Prevail Interconnection Scenario

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A scenario for the future of human society based on increased interconnection between people.

Jaron Lanier's Prevail Scenario

Quoted by Joel Garreau in his book Radical Evolution which deals with transhumanist development scenario's.


"The technological incline is a flawed measure of progress on many levels, Lanier says, most particularly because it suggests that the meaning of humanity can be reduced to zeros and ones. The moral ramp is a problem because, taken to its logical outcome, it requires more energy than humans have, and also can lead to holy wars. So his version of Prevail rests on the proposition that a third ramp exists and that it is the important one. That is the ramp of increased connection between people."

"This is how Lanier gets to his ultimate measure of the success of The Prevail Scenario. It is the third ramp of progress, the ramp of increased interpersonal connections. That ramp, historically, starts with the invention of language and then moves to writing, drama, literature, printing, film, the telephone, radio, television, the Internet and so forth. What you are measuring is an increase in the quantity, quality, variety and complexity of ways in which humans can connect to each other"

Studying the evolution of the nervous system that has been accompanying the evolution of animal species from the simplest ones to humans, we notice a continual "increase in the quantity, quality, variety and complexity of ways" in which the neurons can connect to each other. Given that the same connectivity ramp is present also in the society of humans perceived as neurons in the global brain, it is safe to say that we are moving towards the possibility of having an increasingly potent, collective nervous system, capable to support higher levels of CI. (I introduced the concept of "collective nervous system" in my Quest for Collective Intelligence, 1995.)

"The connectedness ramp is not measured by inventions. The test is interesting group behavior. Lanier doesn't care, for example, that millions of people are now participating together in online games. These he mostly finds tedious. Progress is in the emergence of interesting human societies. 'This is where I see the action right now,' he says." (