II. Planetary Prodigy: A Global Sapiensphere Learns by Her/His Own Self
C. Mindkind: A WorldWise Collective, Cumulative Intelligence
Is it reasonable to consider the world order as being at all like that of the brain? Yes. What we observe is a similarity of order expressed at different levels, at all levels from cells to animals and from animals to societies. One wonders if this is perhaps a universal law….. Rodolfo Llinas
8th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Information. www.iiisci.org/sci2004. This international meeting is noted because it plans to provide a balance of each brain hemisphere complement.
We are trying to relate the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions to the synthetic thinking required for analogies generation….We are trying to promote a synergic relation between analytically and synthetically oriented minds, as it is found between left and right brain hemispheres….SCI 2004 might be perceived as a research corpus callosum trying to bridge analytically with synthetically oriented efforts, convergent with divergent thinkers.
China Knowledge Grid Research Group. www.knowledgegrid.net. This site is a portal to leading edge projects in China in collaborative computing, e-science, innovation culture and so on. Its founder and main mentor is Professor Hai Zhuge. (see below) His recent paper, China's e-Science Knowledge Grid Environment. IEEE Intelligent Systems. 19/1, 2004, provides an overview.
The Knowledge Grid is an intelligent and sustainable Internet application environment that enables people or virtual roles (mechanisms that facilitate interoperation among users, applications, and resources) to effectively capture, publish, share and manage explicit knowledge resources. It also provides on-demand services to support innovation, cooperative teamwork, problem-solving and decision making. It incorporates epistemology and ontology to reflect human cognition characteristics; exploits social, ecological and economic principles; and adopts the techniques and standards developed during work toward the next-generation web.
Collective Intelligence 2012. www.ci2012.org. Sponsored by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, this frontier gathering was held April 18 – 20 at the Cambridge Marriott, by the MIT campus. Conference chairs are Thomas Malone, founding director of the MIT Center, and Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University web wizard. Full papers can now be accessed at this website, click on Proceedings. A good typical paper is "Collective Intelligence in Humans: A Literature Review" by Juho Salminen of Lappeenranta University, Finland.
Collective intelligence has existed at least as long as humans have, because families, armies, countries, and companies have all--at least sometimes--acted collectively in ways that seem intelligent. But in the last decade or so a new kind of collective intelligence has emerged: groups of people and computers, connected by the Internet, collectively doing intelligent things. For example, Google technology harvests knowledge generated by millions of people creating and linking web pages and then uses this knowledge to answer queries in ways that often seem amazingly intelligent. Or in Wikipedia, thousands of people around the world have collectively created a very large and high quality intellectual product with almost no centralized control, and almost all as volunteers! These early examples of Internet-enabled collective intelligence are not the end of the story but just the beginning. And in order to understand the possibilities and constraints of these new kinds of intelligence, we need a new interdisciplinary field. Forming such a field is one of the goals of this conference.
e-Print archive. www.arXiv.org. The huge online site for electronically published papers in theoretical and experimental science and mathematics. Many technical references are now just listed as: arXiv:hep-th/# where hep-th for example means High Energy Physics-Theory, followed by the number of the paper.
ArXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology. The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. ArXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. (website home)
FuturICT: New Science and Technology to Manage Our Complex, Strongly Connected World.
Inspired by ETH Zurich systems sociologist Dirk Helbing and colleagues, an array of universities, research institutions, businesses, and government agencies formed this consortium to plan and achieve a European and global computation internetwork so as to understand and solve problems that now daunt us as individuals. An enabling impetus is said to be the paradigm shift from objects alone to equally include relational dynamics, the nonlinear revolution. Click on a “Science” section to find a distinguished list of Partners, some 100 men and 10 women, across areas such as Planetary-Scale Reality Mining, Architectures and Processes for Social Supercomputing, Human Information Symbiosis and Ethics, Crisis Observatories, Smart Cities, and so on.
Today, we know more about the universe than about our society. It's time to use the power of information to explore social and economic life on Earth and discover options for a sustainable future. Together, we can manage the challenges of the 21st century, combining the best of all knowledge. We think that integrating ICT, Complexity Science and the Social Sciences will create a paradigm shift, facilitating a symbiotic co-evolution of ICT and society. Data from our complex globe-spanning ICT system will be leveraged to develop models of techno-socio-economic systems. In turn, insights from these models will inform the development of a new generation of socially adaptive, self-organized ICT systems. FuturICT as a whole will act as a Knowledge Accelerator, turning massive data into knowledge and technological progress. In this way, FuturICT will create the scientific methods and ICT platforms needed to address planetary-scale challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. Specifically, FuturICT will build a sophisticated simulation, visualization and participation platform, called the Living Earth Platform.
SETI Decoding Alien Intelligence Workshop. https://daiworkshop.seti.org/guest-papers. A unique meeting with a stellar cast to wonder all about extraterrestrial neighbors, relative life forms, (linguistic) communications, and much more, held at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA in March 2018. The event was a response to Nathalie Cabrol’s 2016 paper Alien Mindscapes (search) which entered an initial litany of topics and concerns. On the above site, abstracts and papers are posted such as Astrobiology: Thy Name is Synergy by Penelope Boston, Evolving SETI for the 21st Century by Steven Dick, Bio-Friendly Exoplanets by Seth Shostak, The Spiritual Quest in the SETI Research by Jose Funes, SJ, and Cognitive Planetary Transformations by David Grinspoon. Some other speakers were Jill Tarter, Lori Marino, Annamarie Berea, Terence Deacon, and Erik Zackrisson. A tacit assumption, it ought to be noted, was to treat exoworld civilizations, if they exist, as a whole, thinking planet, a noosphere entity (but this Earth has not yet been appreciated that way).
Perhaps what SETI is searching for is not merely the appearance of a certain kind of civilization on a planet, but a transition in planetary evolution to what we might call the Sapiezoic Eon, in which cognitive processes become integrated into the functioning of a planet. Now we see the advent of a radically new type of global change: Self-aware cognitive/geological processes. If the “Anthropocene” marks the beginning of the Sapiezoic Eon - then it requires that cognitive processes can become a long-term stable part of a planet. Global technological influence contains both perils which threaten to make this a short-lived stage and the possibility that this phenomenon could become a very long-lived and even permanent part of the Earth system. I will discuss the possible observable properties of planets that have gone through a Sapiezoic transition. (Grinspoon)
The Computer, the Brain, and the Internet. http://santafe.edu/events/abstract/1496. A posting for a Santa Fe Institute Public Lecture on May 27, 2009 by the neuroscience luminaries Marvin Minsky and Gerald Edelman. What is at once notable, as its Abstract conveys, is an advance from standalone PC computers to their worldwide network connectivity seen as the best current metaphor for a brain (again via the latest technology). By just turning this around, can it not imply that the global Internet can indeed be known as a cerebral Noosphere?
In an effort to explain the brain, scientists have turned historically to computers, both as a tool for studying the brain and mind, and as a model for how the brain might work. We now live in the age of distributed data and computers, and the internet has emerged as a giant cobweb of communication among computers and their users. Some now suggest that the internet is our best current model for the brain, and thought is nothing but a form of search in the space of ideas. As we move towards more advanced technology, the brain, the computer, and the internet are progressively merging, and our identities and insights are assuming a radically new form.
Wikipedia. www.wikipedia.org. Surely mention ought be made of this ubiquitous, free, volunteer, diverse and complete, encyclopedic online resource. Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, it is the first hit for almost any query, a grain of salt is needed, but one can learn about most any and everything. One of the best takes on this efflorescence is Chapter 14 “After the Flood” in James Gleick’s 2011 The Information. But the chapter’s subtitle is “The Great Album of Babel.” Although several million items are posted, more than Britannica, a peek at an “A-Z Index” screen offers over a thousand alphabetic options, the main organizing or sorting device. As a January 30, 2011 article in the New York Times “Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List” notes, the majority of contributors and editors are men, its competitive mode is said to be off-putting for women. Britannica is no better, for Propaedia lists every topical section with some 30 to 40 men writers to one woman.
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Jimmy Wales
Aberer, Karl, et al. Emergent Semantic Systems. Bouzeghoub, Mokrane, et al, eds. Semantics of a Networked World. Berlin: Springer, 2004. This quite global article with 12 contributors from 8 countries on 3 continents is part of a concerted project to develop a semantics, ontology (protocols) and vocabulary for a commonly accessible worldwide information network. To accomplish this, it is vital to understand its inherent self-organizing dynamics. These involve an evolutionary interplay of objects and relations, agents and distribution, which are facilitated by local agreements and rules. By this approach, the universal self-organization of nature and science can be extended to the planetary Internet, which takes on a cerebral quality through Kohonen and Edelman neural nets. In other words, what is being described is a complex adaptive system with these generic complements.
A self-organizing system essentially consists of a system that evolves towards displaying global system behaviors and structures that are more than an aggregation of the properties of its component parts….these patterns are arrived at through interactions between components such that these components only have local information, knowledge or local rules. The collection of information arising from local rules and knowledge leads to the emergent properties of the global system as a whole. (23)
Abraham, Ajith, et al, eds. Computational Social Network Analysis. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. With an international array of authors, a notable chapter is “Toward Self-Organizing Search Systems” by a team from France and the Czech Republic about wide-ranging efforts to build such capacities into ubiquitous computer systems. As human beings merge into multi-faceted business, scientific, media, and all kinds of linkages, if such geometries and cogitations might be compared, e.g., with Murray Shanahan’s 2010 exposition of global workspace brain dynamics, we might approach the presence of a true worldwide cerebral faculty.
Aerts, Diederik, et al. Towards a Quantum World Wide Web. Theoretical Computer Science. 752/116, 2018. Aerts, Diederik, et al. Towards a Quantum World Wide Web. Theoretical Computer Science. 752/116, 2018. In a special Quantum Structures in Computer Science issue, an eight person team with postings in Belgium, the Philippines, UK, and Chile including Sandro Sozzo draw upon many previous essays (search here and arXiv) to now advance a comparative parallel between quantum phenomena and the global Internet. If to gloss the whole rich paper, correlations are made between particle/wave dualities and equivalent website/informative content pairings. By this view in the later 2010s, across this widest span, a clear similarity between a physical substrate and our worldwise sapiensphere becomes evident. A natural affinity and complementarity is thus apparent whence our human acumen, as it rises to a cerebral collaborative intelligence, gains a quantum essence, while in turn cosmic physics appears brain-like with a textual character. Along with current reports of a universally recurrent complex network system, a further notice of common cross-identities between quantum, genome, brains, literature, a global noosphere are also revealed. Some other entries are Generalized Relations in Linguistics & Cognition by Bob Coecke, et al, and A Quantum-Inspired Multimodal Sentiment Analysis by Yazhou Zhang, et al.
We elaborate a quantum model for corpora of written documents, like the pages forming the World Wide Web. To that end, we are guided by how physicists constructed quantum theory for microscopic entities, which unlike classical objects cannot be fully represented in our spatial theater. We suggest that a similar construction needs to be carried out by linguists and computational scientists to capture the full meaning content of collections of documental entities. More precisely, we show how to associate a quantum-like ‘entity of meaning’ to a ‘language entity formed by printed documents’. We emphasize that a consistent Quantum Web or QWeb needs to account for the observed correlations between words appearing in printed documents. In that respect, we show that both ‘context and interference (quantum) effects’ are required to explain the probabilities calculated by counting the relative number of documents containing certain words and co-occurrences of words. (Abstract excerpt)
Andersson, Claes. Sophisticated Selectionism as a General theory of Knowledge. Biology and Philosophy. 23/2, 2008. As the quote avers, inklings that the entirety of evolution might be understood as a singular educative learning process.
Human knowledge is a phenomenon whose roots extend from the cultural, through the neural and the biological and finally all the way down into the Precambrian “primordial soup.” The present paper reports an attempt at understanding this Greater System of Knowledge (GSK) as a hierarchical nested set of selection processes acting concurrently on several different scales of time and space. (Web Abstract)