Posted by: zyxo | June 1, 2009

Twitter, human evolution, and stock quotes

Image via Wikipedia

Look at the title of this post. Seems to be a sort of silly combination, not ?
What do these three have in common ?

I got the idea from a post entitled “Twitter and Human evolution” by Trey Ratcliff.
Trey compares the communication between tweeple (people who tweet) with communications between the cells of the human body which send short messages to eachother asking for stuff and offering some stuff.
Seems interesting.

But he concludes that these short tweets could get humanity to act as a super-organism, where people get some sort of bottom-up decision making.

OK for the bottom-up decision making, not OK for the super-organism.
First of all : we will never know if there is or will be a super-organism, just like the body cells do not know that there is a body.
Second, and not really objectively : I do not see how this could lead to a super-organism. Twitter being only a very little part of the internet it should be more likely that the internet as a whole becomes a super-organisme. But I see it largely improbable that one single organism (the internet) evolves to some super-organism with real mental capacities. Evolution uses large number of organisms, and (natural) selection to end up with something meaningful. One internet is not really a large number …

And what about stock quotes ?

Bottom-up decision making due to twitter is comparable with buying or selling stocks based on the information we find in discussion fora, in newspapers, and even on twitter. But there is a huge difference : with stock quotes we also have the actual stock quotes, which is the real result of the combined buy-sell behaviour of thousands or millions of people.

With twitter, we only have the tweets. There is no software running behind the scene to analyse for example all the tweets concerning “evolution” to come up with a global picture of what people think of evolution second by second. Offcause it would be nice to have such a service!

Enjoyed this post ? Then you might be interested by the following :
Web 5.0 : the telepathic web
Do Stock Traders show Swarm Intelligence?
Swarm versus intelligence
Piqqem : Prediction market for prediction errors

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