[p2p-research] Building Alliances (basic income and entrepreneurship)

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 09:27:59 CET 2009

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 11:52 PM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> wrote:
> There is both a dynamic in terms of individual adult development, with
> increased capacities to handle cognitive complexity, there's a whole field
> of psychology dedicated to this, and collective intelligence, which is the
> capacity to cooperate as intelligent beings.

Okay, that is sloppier terminology than I am used to. In this context
"collective intelligence" is not literally intelligence in a rigorous
sense, but a collection of different inductive models (intelligent
people), got it. Plenty of literature on that. The "increased
cognitive complexity" maps to a specific dynamic in the mathematics,
but I can't think of a simple way of describing that off-hand.

> Both are not given fixed amounts, but amenable to change, and there is a
> case to be made that they have been growing.

There *is* a fixed upper bound on true intelligence. Or at least there
better be; an awful lot of modern technology depends on that theorem.

Google doesn't actually make us smarter it just..."refines"...the
inductive model of an intelligent agent. You'll be smarter due to the
increase in entropy, but that improvement is an exponentially
diminishing return.  Not much more to be had there, nor can there be.

In increases in "collective intelligence" mirror that of the refinement.

> I gather you are not aware that there are other modalities of knowing than
> math? and that being good at math is a free pass to pass on judgments on all
> matters in the universe?

There are two basic mechanisms for "knowing".

There is mathematics, which is axiomatic and deductive. There is
science, which is non-axiomatic and inductive, with the caveat that
the correctness of this model is predicated entirely on the axioms of

What am I missing?  Divine revelation? Astrology?

> For a good case of mathematical madness, take
> neoclassical economics. It's pretty clear where that got us.

But this isn't even a failure of math. It is the failure of a model
someone concocted. In what way does this support your argument?  If
someone tells you 2+2=5, is that a failure of the math?

> I think that
> applying math to social change is a serious category error, and not
> 'rigorous' at all. Social change can only be examined in a interdisciplinary
> and participatory way.

Societies are systems, and subject to the mathematics that governs
system dynamics. Just make sure you ground your model and don't ignore
or simplify important parameters.  (Recent work on this gives very
impressive results, scarily predictive.)

> Last, social change must not be proven in theory, but experimented in
> practice. Lots of things were impossible in theory, like the Wikipedia and
> the Arduino, but happened in practice. In that case, theory must be revised,
> but above all, one must be aware of the relativity of theory at all times.

Huh? Neither Wikipedia or Arduino are impossible in theory. It is
silly to assert as much. Indeed, they are *expected* in theory.

J. Andrew Rogers

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