If you mean soul or spirit – perhaps all matter has it, and when it coalesces into a machine capable of acting to survive, we call it life. Perhaps the most exciting thing inside is that there are two fridges instead of one.
superorganism definition in sociology – Reviving The Superorganism.
If you’re looking for a preview of where pop music might be headed, Superorganism would be a good place to start. So the question is: why is a zillion-node network of humans and wires somehow different? It seems to me that you can still explain its behavior in terms of the decisions made by the people contributing to it.
Maybe the internet superorganism is really an upgrade to the currently existing global collective consciousness, like a backup system. Maybe it’s just a concrete, or material 3rd dimensional version of the Gaia mind. Perhaps out connectedness is finally materializing.
Applying the idea of superorganisms to humanity is more complicated – individually, we are more autonomous than cells, or even ants. But over the centuries, the idea has emerged in many different guises. The Ancient Greeks imagined each of us as cells in the greater being. Others have referred to the roles that different parts of society play – such as generating energy or food – as analogous to organs in a body. The 17th Century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes also described society as forming an ‘Artificial Man’ that functions (through civilisation) in a way as to ensure its own survival.
1) A mind from whose perspective? That is to say, an organism needs to respond to outside stimuli. Let’s say an asteroid is coming towards earth – if we, with our machines, succeed in preventing disaster, then I’d say from an outside perspective, the entire organism acted in the interest self-preservation. Our response to environmental changes may also form a good basis to talk about it.
Superorganisms are a different type of organism. Large things are made from smaller things. Big machines are made from small parts, and visible living organisms from invisible cells. But these parts don’t usually stand on their own. In a slightly fractal recursion, the parts of a superorganism lead fairly autonomous existences on their own. A superorganism such as an insect or mole rat colony contains many sub-individuals. These individual organisms eat, move about, get things done on their own. From most perspectives they appear complete. But in the case of the social insects and the naked mole rat these autonomous sub individuals need the super colony to reproduce themselves. In this way reproduction is a phenomenon that occurs at the level of the superorganism.
Superorganism are a multi-national band based in London. They feature members from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and the U.K. and their self-titled debut album came out in March 2018 via Domino. Now they have shared a new song, “Hello Me & You,” that’s featured in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the new animated film that comes out this Friday via Warner Bros. The band’s maximalism approach suits the vibe of a fun and clever blockbuster cartoon, although perhaps a bit of the band’s charm has been lost in the Hollywood translation. Listen to the song below, followed by the band’s upcoming tour dates.
Until this past May, the band’s Japanese-born lead singer, the now 18-year-old Orono, was a high school senior at boarding school in Maine. Meanwhile, the rest of the eight-piece band hailed from various parts of England, Australia, and New Zealand, having mostly met on Internet music forums.
Some time later a few of Superorganism’s members (none of whom are British, except Harry who was born in Burnley but grew up in New Zealand) moved to London… a switcheroo of the age-old story of British graduates moving halfway across the world to sink beers in Brisbane. For the first 18 months, different members worked various jobs: selling studio equipment, doing admin at universities, working at a book publishing company. Then one day they thought: ‘fuck it, let’s record a song.’ That song was then sent across the world to Orono—at the time studying at a high school in Maine—who then added some vocals. And bada-bing-bada-boom-fast-forward-a-little-bit and that same song— Something For Your M.I.N.D” —was being played by Frank Ocean and Ezra Koenig on their Beats One radio shows before being taken offline as offers from labels piled in.
I like the idea of looking for wasteful” behaviors that wouldn’t seem to have a good reason to be there, like those malformed packets of internet traffic. Reminds me of the junk” intron portions of DNA (which -by the way- have turned out not to be so junky). If we can’t find a logical reason for the existence of that class of malformed packets, then we can’t easily justify someone deliberately spending the time or energy to create them. Suppose we later discover ways that the malformed packets might actually be helping smooth out packet traffic jams, or keeping the routers warm, or whatever. Then we would be in a position to wonder if the generation of malformed packets might be an indication of an emergent behavior.
The whole thing belongs on the same shelf as the audio patchworks of Odelay-era Beck, mid-period Flaming Lips’ lysergic showtunes, modern indie shoegaze, Mr. Oizo’s distorted synth-hop and whatever weird tape-warped stuff is cool right now. It’s a combo that’s harmlessly bizarre, hyper-current and highly listenable. Superorganism will probably be huge by summer.
Life acts for self-preservation. Consciousness is something that some forms of life have, a model of the universe, with themselves in it, inside their head. Reproduction is what most lifeforms have, that enables their survival past death. If you mean soul or spirit – perhaps all matter has it, and when it coalesces into a machine capable of acting to survive, we call it life.
Within a hive honeybees are incapable of thermoregulation. The hive superorganism must regulate the bee’s working temperature. It does this by collectively fanning thousands of tiny bee wings, which moves hot air out of the colony. Individual computers are incapable of governing the flow of bits between themselves in the One Machine.
Homni is essentially a concept – I invented him because our superorganism has characteristics that go beyond the simple accumulation of humans. In other examples from the animal world, like bee hives or ant nests, killing the queen results in the collapse of the entire colony. Homni has no single queen, though, and in this way he is as robust as a forest. It would take a catastrophe on an epic scale – an epidemic, massive environmental change, an asteroid impact, or nuclear war – to possibly kill Homni, leaving a straggle of human survivors.
But as Allen Tough, an ETI theorist told me, Unfortunately, radio and optical SETI astronomers pay remarkably little attention to intelligence. Their attention is focused on the search for anomalous radio waves and rapidly pulsed laser signals from outer space. They do not think much about the intelligence that would produce those signals.” The cloud computer a global superorganism swims in is nothing but unnatural waves and non-random signals, so the current set of SETI tools and techniques won’t help in a Sii.
Charles Darwin would have been delighted by this book. His own literary oeuvre was aimed at a wide audience and set out in good, plain Victorian prose. As he wrote to Thomas Henry Huxley, I sometimes think that general and popular Treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work.” A century and a half later, The Superorganism” sits firmly in that distinguished tradition.
Even more compelling, the lyrics and vocals of their biggest hit to date — the chaotic yet insanely catchy Something for Your M.I.N.D.” — were written and recorded in about an hour. The band sent a GarageBand file across the Atlantic to Orono, who then sung the lyrics directly into her laptop the day after her 17th birthday. That track, randomly posted to Soundcloud on a whim in February, would go on to become Rolling Stone ‘s 25th favorite song of 2017.
Their use of props, unconventional instrument and artistic projections all added to the group’s fun aura. While it was evident that this group takes itself seriously, considering that every element of the show felt thoroughly thought-out and original, I liked that they didn’t take themselves too seriously. I got the sense that they were a group of people having fun with music, unconcerned with following norms or fitting the status quo.
My claim is that in addition to these four strengths of definitions, the four levels are developmental stages through which the One Machine progresses. It starts out forming a plain superorganism, than becomes autonomous, then smart, then conscious. The phases are soft, feathered, and blurred. My hunch is that the One Machine has advanced through levels I and II in the past decades and is presently entering level III. If that is true we should find initial evidence of an autonomous smart (but not conscious) computational superorganism operating today.
So can a machine be conscious? Well yes. I am. But if a sufficiently complex silicon-based learning machine with better sensory systems than humans develops, with the ability to make its own choices we may not remain the dominant consciousness in the world for long.
The musicians of Superorganism joined forces in a pointedly contemporary way, online. They produced their first song without having all met each other in person. Impressively, this song, Something for your M.I.N.D.,” whose existence is largely thanks to Facebook, is one of the group’s biggest hits.
I kind of realized retrospectively after we finished the record that the central theme of it all is the way that things connect in the world. We obviously have stuff like Everybody Wants to Be Famous”, which has got a focus on the Internet. We’ve got all of these various songs about working together and things like that.
The group soul, which is surely the most amazing psychological phenomenon in the natural world and gives the strongest proof that it may be possible for a psychological influence to have effect on an organism at a distance, is the result of this communal life. It is important therefore that we should observe the composite organism and try to understand it. The particular kind of termite on which I based these observations is one of the most common, in South Africa, and everyone will be able to study it.
I’d say that intelligence does not compulsory precede consciousness by observing other animals different from the human kind. My perspective is that of a computer scienctist who has studied artificial intelligence and artificial life as subjects of research. First the organism (bactaeria, or digital cellular authomata for instance) may regain its consciousness, of itself and partially of its environment. Then it may develop an increasing level of intelligence, which by the way it is a question of degree more than a black or white” logical clause.
One of my theses was that the termitary is a separate and perfect animal, which lacks only the power of moving from place to place. I will give you my proofs of this little by little, and the explanation will make clear at the same time the beginning and development of the group soul. Up to now you have learnt what happens in a wounded termitary. Let us turn our attention for a moment to a far more developed composite organism before we return to the termitary.
How would we know if there was an autonomous conscious superorganism? We would need a Turing Test for a global AI. But the Turing Test is flawed for this search because it is meant to detect human-like intelligence, and if a consciousness emerged at the scale of a global megacomputer, its intelligence would unlikely to be anything human-like. We might need to turn to SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for guidance. By definition, it is a test for non-human intelligence. We would have to turn the search from the stars to our own planet, from an ETI, to an ii – an internet intelligence. I call this proposed systematic program Sii, the Search for Internet Intelligence.
If the aim is to establish a falsifiable claim that we have formed a superorganism, I think a claim couched in smartness is a dead-end, whereas one focused on social behaviour is more practical and measurable. More importantly, an approach based on social behaviour lays bare the implications of becoming a superorganism, namely the cost to the individual, and allows us to decide if that’s really what we want to be.
In the coming decades, it is also likely that access to electricity, sanitation and antibiotics will become near universal – thus, describing a human in the Anthropocene will increasingly assume a doubled lifespan and basic awareness of the scientific, geopolitical, cultural and social factors behind how the world operates. The result will be a new way of living that is almost akin to being a new subspecies. It is the new modern human that created the Anthropocene and gave rise to Homni, but it is Homni who now sculpts the new human.
Long before a conscious global AI tries to hide itself, or take over the world, or begin to manipulate the stock market, or blackmail hackers to eliminate any competing ii’s (see the science fiction novel Daemon” ), it will be a fragile baby of a superorganism. It’s intelligence and consciousness will only be a glimmer, even if we know how to measure and detect it. Imagine if we were Martians and didn’t know whether human babies were conscious or not. How old would they be before we were utterly convinced they were conscious beings? Probably long after they were.
On average the cells of biological organisms have a resting metabolism rate of between 1- 10 watts per kilogram Based on research by Jonathan Koomey a UC Berkeley, the most efficient common data servers in 2005 (by IBM and Sun) have a metabolism rate of 11 watts per kilogram. Currently the other parts of the Machine (the electric grid itself, the telephone system) may not be as efficient, but I haven’t found any data on it yet. Energy efficiency is a huge issue for engineers. As the size of the One Machine scales up the metabolism rate for the whole will probably drop (although the total amount of energy consumed rises).
The first law of any living organism is self preservation (survival). If it was suggested that the present day Internet is a threat to human society and we need to switch it off – who would agree. In fact we are doing the opposite by improving online times and reduction in down time. Making sure systems have uninterupted power supplies.
Is the Gaia hypothesis the same as Wilson calling an ant colony a superorganism? Is an ecosystem the same as a society? I’m not sure, but if you want a metaphor for the internet, it is more like an ecosystem than a superorganism. Ecosystems exhibit circadian rhythms and the like, but are not necessarily alive as a whole themselves, but alive as in teaming with life.
Superorganism is an English indie pop band, formed in early 2017 and based in London. The group consists of eight members, including lead vocalist Orono Noguchi, alongside Emily, Harry, Tucan, Robert Strange, Ruby, B, and Soul.
It’s intense, but now that we’ve played 80-something shows, we’ve kind of loosened up as performers,” teenage singer Orono Noguchi says. You could call this the band’s honeymoon phase, where everything still seems shiny and wondrous, much like its kaleidoscopic music, as heard on Superorganism” (Domino), the debut album released earlier this year.