks of conversations among bloggers. The next stages are already here: blog syndication via RSS and XML, community blogs (c-blogs), trackbacking, and topic maps.

March 5, 2003

Taxonomies help meaning emerge from conversations

Knowledge and meaning can emerge from the blog conversations more easily than discussion forums becaue we can conveniently add one or more categories to our entries and couple their chronological flow with a flexible taxonomy.

CPs don’t only start defining themselves by defining their domain of practice, they also continually redefining that domain through their daily practice. CPs continually ARE constituting themselves by the practice of shared meaning making.

Collaborative taxonomy building tools are essential to pursue that, in any complex domain. We need to use taxonomy tools for linking the conversation flows with the community’s dynamic knowledge repositories. That has been the Grail of my quest for collective intelligence since 1987, the first Hypertext conference. Now we have it, or almost...

March 3, 2003

What is so exciting about blogging?

Reading Using Blogs in Business is a similarly powerful experience as it was to read Murray Turoff's Network Nation 20 years ago!

One of the differences though is that Turoff had to wait 15 years for his vision of a connected world to materialize with the Web, whereas the tools of the blogging revolution, that can enable the self-organization of individual intelligences into higher-level collective intelligence, they are right HERE and NOW.

What are we doing with them? What are the most exciting and promising experiments for really learning what it will take to learn to escape into higher-order complexity?