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Everyone has noticed the anxiety of ‘information overload’. I have even experienced ‘information under-load’ – the feeling that I have become unplugged from the flow of what’s going on. However overload is much more common.  In Chris Anderson’s ‘The Long Tail’ (p116) he references Sturgeon’s Law which states that “ninety per cent of everything is crud” – and I supppose the Web is not immune to this law either. The challenge is to find the 10% that is not crud. Filtering is one of the main ways to deal with this problem. That’s what makes ‘Newsmap’ so fascinating – a way to see what is news in different parts of the world at a glance and focus-in very quickly on news that is relevant to you.

Well Mashable has found at least 30 things – I feel a little like a guy who just learned to swim and is then taken to the ‘North Shore’ for a dip in the breakers. With Facebook adding approximately 150 K new member per day I suppose Facebook must be good for something eh?

I had known about this for a while and forgot to mention it  – it is an event I would have given my right arm to attend – Boosting Our Collective Intelligence: Getting Smarter Together – if you have visited this link you will see that exciting things are already happening in the area of Collective Intelligence in Europe.

‘With the recent advent of the global Internet, it is only now that we humans are approaching the information exchange capacity that cyanobacteria communities have possessed for over 2 billion years on earth.’ (Margulis and Sagen, 1997, Fortey, 1997)

…and with the proliferation of social networking systems we are about to tap into that huge resource…I can’t wait to see what we will create.

A great new video has just appeared that explains the power of ‘Social Bookmarking’. About 2/3 of the way through this really well presented video you will see the potential behind social bookmarking for growing our collective intelligence. This is only just beginning – only the early adopters have embraced social bookmarking – think what the web will be like when the mainstream arrives!

To-day I discovered a wonderful resource for anyone intersted in collective intelligence. The site is http://p2pfoundation.net/Main_Page and contains a treasure trove of resources. Michel Bauwens co-ordinates this site. Although ‘Peer-to-Peer’ sounds kind of obscure, it is in fact guided by two fascinating maxims:

  1. ending the destruction of the biosphere by abandoning the dangerous conceptions of pseudo-abundance in the natural world (i.e. based on the assumption that natural resources are infinite);
  2. promoting free cultural exchange by abandoning the innovation-inhibiting conceptions of pseudo-scarcity in the cultural world (i.e. based on the assumption that the free flow of culture needs to be restricted through excessive copyrights etc…).

I touch on these topic in ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’ and I wished I had known this site existed before completing the writing process. I would have certainly included many references to this valuable material.

To-day I experienced collaborative intelligence in action. 24 different people from all over the world / internet collaborated with me to get the message out about my book ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’.

By featuring a piece about the book in their newsletters and news releases to their subscribers we were able to reach over 500 K people to-day.

The result? – ‘Teaching an Anthill’ shot to #2 in the ‘Business Section’ on Amazon. This is an amazing feat and displays the awesome power of Collaborative Intelligence.

Within the Zen tradition there is a story about two fish. One fish starts telling the other of a strange experience it had.

“I was swimming along and noticed a tasty morsel. I grabbed it, but a sharp, shiny, hard thing got stuck in my mouth. Suddenly, I was pulled from the water and the next thing I knew, I was in a whole new world. A great big thing grabbed me and pulled the sharp, shiny, hard thing from my mouth and threw me back into the water.”

The other fish looks shocked and asks, “Water? What water?”

The last animal to discover water would be a fish, and we would be the last ones to discover our assumptions about reality because we are so immersed in them.
The same is true of other assumptions we might have about ‘reality’ (a much over rated concept) especially about the importance of competition. Many people consider life to be a struggle in which the things we want or need in life must be fought for. Upon closer examination nature is based on cooperation, a part of which is competition. The deeper structures of nature however consist of finely balanced synergies not turf wars for resources. Something to consider as we look around at how nation states are conducting themselves. This is part of the reason I am slightly obsessed with ‘Collaborative Intelligence’ as a principle that will serve all of humanity at this point in time.

Welcome to ‘Getting Clever Together’ a blog dedicated to an exploration of ‘Collaborative Intelligence’ , CQ as I call it.