The Growing Archive

While reading and scrolling through the blog I started thinking how this social platform has evolved from being just an empty website to our own growing archive of thoughts and knowledge. This blog is a great way to share with people what interests me, and how I think and express myself about certain topics. Together with my classmates we have over one hundred posts in this archive, and it is the result of our collective intelligence working towards a broader understanding of technology and what does technology itself mean for us.

Every week we had certain topics and readings assigned, but this didn’t narrow down our writing options. Our different interests, opinions and cultural backgrounds all played a part in forming this archive and the content in it. Although we all went through the same readings and discussions we all drifted apart towards what we found most interesting. From music and movies to science and race, every personal insight on any topic provided by each and every one of us makes this blog unique. When you bounce ideas of each other you can only get to smarter conclusions or at least they are drawn with more information behind them. I feel like this blog has become just that, a big blend of posts by a community that regardless of your interests or if you agree with it or not, gave you and your brain new ideas, different perspectives or just support something you have previously thought.

Some posts complement each other, build on top of each other, some of them might even challenge each other but the important factor is variety.

James Surowiecki writes in his book The Wisdom of Crowds that there are certain advantages the crowd holds over the individual or a few individuals. One of them is exactly that, diversity, the more diverse a crowd is the more you can ensure enough variance in approach, thought process, and personal experiences are brought up to the conversation. What better place for this than a classroom? An assortment of independent students from different backgrounds both culturally and academically. Another key element Surowiecki mentions is independence, as long as we stay independent in our way of thinking and about what we write our growing archive will continue to get wiser, “The smartest groups, then, are made up of people with diverse perspectives who are able to stay independent of each other. Independence doesn’t imply rationality or impartiality, though. You can be biased and irrational, but as long as you’re independent, you won’t make the group any dumber.” (Surowiecki, 2004)

Finishing the semester might mean there will no longer be a stream of posts flowing into the blog and generating content, but what we have learned from the diversity on opinions and discussions that have happened throughout the year is most valuable. Hopefully this archive will not only have taught us but will find its way on the internet to help and contribute to the generation of new discussions and new knowledge.

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