The Hivemind and the change of humanity. An essay.

People are weird.

They always have been. But nowadays maybe a little more.

Reason: The Web.

Today I was on the 14th fairway. I hit a reasonable ball which slightly flew the green and into a sparse thicket alongside a path. Whilst trying to find my golfball a woman walked up to it, picked it up and carried on. She could see I was looking for something, and bearing in mind it was in the middle of a golf course, just carried on talking on her mobile phone, ignoring my requests for having my golf ball back.

Not a lot I could do really, so I just dropped another ball down and played it.

Why would she do that?

For the last 150/200 years we have been forced into a way of thinking. This thinking goes in line with what can be called ‘corporate mentality’. This mentality came about due to the rise of the ‘industrial age’.

This ‘age’ gave us the hierarchy of corporate life which, in turn, gave us a lesser welcomed method of ‘divide and rule’.

When faced with a challenge within the industrial/corporate age the method of reply was (if in the wrong) to either ignore, knowing that whoever you were ignoring could not get traction with others or, indeed, have the wherewithal to ‘prove’ anything. But even if the ‘ignored’ had any evidence and/or method, ‘divide and rule’ could/would be used to fend off any retort.

I.e separate any accusers and dominate the individual.

This method used with the fractious attitude of hierarchy, seemed to be commonplace over the last 150/200 years. We, as a society, accepted it which, in turn, gave rise to classes in the extreme – lower, middle and upper classes, each one dominating the the one below through ignorance and divide and rule.

The lower looked up to the one above, therefore, always accepting their method.

Now take the woman that took my golf ball, she was hoping nay relying on my acceptance that she could ignore me knowing that there was little I could do about it. And she was right. There was very little I could do about it short of confronting her which would have given rise to her ‘potential’ accusation of me being aggressive. Again, there would be very little I could do about that either.

The above, petty as it may seem, is a way of life that has been for many years. We all do it in some way – I don’t believe that any of us can really deny that. My point is this – On the web it has changed, which can only bring a positive change to society.

The year 2000 saw a fundamental change in the method of society as our information streams suddenly became, well ours. No longer are we told by organisations, we’re told by people.  We can share and learn, we can buy and learn then share – there is no hierarchy on the web. No longer do we have lower, middle and upper classes. No longer do we have the hierarchy of the corporations – we have a level playing field. Not only that but we have a playing field that is owned by everyone, that is connected and provable – what is said on the web stays on the web for all to see. What happens on the web stays on the web for all to see. Everything is provable and all can be held accountable.

It has its own economy that is controlled by those that support it. It has its own class system, dictionary and method – and those that kick against it, by default, kick themselves.

You cannot hide, you cannot ignore and you cannot divide and rule.

If the woman who took my golf ball had done it on the web, she could not hide from it. I, in turn, could question her, she could not ignore. Moreover, many others could have joined in, as all can see through.  Transparency.

The year 2000 was a pivotal year. It saw in many changes. Not only a millennia but a monumental change in society and its ways.

Most of us that were born before 1990 will have to change to fit this new society. Some of us will ride ‘the old ways’ as long as possible, some of us will change straight away – but change we must.

The web is a hive mind.  It exists and co-exists. It is connected – not only to it but us and via many ways and means. It is a hive mind, its a collective consciousness, it’s shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.

Not only that but it’s trackable.

How would you feel if what you did was trackable for everyone to see? Would you choose to be upset? Argue? Carry on, or be aware?

How would the woman this morning deal with the issue if she knew that everyone was watching?

There is a paradox at work here, and it’s nothing more than age dictating to us. Most of us feel we have the right of age on our sides (hierarchy), which gives rise to so much ‘kicking’ against the web and its freedoms. Maybe this is why we have the paradox of statements which both support a reason but contradict a method (which irony would have it as the reason).

It is very hard to go against the hive mind.  I might even say it is futile.

Don’t shoot the messenger!  I’m 45 and have had to learn this myself. I don’t get it right all the time BUT I have learned that all is watching and your/my actions will be brought into question – if I’m stealing golf balls of course.


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  • Great blog Nick ….  I know from experience that the hive mind is as real as the illusion we call reality. I work with it all the time with my clients and in generating my own creative output.

    It is possible with some little training to not only interact with it but to see it (and I mean see it) and work with it and to get it  to work with you.

    At the same time you start to perceive the hive mind, the veil of what we think of as reality parts so you can really see what is going on … and you don’t even need “an app” for that – the secret is in the breath …

  • Linda Mattacks

    Hi Nick

    There’s no doubt in my mind that their is a sea change in attitude and mentally – and it’s one that is gaining momentum to the point where I really don’t believe it’s reversible – until after its run it course, and then maybe we’ll get the same old cycles – or versions of them – repeated.

    I was directed to a post recently that you and your readers might enjoy. I think more and more of us are awakening to the fact that those fancy outfits were a fallacy and the emperor is in fact naked… see what you think:
    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/07/the-self-attribution-fallacy/

    As for your golf ball thief: I wonder indeed how she’d justify her actions if she was suddenly confronted by a video of herself on YouTube? By the sounds of it she’d probably find a way – I guess she’d have to, otherwise wouldn’t it potentially destroy her and her place and right to be where she is in her world?

  • Jeremy Dent

    Restart your Wii and play tennis instead. The balls are much harder to steal.

  • A very enjoyable discourse , on the web everyone sees what you are and do.

    Next time you are out golfing though , take your camera and if the lady in questions repeats her nefarious activities , take a photo and share . 

  • Anonymous

    Ha yes quite Steven. I should have thought to snap it with the iPhone – doh.

    N

  • Anonymous

    Too easy Jeremy – my furtive mind will come up with something. :)

    N

  • Anonymous

    Hi Linda, YouTube will be getting the next one – if there is a next one.

    Thanks for the heads up ref George Monbiot, it was a very interesting piece.

    N

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely Tom – the App is us.

    N

  • Thanks Nick and I am launching a new site in the New Year where the focus is on upgrades from Human v2.0 to Human v3.0 – see the webinar/tasting schedule here – http://www.recipesforfreshthinking.com/tastings/

  • Anonymous

    Sounds exciting Tom.

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