There is a great presentation by Nova Spivack on the future of the web, the emergence of collective intelligence and the global brain.
Nova is also a Tibetan Buddhist, which is not irrelevant in this context.
The presentation he delivered at the Singularity Summit Dec 2008 gives a longer term perspective beyond Web 2.0. Btw: all the key presentations of that Summit are now online.
Just to set the scene: by 2030 you will be able to buy the power of the human brain for 1 dollar. By 2040, machine intelligence will be one billion TIMES greater than all human intelligence together.
The presentation starts with a list of great thinkers: first of all this is a very humbling experience, and secondly a great shopping list for my next pile of books. It makes me so hungry to know more, which illustrates my oral character structure.
Quiz: in that list of great thinkers, Nova mentions 2 Flemish researchers/thinkers: if you spot their names, let me know via the comment of this post. Prize ? Eternal Fame in my blog.
Then he leads you through concepts such as Web 4.0, the Web Wide World (not the World Wide Web), the evolution of crowds, groups, and meta-selves. This would be a great subject for my friend André Pelgrims, who specializes in group dynamics of people in flesh & blood (people like you and me 😉 and to see whether André’s model on group evolution with 4 phases would apply to the online world as well. The 4 phases André defines are:
- Forming & dependency. The individual is part of the group but with loss of his identity
- Storming & counter-dependency: scapegoating and the innocent gets all the shit.
- Independency. Expansion of the individual, helping/caring for others takes central stage
- Inter-Dependency: blend in the group without loss of identity. Genuinely sharing is key, nothings needs care or help.
You can find Nova’s presentation here. Enjoy.
This of course raises a lot of questions on our personal and corporate value kit for the future, and what it will mean to be a human, when indeed machine intelligence will be dramatically more powerful then our collective intelligence.
As some sort of counterbalance, i would also like to point you to a older (2007) TED presentation by Daniel Coleman (Emotional Intelligence) on Compassion by Daniel Coleman 2007. Thanks to my friend Sven for sharing this one.
All this technological evolutions still make us search & reach for REAL contact between people. Coleman describes the feeling of NOT getting attention when somebody uses his Blackberry/iPhone/whatever during a meeting or conversation: you feel “pizzled”, a combination of puzzled and pissed-off.
That’s because the other person does not give you real attention.
Coleman’s recommendation is to turn off your PDA’s, close your laptop, end your daydreams, and pay full attention to the other. And about the art of balancing between the self and the other selves, and the meta-selves of Nova Spivack. And so we are back to the Tibetan Buddhist.