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II. A Planetary Prodigy: HumanKinder's Own Knowledge

C. Mindkind Sapiensphere: A Global Collective Intelligence

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. www.futurict.eu. 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.

From the home page, under “Big Science” one can download a manifesto “What FuturICT Will Do: New Science and Technology to Manage Our Complex, Strongly Connected World.” News and info about the project can be found in the February 11, 2011 Science on Megadata, and an article by David Weinberger “The Machine that would Predict the Future” in Scientific American for December 2011. But a sense of a greater major emergence, an Earthwide evolutionary transition going on by itself, eludes, although by any vista our global Gaiakind seems to be intentionally forming an organic anatomy, physiology, and cerebral intelligence. We quote from the well meaning document.

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.

This is where the Planetary Nervous System comes in. It can be imagined as a global sensor network, where ‘sensors’ include anything able to provide data in real-time about socio-economic, environmental or technological systems (including the Internet). Such an infrastructure will enable real-time data mining - reality mining - and the calibration and validation of coupled models of socio-economic, technological and environmental systems with their complex interactions. It will even be possible to extract suitable models in a data-driven way, guided by theoretical knowledge.

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. arXiv:1703.06642. In a technical paper, an eight member team from Belgium, the Philippines, and England, centered at Brussels Free University (Aerts) conduct an exploration of cross-affinities between this computer noosphere and dynamic realms of quantum phenomena. Our further interest is the very idea that in some real way they are textually similar.

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', considering the latter as the collection of traces that are left by the former. In other words, we offer a perspective where a collection of documents, like the Web, is described as the space of manifestation of a more complex entity - the QWeb - which is the object of our modeling, drawing its inspiration from previous studies on operational-realistic approaches to quantum physics and quantum modeling of human cognition and decision-making. (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)

Anthony, Marcus. Integrated Intelligence and the Psycho-Spiritual Imperatives of Mechanistic Science. Journal of Future Studies. 10/1, 2005. The male machine paradigm fractures self and soul. More appropriate would be a feminine vision receptive to an integral consciousness.

Integrated intelligence is a transpersonal intelligence that transcends the boundaries of the individual. It is in effect a collective human and universal intelligence. (32)

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