Doesn the GB reduce humanity to an insect colony or to the Borg?
The use of the terms “collective intelligence” or “superorganism” and the analogy between web learning techniques and the way ant colonies lay out a network of trails may invite the comparison of the GB with a “hive mind”, that is, a collective in which the members all think and behave the same, lacking any autonomy or personal identity. This frightening prospect is most vividly illustrated by the “Borg”, the race of cyborgs imagined by the creators of the science fiction series “Star Trek”. The GB, on the contrary, derives its intelligence precisely from the diversity of the people that take part in it. If everybody would make the same choices, then the GB would not be smarter than a single individual. It is because different people have different points of view and different experiences that together they can tackle more complex problems. This intuitive insight was formulated more precisely by the cyberneticist Ashby as the “law of requisite variety”. It even applies to ants: if ants