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Web 2.0 surfings for 10-21-2008

Howard Rheingold: Way-new collaboration

  • The old story is that only the fittest survive in business, politics and other areas
  • We are seeing a new story spread across multiple disciplines.
  • It is about cooperation, collective action and complex interdependencies play an important role.
  • Competition takes a back set.
  • Human communications media and social organization have coevolved for a long time.
  • How did humans band together to get bigger game? We know a new form of wealth emerged.
  • Did the people who ate owe something to the hunters?
  • Then came the alphabet.
  • Then came the printing press and literate people emerged.
  • Religion, politics and economies emerged from literacy and then came new forms of wealth.
  • Capitalism is a new emergence
  • Today every desktp is a printing press, a broadcast station, a community and a marketplace.
  • Soon people will be wearing computers linked at speeds beyond broadband.
  • Rheingold speaks about the prisoner's dilemma.
  • If we are here because of our ansestors competition and cooperation, how are we here?
  • Many would reject an offer close to 50-50.
  • Instead of innate fairness, our sense of fairness is influenced by our culture.
  • Is it true that humans will destroy commons? Yes, in most this is true.
  • In many they escaped the prisoner's dilemma by stopping to think that they are prisoners.
  • Our notions that a rational self preservation is a dominant factor is not always true.
  • People will act to punish cheaters even at a cost to themselves.
  • Such people show activity in the reward centers in their brain
  • 'Altrusiting punishment may be the glue that holds society together.'
  • We may be moving into a very different economic form.
  • Sun, IBM, Eli Lilly, Toyota previously competitors are moving toward a more open sharing mode that is detrimental to their self interest by donating to open source, involving the community and suppliers,etc.
  • This is how these and other companies like Google and Amazon who deliver APis for others by facilitating openess.
  • EBay transformed the Prisoner's dilemma into a assurance game by allowing ranking of both parties.
  • Wikipedia uses volunteers to create a free Encyclopedia.
  • Bittorrent turns downloaders to uploaders.
  • We have not begun to discover all these new trends, but it is time to think about them.
  • Political protests are now faciliated around the world with collaboration.
  • We may not be better people by collaboration.
  • Diseases were believed to be caused by sins until Descartes came along.
  • This is going to require effort.
See the presentation here.

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