Creativity resists the control of conventional thinking. At times it may appear as madness. Places where conformity is the norm cause us to lose touch with the creative impulses within our brains, and subsequently innovation is lost. Networked creativity frees us from the constraints of such places, unleashing the potential of our group brain.
These days creativity is thought to be a competitive asset, helping us to adapt and thrive. To nurture creativity, we must kick aside those mental blocks that keep us comfortably numb and entice our brains to explore new territories. We must open our minds to the vastness of social networks where anything is possible.
What are we re-defining? From my vantage point, learning fuels the economy and social networks are empowering us to connect in ways that support new paradigms and possibilities. I’ve compiled a few snippets that reveal what myself and my sources may be mulling. The basic idea is that there are “other worlds” where networked learners can solve global issues and form back-up plans while earning alternate currencies.
The DYNDY project encourages us to re-consider how we deal with and create money in our present world where financial, banking, and economic crises result from faulty top-down decision-making processes that serve the few and not the many.
“We are in a situation whereby the incapacity to re-define how we deal with money could resolve in an a severe damage to society as we commonly refer to it: contrary to what happens with information systems, there are no backups with money systems.”
It was around this time two years ago that I had begun wondering about a collaborative learning game that might involve role-playing and task completion. I suggested that the game shouldn’t preach, correct, or in any way disrespect the player’s intelligence, but rather amplify it through teaching the art of content analysis as a form of “participatory entertainment”. I was learning content analysis at the time with Open Intelligence, but lacked the tools that would accelerate the process. I was longing for something that didn’t exist and was wishing for a form of education that could provide the kind of collective intelligence I saw attainable when collaborative groups began practicing content analysis and synthesis together.
A search on the term led me to a paper stemming from the Neuro- and Bioinformatics field (gradschool.uni-luebeck.de ). The work of Thomas Martinetz and team utilized “mental models” of how our brains accurately predict changes in context of how we relate our intentions, emotions, and goals to others. I don’t see “empathy” mentioned, but it’s my thinking that empathy is the dynamic the researchers are noticing when the subject’s brain regions reveal a “high similarity in emotional experience” and a “similarity in activation patterns”. The researchers observed this using a MRI technique called ‘pseudo hyperscanning’ on their subjects. The first subject was being video recorded while scanned and questioned and then later the second subject watched the video while under the impression it was live.
It appears that Hebb’s rule of “Neurons that fire together wire together” could also apply to asynchronous exchanges. This has me questioning if a network of individuals could use consumer brain–computer interfaces both as a controller and monitor to gauge their collective ‘creative coherence’. We might also investigate if brain waves in any way correlate with the Earth’s magnetic field. The notion hasn’t been fully explored, but Dr. Buryl Payne appears to have scratched the surface.
The movement in Egypt was said to be “very dependent on Facebook,” according to an Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah who was quoted in the Washington Post. Fueled by the anger over high food prices and high unemployment, the citizen’s communications strategy went beyond social media.
Collective Intelligence expert, Don Tapscott, wrote in HuffPo about Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to maintain a “firm grip” on the country’s media, which was ultimately lost due to the “interactive and decentralized” power of the web.
ReadWriteWeb noted that even when 90% of Egyptian internet access points were shut down by major ISPs, the coordination of “old-style” dial up connections helped maintain communications throughout the country.
“For there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people,are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other. At the input end they even develop ganglia of nerves called brains, with eyes and ears, so that they can more easily scrounge around for things to swallow. As and when they get enough to eat, they use up their surplus energy by wiggling in complicated patterns, making all sorts of noises by blowing air in and out of the input hole, and gathering together in groups to fight with other groups. In time, the tubes grow such an abundance of attached appliances that they are hardly recognizable as mere tubes, and they manage to do this in a staggering variety of forms. There is a vague rule not to eat tubes of your own form, but in general there is serious competition as to who is going to be the top type of tube. All this seems marvelously futile, and yet, when you begin to think about it, it begins to be more marvelous than futile. Indeed, it seems extremely odd.”