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    • Collective Intelligence to Collective Consciousness
      Why has an age of increased connectivity, coordination, and efficiency in terms of collective intelligence become correlated with an age of increased anxiety, fear, and depression in terms of collective consciousness? . #CollectiveIntelligence #CollectiveConsciousness #Internet #Future #Technology #Psychology #Complexity


      The power of the Internet has enabled higher levels of collective intelligence that can be externally measured in terms of connection, coordination, and efficiency.  However, this increase in collective intelligence has been coupled with an increase in internal anxiety, fear, and depression for collective consciousness.  The future utility of the Internet will depend on how well we can use the powers of collective intelligence for the benefit of collective consciousness.


      The emergence of the Internet as a universal medium for human interaction has dramatically increased our species ability to connect people, coordinate activities, and efficiently produce materials or achieve objectives.  This increase in connection, coordination, and efficiency may be described as a type of higher order collective intelligence since we can now solve external problems much more easily and much more quickly than ever before.   However, as the Internet has developed from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 (via increased user-participation, user-generated content) there has been an associated internal or emotional development that points toward an increase in our species level of anxiety, fear, and depression on an individual and social level.  This increase in anxiety, fear, and depression may be described as a type of higher order feature of our collective consciousness.  The relation between improvements in collective intelligence (our ability to solve external problems) and their unintended negative consequences for collective consciousness (our internal subjective experiences) may be associated with the fact that our individual and social lives, which have historically always been embedded in actual reality, are now becoming subsumed by virtual reality mediums.  This suggests that if we are to ensure that future improvements in collective intelligence also have a positive relationship with future improvements in collective consciousness, we must be able to think a future relationship between the virtual and the actual that enables new forms of social community and collaboration.


      The rise in external connectivity, coordination, and efficiency has had unintended consequences on internal emotional development that requires a new level of attention, and perhaps, a new paradigm of thought capable of understanding the development of thought itself.  This is necessary because the problems that confront us in the 21st century are not just external problems, like global warming and economic inequality, that can be measured with objective metrics, but also internal problems related to feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression in subjective self-development. . The biggest paradox in this situation is that there are increased feelings of isolation despite better possibility for connection, increased feelings of aimlessness despite better possibility for coordination, and increased feelings of dissatisfaction despite better possibility for actualization.  In short, is it possible for us to think a new paradigm of higher order thought and communication that can help humanity to develop new forms of emotional relation (intimacy) and develop new forms of meaningful development (telos)? . In order to work towards this end the future development of Internet connectivity, coordination, and efficiency must be in service of actual embodied individual and collective life on a practical level.  The current Web 2.0 Internet experience facilitates virtual engagement but does not facilitate actual engagement (for example, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram are purely virtual engagements with little to no actual engagements).  This may be a primary cause of social anxiety, fear, and depression because, although humans have always structured their actual reality by virtual concepts, these virtual concepts have always been directly connected to the actual (for example, when we lived in bands and tribes, or when we organize in family or work units). . Consequently, when we attempt to think about a paradigm of thought that can move from collective intelligence to collective consciousness we have to take into consideration the ways in which our virtual social networks embed and enact themselves in the actual and practical lived reality of individual and communal development.  This requires thinking about the unique and difficult complexities of psychosocial life where intimacy and meaning between diverse individuals constitutes a dynamic and emergent reality.  In this quest or frontier of collective consciousness we are first confronted with how we must first 'change our self' so that a better social world can emerge as its output.

      What do you think?

      What do you think about the distinction between collective intelligence and collective consciousness?  What would a new paradigm of thought about emotional and meaningful thought on the higher orders of social reality look like?  How could it be enacted?  What major thinkers or communities do you know of that are working towards these ends?  How can we live a new reality through our collective collaboration?


      "The conditions of advance are these: global unity of mankind's noetic organization or system of awareness, but a high degree of variety within that unity: love, with goodwill and full co-operation; personal integration and internal harmony; and increasing knowledge. [...] Complexification by convergent integration leads to the intensification of mental subjective activity - in other words to the progressively more conscious mind." (Julian Huxley on the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; The Phenomenon of Man (1955)) . "A man has many skins in himself, covering the depths of his heart.  Man knows so many things; he does not know himself.  Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, just like an ox's or a bear's, so thick and hard, cover the soul.  Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there." (Meister Eckhart) . "What's missing?  [There is a] missing explanation [that] exposes a large and gaping hole in our understanding of the world.  Scientific theories have failed to explain what matters most to us: the place of meaning, purpose, and value in the physical world (or rather carefully excluded, treated as irrelevant)." (Terrance Deacon; Incomplete Nature (2011))  
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