[Smarter Than You Think]
In Chapter 6, “The Puzzle Hungry World” of Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson writes about the problem solving techniques that arise through collaborative technology. From video gamers finding loopholes in games, to the organization of medical supplies in Cairo, technology has provided a path for solving a unique range of problems.
Thompson notes “Still, because openness is most natural in amateur work, I suspect the leading edge of collective thinking – as with Wikipedia or Linux – will always emerge in the amateur world. If you want to see the future of collective thinking, don’t watch what Fortune 500 firms are doing. Watch what fan fiction writers are doing or what activists are doing. Or even watch how smart individuals do it – the ones who cultivate broad, diverse networks of friends or followers online” (171-172).
What instance of collective thinking or collaborative technology from the chapter fascinated you most? Why?
The part of collective thinking that interested me was that," Collective thinkers require a focused problem to solve (158)." They have a goal they want to reach and these people work together in order to find a solution. For example, Wikipedia isn't a trusted source to find information because many people comment based on their knowledge of a subject even when it may not be accurate.I think it's a good way for people to come together and think about subjects though.
The instance of collective technology that fascinated me the most was Thompson's comments regarding Google, which is a site that most, if not all people, utilize. He states "Google, which relies on analyzing links, has essentially built its search engine on collective knowledge. Every time someone posts a link to a Web site, they're giving Google information to analyze; each link is a tiny vote for the site's relevance" (170-171). This quote is fascinating simply because it states information about a site that is regularly used, however this information is not considered.
It is really interesting to me how the internet enabled larger groups of people to collaborate with ease. The example I enjoyed was the video game one. Video games are usually more fun with groups of friends. The author was right when he said "the fun in a game isn't in having it mastered. It's in the process of mastery.." The process got more interesting when gamers could communicate with each other around the world to find the different skills needed to beat the game.
The instance that I found most interesting was the example about Pinboard. When the creator asked for suggestions, he got hundreds of responses very quickly. It demonstrates not only how fast we can communicate with hundreds of people so fast, but also that more people thinking together is better than one.
For example they talk about how there were tech-savy people that told the other people coming up with the ideas what could work and what couldn't work. Some people were organizing the information while some people were checking the grammar and spelling. The technology helped them work together efficiently.
I found this very section to be intriguing. I thought it was a rather different approach to go after a minor iconic figure that and major one, because most people try to emulate what they see. However, I definitely see the brilliance in following someone with such power over this realm of people. Even though they are way less mainstream, the people they have reached are all on one accord and completely cooperate in collective thinking and improving their "world."
I was most fascinated by how the people on the site Pinboard were able to come together and get so much accomplished in such a short amount of time. It was surprising to me because today it doesn't seem like you could get even a small group of people to agree on one thing, especially random people on the internet, but a huge group from around the world was able to help solve many different problems together. Also, I was fascinated by how each person that helped had something unique and helpful to contribute. As the author explained "the wisdom of crowds" can be much more efficient than the wisdom of one person alone.
What I found interesting about the collective and collaborate thinking is when Thompson talked about Wikipedia (p.161-164). I was always told not to use Wikipedia as a source because anyone one can edit it. It gave me a little more knowledge about the contributors. Without those who contribute Wikipedia would not be what it is today. Learning about the Wikipedia five Pillars was interesting as well. "Seek consensus, avoid edit wars, and never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point... Be open and welcoming."(p.163)
I actually found the entire chapter rather fascinating. It discussed things that we go through and see everyday on the internet. The internet and technology has made it so easy to for people to interact with each other to create amazing projects. If I had to choose one that fascinated me the most, I'd say the Pinboard example. It's amazing how quickly people can come together and express so many different ideas because of technology.
The insane of collective thinking that fascinated me then most was when the author said " if you're fascinated by subject x ,no matter how obscure or idiosyncratic, a ousand people are out there with the same fascination" pg 151. I though throw was interesting because it's true. It is like how we as human beings think that we can come up with this idea or object that we think is unique and no one has ough of before but yet, there are so many people out there who have thought the same thing, almost as though someone programmed this thought into a select few individual minds when we were created and only we have these thoughts until we share the sigh those who could never have imagined believing them before.
Fan fiction has always interested me. There are shows in which I’m a huge fan: BBCs Sherlock and Dr. Who, both having a following. It does create a tight knit community in which people are united together by the show’s characters. With that unity-people come together (as they did for the design document) and create, adapt, and innovate. It’s astonishing what they’ve done, and can do.
The instance of collaborative technology in the chapter that interested me the most was when it talked about Abulhassan and his Twitter account. Through this small gesture and his use of technology he was able to help lots of patients while collaborating with doctors, and pharmacists to get the proper supplies needed in a quick and efficient manner. This type of collaboration without technology would have been slow and probably more hurtful than helpful.
Jacquelene G. (repost-my first post did not show up)
I am most fascinated by the following idea from the text; "Collective thinkers require a focused problem to solve" (158).I find this interesting because I had never thought of it before. After reading that passage I made the correlation between the focused problem and collective thinkers, however, I had not thought of it prior to this reading.
The part that fascinated me the most is how Wikipedia succeeds through collective thinking. On pg 172 they talk about how Wikipedia uses collective thinking to succeed. It says, "Those who make an edit or participate in a talk-page discussion transform their sense of self, becoming creators of knkwledge." Many teachers tell their students not to use Wikipedia because it doesn't have a valid source. But from this passage it seems like Wikipedia helps people grow more knowledgeable.
I personally found the pinboard aspect of the chapter to be the most interesting. Being able to utilize technology to gather responses in a instant is amazing to me. Technology has taken us so far and we have achieved so many amazing things because of it.
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