Conceptions of The Global Superbrain

The Global Brain, the World Brain, Global Superorganism, and Global SuperBrain are conceived in a variety of ways in writings available on the internet and in books. For a good collection of references see:
Basic References on the Global Brain / Superorganism at: Principia Cybernetica Web.
Culture and Society as Superorganism
Humanity undertakes a collaborative development of cultural heritage, changed from time to time in pace and character by advances in the technology for storing and transmitting knowledge. For some the global superbrain is just the next stage in this process, catalysed by globally networked digital computers.
A Globe, Clothing Itself with a Brain by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard de Chardin has been credited with anticipating the information superhighway, and appears to be positioned at the more mystical end of this perspective. "The point of all evolution up to this stage is the creation of a collective organism of Mind."
the Gaia Brain Home Page by John Champagne
Evolution and Cybernetics
Probably the dominant conception is of a complex cybernetic intelligence which evolves or emerges as the global computing network reaches critical mass.
Metasystem Transition by Valentin Turchin at Principia Cybernetica Web. A cybernetic story about how systems transit to higher levels of capability as they are combined to form more complex control systems.
Future Tech and MetaMan Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism by Gregory Stock.
Selection of Organization at the Social Level: obstacles and facilitators of Metasystem Transitions by Francis Heylighen & Donald T. Campbell
A History of the Global Brain Information processing on a global scale has been with us since the beginnings of life on our planet, argues Howard Bloom, in a 21 chapter online book (now published in hard copy) tracing the evolution of the Global Brain from bacterial roots to a future in cyberspace.
1010 Suffices?
For some the comparison between complexity of the human brain, and global networks or human society by simply counting the nodes or links is persuasive. Even the telephone network as it reaches the magic complexity of 1010 may be expected to emerge as a global brain.
The Global Brain Awakens: our next evolutionary leap by Peter Russell. A page about Russell's book which gives "A fascinating vision of how the information revolution is shifting consciousness. A much needed, optimistic perspective on humanity's future." Including the preface and the chapter Towards the Global Brain. But actually, pretty low tech, this isn't about computer networks, just people. The Global Brain Concept a link into the webspace of Gottfried Mayer-Kress, former physicist turned to chaos and complexity at the Santa Fé institute.
H.G Wells and the World Brain
'World Brain' as a Metaphor for Holistic Higher Education by Paul Wildman and Jenny Gidley. Two futurists look to the emergence of learning centres which will link people, places and planets.
World Brain: The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia Contribution to the new Encyclopédie Française, August, 1937 by H.G.Wells
Constructing the World Mind a very good graphical presentation of H G Wells' blueprint for global consciousness.
Engineering the Superbrain
For some the superbrain doesn't just happen, its something we engineer.
The WorldWideBrain by Ben Goertzel. Using the WorldWideWeb to Implement Globally Distributed Cognition.
Semantic Web @ W3C: a variety of material including Semantic Web RoadMap, one of several articles relevant to the semantic web in a series on "Design Issues" by Tim Berners-Lee, and the SW99 mailing list archive. Semantic Web activity statement
The Semantic Web by Tim Berners-lee James Hendler and Ora Lassila.
Semantic Web Vision Paper by Alexander Chislenko.
The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain: from metaphor to model - by Francis Heylighen & Johan Bollen
SemanticWeb.org, - towards a web of meaning.
eLFIN - O/S for a Global Brain?, probably by Francis Jeffrey at ELFNET.
Computer Mediated Communications The science of how computer networks can make people cooperate
Distributed AI - a page of links.
The Global Superbrain in Factasia
The Analytic Superbrain Engineering pure super-intelligence distributed across the network from logic, automated reasoning and formalised mathematics. The Holistic Superbrain The idea of a "control system" is taken from cybernetics and applied on the global scale to the problem of realising a better world.
see also: Dimensions of The Global SuperBrain

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