Collective intelligence and the new millennium

When a group of individuals sit down to think of ways to solve a problem, they are using what is called collective intelligence.  Collective intelligence is a when groups of people come together to share ideas and experiences.  By sharing their individual thoughts, they can learn from one another and see things in a different perspective.

One possible flaw of collective intelligence is  groupthink.  Groupthink is  a term where there are no individual thoughts, they all see things the same way and don’t question it.  This is something that can become extremely dangerous. An extreme example of groupthink is the nazi movement. But if groupthink is avoided, collective intelligence can prove to be very beneficial to everyone.

Why does collective intelligence even matter?  It is a very important tool that we must take advantage of.  For example, if I were to go and cut down a tree, thought the only way to achieve this was to use my axe, it would take me an extremely long time to achieve this.  But if I were to talk to my neighbors about what I was planning on doing, they may have other ideas such as using a saw or an electrical saw.  This is a very very basic example of collective intelligence, but you get the idea.  Without their input, I am stuck with using only my knowledge, and wouldn’t get very far in achieving things.

With the new millennium, and as new technologies are introduced  our spectrum of collective intelligence is expanded.  We are no longer restricted by our physical locations.  We can now communicate with individuals in Guam, Tahiti, and even people down the street.  Those in high positions can communicate with blue collar workers and so on.  There is no longer any reason to prevent individuals from communicating from one another.

I think that this is such an amazing and fascinating thing to be in the middle of.  I think that large companies and governments should really take advantage of this.  What if BP put a poll on their website, asking for ideas of how to stop the oil spill?  Would farmer joe have the answer to solve the problem?  The amazing thing is that he probably would.  The one thing that people need to realize is it cannot hurt giving or taking suggestions.  You may have the idea that could kick start an amazing chain reaction.

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8 thoughts on “Collective intelligence and the new millennium

  1. It is nice not to be bound by our physical locations. We can communicate with people around the world and they can communicate with us. Sharing information from around the world, were bound to find out some interesting stuff.

  2. you make a good point about how you can communicate with other people all around the world and it is a great way to collect ideas but there are people who do put polls ti get feed bac

  3. Darcy, I liked you post. it has a lot of interesting information. We learn something new everyday, right. Information on groupthink was very interesting. Very good example too. It is kind of scary to think about when people loose their own opinion and thoughts. everything gets lost. There are no individuals.You bring a good point when you talk about communication as well.

  4. I like your idea about the BP poll! It would be awesome and kind of funny if some small-town country farmer had the solution to that. I imagine he wouldn’t be very small-town after that, though. Either way, that reflects right back to your point that high end people have the opportunity to communicate with blue collar workers as well. Collaboration between the two could mean a new beginning. To what? I don’t know, but that’s something to find out!

  5. “Groupthink is a term where there are no individual thoughts, they all see things the same way and don’t question it.”

    I actually never thought about the collaboration of people on a personal level. In my blog post I saw the group as a whole never stopping to think about the individual and group effects. I suppose when alot of people come together physically they produce a certain socially psychological effects like group think and degree conformity. Good job mentioning that and bring me, at least, back to the human side of it.

    Your comment about how to cut down a tree is collective intelligence on a very raw level. You mentioned alot about collective intelligence in terms of people, but what about when it comes to web pages? I’m sure you heard but Wiki’s are a perfect form of virtual collective intelligence. Still, I like how you focused on the human side of it – great job.

  6. Good job on giving your analogy of collective intelligence and the cutting of the tree. I think it’s good to sometimes break things down to a basic level of understanding so that almost anyone relate and comprehend the point you are trying to make and the topic being discussed. Your example about BP almost made it current and relative, and that is definitely something that will help one specifically remember your post. To be honest, I think in some ways BP sort of did that because God knows they didn’t seem to know how to solve or “clean up” their own mess.

  7. Perhaps groupthink is simply the path of least resistance that “some” intelligent individuals take in order for their opinions to be heard on the issues they consider highly important. Being in a collective intelligence environment may allow the freedom of expression, but given each situation at what cost? Oh yes, NPR news had a spot on “Why it’s hard for people to admit they are wrong” which you might find interesting. Enjoyed your thought process.

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