Legal and postal addresses of the publisher: office 1410a, 17 Naberezhnaya Severnoy Dviny, Arkhangelsk, 163002, Russian Federation, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov

Phone: (818-2) 28-76-18


Cognitive Megamachines as Network Intelligence. P. 69–75

Версия для печати

Section: Philosophy, Sociology, Politology




Krasnoshchek Platon Lvovich
Postgraduate Student, Institute of Social, Humanitarian and Political Sciences,
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov
2 prosp. Lomonosova, Arkhangelsk, 163002, Russian Federation;


This article briefly describes the implementation of the basic principles of Lewis Mumford’s megamachines in collective intelligence systems and communication networks existing today. The main focus is given to describing collective intelligence systems lacking any rigid structure in space as a consolidation of human resources in order to solve problems. In such systems the priority is shifting from physical challenges to intellectual ones, and under this shift, as well as changes in the environment, these systems become cognitive megamachines. The environment in which they are being formed and functioning has, due to the development of communication technology over the past two centuries, changed from material to digital. In particular, the invention of the telegraph, then the telephone, radio and later the Internet allowed us to communicate information quickly and effectively without it getting lost or outdated during transmission. This provided an opportunity for individuals to form structures having, compared to a single subject, much greater individual power to achieve any purpose regardless of the space-time coordinates. Thus, communication networks became communication channels for structures which actually are large neural networks. Compared to the previously available methods of communication, such as sounds or material signals, the speed and efficiency of information transmission have increased manyfold. For collective megamachines, the focus in the “process–knowledge” pair is replaced by the opposite, “knowledge–process”, for, while Mumford’s structures were primarily designed to achieve material goals, cognitive systems are originally aimed at finding solutions with their subsequent implementation.


cognitive megamachines, collective megamachines, network intelligence, Lewis Mumford
Download (pdf, 3.1MB )


  1. Mitchem C. Chto takoe filosofiya tekhniki? [What Is Philosophy of Technology?]. Moscow, 1995. 150 p.
  2. Mumford L. Technics and Human Development: The Myth of the Machine. N. Y., 1967. Vol. 1. 352 p.
  3. Mumford L. Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine. N. Y., 1970. Vol. 2. 496 p.
  4. Rheingold H. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. N. Y., 2002. 288 p.
  5. Rheingold H. Umnaya tolpa: novaya sotsial’naya revolyutsiya [Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution]. Moscow, 2006. 416 p.
  6. Bondarenko S.V. Sotsial’naya struktura virtual’nykh setevykh soobshchestv [Social Structure of Virtual Communities]. Rostov-on-Don, 2004. 320 p.
  7. Shneps-Shneppe M.A., Sukhomlin V.A., Namidot D.E. Telekommunikatsii v sistemakh upravleniya podderzhki ekstrennykh i voennykh nuzhd: analiz setey NG9-1-1 i GIG [Telecommunications in Control Systems for Support of Emergency and Military Needs: An Analysis of NG9-1-1 and GIG Networks]. Sovremennye informatsionnye tekhnologii i IT-obrazovanie: sb. izbr. tr. IX Mezhdunar. nauch.-prakt. konf. [Modern Information Technology and IT Education: Selected Papers 9th Int. Sci. Conf.]. Moscow, 2014, pp. 799–812.