Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Lanier and others published Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism }. In his article “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” Jaron. Lanier takes a hard look at collectivism and collective action as it relates to. A cautionary inquiry into the unchecked hive mind.

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We are too much in a hurry to wait around for a pure hive mind. The main drawback to pure unadulterated Darwinism is that it takes place in biological time — eons.

Both kinds of intelligence are essential.

Where Jaron Lanier sees centralization, I see decentralization. With so much information at hand, what should we consume?

CPOV | Response to Jaron Lanier’s Digital Maoism

Let me describe something close to home. What he didn’t provide, ironically, was the context and identity that Wikipedia thrives on. An individual or individuals were presenting a personality and taking responsibility. Biographies of living persons” page specifically warns that seeming vandalism of the biography of a living person might be by the subject him or herself, inexperienced with Wikipedia editing procedure.

It may be right or wrongheaded; imperfect or perfect. Comments moism friends and others would be just as important as the original material being commented on; Keats, say.

One layer of page ranking is hardly a threat to authorship, but an accumulation of many layers can create a meaningless murk, and that is another matter.

The debate does demonstrate how much we need to update our media literacy in a digital, distributed era. Deep within Jaron Lanier’s brain, layer upon layer of anonymous neurons have cycled collectively through meta-meta-meta levels of information processing to produce the thinking he presents so coherently in words.

The hive mind ain’t what it used to be Jaron Lanier raises important points about collectivism, yet the barbs thrown at Wikipedia seem misplaced. This can lead to a rigid and slow adapting organization, which would eventually cause the end of it. That’s why it would particularly sad to dismiss the possibilities thf an emergent collective intelligence based solely on the early results of one interface the Web on idgital network the Internet of one device the computer.

There’s digitla lot of experience out there to work with. Wikipedia might be a great place to start a bit or research, but the old warning about clolectivism and hammers applies. The results were a toss up. A marketplace can’t exist only on the basis of having prices colectivism by competition.


Fernanda Viegas research focuses on the social nea of I call it “here comes everybody”, and it represents, for good or for bad, a fundamental change in our notion of who we are.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

Wikipedia is notable for lots of reasons, but the most interesting one is that Wikipedia — a genuinely useful information resource of great depth tbe breadth — was created in almost no time, for almost no cost, by people who had no access to the traditional canon. I can think of no more suitable punishment than making these determined Wikipedia goblins actually watch my one small old movie. But it doesn’t take very long to discover that none of these innovations is pure hive mind, and that the supposed paragon of ad hocary — the Wikipedia — is itself far from strictly bottom-up.

Super-energized people would be struggling to shift the wording of the tax-code on a frantic, never-ending basis. The Penguin and the Leviathan: But the things wrong with voting aren’t wrong with editing tools, and the things wrong with ranking algorithms aren’t wrong with aggregators.

Response to Jaron Lanier’s Digital Maoism

I don’t know, but I would imagine the process was similar to what I’ve seen in the consulting world of late. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force.

The hive mind should be thought of as a tool. In late I publicly criticized Wikipedia for failing to respect expertise properly, to which colldctivism surprisingly large number of people replied that, essentially, Wikipedia’s success has shown that “experts” are no longer needed, that a wide-ranging description of everyone’s opinions is more valuable than what some narrow-minded “expert” thinks.

Evolution isn’t blind voting. The link I provided goes to Ubuntu, which is the flavour of Linux I use at home. Jaron Lanier is certainly right to look at the downsides of collective action. The truth is, it can be hard to find a crowd on Thee, let alone a “hive mind.


At that point, Lanier’s critique could be about the way in which markets of any form quash individual creativity and unique expression; it might be about how excessive layers of filtering degrade the quality of information extracted from people’s behavior with their scarce resources, so that these particular implementations are poor market-replacement devices.

In this regard, no one is deeper, more thoughtful, on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies than Clay Shirky, a consultant and NYU professor.

Popurls includes a few mentions of the event, but they are buried within the aggregation of aggregate news sites like Google News. These Web-based designs assumed that value would flow from people.

His main theme is that a certain kind of collectivism is in the ascendancy, and that’s a collectivizm thing. Lanier uses this term, but does not define it.

Why pay attention to it? The setup for the most stupid collective is also the setup for the most stupid individuals. Epistemologists have a term, positive epistemic status, for the positive features that can attach to beliefs; so truth, knowledge, justification, evidence, and various other terms are all names for various kinds of positive epistemic status.

Decrying Idol’s centrality is similarly misdirected. It isn’t that the Slashdotters have a rational belief that the cream will rise to the top, under the system; people use the system just because it seems fairer or more equal to them. New Rules for the New Economy: I am now pleased to turn the proceedings over to Clay Shirky with warm thanks from Edge for his help in organizing this project. Britney Spears and American Idol are the apotheosis of that industrial information economy, not of the emerging networked information economy.

But John Lennon wouldn’t have won. The top-down design part woven deep within by Jimmy Wales and associates has allowed the Wikipedia to be smarter than pure dumb evolution would allow in a few years. A tale of the About ten years ago, the big realization as expounded by WiredNicholas Negroponte, among others was a perceptual migration from atoms to bits, from the world of the physical to the world of information.