OK, so I’ve discovered an awesome sci-fi webcomic, A Miracle of Science. The number one cool thing is the heroine, Caprice, who is a Martian. These are humans who moved to Mars and developed a group mind, with the help of nanotechnology and the like. This results in an awesome piece of dialogue when Caprice hits on the hero, Benjamin:
Benjamin: …That is the third person who gave me a flower today.
Caprice: Mars likes you.
Benjamin: That’s like saying “Brazil has decided you’re cute“.
I ran across something that reminded me of this yesterday… apparently Kodak created a world-record-sized photo montage, with the tagline “The Whole of Greece in One Smile“, where “The people of Greece were invited to send a picture and be part of history in the largest-ever photographic montage. The photos of the 16,609 Greeks that responded made up the face of a child, whose smile looks at the future with hope and awaits the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games with pride.” Greece is smiling at you.
While I’m a rugged individualist, the idea of this emergent intelligence, or emergent democracy, is very appealing. The concept of smart mobs can give us this strong supporting community while alllowing us to retain our autonomy. Admittedly we’re not sure how emergent democracy/smart mobs will develop in the future, but I think that this is one of the most interesting and exciting parts of the free culture movement. As the internet and digital technology makes it increasingly easier and cheaper for individuals communicate with one another on a global scale, it will be increasingly true “that a million people are smart / Smarter than one” (to quote NOFX).