A more natural intelligence

Dave Snowden is spot on with this thought I reckon:

I think one difference with this technology is that it is more natural, its fragmented nature matches the fragmented nature of our intelligence and memory structures, but critically it also allows us to augment our memories through the storage capacity, but also the networked social interaction of the net. In a sense it is less intrusive than the technologies which preceded it which changed the physical structure of our lives… the knowledge economy seems to be allowing us to rediscover more ancient forms of wisdom.

7 thoughts on “A more natural intelligence

  1. julian

    Hi, mate, happy xmas. hope you are well.

    Just a rant about the Snowden quote. I felt uncomfortable and queasy when I read it! the jargon seems to be coming out of the behinds of both sides of the fence now!

    Happy new year Julian xxx

    ps got a new office in london bridge now, wanna come for a cup of tea and a biscuit?

  2. julian

    Oh, I agree his meaning was clear and easy to understand, but what an idea! Comparing the internet to ancient forms of wisdom.

    And I think he says a lot about his own state of being.

    When he says, as the expert, “its fragmented nature matches the fragmented nature of our intelligence and memory structures” I wish he would own that statement.

    HIS intelligence and memory might be fragmented, but its not up to him to push that on us. “the claim to knowledge is a demand for obedience” after all!

  3. Johnnie Moore

    Well of all the people I know, I’d say Dave is least in need of my efforts to defend him, but I will anyway!

    You’re more than welcome to rant on my blog and play the “ownership” joker. You’re also welcome to be inconsistent but I’m not beyond pointing it out!

    Your first comment complained about jargon, but your second says his meaning was clear and easy to understand. Is there some other definition of jargon I’m not familar with?

    Your summary “comparing the internet to ancient forms of wisdom” is a bit harsh – as if he’s suggesting an identity match, whereas I think Dave’s just suggesting they share a quality which he calls fragmentation.

    Maybe that word fragmentation has unfortunate connotations but I see it as suggesting that intelligence does not reside in one central location. Distributed would be another word one could use I suppose, but I think fragmented is a more provocative and arguably more accurate way to describe a point of view.

    You’re loading things by saying “when he says as the expert”. It’s just a blog post I’m quoting, it doesn’t strike me as claiming special expertise.

    Then there’s your desire for “ownership”. Yes, it’s good for people to distinguish between statements of our personal felt experience and statements about the way the world is. But there’s got to be room for both (otherwise you’d not be able to label Dave as an expert or his language as jargon).

    To follow that through, if you really advocate ownership then what about your claim that “he says a lot about his own state of being”. That strikes me as a projection on your part – which is fair game but not if you’re going to bang on about ownership.

    For the purposes of a discussion about the nature of networks and intelligence, I’d say that posting it in his blog under his own name is quite ownership enough on Dave’s part.

    Can we fragment some biscuits together now?

  4. Ian Glendinning

    Interesting discussion, Julian / Johnnie.

    I won’t claim it was Dave’s intent, but there is a difficult issue here.

    Dave is right to liken the (interconnected) fragmentation to more ancient wisdom. Wisdom is becoming a key word for me in this “knowledge” space and it is related to the “expert” question too.

    A totally bottom-up (democratic) model – where the interconnectivity of the fragmentation automagically causes real valuable knowledge to emerge from the complexity is just not tenable (IMHO). There is a sense in which some “wise” members of a community must maintain not its content, but its values.

    Dave concludes with the thought

    “whatever is the most popular is [not] necessarily right, or for that matter sustainable”

    I know he’s right from my experience of other contexts. The value in the interconnected fragments is not a simple matter of popular votes of equal weight – how many fragments attract the most links, or anything as crass as that. Wisdom (expertise) is still needed. I already blogged a link to this post … this is a common memetics issue.

    Regards, Ian

    PS Happy New Year guys.

  5. Johnnie Moore

    Thanks for joining in Ian and HNY to you too.

    I’m not sure I’d equate bottom-up with democratic. It’s open to question where the bottom and top is in a system; a lot depends on how you frame the system!

  6. Jon Husband

    I’m not sure I’d equate bottom-up with democratic. It’s open to question where the bottom and top is in a system; a lot depends on how you frame the system!

    Key point … Johnnie demonstrating wisdom, IMO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.