Tom Atlee: Comparing “Wisdom of the Crowds” to Real Collective Wisdom

Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee

Comparing “Wisdom of the Crowds” to Real Collective Wisdom

The popular book “The Wisdom of Crowds” says a lot about the remarkable accuracy of thousands of people making guesses about something that has a real but unknown answer now or in the future. This phenomenon is fascinating but it doesn’t provide us with actual WISDOM to guide our collective future. What would real collective wisdom look like, and how might we find or co-create it?

A friend just sent me this essay from the BBC: “‘Wisdom of the crowd’: The myths and realities” by Philip Ball.

I feel a need to respond to it – publicly and urgently.

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Tom Atlee: A Not So Divided America

Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee

“A Not So Divided America” – but is it wise?

A new study of 24 major surveys in the U.S. shows clearly that partisan gridlock in Washington DC is not the result of partisan disagreements over policy out in the districts and states that are supposedly represented in Congress. If elected public officials heeded the expressed policy preferences of their constituents, bipartisan policies would be readily formulated on more than 2/3 of the issues facing the nation.

The researchers found “remarkably little difference between the views of people who live in red (Republican) districts or states, and those who live in blue (Democratic) districts or states… Most people living in red districts/states disagreed with most people in blue districts/states on only four percent of the questions… For a large majority of questions – 69 percent – there were no statistically significant differences between the views in the red districts/states and the blue districts/states.”

Well!! What a surprise! You’d never know it from the sounds emanating from Congress and the pundits!

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Tom Atlee: Role of Collective Intelligence in Wise Democracy Needed for Humanity’s Survival

Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee

TITLE: The role of collective intelligence in the wise democracy needed for humanity’s survival

ABSTRACT: This article proposes that the primary function of intelligence is to sustain a dynamic system’s balance between environmental control and adaptability.  A dynamic system needs to remain in tune with its changing environments so that its actions continue to be successful. It does this through impacting its environment and adapting itself to changing conditions.  Both strategies depend on awareness of environmental realities and their relevance to the success and survival of the intelligent system.

Human collective intelligence in technological, economic, and cultural realms has led to the rapid evolution of human civilization’s capacity to impact its environment. Humanity’s problem-solving capabilities have translated problematic circumstances into new forms of impact, a process known as progress.  However, this process has today projected extremes of actual and potential impact into unprecedented scales and realms which challenge not only our ability to respond but the very basis of our responsive capacities – the nature of our intelligence itself.

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Daily Bell: Death to Public Open Source

Phi Beta Iota: It’s probably a great honor to be slammed by the staff of The Daily Bell, but it would be even more constructive if they got in touch. Steele’s comments are inserted.


No, We Are Not Fans of ‘Open Source’ Public Solutions

By Staff Report

The Daily Bell – June 26, 2014

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