Thursday

Noosphere=Internet?


A former professor (not related to the one below), now friend and brother in Red Sox Nation, brought up someone I had not thought of in at least five years - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

What I found most interesting about this random interaction was its alignment with my own thoughts today. I have spent this morning mulling over the idea of the internet as a sort of collective consciousness, a developing hive mind. Chardin, as well as a Russian dude named Vernadsky, helped develop the idea of a “noosphere” , kind of like an atmosphere made up of reflective human thought. In opposition to the Herbert Spencer survival of the fittest clan, and the descartes crew of mind/body splits, Chardin posited this idea of the Law of Complexity and Consciousness where matter has a natural drive to arrange itself in increasingly complex structures towards increasingly higher levels of consciousness. Humans dwell in the noosphere where matter has reached the state of complexity where consciousness turns back on itself. To put it another way, it is like evolution on a universal level, the noosphere is that point where Earth has reached a interlinked system of consciousness and information, self awareness and instantaneous interaction.

What struck me was how this idea really illustrates my own thoughts on the development of the internet. As more and more people world wide gain access, and as more and more information is uploaded, and as speed increases, we are quickly gathering a reference repository of much that it means to be human. More and more we Google things, or check out the Wiktionary, or communicate via IM as our sources of interaction and information gathering. We are using the internet more and more as a collective brain, and more and more it is beginning to resemble the collective glories and faults of collective human knowledge….

Perhaps the mice are close to getting their question after all.

Eric in a Word: Ataraxy
Book of the Day: is a magazine- Art in America (International Review)
Song of the Day: Hound Dog- Big Mama Thornton featuring Buddy Guy
Sketch medium: graphite on paper (actual size 2" x1.5")

3 comments:

The Jilly said...

That is both a fascinating and slightly frightening view of the internet.

Let's just hope the earth isn't destroyed before they, the mice, get their explanation.

Meg-han said...

The mice know the answer...it's 42...but poor Arthur's brain wouldn't sustain the question.

Eric Giles said...

It really wasn't his fault, you know. He was just one man, plus what can you expect whenyou've evolved from hairdressers and phone sanitizers.