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Social Structure & Collective Intelligence

Date: 09-30-07
Host: John B. Wells
Guests: Howard Bloom

Guest host John B. Wells was joined by Global Brain author Howard Bloom for a discussion about how American social structure and bureaucracy limit collective intelligence and vision, and ultimately weaken the country.

"America is possibly over the rim of perishing," Bloom said, explaining that the nation is on a downslide because it lacks a positive vision for the future. As an example, he pointed to NASA's latest efforts to repeat the Apollo program by returning men to the Moon. For Bloom this is equivalent to telling Americans (and the rest of the world) that "our best years were behind us."

One of the problems, according to Bloom, is that even the most brilliant minds can be 'dumbed down' within the confines of a governmental bureaucracy. By way of comparison, he examined the former Soviet Union, who bureaucratized the making of consumer goods which lacked quality and innovation. The solution is to make each worker personally responsible for the work they do, Bloom said. Russia allowed only a select few to work on the Sukhoi fighter aircraft and Kalashnikov rifle (some of the finest military products ever created), he noted.

Bloom also talked about "enviro-thinking" and why we should be tapping into the seemingly endless resources in space, as well as the importance of competition and collaboration in making a global brain, and the influence of pop culture on IQ and crime.

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