Friday, November 7, 2014

How Does A V330million Cultural Engine TUNE Itself? Cultural Adaptive Rate And Public Discourse Bookkeeping.

A bit of yellow journalism triggered the following tongue-in-cheek discussion with colleagues, which quickly ran into a bigger question. Maybe all discussions do, when we take a moment to actually think?

First, the trigger.
[Russia Says] "It’s now total war against the BRICS"
Maybe. Or maybe this just propaganda meant to counter OUR propaganda against Russian policies, funded by our MICC (indirectly of course). Anything goes, but just don't try bombing or otherwise meddling in any country not called Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria.*

(* note; this list may be altered w/o warning :( )
(** we [& Israel] reserve the right to attack anyone we like, including ourselves)

One response, from a US journalist & engineer: 
"This RT article is so full of half-truths that anyone who read it is now dumber" Steve H
Another recent comment, from a colleague in Lithuania: 
"I'm more worried about the ECB than about Russia."

Follow up, and the immediate question "How could we be smarter?":
Yes, & well said, Steve! :)

If this increases RT's viewer base in the USA ... that'll probably be a maladaptive outcome overall.

Good thing Fox News is so much better! :(

Between our existing media factions, we might well end up with an effectively misinformed electorate.

Who gains then, however transiently (as the parasites slowly kill their host)?

Meanwhile, it's a good thing that adaptive people (mostly youth) are abandoning archaic forms of media, and turning to the increasing diversity of blogs to post & sample bigger samplings of our emerging distribution of public feedback & discourse.

If it weren't for public forums & public blogs, most of us would never have met an increasing proportion of the people we now know. Yes, we as a people are STILL increasingly moving on-line.

Yet there are PhD scientists who loftily proclaim that the internet can never replace academic journals - and that blogs should therefore be outlawed. [Same outlook that once said battle-tanks couldn't replace horses?]

Just because evolution isn't finished yet, that's no reason to not participate in it. 

In fact, we need to focus much more on our own adaptive RATE.

This whole topic of journalistic quality runs immediately into a bigger question:
How can we materially improve the QUALITY (including both participation rate and tempo) of distributed decision-making?

As just two little, suggested points of bookkeeping, wouldn't it be useful to keep a real-time tally of all the newly emerging FUNCTIONS clamoring for our attention - AND, to provide real-time access to notices of said events, to all people?

Let's look at it this way. Biology, business & military thinkers mostly seem to agree that evolution involves a constant, known cascade of events:

1) context always changes;
2) systemic awareness of things WE have to start doing differently;
3) systemic spawning of NEW FUNCTIONS to address new demands;
4) adjusting all OLD/NEW FUNCTIONS (& sometimes eliminating a few), in order to tune all to common task [cultural evolution].

If we're always struggling so much w #2, how the hell is group intelligence ever supposed to accelerate handling of #'s 3 & 4?

No wonder there's so much friction ... and attendant mayhem. 

If distributed feedback on net outcome lags ... then there are distributed frictions, and net tuning lags. That's a given.

To focus more group attention & effort on #'s 3 & 4, surely we need to make #2 a much more Automatic Stabilizer. That's a given. Nothing we didn't know in 1776 (i.e., a more informed electorate). We've been spinning our wheels, for 229 years?

A group brain is a terrible thing to waste, but that's what we're still over-focused on doing - by default.

What defines "cultural health?" How about retention & growth of net Adaptive Rate? Wallace & Darwin pointed that out 150 years ago. Is anyone listening?

How do we maintain & grow Cultural Adaptive Rate, if we don't practice measuring it? Here's one quick suggestion. We may need far more Public Discourse bookkeeping.

Couldn't every person's day start with access to a chart SUMMARIZING the entire spectrum of FEEDBACK on a hierarchy of "Emerging National Options To Explore?"

Not everyone would look every day, but at least everyone would always know that some attempt at hierarchical rankings of that still-cresting river of group options was always there?

That might even restore faith in the utility of having a US Congress. :(

Maybe more of us would periodically dip their toe in that river, & get sucked into participating in #s 3 & 4, on the basis of some hierarchical feedback ranking. That way we'd at least attempt a continuous ranking that systematically reduced frictions, rather than one that constantly increased frictions, via purely random, un-tuned participation?

How else does a V330million cultural engine TUNE itself, if not by seeking a constantly changing, dynamic balance between the full spectrum of enticing new options and the full spectrum of emerging frictions?