Opinion (Matt Ridley, science writer and former Economist journalist): “Brilliant people, be they anthropologists, psychologists or economists, assume that brilliance is the key to human achievement. They vote for the cleverest people to run governments, they ask the cleverest experts to devise plans for the economy, they credit the cleverest scientists with discoveries, and they speculate on how human intelligence evolved in the first place.
“They are all barking up the wrong tree. The key to human achievement is not individual intelligence at all. The reason human beings dominate the planet is not because they have big brains….
“Human achievement is entirely a networking phenomenon. It is by putting brains together through the division of labor — through trade and specialization — that human society stumbled upon a way to raise the living standards, carrying capacity, technological virtuosity and knowledge base of the species….
“Human achievement is based on collective intelligence — the nodes in the human neural network are people themselves. By each doing one thing and getting good at it, then sharing and combining the results through exchange, people become capable of doing things they do not even understand. As the economist Leonard Read observed in his essay ‘I, Pencil’ (which I’d like everybody to read), no single person knows how to make even a pencil — the knowledge is distributed in society among many thousands of graphite miners, lumberjacks, designers and factory workers.
“That’s why, as Friedrich Hayek observed, central planning never worked: the cleverest person is no match for the collective brain at working out how to distribute consumer goods.”
My Comment: Namely the creation and management of society through the collective mind is the next stage of human development to which the crisis leads us. Not only the collective mind but acquiring a general collective feeling is the key to mutual understanding and harmony in the emerging integral society. It should be introduced to people gradually, through integral education.