II. Planetary Prodigy: An Emergent Sapiensphere Learns on Her/His Own
C. Mindkind Sapiensphere: WorldWise Collective Intelligence
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)
Arbib, Michael. Towards a Neuroscience of the Person. Robert Russell, et al, eds. Neuroscience and the Person.. Vatican City: Vatican Observatory, 1999. Arbib theorizes that the brain employs “schemas” or mosaic representations which constantly assimilate and accommodate new experience. The self is an ‘encyclopedia’ of thousands of these schemas gained in ones life. By this model, an analogous existence of ‘social schemas’ as the composite, ever-changing knowledge of societies and humanity can be proposed.
Ascott, Roy. Planetary Technoetics: Art, Technology and Consciousness. Leonardo. 37/2, 2004. In an article written soon after Sept. 11, 2001, the director of the Planetary Collegium at the University of Plymouth, UK contends that only a common worldwide identity and culture, already much in effect, will overcome the archaic conflicts that divide us. To this end a “moistmedia” of Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes, “the ‘Big B.A.N.G.’ of our post-biological universe,” is advised. The article leads off with this quote from the British author Martin Amis from the same period:
Our best destiny, as planetary cohabitants, is the development of what has been called a “species consciousness” – something over and above nationalisms, blocs, religions, ethnicities. During this week of incredible misery, I have been trying to apply such a consciousness and such a sensibility. Thinking of the victims, of the perpetrators, and of the near future, I felt species grief, then species shame, then species fear. (111)
Attali, Jacques. A Brief History of the Future. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2009. The veteran Parisian economist tours some decades to come which may experience these sequential stages: planetary empire, read American; global religious/ethnic/political war; unto a planetary hyperdemocracy which, as the quotes aver, will engender a worldwide cerebral faculty with its own thought and knowledge.
The chief intellectual dimension of the common good will be a universal intelligence peculiar to the human species, and different from the sum of human intelligences. (272) In the same way, humanity creates a collective intelligence, universal, distinct from the sum of the particular intelligences of the beings who make it up, and distinct from the collective intelligences of groups or of nations. (272) History will thus drive the integration of collective intelligences into a universal intelligence; it will also be endowed with a collective memory that will preserve and accumulate its knowledge. (273)
Babaoglu, Ozalp, et al, eds. Self-star Properties in Complex Information Systems. Berlin: Springer, 2005. Intricate computer networks such as the world wide web gain enhanced utility and responsiveness if they are founded on innate abilities to continually configure, organize, manage, and repair themselves, thus the term Self-star. Such features are seen to reflect widespread natural phenomena, which further includes cooperation, a self-awareness vector, emergent thinkers, evolutionary games, and so on.
Baker, Stephen. Google and the Wisdom of Clouds. Business Week. December 24, 2007. Making money is a side effect of this socially responsible company which wants to vastly increase the computer power and utility accessible to any user. ‘Cloud’ is their term for great numbers of interlinked, low cost servers, which can crunch much more data than a single PC. See also later BW articles by Steve Hamm: "Cloud Computing" for April 24, 2008, and "How Cloud Computing is Changing the World" by Rachael King on August 4, 2008. But one wonders when, by what imagination, it will take to realize the correct metaphor is actually ‘brain.’
Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. Network Theory – the Emergence of the Creative Enterprise. Science. 308/639, 2005. A commentary on a detailed study in the same issue (Roger Guimera, et al. 697-702) finds that science has now moved from lone investigators (Newton, Darwin) to international consortiums involving a great many researchers. Their dynamic interrelation can then be modeled by the same principles that occur from protein webs to the Internet. What is going on, I add, seems an historic shift and ascent to a worldwide cognitive capacity beginning to attain its own knowledge. Such an integral evolutionary transition promises to join many contributions and fields into a salutary discovery, which is the working basis of this website.
Traditionally, the achievements of individuals such as Darwin and Einstein have dominated the public’s image of science, yet today some of the most groundbreaking work is collaborative in nature. (639) Indeed, the size of collaborative teams is increasing, turning the scientific enterprise into a densely interconnected network whose evolution is driven by simple universal laws. (640) By demonstrating that the Web, the cell, or society is driven by similar organizing principles, network theory offers a successful conceptual framework to approach the structure of many complex systems. (641)
Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. The Architecture of Complexity: The Structure and the Dynamics of Networks, from the Web to the Cell. Grossman, Robert, et al, eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Boston: ACM Press, 2005. A typical example of the many professional meetings each year on every continent as part of intense efforts to develop the full capacity of a global cerebral realm. Physicist Barabasi again notes the deep affinities amongst all realms of an awakening natural genesis.
Networks with complex topology describe systems as diverse as the cell, the World Wide Web or the society. The emergence of most networks is driven by self-organizing processes that are governed by simple but generic laws. The analysis of the cellular network of various organisms shows that cells and complex man-made networks, such as the Internet…and many social and collaboration networks share the same large-scale topology. (3)
Barlow, Horace. The Nested Network of Brains and Minds. Gregory Bock and Jamie Goode, eds. The Limits of Reductionism in Biology. New York: Wiley, 1998. A complex systems view reveals similarities between cognitive architecture and human societies.
Bentley, Alexander and Herbert Maschner. Avalanche of Ideas. Bentley, Alexander and Herbert Maschner, eds. Complex Systems and Archaeology. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2003. A preamble contends that while most scale-free network studies look for spatial patterns, an important temporal factor can also be observed. An application is then made to cultural concepts or ideas, which are seen to spread by the same self-similar, branching fractal growth as branching rivers or neural networks.
Bentley, R. Alexander, and Michael O’Brien. Cultural Evolutionary Tipping Points in the Storage and Transmission of Information. Frontiers in Psychology. December, 2012. University of Bristol, UK, and University of Missouri anthropologists move from archaeologist Gordon Childe’s 1950s civilizational scale and Malcolm Gladwell’s popular societal transitions to view an episodic rise, repository, and consolidation of collective human knowledge capacity and its effective avail. An increasing rate of shared communication and conveyance is a significant aspect.
Human culture has evolved through a series of major tipping points in information storage and communication. The first was the appearance of language, which enabled communication between brains and allowed humans to specialize in what they do and to participate in complex mating games. The second was information storage outside the brain, most obviously expressed in the “Upper Paleolithic Revolution” – the sudden proliferation of cave art, personal adornment, and ritual in Europe some 35,000–45,000 years ago. More recently, this storage has taken the form of writing, mass media, and now the Internet, which is arguably overwhelming humans’ ability to discern relevant information. The third tipping point was the appearance of technology capable of accumulating and manipulating vast amounts of information outside humans, thus removing them as bottlenecks to a seemingly self-perpetuating process of knowledge explosion. Important components of any discussion of cultural evolutionary tipping points are tempo and mode, given that the rate of change, as well as the kind of change, in information storage and transmission has not been constant over the previous million years. (Abstract)