My guest for this week’s Innovators podcast is Howard Bloom. He’s written several books, one of which — Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century — is the main topic of our conversation.
There’s no easy way to summarize this show, but here are some notes that I took while reading the book, and used to guide the discussion:
global data sharing among bacteria
complex adaptive system
individual vs group selection
passion for gathering in cities
raven roosts are data collection centers
elements of a collective learning machine:
- conformity enforcers (genome, social norms)
- diversity generators (curiosity, deviance)
- inner judges
- resource shifters
- intergroup tournaments
apoptosis / cell suicide
behavioral vs verbal memes
the group influences individual perception
each node in the collective brain represents a different approach available to the mesh of mind
individuals and subgroups are disposable rovers, sensors for an interlaced intelligence
pumphouse gang shows how individuals and groups can become test pilots for speculative strategies
team hunters, crop thieves, garbage raiders: each a separate “hypothesis”
collective intelligence uses the ground rules of a neural net: shuttling resources and influence to those who master problems, stripping influence, connection, and luxury from those who cannot seem to understand
If these themes resonate, you’ll love hearing Howard elaborate them.
3 thoughts on “A conversation with Howard Bloom about collective learning, group selectionism, and the global brain”
jon: you might want to ping doug and let him know that the rss 2.0 url is wrong on your itc channel – should be http://rss.conversationsnetwork.org/series/innovators.xml – but seems to be null on your page…
Definitely one which will require a second listen.
fantastic interview. loved it: language & literature as virtual reality, you bet. great stuff.