Masters of Imagination: From Hierarchies to Connected Swarms

Masters of Imagination: From Hierarchies to Connected Swarms

Jaap van Till
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7010-4.ch003
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This chapter is about some observations of the social and economic impact of ICT and ICT digital infrastructures and more specifically what users do with processing and telecommunication power tools. Network architects should be aware of those. Computer systems are no longer neutral tools, but they influence companies, public policies for control and institutions, and civil society cooperatives. Even the internet architecture board (IAB) has issued a directive about these effects. Electronic and network surveillance of users and what they do is growing with effects on elections. ICT is at the core of several large-scale transitions identified in this chapter. Groups of people who are immune to social media propaganda and alternative truth are discovered. And the chapter is rounded off with a hopeful vision about constructive value creation in cooperatives and science teams, making use of liberty of though and diversity of backgrounds. Making swarms and micro grids makes society alive again. Social super resolution is an interesting direction to pursue together.
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Introduction And Situation

Change is in the air. Worldwide, people, especially in the main cities, protest against the corruption and incompetence of their failing national ruling class, aka ‘the rich 1%’, who still treat them as slaves. The Demos finally had enough of living in a society run badly by a self-interested and self-serving Establishment (Allende, 2018). At the same time Digitalisation is changing these societies fundamentally and those who help implement the new systems to support network connected value-chains, have influence and can also see what is happening. Not only Big Brother but also the Little Brothers are watching on their screens. And they discuss that and cooperate to find solutions on social networks and billions of mobile smartphones on the Internet. People are faced with ongoing uncertainty, poverty and mass redundancy associated with the health costs for Covid-19 infections with social isolation and high social costs They are living in a world plagued by ideologically influenced international conflicts, led by governments and financial institutions still firmly entrenched in the Neoliberal mindset, which is both failing and outdated.

In response to these uncertainties, governments and business managers have introduced distractions and various blame actions, to distract from their failures, playing on the national xenophobic sentiments of the population. For example: the new Tory leader in Scotland declared in his maiden speech, August 5, 2020 that the dangerous “traveling people (Gypsies) in Scotland should be brought under control”. It is however now known and understood by the public that those ‘vital workers’ that kept our society working during the lockdowns were the very people that the managers had kept on low pay and laid off in large numbers to save money: nurses and health workers, police persons, people in the food chains, teachers and scientists, energy and water operations workers, telecom network operators, internet technicians. Their contribution needs more than rounds of applause. They need more than simply more money. They need respect, besides the satisfaction of results of what they do. Their anger is now going to expose as sham the layers and layers of zoom- meetings by managers, which add no value, and are in fact high paid obstacles.

I will not describe here what/who is causing what effects, but summarize that all over the world there is tension and anger, analogous to post-crash 1930 and pre-WWII fascism (Applebaum, A., 2020). For example: a high Pentagon official recently earmarked ‘people of the Press’ and ‘demonstrators’ as adversaries, meaning: enemies of the state. I will also not describe here what movements have started to counter that scenario and re-define and re-establish Democracy, Constitutions and The Law, such as Digital Democracy in Taiwan (Till, J.van, 2020).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Effects of Use of Social Media: Impact on tasks and organisation structure.

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies.

Transitions: Paradigm shifts.

Swarms: Groups of connected and cooperating people, not necessarily co-local.

Immune: Immune to propaganda.

Extraordi: Extra-ordinary individuals.

Surveillance: Listening in to nearly all electronic signals emanated or exchanged by persons.

Super Resolution: Image enhancement algorithms, developed for satellite photos.

Internet: Network of networks, architecture supervised by the IAB (internet architecture board).

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