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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The worst judges of tomorrow’s important things is today’s incumbents. I believe Lanier missed the point.

Article/Review: Digital Maoism, by Jaron Lanier

While the tags adorning Flickr photographs may never constitute an independently functioning intelligence, they do allow people to participate in something bigger than themselves, and foster a greater understanding of the benefits of collective action.

Personal Web pages do that, as do journals and books. This is most clearly occurring in books. His concern, that the aggregative role played by the many sites that are about sites is overstated. Yet while the electronically enhanced collective mind is novel, but the discovery of new ways to be is not a new phenomenon in the history of human consciousness.

At our level, it may appear as dumb as American Idol, or as pointless as a nervous twitch that corrects and uncorrects Jaron Lanier’s Wikipedia entry in an endless loop. That feat would be wonderful enough, but its origin is so peculiar, and its existence so handy, the obvious follow up question has become, is it anything else?


Popurls doesn’t offer much info in advances in diabetes management, but I read three newspapers a day and I missed it too.

The Britannica is great at being authoritative, edited, expensive, and monolithic. The Wikipedia is far from being the only online fetish site for foolish collectivism. Communications Expert; Author, Smart Mobs. Retrieved from ” https: There’s rigital lot of experience out there to work with.

We don’t blame the toaster for its inability to churn butter.

There are faint traces of the voices of various anonymous authors and editors, though it is impossible to be sure”.

Commons-based peer production in Wikipedia, open source software, and prediction markets is collective action, not collectivism. How to Thrive Online. But there digktal 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.

The artificial elevation of all things Meta is not confined to online culture. There are faint traces of the voices of various anonymous authors and editors, though it is impossible to be sure. The question isn’t just one of authentication and accountability, though those are important, but something more subtle.

There can be useful feedback loops set up between individuals and the hive mind, but the hive mind is too chaotic to be fed back into itself. Both kinds of intelligence are essential.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism (

Moreover, it is the result of cooperation between individuals and not of collective forced action. Sometimes loosely structured collective activities yield continuous improvements and sometimes they don’t. Your email address will not be published.


But first, it’s important to not lose sight of values just because the question of whether a collective can be smart is so fascinating. So you can overthrow too selfish regimes. It is having a profound influence on how decisions are made in America. We now are reading what a collectivity algorithm derives from maiism other collectivity algorithms derived from what collectives chose from what a population of mostly amateur writers wrote anonymously.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism – Wikipedia

Slashdot’s post-ranking system is another perfect example. The phenomenon is real, onpine immensely useful. What I take out is: Contra Lanier, individual motivations in Wikipedia are not only alive and well, it would collapse without them.

It’s been criticized quite a lot, especially in the last year, but the Wikipedia is just one experiment that still has room to change and grow.

Please read the essay for yourself and feel free to share your feedback in the comments section. 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 hazzards result such as a single numeric value, and hazarsd the information system which informs the collective is filtered by a quality control mechanism that relies on individuals to a high degree.

Would they had stay’d!