Monday, August 31, 2009

The Ultimate Collaboration Technology Coming Soon! The HUMAN HIVE MIND! A Force For Good...Not Evil.

Jeremy Epstein has a cool blog post today on an innovative communication social networking activity he came up with called Rolodex Roulette

The basic idea is go to your cellphone contacts and pick one name from your list from each of the letters of the alphabet and call those 26 people.  Odds are you will connect live with maybe 1 of 4 people you call. So maybe 6 conversations. Jeremy had 8. 
Now you may think this is a weird leap for me to make but....I think Jeremy's idea is another tiny step toward the coming of the "Human Hive Mind (HHM)". HHM will be the Ultimate Human Collaboration technology.

Now before you "run" screaming off into the "internet woods" in horror banging yourself into virtual trees, let me reassure you, I think this is a good thing to happen for humanity. Here's why...

I believe we all deeply crave a deeper and more meaningful and positive mental connection with our fellow "man"(gender non specific). So I'm developing a theory that says as we approach the technological singularity point, and we overcome our fear of connecting fully with our fellow human beings, we will hyper-network our brains into a hive-mind-like construct that we will be able to jump in and out of like a swimming pool.  

Game theory says that positive cooperation among human actors produces optimal, 'mutually beneficial' results. This means unless society collapses, and prevents the technology from being developed, the human race is on an inherently natural path to construct and participate in ever more rich "hive mind" collaboration environments. Virtual collaboration worlds like WOW, Second Life, Twitter, Facebook and others are early examples of this direction. Imagine what will happen when in addition to voice, video and text as channels of communication we start to add things like mood to the communication. 

I believe that the majority of the thoughts we have, and the most powerful thoughts, are positive thoughts and I think when we start setting up hive minds that our positive thoughts will be the most self-reinforcing. I believe a logical outcome of this is our society will rapidly start becoming more moral, ethical and philanthropic that we are today. I know this concept scares a lot of people for reasons of privacy, individuality and fears of evil hive minds, such as those depicted in science fiction literature and film, (Star Trek:TNG's "Borg collective").  

But what will really emerge is not this "boogeyman-esque", all-encompassing, mind-numbing version of a hive mind. Instead I think it will be something more akin to what is described in the Star Wars series. There the experienced Jedi are connected via "the force" into being able to feel an overall understanding of the fabric of the collective state of mind other living beings in that society/universe.  

Can you imagine being able to at your own will jump in and out of feeling connected, at a level you find comfortable, to the whole of the human race and it's state of mind? To participate in and contribute to that state of mind? Like anything, if done poorly, it could be damaging to have a hive mind. 

For example; imagine a hive mind being used to exclusively connect only those people who are racists and exclusionists. It could be used by these angry, disenfranchised people to be more effective in causing damage to society. But this danger exists with any new technology. The technology is certain to be used much more often to proactively engender positive interactions between people. I think that ultimately the positive uses of new tech usually outweigh the negative. 

Consider even the positive outcomes of Nuclear science and technology versus the negative outcomes. It's been almost 65 years since the nuclear bomb was developed and yet despite all the massive war strife and anger since then we as a race someone have yet to wipe ourselves off the planet. That tells me something. It says that as a human race, despite our differences, we really do want to survive.
So I think hive mind technology will be no different from when printing, gunpowder, photography, the automobile, aviation, film, radio, nuclear power, TV and internet arrived on the scene of humanity. Some will fear the technology. Some will seek to use the technology for antisocial purposes. But many more will use it to for the purposes of improving the positivity of interactions between people.  

All the previous communciation technology steps that are precursors to hive mind technology (printing, photography, film, radio, TV and internet, etc) have all made significant positive impacts for humanity leading to more freedom, peace and harmony between people. Certainly our 24/7 news outlets focus on the reality that we have lots of war, strife, anger and hatred in todays world. But I think the communication technology improvements over the past 500 years in communication and collaboration technology were crucial to our society advancing.  

Communication technology in the form of printing is what stopped the dark ages death spiral of European society and started it on this ever increasing slope toward positive outcomes for humanity. I think the spike in pain and strife we see coming out now is not a sign of growing overall negativity in the human race. Instead I think it is just a lot of previously hidden resentment, anger and hatred being leeched at a ever more rapid pace out of our collective consciousness by the ever more frictionless nature of our ability to communicate. Communication/collaboration is getting more and more frictionless and affordable.  

Cisco is one company working hard on building affordable, full-body 2D video presence solutions. 3D holographic presence is the next step. In fact in the recent movie I took my sons to, "GI Joe:The Rise of Cobra", Cisco has it's brand splashed all over a bunch 3D, holographic collaboration solutions that exist in the futuristic setting the movie portrays. Now think about later when hive mind solutions start to emerge in concert with that. I think these solutions will accelerate the leeching of hatred, anger, war and negativity out of human society.  

As Yoda said in SW-I ""Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering." The path back the other direction from suffering, that inverts this direction, starts with rich and regular communication. Yoda also should have instructed Qui Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi in regard to the young Anakin Skywalker..."Endeavour always to constantly speak, interact and communicate with your Padouin learner. Communication leads to understanding, understanding leads to collaboration, collaboration leads to fellowship, fellowship leads to trust, trust leads to peace."  

Do not fear the coming of the human hive mind(s). Embrace this evolution, encourage it, participate in it to contribute your positivity. Like the printing press it will be a tool of trust and understanding far more than a tool of ignorance and fear.


  1. Honored to be the inspiration for such a wonderful post. This was so deep...I need to re-read it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      What do you think of my post from 2009 that you commented on now 3 years later? Do you see this starting to happen?


  2. I truely believe we have always had the ability to be totally is just that from the moment we are born we are taught to pull in our focus. I have watched my ability to think of someone and then within 24 48 hours have them call, send a letter, show up. Thoughts are waves just like sound only on a different frequency and we are recievers and transmitters like the Ham radios of our childhoods. You built your little reciever and placed your attentea on the roof..with the hope of catching a wave passing by...well we do this all day every day it's just soo many of us are tuned out. I dont' know why I stayed open...but 30 years working with animals and relying in my instincts certainly helps.
    As Yoda said there is no try...only do
    dont' think about or pray for it or hope for it just do it..
    Change is definitly on the horizon and from this last year here on twitter I say it will be an interesting future and I'm doing all I can in my world to celebrate with joy and laughter all the ways we can come together..because a united world is where we need to get to.
    I love the way the streams flow..the universe is conspiring to pull us all together and I'm behind it all the way.

    1. Hi Luna,
      Was re-reading this post I did from 3 years back and just reread your insightful commets. In thinking about what's happened since I see a lot of progress in this direction of a shared consciousness.

      We've seen the arab spring happening in the middle east. We've seen FB and Twitter used as a mechanism for communities in peril, such as last year in Haiti and last week on the east coast, to cooperate and self-organize and accomplish amazingly complex tasks with no coordinating top-down authority.

      In the next 4 years I think we are about to see the middle classes in the US and many other places start waking up, through Facebook mainly as a distinct entity with a shared consciousness that will become an collective intelligence unto itself.

      As this group intelligence emerges it will quickly acquire the ability to out-think and outmaneuver any small, top-down, authoritarian organizations. Small groups in the power at the top of human societies have historically used techniques such as "The Big Lie", and limited access to information to sway the masses to make decisions that are not optimal for those masses but optimal for those who control information and resources from the top.

      When it happens it will happen pretty quickly. It will take the human experience rapidly to a higher better plane where we use resources wisely and with respect for our environment, for others, and for future generations.



Tell me what you think!