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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsI think it was very interesting to see how the bees communicate with one another. It is more complicated than you thought, right? Actually, it's quite impressive how bees inform each other about where to find interesting flowers to generate honey. And obviously, we as humans have the most wide range of communication then the bees have. And one of the critical steps, of course, is that we have a very complex and abstract language in which we can talk. Besides language, we developed writing skills. Now writing of course is very important, because a written message can be transported over large distances. Think about postal services, but also in time. We can access books of ancient history, of the past.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 secondsSo this is a new way of sharing information. And these media are very important in understanding the complexities off our human society. We started communicating with drums and signalling horns. And then at one moment when we learned to write, we invented printing. Printing was very important, because now it was possible to write down a message and to multiply it and to inform a lot of people simultaneously about events that were going on. Think about the first newspapers. They had a huge impact on social life. After that, we invented to communicate as fast as lights using the telegraph, the telephone, radio, TV, satellite links, and then, boom, there was the internet. I'm a guy from before the internet existed. Yes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 secondsThey are still around. And for me it was really an enormous impact realising new possibilities that emerged of how we could interact with one another. We create a very dense networks. And most importantly, we got as consumers, as individual citizens, informational power. In the past, if I wanted to purchase a product, I was dependent on the information provided by the producer. What do we do nowadays? We Google, we check out reviews, and we immediately have access to all kinds of experiences that actual consumers have with the product. But also, for example, political issues, technical issues, everything can be shared directly from person to person on the web.

Skip to 3 minutes and 13 secondsI think that's really a fundamental change in interaction and it had large implications on how information is being spread through society. OK. We share a lot of information. But we're still humans. We also have these very deep basic social needs. The feeling to belong to a group, to try, and also these forces that we want to belong to people, these social drives play a very important role in social complex phenomena. In the next step, I would like you to watch a very interesting movie of a guy that starts to dance at a festival. And the assignment I have for you is that you monitor very closely what happens in this movie.

Skip to 4 minutes and 11 secondsAnd constantly, in an introspective way, feel how you think about participating this group in this dancing activity.

Human communication

This video explains how emergent behaviour comes to exist between humans. What ways of communicating exist? How has this changed over time - and what are the implications on the power of citizens?

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This video is from the free online course:

Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

University of Groningen

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