I found this rather amazing. A study hid 10 red balloons across the United States. The challenge was to see how long it would take teams to find them. The winner took less than 9 hours. http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/05/darpa.balloon.challenge/index.html
I have always thought humans worst enemy was our own self interest. You see it all the time…look how painfully slow the movement towards correcting climate change is taking. But this MIT team has shown that our self-interest is maybe something we don’t have to fight…we can embrace it. For the first time, we really tap into the collective whole of humanity. That’s a lot of brain power we can put towards social problems we face. And the best part…it’s doing what we naturally do anyways…look out for our own ass!
The long and the short of the study: MIT team used the internet and a rewards system to collect information across the nation and it took 8 hr. 52 min to find all 10 balloons. Amazing.