How Human Intelligence is copied into Organizations.
Any incident, any malfunction which occurs in an organization is investigated and results in a change of the internal procedures of the organization.
When this goes on for a number of years, the work-procedures (like job descriptions) of organizations contain a wealth of collected experience, which is externalized human knowledge.
As a result, if someone strictly follows these procedures, the actions of that person will exhibit human intelligence which is partially her or his own, and partially intelligence resulting from the accumulated human knowledge in the procedures.
This is similar to the decisions of a judge, which is partially the result of her or his own intelligence, but also part of the accumulated wisdom of the law-makers which is in the laws.
Such accumulation of knowledge in the working-procedures of an organization is of course of great value. The better these procedures become, the more members of the organization, including management, will be urged to follow the rules in a strict way. There is so much experience gathered in the rules that not following the rules results more often than not in worse decisions (at any level).
Obviously, the structure of the organization itself is also such knowledge (which is far too often scrambled by reorganizations).
Since the internal decision making of an organization depends on so many internal procedures, the behavior of the organization can for an increasingly large part be attributed to the collection of internally stored knowledge rather than on the intelligence of the current human beings working for the organization (including management).
It is only a small exaggeration to say that the organizations behave like intelligent beings, because of their accumulated externalized human knowledge, rather than because of the intelligence of the human employees and staff.
This is confirmed by the fact that replacing some people in an
organization has usually very little impact on the behavior of
When all employees and staff are replaced, one by one over a period of 5 years, the organization will not change fundamentally.
Since all major decisions in the world are made by organizations, rather than by individual beings, we can extend our exaggeration and state that: The world is not governed by human beings (while nobody is aware of that, and no extraterrestrials are involved).
Another interesting side effect is that, since the large collection of structures, rules, and working-procedures of an organization contain so much externalized human intelligence, that information can be re-collected by AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems and be used to integrate it in its own intelligence.
- The World is Not Governed by Human Beings
is an older attempt to pass about the same message.
- Teamwork kills the brain
shows how teamwork, democracy and technology accelerate this transfer of knowledge from human beings into work-procedures.
- Why humanity should not fear AI and you might.
explains how hard-AI will increase the chance on survival of humankind.
- Externalization of human intelligence affects the brain
is a previous attempt to describe the same thing.
- Distributed Mind.
explains the origin of the illusion of a God.
- Behavior of Information.
is a rather old essay describing the behavior of information from the point of view of information rather than the our stubborn human-centered view.