Definitions: The Basics

Robert Steele
Robert Steele

Robert David STEELE Vivas has committed himself to being intelligence officer to the public, and to the five billion poor in particular, for the balance of his life.

Below are some definitions that matter, as of 1 August 2009 [this is a work in progress, will try to complete it soon, and then future definitions will be separate postings]

BRAIN: Only a living creature can have a brain, an organic or biological device that has over billions of years evolved to its present state.  The following quotation from James Bamford is instructive; it is the final sentence of his book, BODY OF SECRETS: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Intelligence Agency (page 613)

Human Brain vs. NSA
Human Brain vs. NSA

COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE (CI): Collective Intelligence overcomes groupthink and individual cognitive biases by leveraging a process of consensus decision-making that respects–even demands–diversity of inputs and perspetives.  At its best it can be a society of the human mind, achieving conscious evolution as a species.  CI is a return to the precepts ofthe Founding Fathers, and in particular Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  The industrial era, characterized by Lionel Tiger as “The Manufacture of Evil,” separated the public from both information and elite decision-making, while still taking public money.  Bureaucracy fostered secrecy, and secrecy fostered pathology. Collective intelligence restores the power of the people over their commonwealth, and neutralizes the power of vested interests that manipulate information to concentrate wealth.  NOTE:  a fuller definition that draws on Robert Steele's many publications can be found at WordIQ, which tends to be more balanced than Wikipedia.  Colloquial terms, each a book title, include Smart Mobs, Groundswell, Here Comes Everybody, Army of Davids, Wikinomics, and Wealth of Networks.

Collective Intelligence
Definition of Collective Intelligence

DATA: The raw direct human observation or articulation, raw image, raw signal, raw signature, or in machine terms, the lowest possible element of information that can be isolated in and of itself with its own provenance.

DATA MINING: The direct exploitation of information already in-hand, or procured for a specific investigation i.e. generally internally-generated and oriented.   Often mis-represented as Business Intelligence.  See also Knowledge Management.  At its best, Data Mining is a huge fraud buster, detecting patterns of import-export tax avoidance, money laundering, and insurance fraud.

DECISION-SUPPORT: The conversion of information, which costs money, into intelligence, which makes money–or achieves other goals, public, and private, of specific interest to a specific individual or body making a decision of import. See also  Intelligence.  An alternative for those organizations such as the United Nations that have long been abused by the confusion of secret sources & methods with the world “Intelligence.”

EARTH INTELLIGENCE (EARTHINT): Earth Intelligence, the subject of a new book (the second book to be published by the Earth Intelligence Network, the first was on Collective Intelligence) is defined by its outcome, the creation of a prosperous world at peace.  We have adopted Buckminster Fuller's objectives as our own.

The Ultimate Hack
The Ultimate Hack

Continue reading “Definitions: The Basics”

2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Books w/Steele
Home Page for Book with Wiki, Full Text PDF, and Individual Chapters as Single Documents
Book as Free PDF

I conceptualized this book with help from Tom Atlee and George Por, but after discovering Mark Tovey, a Canadian PhD student exploring the intersection of Collective Intelligence (not yet an accepted academic discipline) and Cognitive Science (very scientific, not properly addressing the humanity of it all), I turned the book over to him and he literally doubled the content, added organizational coherence I would not have been capable of, and created the first book in the new discipline of Collective Intelligence.

This is also the first book published under the banner of Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 Public Charity developing public intelligence in the public interest.  We are especially focused on the EarthGame developed by Medard Gabel, who created the World Game with Buckminster Fuller, believing that in such a Serious Game we can achieve both a fully-informed public and the ability to self-govern at the line-item level as active members of multiple communities–Panarchy instead of Anarchy, with Zero Waste.

Visit Mark directly at

Tom Atlee's account on how this book came to be.

Free Chapter
Free Chapter
Amazon Page $39.95++
Amazon Page $39.95++

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Hassan Masum

Alpha M-P, Collective Intelligence
Hassan Masum
Hassan Masum

After postdoctoral research and stints with government, engineering firms, and the National Research Council of Canada, Hassan Masum is now Senior Research Co-ordinator with the McLaughlin-Rotman Center for Global Health in Toronto and a contributor to

The Wealth of Networks: Highlights Remixed

Interview with Thomas Homer-Dixon

Scaling up open problem solving

Review: Collective Intelligence–Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Democracy, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum)
Amazon Page

Available Free Online, Hard-Copy 12 April 2008, March 20, 2008


Mark Tovey (ed)

This book is the first of a series of books from the Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 Public Charity incorporated in Virginia. As with all our books, it is available free online for inspection, digital search, and Creative Commons re-use at no cost.

We are of course very proud of the hard-copy and of being able to offer it on Amazon, and the 55 contributors, all volunteers, hope you will buy a hard-copy both for its ease of hand-eye coordination and exploitation, and to support our work in creating public intelligence in the public interest.

Here are ten other books I as the publisher personally admire, that lend credence to our proposition, hardly original in concept but uniquely documented in this book, that We the People are now ready to self-govern at the zip code and line item level.

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
The Wisdom of Crowds
An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

Vote on Review

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Mark Tovey

Alpha Q-U, Collective Intelligence
Mark Tovey
Mark Tovey

Mark Tovey is doing his Ph.D. in the Advanced Cognitive Engineering Lab at the Institute for Cognitive Science at Carleton University, and is editor of WorldChanging Canada. ‘Mass Collaboration, open source, and social entrepreneurship' is based on a poster which can be found at  He is the editor of the first book striving to present a comprehensive overview of the emerging discipline of Collective Intelligence.

Editor's Preface

Ile Sans Fil: Montreal community Wi-Fi: Interview with Michael Lenczner

Mass collaboration, open source, and social entrepreneurship

Scaling up open problem solving

The Book
The Book