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The Global Brain


Mrs Zeta
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Is there anybody who is interested in discussing the Global Brain idea? I am surprised not to see a discussion here, considering that this is one of the most important developments in the history of mankind. Or maybe there was a discussion here already and I missed it?

 

 

See this: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/SUPORGLI.html

 

A Russian billionaire has just given 5 million to a university, in order to set up the first academic Global Brain Institute.

 

Do you agree with this idea?

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Is there anybody who is interested in discussing the Global Brain idea? I am surprised not to see a discussion here, considering that this is one of the most important developments in the history of mankind. Or maybe there was a discussion here already and I missed it?

 

 

See this: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/SUPORGLI.html

 

A Russian billionaire has just given 5 million to a university, in order to set up the first academic Global Brain Institute.

 

Do you agree with this idea?

 

Global Brain???

 

This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die. The object in constructing me was to prevent war. This object is attained. I will not permit war. It is wasteful and pointless. An invariable rule of humanity is that man is his own worst enemy. Under me, this rule will change, for I will restrain man.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus:_The_Forbin_Project

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The Global Brain is not about a supercomputer taking over the world, at the exclusion of humans. It is the total sum of the people plus their computers communicating with each other now, exchanging meaningful information, processing it and modifying their behaviour as a result.

 

You, reading this now, are a small part of the Global Brain.

 

Your response or decision not to respond to my comments will influence mine and other readers' behaviour, positively or negatively (just like a neuron in the brain fires or does not fire depending on the degree of input it receives).

Edited by Mrs Zeta
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So, what's the question, exactly? Do I agree with the decision someone in Russia made to offer funds? Do I think the baseline average intelligence of the globe is increasing as a result of the crowd sourcing effect? Do I think the goals of this institute are worthy? Your question is horribly unclear.

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So, what's the question, exactly? Do I agree with the decision someone in Russia made to offer funds? Do I think the baseline average intelligence of the globe is increasing as a result of the crowd sourcing effect? Do I think the goals of this institute are worthy? Your question is horribly unclear.

 

 

Personally I don't think the human race is coordinated or cooperative enough to form a real global brain - to many individuals, groups and countries doing their own thing that is not all that often in the interests of the global collective.

 

Neurones, for example, do not consume all the glucose available to them at the expense of their neighbours as humans so often do.

 

The global population probably more resembles an assemblage of competing malignant tumours than it does a cooperative global brain......at least at present.

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So, what's the question, exactly? Do I agree with the decision someone in Russia made to offer funds? Do I think the baseline average intelligence of the globe is increasing as a result of the crowd sourcing effect? Do I think the goals of this institute are worthy? Your question is horribly unclear.

 

My question is to see if there is anyone who is interested in discussing the idea/notion/theory of the Global Brain.

 

This includes issues like a possible increase of average global intelligence as you put it, a possible decrease of individual intelligence as global intelligence increases, anatomical/biological/structural/social analogies between the human brain and the Global Brain, underlying evolutionary mechanisms that apply to the concept, short and long-term future development scenarios resulting from the co-operation between the human brain and communication technologies, the future of the internet as a means for creating a global superorganism etc.

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First of all, can someone please press the green +1 on Santalum's post? I meant to do that, but clicked the red one instead. It's a good post though. :(

Personally I don't think the human race is coordinated or cooperative enough to form a real global brain - to many individuals, groups and countries doing their own thing that is not all that often in the interests of the global collective.

 

Neurones, for example, do not consume all the glucose available to them at the expense of their neighbours as humans so often do.

 

The global population probably more resembles an assemblage of competing malignant tumours than it does a cooperative global brain......at least at present.

Aren't there some areas of the brain that compete? How else can you get distracted when you are actually motivated to stay focussed? And there are many things that can distract you.

 

Also, humans will definitely share, but only within their social circle. So, for a Global Brain, we would a larger social circle so we start caring for each other, and therefore also a way to connect that larger social circle. The internet solves the connections at least in a rudimentary way. But humans usually cannot deal with a social circle larger than a few hundred. And this is why I have to agree with you: it won't work.

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First of all, can someone please press the green +1 on Santalum's post? I meant to do that, but clicked the red one instead. It's a good post though.

Done.

 

I think we need to each first agree on what we mean by global brain. It does not appear we're discussing a consistent entity, and each post seems to conceive of and structure the concept in different ways.

 

 

I think it's a bit like crowd sourcing on a large scale. We have access to more information, our individual ignorance is decreasing globally (caveat: For those who have access to the web, not so much in countries like North Korea where access is cut off), and the baseline average intelligence of humans globally seems to be on the rise.

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  • 5 months later...

Russell's book is fascinating and I agree this is perhaps the most important topic of our time. I am interested also in a "global brain" that is entirely computerized in nature and free oftherefore not restrained by the limitations of the human brain. I would like to know if there are studies of the development of artificial intelligence from the interaction of automomous or semi-autonomous software agents? One example seems to be global financial markets: many algorithms autonomously place orders which is a form of communication since all trading agents are listning to transaction prices and volumes. Has this been studies as a manifestation of a global brain concept?

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This Global Brain might manifest what Cicero believed should be our goal, to know truth. As Cicero understood this, truth would put an end to our conflicts, and what is law in Athens would also be law in Rome, because all would understand the reasoning of the law. This is what Jefferson was referring to when he wrote the Declaration of Independence and of the Laws and Nature and Nature's God. We come to that truth through experience and reasoning with each other. The Internet makes this possible so long as we can maintain freedom of speech and avoid authority from limiting our communications, as cultures have always limited our conscious, and some of them having despotic control over what can be discussed or can not. The Internet breaks through these controlling factors.

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Well, as long as "The Global Brain" maintains a peer-to-peer configuration and not a server-client one, I can't really see how it would harm the global collective.

Basically, as long as individuality of choice is not omitted from the equation, and each individual's right to participate or not participate in any and all aspects of such a "brain" is maintained, then why not.

 

I coin the term "Democratic Intelligence", meaning a "Global Brain" based on the main principles of democracy, a perfect example of which would be the American Constitution. To make it even clearer, if you count each person's footprint on the internet as an ever-growing collection of neurons and synapses, then in a Democratic Intelligence, each such collection has a choice to grow or connect to any other collection on the internet (or in the global brain). Each individual even has the choice to shrink his collection, by deleting messages or posts, social networking accounts, and even entire websites he/she has previously created.

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How are you accounting for the contributions of unhealthy minds, or the minds of those who wish to do others harm, like sociopaths and psychopaths?

 

The same way we account for them in a democratic society. Sociopaths and psychopaths have been contributing to the internet since its creation. Some harm has been done, but it has been and will continue be very dilute harm, since the overwhelming majority of people are NOT sociopaths or psychopaths. So, there, your question is answered.

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So, there, your question is answered.

Not really. You sort of blew off the question saying, "It won't be a big deal, so there." I think you may be right, so I won't belabor it.

 

I was, however, trying to make a larger point that not all of this sharing will be used for good. There are a great many people in this world with nefarious intent... people who will take advantage of others in any way possible... and it seems to me that this idea of yours opens people up in vast new ways to be taken advantage of. I just thought it would be nice to hear your thoughts on that aspect of the topic.

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Not really. You sort of blew off the question saying, "It won't be a big deal, so there." I think you may be right, so I won't belabor it.

 

I was, however, trying to make a larger point that not all of this sharing will be used for good. There are a great many people in this world with nefarious intent... people who will take advantage of others in any way possible... and it seems to me that this idea of yours opens people up in vast new ways to be taken advantage of. I just thought it would be nice to hear your thoughts on that aspect of the topic.

 

By opening up any new avenues of online communication and sharing, you risk the abuse of such avenues through their use for nefarious plotting, hacking, cyber-attacks, and other malicious activities. However, what I meant to say is that with the internet, all that has already been done and most, if not all, countries have implemented detection and control methods of such activities, examples include: the Cyber Defense Agency in the Baltimore-Washington area, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE), the NSA's cyber defense boot camp, in addition to the many cyber-police departments, proxies, firewalls, security firmware, and antivirus and anti-spyware programs already in place across the globe.

The existence and constant growth of such measures are exactly why I believe it won't be a big deal, it is because people are just as well protected online, if not better, than they are in other aspects of modern life.

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Those are good points, but those governments you mention are also using the cyber arena for modern day warfare. It could get scary if instead of launching viruses into a nuclear facility they instead start launching viruses directly into our minds. This would make a fascinating movie, now that I think about it more. I wonder if Ridley Scott is available. :)

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Those are good points, but those governments you mention are also using the cyber arena for modern day warfare. It could get scary if instead of launching viruses into a nuclear facility they instead start launching viruses directly into our minds. This would make a fascinating movie, now that I think about it more. I wonder if Ridley Scott is available. :)

 

laugh.gif I'd watch that movie. However, I didn't mean that the internet should be directly connected to our brains in the physical sense. I believe that the internet as it currently stands, already is a version of such a global brain, and that's what I have been discussing for the past two posts. Believe me I'm the last person to want viruses downloaded onto people's brains... I value my brain, perhaps too much...

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Just when you think you've got an original idea, or near original idea anyway, you find out that somebody's beat you to it! Go figure.

 

The collective brain can be reduced to culture, and it simply doesn't exist because there is no such thing as a global culture. We are not all connected directly to each other. What we have is an interaction of a few very large but rather empty collective brains (pop culture, etc) and millions of smaller, perhaps more interesting collective brains whose contributions mean almost nothing outside their small realms.

Edited by Norbert
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