The wisdom of human beings

Below is a thoughtful taxonomy of the differences between Internet optimists and pessimists from a libertarian group called the The Technology Liberation Front. I particularly like the distinction between the value of "mass collaboration" versus that of "individual effort". While the optimists (I would also include James The Wisdom of Crowds Surowiecki here, of course, and perhaps Jeff Crowdsourcing Howe) have written about the intelligence of the crowd, my team hasn't responded with a book about the intelligence of individuals.

Time, perhaps, for a book about the wisdom of human beings?

Internet Optimists

Internet Pessimists

Yochai   Benkler, The   Wealth of Networks

Andrew   Keen, The   Cult of the Amateur

Chris   Anderson, The   Long Tail and “Free!”

Lee   Siegel, Against   the Machine

Clay   Shirky, Here   Comes Everybody

Nick   Carr, The   Big Switch

Cass   Sunstein, Infotopia

Cass   Sunstein,

Don   Tapscott, Wikinomics

Todd   Gitlin, Media   Unlimited

Kevin Kelly & Wired mag in general

Alex   Iskold, “The   Danger of Free

Mike Masnick   & TechDirt blog

Mark   Cuban


Beliefs / Themes

Internet Optimists

Internet Pessimists

Culture / Social

Net is Participatory

Net is Polarizing

Net   yields Personalization

Net   yields Fragmentation

a “Global village


Heterogeneity / Diversity of Thought

Homogeneity / Close-mindedness

Net   breeds pro-democratic tendencies

Net   breeds anti-democratic tendencies

Tool of liberation & empowerment

Tool of frequent   misuse & abuse


Economics / Business

Benefits of “free” (“Free” = future of media /   business)

Costs of “free” (“Free” = end of media /   business)

Increasing   importance of “Gift economy

Continuing   importance of property rights, profits,   firms

“Wiki”   model = wisdom of crowds; power of   collective intelligence

“Wiki”   model = stupidity of crowds;   errors of collective intelligence

Mass collaboration

Individual effort