Note to readers

This is a blog that I'm required to keep that's full of unedited, near stream-of-consciousness reactions to similarly required and related readings in a graduate course in N.C. State University's Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program. The way these posts are written help me interrogate and understand what's going on in our readings. I'm identifying what's troublesome so that I can give it more thought, but the posts aren't written in a style that's productive for audiences outside of our class to read. That's by design. I start with contestation, then spend heavens only knows how long researching, recutting, and reevaluating so that I can try and see what potentially productive readings I can extract from these source for use in my own work's contributions back to the field. Comments encouraged, but please, you'll likely need a thick skin if your work is quoted here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Collective Intelligence, meet iTunes 8.0

From ye olde Horizon Report for aught eight.

Collective intelligence is a term for the knowledge embedded within societies or large groups of individuals. It can be explicit, in the form of knowledge gathered and recorded by many people (for example, the Wikipedia——is the result of collective intelligence); but perhaps more interesting, and more powerful, is the tacit intelligence that results from the data generated by the activities of many people over time. Discovering and harnessing the intelligence in such data—revealed through analyses of patterns, correlations, and flows—is enabling ever more accurate predictions about people’s preferences and behaviors, and helping researchers and everyday users understand and map relationships, and gauge the relative significance of ideas and events.
(emph mine)

Wikipedia doesn't ad it up. The Genius feature in iTunes 8.0 does capitalize on your freely donated resources, using what you listen to suggest songs someone else, whose musical library is like yours, should buy. World of Warcraft counts on user content to keep itself cashing in too.

So let's call this what it is, since in more and more cases it's less Wikipedia and more iTunes: Collective Intelligence is the ability to police everyday activities and turn their now digitized and easily measured results into marketable information for capitalistic corporations without significant long-term expenditures.

QED. Though I reserve the right to edit the defn. ;^)

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