Urgent Evoke

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Episode 9 CODE PHRASE: "Isinzi nti be sha. The crowd does not lie"

It's an old Burundian proverb: "The crowd does not lie."  What do you think this code phrase means to the EVOKE Network?

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In this day and age, I think it means if there is a remarkable increase in tag-related posts we must pay attention because people are talking and somethings up.

It could be a movie star death or an earthquake so the topic of the crowd chat is the next thing. Is it a false alarm ("lie") or is there an emergency somewhere.

What would be really useful are universal tags, like the 911 phone number only coded so instant recognition of what it is and where it's happening. A global understanding of the code and what it means could reduce response time.

For instance, 9er0100 is 9TSCCCC means Emergency Type Severity CountryCode. Responders, Scientists etc monitor the tags for their country.

Just me thinking off the top of my head, a code could already be in place and I don't know it or maybe it just sorts itself and not necessary.
Well, in the case of a potential pandemic the challenge is that crowds dont lie but... crowds don't necessarily know the truth either (so you have to be very careful to equate a lack of lying with knowing the truth). There is an art to knowing what to ask the crowd - in terms of what do they actually know and what contribution is to be trusted and noisy enough. (See google's flu trends as an example of using information in a way that harnesses the truth the crowd has in their hands).
Crowds will give you a lot of sensitivity (is something happening?)

Pandemic detection is a challenge of transforming an early signal into collective action and this Evoke chapter does a good job of telling that story. But I think it tells a partial story - that which is interesting to the tech-savvy crowd but not necessarily that which tells the understory.

(at InSTEDD we happen to be working on, uhm, exactly the sort of techs being described here sans some fatal conceptual flaws in the Evoke version, and its all open source so Alchemy our secrets are yours).

This Evoke has one notion which is quite awry however - the push-button deployment of the dark site. It is something that happens a lot these days but in health crisis it's an antipattern. The trust networks, collaboration and data streams have to be in place by the time you hit the 'red button'. Bringing in new system 'on crisis' makes it hard to educate the population, makes the openess of intent subject to political divisions (and I talk from 1st hand experience having deployed 4636 in Haiti and tools for WHO in the H1N1 event)

You need 3 things to come together: the wisdom of the crowds, the instinct of the expert and the power of algorithms, into one collaborative environment. See http://taha.instedd.org/ for examples of what were talking about
I think that phrase can be utilized in the technologies that we have on hand. If one were to use their twitter account, facebook or other networking sites to report immediate problems the urgency would be evident to others as people report personally on what is happening. You can have one person saying something and it might be wrong but if a mass of people in separate areas are saying the same thing then you can pretty well bet it is true.
I think there is something to be said for the power of mass-hysteric (for lack of a better term).

In most instances, a person can be reasoned with when an emergency arises. However, once people start getting together and sharing fear, rumors and misinformation, a once civil person becomes panicked and afraid.

If facts can be delivered to the people before they have the chance to get caught up in panic of widespread rumors, situations can remain calm and allow for the appropriate professionals to get in and do their jobs.
Well the proverb itself means that if a number of people say the same thing it can be taken as a proof.

However that is definitely not always the case. People usually believe what they want to believe or what they fear to believe, truth itself is usually irrelevant. In case of pandemic (swine flu outbreak was a good example) the fear usually wins initially (for example fatality rate for swine flue was not higher than for any other flu but there was a major panic). At this point "the crowd does not lie" can be applied in the opposite way, meaning that unless you get the message across to large part of population at once, people will discard it because everyone else believes otherwise.
I believe this is exactly what the phase means to the evoke - to get the message across to as many people at once as possible.
The Burundian Proverb " The crowd does not lie" is very relevent to Evoke network in terms of Collobration on the major issues and solutions. The evoke agents have identified issues and top priority issues are the same and majority of the agents have endorced it so now on Evoke we are moving ahead for solutions. So we have consensus on the problem and we give them prime importance such as Environment, Poverty, Gender, Crisi Management, Water, Health and Education etc. So simply code phrase is majority is the authority......
A crowd does not lie because a crowd can be ignorant to the truth. In order to become part of a group you must share a common view or belief, this may require you to surrender all common sense, 'if the rest of the group believes it....it must be true.....it is a story that seems to make sense!'. On being a committed member of a crowd you must have the absolute conviction you are right......even if what you say isn't true........you aren't telling lies, you have enabled your ignorance.

I think perhaps this proverb points towards the minority........those who don't profess to tell the truth. We need to listen to these voices. It could well be that what they say really is the truth.....if there can be such a thing.

The crowd does not lie but the story the crowd swallowed may well be one. I think we always need to endeavor to discover things for ourselves, to investigate and be sure we have reliable information to act upon. Thousands act without thinking, assuming their actions are honorable.
I like the way you related this to the Evoke Agents. This has implications - if there are many identifying the same issue to work on, it must be important.

NANGAR SOOMRO said:
The Burundian Proverb " The crowd does not lie" is very relevent to Evoke network in terms of Collobration on the major issues and solutions. The evoke agents have identified issues and top priority issues are the same and majority of the agents have endorced it so now on Evoke we are moving ahead for solutions. So we have consensus on the problem and we give them prime importance such as Environment, Poverty, Gender, Crisi Management, Water, Health and Education etc. So simply code phrase is majority is the authority......
You can ignore what you see as truth but agree that is true, instead of being informed what is coming from anywhere!
Your last bit
"You need 3 things to come together: the wisdom of the crowds, the instinct of the expert and the power of algorithms, into one collaborative environment," really resonates with me. I just listened to an archived Elluminate session where the topic was naturalistic decision-making, which is to say, expert pattern detection or as you say, the instinct of the expert. Interested to hear more about your experiences.

Eduardo Jezierski said:
Well, in the case of a potential pandemic the challenge is that crowds dont lie but... crowds don't necessarily know the truth either (so you have to be very careful to equate a lack of lying with knowing the truth). There is an art to knowing what to ask the crowd - in terms of what do they actually know and what contribution is to be trusted and noisy enough. (See google's flu trends as an example of using information in a way that harnesses the truth the crowd has in their hands).
Crowds will give you a lot of sensitivity (is something happening?)

Pandemic detection is a challenge of transforming an early signal into collective action and this Evoke chapter does a good job of telling that story. But I think it tells a partial story - that which is interesting to the tech-savvy crowd but not necessarily that which tells the understory.

(at InSTEDD we happen to be working on, uhm, exactly the sort of techs being described here sans some fatal conceptual flaws in the Evoke version, and its all open source so Alchemy our secrets are yours).

This Evoke has one notion which is quite awry however - the push-button deployment of the dark site. It is something that happens a lot these days but in health crisis it's an antipattern. The trust networks, collaboration and data streams have to be in place by the time you hit the 'red button'. Bringing in new system 'on crisis' makes it hard to educate the population, makes the openess of intent subject to political divisions (and I talk from 1st hand experience having deployed 4636 in Haiti and tools for WHO in the H1N1 event)

You need 3 things to come together: the wisdom of the crowds, the instinct of the expert and the power of algorithms, into one collaborative environment. See http://taha.instedd.org/ for examples of what were talking about
In social entrepreneurship, it is important to know who you are designing a product for. You need to know what the crowd wants, what the crowd needs. A lot of the times, the crowd itself might not know what exactly they want or need, but you should always listen to the crowd, because its through them you can identify the problems and the needs of the certain community you are trying to help.
the crowd can briefly deceive a wrong direction however it always moves in the direction of the force of gravity

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