Saturday, March 15, 2003

Joi Ito has some ideas about how emergent democracy can avoid the pitfalls of mob rule and the lowest common denominator, and be structured to cultivate rather than repress important new ideas which will not be accepted by most people at first.

In Calvin's theory of how our brain works, he explains that the edges or parts of the surface of the brain which are not adjacent to many other areas is where new ideas form which can come back and influence the rest of the brain.

In evolution and the theory of genetic drift and gene pools, it can be shown that when you have large populations, genes tend to stay more similar and drift more slowly but on islands with smaller gene pools, genes can go wild... like the Galapagos islands.

So I believe the trick is to have the various levels. The radical ideas and the great products come from small groups (the creative layer) to be allowed to work on a diverse set of ideas. When these ideas reach a certain level acceptability, the social level (the early adopters?) picks up the idea and "puts it on the radar." It then gives the opportunity for the idea to take a real shot at the masses. If you think about The Woz, I would say that the Home Brew Computer Club was the creative layer where the idea percolated. Then, Silicon Valley (the social layer) decided to give the idea a try. Eventually, it chanaged the world (the political layer). Many ideas don't make it past the first layer or the second.

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