The Vast Power and Knowledge of the Crowd
Vann Alexandra Daly is a Miami-born, New York-based crowdfunding producer who gives life to art she believes in. Alex was recently named the “crowdsourceress” for her expertise in crowdfunding. Over the course of a year, Alex has raised millions of dollars for clients including Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmakers and Neil Young. She has served on panels at distinguished film festivals and universities and consults Knight Foundation art grantees. In addition to her crowdfunding successes, Alex is a producer for the feature length documentary Cocaine Prison, which has received support from the Macarthur Foundation, Cannes Film Festival’s Fonds Sud Cinema, Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Latin America Fund, Bertha BritDoc Journalism Award, and more. Her other films have been selected by the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance and Tribeca.
Human beings have incredible pattern-recognition abilities, which drive us to make meaningful connections across a vast array of information. Through its free exchange of information and capacity to reach a colossal audience, the Internet is an empowering place for individuals to revolutionize the future trajectory of mankind.
Citizen investigative journalism is a prime example of this empowerment as anyone can tap into the Internet’s readily available and free information–a.k.a. open source information through websites such as YouTube, GoogleMaps, Reddit–to expose issues that would otherwise be ignored. We consumers of the Internet are no longer left in the dark waiting to be fed breaking news through traditional news outlets. Instead we are able to reverse engineer the global media landscape: anyone can use open source informantion at their disposal to uncover the news.
The recent crash of MH17 over east Ukraine illustrates the crucial need for individuals to collaborate and piece together open source information to find answers on their own. Bellingcat, a site that unites the power of citizen investigative journalism, outlines how open source techniques were able to find the Buk missile launcher that allegedly shot down the passenger plane.
Eliot Higgins, pseudonym Brown Moses, is the founder of Bellingcat. Eliot is a laid-off government worker turned blogger turned weapons analysis expert and leading source of information on the conflict in Syria. He began his Brown Moses blog in March 2012, obsessively devoting himself to studying everything he could find online about the Syrian conflict. Unable to understand or speak Arabic, he focused on something purely visual: weapons. Without any formal training, he is now one of the most highly praised citizen investigative journalists in the world—a “Rocket Man” who breaks war stories from his couch.
Eliot is raising funds the way he knows best—through sourcing the crowd through crowdfunding. The intersection of open source information and crowdsourcing fascinates me in how they are both driven by forums that encourage transparency, verifiability, and active participation of the online community. This innovation does not come from large, structured establishments, rather the power of a single person who builds knowledge, wealth, and power through social networks and the power of information.
As the rise of the Internet continues to advance exponentially, it’s an exciting time to be caught in the middle of this web and witness the growth of these two fields take off.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.