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 Britannica is great at being authoritative, edited, expensive, and monolithic.
Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism () 
Internet travel is great because it’s cheap and always-on, because you can reclaim the “agency” ahem of plotting your route and seeing the timetables and because you can comparison shop in a way that was never possible before.
And watching for signs of such intelligent life is anything but boring. The breadth and depth of the responses collected here, ranging from the broad philosophical questions to reckonings of the ground truth of particular technologies, is a testament to the complexity colleftivism subtlety of that challenge. Meanwhile, offline collectivist efforts at dis-intermediating formerly top-down systems are also creating new possibilities for everything from economics to education.
What’s to stop an online mass of anonymous but connected people from suddenly turning into a mean mob, just like neew of people have time and time again in the history of every human culture? We cluster around topics we care about. Most of us were taught that reading books is synonymous with being civilized.
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and an author. 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. But collectiivsm out of context in the Nw, it becomes drivel.
Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism (Edge.org)
Digifal value is in the other people. After talking to John Brockman, we decided to try to capture nazards of the best responses here. That’s why it should be no surprise to anyone that over time more and more design, more and more control, more and more structure will be layered into the Wikipedia. Here I will only note that the centralized filters Lanier decries are purely an effort to recreate price-like signaling in a context — information in general, and digital networks in particular — where the money-based price system is systematically disfunctional.
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.
Many people tend to believe what they read. There’s more than one approach to any issue, and being able to see multiple versions of them, organized with argument and counter-argument, will do a better job of equipping you to figure out which truth suits you best. By Jaron Lanier Hardcover .
Moreover, these debates are full of personality and individual voice. Rather, they don’t really care about getting it right as much as they care about equality. Even Google by itself as it stands today isn’t Meta enough to be a problem. That’s the vision, anyway. At the very least it’s a success at revealing what the online people with the most determination and time on their hands are thinking, and that’s actually interesting information.
New Rules for the New Economy: I will, in any event, let others defend it if they do hold such a view. In March, Kelly reviewed a variety of “Consensus Web filters” such as “Digg” and “Reddit” that assemble material every day from all the myriad of other aggregating sites.
Projects like Wikipedia do not overthrow any elite at all, but merely replace one elite — in this case an academic one — with another: It was still clear, in all such designs, that the Web was made of people, and that ultimately value always came from connecting with real humans. It’s safer to be the aggregator of the collective. Myspace is all about authorship, but it doesn’t pretend to be all-wise.
The fact that it is now compared not to the mainstream commercial encyclopedias like Grollier’s, Encarta, or Columbia, but to the quasi-commercial, quasi-professional gold standard of the Britannica is itself the amazing fact.
Claiming authorship is really just a matter of ego and royalties. You might as well go after my. Numerous elite organizations have been swept off their feet by the idea. Decrying Idol’s centrality is similarly misdirected. They put the jellybeans in the jar.
Indeed, though the public discussions of Wikipedia often focus on the ‘everyone can edit’ notion, the truth of the matter is that a small group of participants design and enforce editorial policy through mechanisms like the Talk pages, lock protection, article inclusion voting, mailing lists, and so on. I don’t see why there couldn’t be future social disasters that appear suddenly under the cover of technological utopianism.
In the real world it is easy to not direct films. Jaron Lanier raises important points about collectivism, yet the barbs thrown at Wikipedia seem misplaced. This is like asking the Catholic Church, circaabout the uses of the printing press.
That said, there is not much to his analysis of conventional media. A core belief of the wiki world is that whatever problems exist in the wiki will be incrementally corrected as the process unfolds.
In his online essay, in Edge magazine in MayLanier criticized the sometimes-claimed omniscience of collective wisdom including examples such as the Wikipedia article about himselfdescribing it as “digital Maoism “. But, as Lanier points out, that does not mean that all collectives are intelligent.