I follow the example of Lion to express a feeling about how things are happening to us. There is the notion - inside and outside of cw - that people in the net work differently, that they understand themselves less than individuals and increasingly more as nodes of a communication system. As such nodes humans act as processors. They filter information. They connect communities that are places of awareness. They react on impulses that come in and trigger new impulses that go out. This is one perspective.

The other perspective is that by loosing a large part of individuality, personal interests and ego-ness, by being aware of other peoples and communities interests and acting in favor of common interests, one becomes a kind of neutral medium for interaction. TheHumanAsaMedium means that the human acts as subsystem used for communication and collaboration by individuals and communities that could otherwise not interact. As a result of being an “aware medium” a production of insight or knowledge is possible, that is new and due to this situation.

So what HiveMind or SwarmIntelligence? tries to describe and can’t is how the additional intelligence is produced in the situation of the net. The mind of a hive or swarm is produced by interaction algorithms that produces senseful behaviour. TheHumanAsaMedium means that hive interacts over an aware medium that can also become active as a member of the hive. This introduces the recursive or fractal structure that is characteristic of all complex and interesting systems. – HelmutLeitner 2006-03-31 06:04 UTC

See Also


I love this train of thinking. I feel the tension of discovery here.

The InternetConcentration will likely intensify, even more, as AnnotationSystem?s, user-contributed interlinking (stuff like ConnectionPoint,) and collaboratively developed classifications get more advanced.

Thoughts that we have, by and large, been used to thinking about as existing mainly in our heads, and then occasionally in our discussions and books,- I suspect we will view them more as active processes (living processes?) that are developing outside of our heads.

I was talking with a guy and a gal. The woman asked: “Do you think that the structures that we are forming, are reflecting the shifts in the consciousness in our heads?” And the man answered: “The shift in our structures are shifts in consciousness.” So we are back at “Mind does not happen just within individuals, mind happens between individuals.” What is different now is HyperSocial technology- technology that connects our thinking in new and more connected ways. What increases connection between people and their ideas, increases the “loss of individuality,” and the externalization of ideas.


The frustration is in trying to come to clarity. But I see the theory coming into greater focus. It’s still quite blurry.

Some things that I can understand:

  • The “impulses” in the human as a medium, are the hooks of interest. And everybody is interested in something.
  • No matter what your thinking, you can take it out, and put it on a map. Even if you believe that you are the most disconnected, isolated, individual person in the world – you can take that thought out, plop it down on a map, and find all the others who think the same way. (“Methodological individualists,” or the “It’s just me & my family, screw the rest of you” people, or whomever.)

I’ve been meaning to write “NetworkedActivism?,” or perhaps “NetworkActivism?,” as part of my efforts to explain to people how activism can't proceed by the old plans, in the CyberneticEconomy we find ourselves in.

Still mulling…

One thing that may help us come to understanding: To understand what we are not doing.

Specifically, we are not trying to make a complete model of the mind, either social, or individual. We do not need to understand the mechanics of just how exactly the human mind works, or how exactly the HiveMind works.

(Perhaps coming to clarity on questions?)

That said, I have found it helpful to construct metaphysical models of my own thinking, and have read (and benefitted from) countless metaphysical models of how thinking (and “stuff inside the head”) works. So what we may end up may look a lot more like metaphysics than science, and that may actually be okay. (It may produce knowledge that deserves some trust.)

rrg.. Going to sleep; it’s very late.

I disagree with the guy you are talking to.

I think that thinking may happen outside our heads, but not consciousness, not yet.

Oh; Right: I don’t think he was talking about consciousness-as-awareness; I think he was talking about consciousness-as-processing, activity of mind.

Two things to contribute:

  • a link – a criticism of HowardBloomsGlobalBrain?. (summary: leaves reader w/ no moral foundation to criticize what is natural – personally: I’ve rather liked the Golden Rule, which precludes murdering people to impregnate their wives, no matter how much I dislike them)
  • the idea of adding ThePowerOfQuestions to TheHumanAsaMedium: “As such nodes humans act as processors. They filter information.” One of the critical pieces is: They ask questions, and those questions spur other questions, and then collect answers to the questions, and assemble them.

EcosystemOfNetworks seems like a good fit to me, too.

This is sort of the “HumanCybernetics?” thing we were talking about writing earlier.

Define external redirect: SwarmIntelligence HowardBloomsGlobalBrain NetworkActivism NetworkedActivism AnnotationSystem HumanCybernetics

EditNearLinks: SunirShah