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Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Lanier and others published Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism }. In his article “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” Jaron. Lanier takes a hard look at collectivism and collective action as it relates to. A cautionary inquiry into the unchecked hive mind.

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You might as well go after my. Why isn’t everyone screaming about the recent epidemic of inappropriate uses of the collective?

I don’t know, but I would imagine the process was similar to what I’ve seen in the consulting world of late. The fact that anonymous contribution is possible in Wikipedia does not mean that the contributor is part of a hive, that thinks and acts under an invisible command. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. A marketplace can’t exist only on the basis of having prices determined by competition.

No, if you want to really navigate the truth via Wikipedia, you have to dig onlie those “history” and “discuss” pages hanging off of every entry. Hazarrs some special cases the collective can be brilliant. He is worried that these meta-sites will play an overly powerful role as arbiters of taste and choice. For some of us, books are intrinsic to our human identity.

Each student guesses how many beans there are. The Britannica is great at being authoritative, edited, expensive, and monolithic. Both kinds of intelligence are essential. Surviving the End of the But there are similarities, and the lack of a coherent voice or design sensibility in an esthetic sense is one negative quality of both open source software and the Wikipedia.

If the code that ran the Wikipedia user interface were as open as the contents of the entries, it would churn itself into impenetrable muck almost immediately. That new magnitude of Meta-ness lasted only a month.


Is the way the Wikipedia authored a guide to the way many new things might be created? And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence colleftivism in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

It was one activist, Bev Harris with her website blackboxvoting, an academic group led by Avi Rubin, a few Swarthmore students, and a network of thousands who replicated the materials about Diebold voting machines after that led to review and recall of many voting machines in California and Maryland. What’s dumber than that? Many people tend to believe what they read.

The impossible agglomerate mass. In all of these formulations, real people were still in charge. Something is lost when American Idol becomes a leader instead of a follower of pop music. The dread was perhaps most eloquently crystallized last month in Washington at BookExpo, the publishing industry’s annual convention, when the novelist John Updike forcefully decried a digital future composed of free downloads of books and the mixing and matching of ‘snippets’ of text, calling it a ‘grisly scenario.

Authoring at Wikipedia, as everywhere, is done by individuals exercising the judgment of their own minds.

Imagine the jittery shifts that would take place if a wiki were put in charge of writing laws. In some cases I have noticed hazrds texts get cloned from original sites at universities or labs onto wiki pages. The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism.

A voice should be sensed as a whole.

You get to include all sorts of material without committing to anything. Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. There is a pedagogical connection between the culture of Artificial Intelligence and the strange allure of anonymous collectivism online. Trying to change your own plane tickets stinks. Rather it is typical of revolutionary advances in transport or communications and responsible for most market manias and political upheavals, as well as much progress.


That’s huge news for tens of millions of Americans. Break any one of those conditions and the collective becomes unreliable or worse. With both systems, there are a huge number of casual contributors and a small number of dedicated maintainers, and in both systems part of the motivation comes from appreciation of knowledgeable peers rather than the general public. Most of us were taught that reading books is synonymous with being civilized. The collective is more likely to be smart when it isn’t defining its own questions, when the goodness of an answer can be evaluated by a simple result such as a single numeric value, and when the information system which informs the collective is filtered by a quality control mechanism that relies on individuals to a high degree.

Accuracy in a text is not enough. By Kevin Kelly Hardcover [].

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism by Jaron Lanier · Longform

Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Generally speaking, the few pages on Wikipedia that are edited by a truly amorphous crowd either cover current events or are featured on the front page of Wikipedia front page articles are highly visible. By Cory Doctorow Paperback []. Now it can be design and hive.

The flashy title and the conflation of argments, however, conspire to suggest that he offers a more general attack on distributed, cooperative networked information production, or what I have called peer production, than Lanier in fact offers. At times like that, it is easy to bemoan losses and overestimate gains. It may be equally heretical but not to this group to suggest that the hive mind will write far more of our textbooks, and databases and news than anyone might believe right now.