Skip navigation

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 – 6:50 PM

Chapter 7: Recursively Composed Boards

Recursively Composed Boards (RCBs) are boards which spontaneously form around a novel research problem and are populated by thousands of diverse experts. RCBs are the most powerful form of collaborative intelligence seen to date due to their flexibility and ability to make deft use of differing expertise while also using other CI tools such as prediction markets, Open Labs and knowledge aggregators. The efficiency with which RCBs solve incredibly complex problems has lead some to believe that RCBs may be one path to the Singularity.


Knowledge Aggregators such as Wikipedia are perhaps the oldest and still impressive examples of collaborative intelligence but unlike RCBs, they only aggregate instead of act on Data.

Forums and Discussion boards showed that for a sufficiently well curated board, there will be some number of people capable of speaking intelligently on the given problem. However, the Social Framing led to emphasis on shouting matches rather than collaboration, thus limiting the reach of Discussion Boards. Discussion Boards still exist as a water cooler and are the nemesis of RCB productivity.

One may view Question Answer Boards such as The Stack Exchange Consortium as a sort of proto RCB – while they could answer relatively simple mechanical questions, their rather inflexible nature restricted their ability to become drivers of new knowledge.

Crowdsourcing was the initial demonstation of the potential of large numbers of people working together to some end in a distributed manner.

Reputation Markets are often the means of compensation for participation on a RCB project, savvy uses are able to hedge by taking careful positions on Prediction Markets for a particular project.


Projects like nLab and Polymath were the first attempts to do non trivial research collaboratively but due to a lack of numbers, a lack of diversity in members, high friction tools and skepticism of range by members, not much distance was made with them.

RCBs are generally thought to have come together due to a confluence of ten powerful social and technical factors.

  1. The Rapid Decline in Value of Larger Tech Companies
  2. The Inverted Education Initiative acting as a Damper on faculty positions and Overheated University Growth
  3. The Domination of Open Source Models and Abandonment of Open Standards for Self Organized Compatibility (the only useful contribution ever made to anything by Cybernetics and Systems Theory)
  4. Increased Bandwidth, processing power, ease of use of Optimization and scheduling Algorithms all leading to more stable distributed computing models and collaborations
  5. Open Reaserch
  6. Lab Resource Sharing Initiatives
  7. A profusion of collaboration tools as ever more people used them instead of Todo Lists as their first projects
  8. (1) , (2) and a generally instable world economy and job market coupled with non-zero population growth leading to a lot of underemployed intelligent people
  9. Increasing knowledge of Social Engineering and Behavioral Science
  10. Due to Legal Pressure from battered Large Companies and points (3), (5.), (6.) (8), Open Patent Consortiums became ever more popular.


The above factors led to the evolution of a forum which encouraged sharing and building on answers while attempts at winning arguments or offering a complete answer instead of composable pieces were punished. RCBs form spontaneously but their content are always permanently indexed and archived by a number of services. Because the community is always JIT and never lives beyond the problem, any active RCB (with the exception of those trying to prove P=NP) is never stale.

Experts of various persuasions share programming, lab time, computing time, Genetic Programs, proofs, answer set databases, expert systems and knowledge to create a result that is then used as a base to solve the next layer of the problem and so on till all levels of the problem are solved.

Reputation or Kudos are a crypto-currency based on activity in RCBs which borrow much from the relatively underground bitcoin concept whose distributed crypto-chain provides an excellent fit to the notion of a Reputation Market. Reputation Markets formed around the same time as RCBs. Kudos are exchangeable for Legal Tender in various markets. In recent times, many people have been foregoing currencies altogether and paying mainly via reputations. Taxes are handled largely by tracking kudos transactions and optimally timing the pricing of call options or for the more reputable, futures of interval taxable income to some appropriate currency.

See Also: Reputation Markets, The Rise of Prediction Markets, The Rapid Decline of the Big 5, The Facebook Patent Wars, Paradoxical Effects of Rapidly Cycling Boom Bust Effects, Reduction on Taxable Income due to Increases of Reputation Based Spending, Market Based Mechanisms to Punishing Reputation Rigging


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: