Why we never think alone

David Gurteen, Gurteen Knowledge-Log, Apr 06, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This short post is a restatement of something from Steven Sloman that has appeared numerous times in these pages over the years: "Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don't even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Because whilst individuals know very little, the collective or ‘hive' mind knows a lot." To make this work, though, is to walk a fine line. Yes, there is the "fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge," but we can create it only if we interoperate as autonomous individuals.

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