Crowd Control

And to counter my last post, a nice description of a working collective mind emerging in real time from Kevin Kelly’s “Out of Control“:

Loren Carpenter boots up the ancient video game of Pong onto the immense screen. Pong was the first commercial video game to reach pop consciousness. It’s a minimalist arrangement: a white dot bounces inside a square; two movable rectangles on each side act as virtual paddles. In short, electronic ping-pong. In this version, displaying the red side of your wand moves the paddle up. Green moves it down. More precisely, the Pong paddle moves as the average number of red wands in the auditorium increases or decreases. Your wand is just one vote.

The audience roars in delight. Without a moment’s hesitation, 5,000 people are playing a reasonably good game of Pong. Each move of the paddle is the average of several thousand players’ intentions.

They later get to control, collectively, a flight simulator. It’s a pretty good book, and you can read it all online.

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