Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Emergent intelligence - and rhetoric?

The always challenging weblog Global Guerrillas has an interesting post on "emergent intelligence"

Emergence is the phenomenon where a large number of individual entities and their actions contribute to a larger phenomenon, like the neurons - in themselves pretty simple - that forms the complex human brain - or a flock of birds that turns and flies in a pattern with no central coordination.

John Robb over at the Global Guerillas sets up a description on how intelligence on a tactical scale among insurgents in Iraq can form a larger "intelligence community" or "intelligence output" that can be utilized by whoever has been in contact with the separate entities themselves. He writes: "Rather, it is a form of group intelligence that learns, achieves goals, and engages in self-preservation."

The thought of emergence is wildly puzzling. As I am writing on propaganda right now it seems that this might be a concept that would be worth investigating more. In my research I have come up with a model where you can separate two levels of description "demagogy" and "propaganda". Emergence could explain how the individual statements ends up forming a debate "climate". In the same line of thought it could explain the interaction between individual and ideology.


Unfortunately I'll have to turn in my dissertation on Wednesday, so I think it is a fair assumption that I probably won't have time to integrate a whole new, social-scientific theory into my humanistic project.


Blogger Nis said...

Note to self:...and I just came to think that this is actually very well in line with Robert Steele's wild thoughts on the intelligence of the "hive mind" that I have mentioned before.

11/2/06 23:56

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could probably actually propose a test of this type of emergence by analyzing blog posts in response to propoganda.

It has information gradients, stigmergic reinforcement, autonomous actors (that are relatively ignorant of the entire situation), critical mass, frequent interaction, etc. Lots of cool data.


12/2/06 03:34


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