Home » Maf Lewis & Rome Viharo on Google Consciousness at TEDxCARDIFF (Transcript)

Maf Lewis & Rome Viharo on Google Consciousness at TEDxCARDIFF (Transcript)

Now, a lot of people might be thinking this is wishful thinking or this is impossible, or, we’re optimists, but we’re not — what you’re probably not aware of is that this has already been happening. And you’re probably not aware that in 2006 the Israelis and the Palestinians were finding and building perfect agreements online regarding quite violent and emotionally charged shared histories amongst them. The outcome of these negotiations was clean, it was honest, it was clear. Perfect agreement was reached. All of us were out in the open. Transparency and honesty was flowing between both sides. Peace and cooperation was achieved. How is this possible? Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has a back-end discussion algorithm where editors who are arguing over what gets on the page have to work it out in discussion, and this allowed Palestinian and Israeli editors to build a shared narrative about really charged historical events. The success of that Wikipedia entry is the proof of what we’re saying right now. Elegant discussion algorithms can easily evolve to this place and can definitely handle intense conflict resolution and problem solving.

Now once more, the entire process can be opened up beyond the control of politicians, and I’m not trying to sound political here. It’s –politicians look out for their political parties; they don’t consider the collective problem solving of all of us working together. So, this is not something that is possible; it is something that really is happening right now on the web. It’s just not happening amongst our politicians. But most of us are already beginning to do these kinds of things.

Maf Lewis: If you can imagine voting via something like Twitter, or overturning laws via something like Facebook, then you can imagine global stabilization via something like Wikipedia.

Rome Viharo: Egypt will be the first civilization actually to do this because we all know they’re kind of struggling on how to rebuild their government right now. So in principle, a few of their citizens, a few of their students can jump online using Google apps and something like Wikipedia, can actually begin to build these structures right now. And what’s shocking about this suggestion, too, is that we really don’t need anyone’s permission to do this. So it’s not like we would need to wait for a bill to pass or we would have to wait for some, just incredibly irrational political discussion to last for months to approve something like this. We can really begin to do it now. But — go ahead.

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Maf Lewis: If this is what the metaphor of Google Consciousness represents to us. And it’s really what we’d like to present to you. We think this is an idea whose time has actually come.

Rome Viharo: And we think that it’s actually going to be easier to adapt to this than you think. Facebook has grown to 350 million users in a few years, and we’re already connected to many people that we would want to connect to, to perform such a historical operation. And, actually, even in the heart of the Amazon jungle you can now find Guillermo Arevalo, master ayahuascero, on Facebook. Thank you. So, anyway, we would like to thank you for allowing us to present the meme and the viral Google Consciousness. Thank you very much.

Maf Lewis: Thank you very much.

 

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