ATON is a hopefully evolving classification theory. It aspires to unify knowledge around numbers and prefers naive methods. Some of the older posts are wrong but I'll keep them for the sake of continuity.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Is Global Village just around the corner?

Last year was the year of the bloggers. They have penetrated the mainstream media and shattered the corporate stronghold on the global consciousness. YouTube has started a revolution in online video, giving rise to a huge video database, growing bigger everyday and promising infinite potential. Internet is empowering the consumer, reshaping the economy. The doom and gloom of few years before is getting replaced by a wonderful optimism.

It is strange that this should be happening just at a time when the world desperately needed a new direction. Internet has not been around long and it has followed a fairly predictable path until now. It's unifying potential was predicted by many. But how can you predict something like the blogging? YouTube? The intensity of the change is amazing. It has weakened the war-mongers and their sponsors. Many corporations are already shifting alliances. But the threats are still strong. Specially the looming climate disaster.

It seems the global unification was in the cards from the beginning. Like the evolution of the natural brain, computers are getting interconnected at many levels, providing instant communication for humans at many levels and forming a progressively unifying meta-brain to support the forming global consciosness. Like a miracle.

6 comments:

wuweili said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Akira Bergman said...

I removed the previous spam.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the internet is a kind of global brain. It speeds up communication between scientists, scholars, peace activists, environmentalists, etc. It brings different cultures closer together thus encouraging a global village. But if it is a global brain, I think it is in a sick state at the moment. Cyberspace is awash with idiots, con-artists, perverts, pornographers, spam, annoying advertisemtments etc. Is it in need of a "psychiatrist" ... maybe in the form of government control? Do we need any control over it, or will it eventually snap out of its malaise and become a healthy world brain? If it needs some kind of control, how should it be administered and to what extent? As long as it is a network of humanity, can it ever become a healthy world brain?

Maybe you know already, but H.G Wells wrote about a world brain in 1938 (before the advent of computers):
http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/V1p008y1962-73.pdf

Akira Bergman said...

Thanks for that reference. Amazing stuff. Some people can see things so far. A credit to humanity.

It could be that the evolution of the internet is a typical stage in the evolution of life and intelligence in the universe. Like the growth of a human child, it needs to play and be guided by us. In a funny way though, our culture seems to be evolving with it. As if we have found the mirror to look at ourselves, just when we needed it badly. In that sense, I am not worried about the decadence in the net too much. It is showing us what we are. It will change us for the better if we use it properly. In the end I think, openness is a good thing. We should address the problems it is pointing to, instead of censoring it. If we don't have enough challenging things in our lives, we stagnate. If we have too much, we get poisened. Internet is already cencored quite a bit. Some disgusting stuff have disappeared. I think we should be careful about the amplifying effect of it. We may never find an absolute solution. Like life, it may need eternal vigilance. We may even have Internet ethics developed in the future. Amazing and challenging future.

Matt Janovic said...

There's no solution to humanity except evolution--change. This appears inevitable, but will it mean a survival of the species in this new form? This is the question. It is possible that the seeds of our own destruction are in our genes. If that's the case, we may-as-well enjoy ourselves on the way down once we know it.

Yes, I think I remember Wells writing about a "global brain", interesting. The body/organ-metaphors to human society and the state go back to the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment, and they still work very well. I tend towards a kind of existentialism myself. People have to be themselves for real change to occur, which comes to us in the Western tradtion from Heraclitus (not Socrates): "Inquire within." A ferment of ideas is unfolding.

Akira Bergman said...

Yes I also believe in the centrality of "being". If you can't be what you want to be, what is the point to anything? To be or not to be... Now the global society is about to ask the same question to itself, looking at the mirror of Internet. The answer may unfold for another millenia. Is it 42? ;-)

But what drives most of us to be graceful is a great mystery. We love beauty in any context, whether it is nurture or murder.

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