Is WWW becoming a Global Mind?

I am wondering if the WWW and the Internet in general is actually mirroring our minds. The question I seek to pose takes some expository–so let me begin.

Cognitive Science proposes a modern view of the human mind that relies on Reductionist philosophy. It posits that the brain is an organ with numerous cells, that thru a process gradually organize themselves via DNA into constituent organs. These organs in turn, repeat the process and connect with each other, eventually leading to what is called emergent phenomena. I.E Mind. The Brain becomes a self-aware conscious state of Mind. There are arguments galore about how this process happens, even if it happens. Students of Hegel will see this as nothing more than his Quantity-Quality dialectic. But, all polemics aside what I am asking is this:

Is the Internet and specifically the WWW with is over a trillion sites now becoming a huge Global Mind?

I can almost see this as happening but since I and you and anybody else are just constituents in this process we can’t see this Global Mind emerging. Just think of the search engines and cross-references and related topics that each website provides us with and if they all are somehow linked up–BANG a Global conscious cybernetic being emerges. Though none of us would be aware of it.

Since Cognitive Science breaks with the old Descartian notion of a mind center that orchestrates the brain, a cliche calls it Ghost in the Machine, we can actually have an almost Matrix Movie like thing going on under our collective cybernetic noses!

I’ve seen some studies to this effect while surfing. But, the paradox is NOBODY can get outside the NET and see it all. It’s not like the psychologist that conducts experiements on human subjects to measure cognitive response now is it? You can’t do experiments on the NET!

comments welcomed of course.

I can’t say.

But I will say I am on 30 to 40 forums at any given time and treat it all as one big forum pretty much.

Haven’t read the post, but the answer is no. I think.

It’s interesting to note, that like the human brain, the internet is one of those rare systems which gets more organized the more complex it becomes. Many systems in the world do not follow this trend.

As the brain grows it reaches a point wherein the physical structure is consuming a specific limit of oxygen in relation to the system inside of the skull; once the limit is reached the matter stops expanding and then the neurons begin to make the first of their many connections.

If we follow the trend we’ve seen in the human brain where the complexity (the neural net) increases, while the disorder (in ‘thoughts’ or the functional equivalent) reduces, then we can somewhat conclude a few things.

One is: for the internet there may not be some magical ‘birth’ of AI in the sense that we might have imagined it before, but rather a self realization in a fashion similar to our own. While the baby is there in body at first, it does not recognized itself in its entirety until later on in life.

You spew out this holy luddite nonesense and then you go and make posts like this one.

Interesting strategy you have going there.

I do believe that ecosystems are driven to simply become a more sophisticated superorganism. So long as a species evolve into something more organized, their interdependance becomes more like a unit.

Your theory falls in line with the whole Gaian movement (“we’re all connected, the earth is a living being, etc.”) but I think it’s safer not to make a religion out of it or assume it to be so profound.

We’re simply realizing physical implications of what philosophers and other sciences have suggested for a long time. There are no rigid rules defining individuals between one another, which makes it difficult to discuss any single person’s “soul,” or someone’s personal accountability. The technological circumstance is new, but the prospect is very very old. I think we naturally blend. To stop this is to end progress.

In this sense, what makes us refute that our brain cells are individuals? They exchange with one another like friends on a primal level of impulse sensory.

Suppose we travel the solar system on a giant spaceship. We still all feel like individuals, but what defines that spaceship as a non-animal, and us, its inhabitants, to not be its organs?

In such thought experiments, I always come to the conclusion that my individuality is quite irrelevant. The true goal is what kind of life form, what kind of result, is to come out of these advances? Not really if, but in what form, will we blend?

Not exactly, but once ’ semantic web design ’ becomes all-pervasive . . . that’s when the shit’s really gonna hit the fan.

Artificial Inteligences can’t currently understand us well enough, so they’ve come up with a plan called the Semantic Web. They’re currently rolling-it-out with the help of some human-nerd-slaves.

[size=59]( You can get directions to their office on that site . . . You know what to do )[/size]

I was leaving for work. Also, I didn’t spew anything “holy” nor any “nonesense”, and making posts without reading the op does not make you a Luddite in my corrupted use of the word where it means one unfamiliar with the products of and opposed to technological progress. I’m just saying that I have not read the post and the arguments that it gives, but that at first glance, the internet is not becoming a global mind. I can’t think of any valid internet analogues for the neurons and electrical impulses and sense data in the human brain.

Also, the processing of information in the mind is so it can make decisions and have the body do something. I do not see the internet’s body, nor do I see internet decisions being fed to the internet body which I don’t see.

To conclude: wow, blaming impossible conspiracies for all the world’s problems while continuing to hamper the functioning of your brain with toxic substances. Interesting strategy you have going there.

Technology is the footprint of consciousness.

If you succeed in illuminating even the most basic of concepts for me, I’ll let you know, and then you can comment on my strategy.

Footprints are the footprints of people.

There, I just made a statement with as much relevance as the one you made.

I just did comment on your strategy, so I guess you forgot to let me know. Probably the pot.

We’ll let the others decide that.

Just as anything you write necessarily mirrors you in some way or another, all things created by humanity mirror humanity in some way or another. The answer to this question, therefore, is yes.

Is the Library of Congress? Same shit, dude.

The totality of information - which is what the focus here should really be on - goes far beyond the internet. And even supposing the internet one day could entirely house the totality of information, so what? If I handed you every book ever written, what would you do? Would it change your life?

You’re off your fucking rocker.

What is a Global Mind?

We can argue about what consciousness is, mind, etc. but in general… the WWW can’t “think”. Is a governemt a “mind”? Is a religion a “mind”? Is a…? All these things are simply social creations whereby, if there were no thinking people interacting… there would be no governemt, religion, or WWW. So in short… NO. The WWW is not, and will not be, a mind in my opinion.

I think it is. It’s not a human mind obviously. It’s not going to “think” the way we think. But consider this analogy:

Protons, neutrons, electrons combine to make all the different elements.
Simple atoms combine to make powerful chemicals.
Chemicals combine to make cells.
Cells combine to make tissue
Tissue → organs → organisms
Why does it stop there?

When enough of us are connected via the internet, something will emerge. We probably won’t know it, just as a fern doesn’t know its role in a rainforest, or a tea leaf its role in the East India Company. (:P)

I wouldn’t call it a mind, maybe. But it is definitely some entity.

Maybe (just supposin’s) only via the internet will we be able to figure out quantum computing (it’ll take alot of thought, that’s for sure). When you catch a ball, you don’t say my arm caught it or whatever… Your eyes, mind, your whole body worked together to put the arm in the right place at the right time. Same goes for my hypothetical harnessing of quantum mechanics. The research will maybe enable a specific team of people to actually DO it, but their research, aided by everyone else, was accessed from the internet. (I mean let’s face it… eventually scientific articles will be published primarily on the internet, textbooks will be made electronic, all sorts of things, will be put on the internet.)

It’ll be a hyperorganism but we won’t recognise it. It will do things an individual human would never be able to do. Am I right?

(and some accusation and defense throughout etc).

Obviously the discussion is spurned by some outside exchange. I’ll try to make synthesis from the war. (To reason, not form an alliance or something so stupid).

On the matter of relevance, it doesn’t directly state an argument for the internet being a global concsiousness, but it does offer creative relevance. We can consider the statement in order to produce arguments.

Perhaps I could say that technology is theoretically an eventual extension of concsiousness. Concsious life forms produce artificial intelligence which becomes concsious life forms. If this theory is true, there could eventually be a mechanism that spans across the internet which could be considered a life form. Some claims even from Microsoft argue that computer viruses are primitive life forms without a physical body.

To reiterate a portion of my previous post- pinning a concsiousness on “the internet” or “www” I don’t think is so useful because- true, it’s good fuel for interesting science fiction (which in turn poses questions to the lamen, which in turn fuels philosophy) but its initial philosophical value I think is weak. (Not an accusation, Robleh. The idea is important, the conclusions derived require broader questions). I think it’s more useful to ask (given the theory): what artificial life forms will be most influential as a result of combinations between specific goals (an agency sets out to create an artificial “citizen”) and nonspecific goals (people tinker with machinery until something says “hello” or “damn you” whichever comes first). What are the ethical concerns? How would they be enforced?

To answer these questions, we would never get results making suppositions on individual concepts (internet, viruses, robotics, etc.) but rather probably an intense (agency) study in calculus, regarding every sort of niche we can brainstorm for humanity to create artificial intelligence (including genetic experimentation).

To summarize and draw conclusions- Yes, the internet possibly could influence the birth of artificial intelligence. But there are too many possible influences to model after a single one. Our technology is probably eventually an extension of our own concsiousness. So it’s indeed dangerous for us to feel as masters of anything. Thanks to sciences and modest religions which catalyze that belief. If we cannot identify crucial outcomes of this theory through complex calculation, we may simply want to remember the question of who’s master.

From a certain point of view, I’m a biological creation from a series of events that by chance created this being. Does that disqualifies me as a thinker (you can “think” so, we are machines of another being)? If I can think, even though I’m a “creation” of something (chance), what is it that grants me that “power” and takes it away from the www?

From one point of view, we are a culture of cells and bacteria, etc. If you see this “mess” as a being, you can think about the internet as a being (a rather paradoxal one, as are we) on which we are mere “cells” either more important or not.

But, a great point would be that we have a life outside of the internet (well, most of us :stuck_out_tongue: ). Then therefore it is much more easy that we can think the internet as an alter, thus freeing us of being mere cells inside of a greater “mind”.

The only way we can think of the internet as the mirror of ourselves is if it was ALL we had. That thought, however, is even ridiculous, put that way. After all, life outside the internet is so much bigger than on it for now. And will always be for me.

Well, I suppose it is becoming a global mind, now that I think of it. But it isn’t quite yet. Ah, the true fractal nature of the universe shows itself yet again.

Dot.metal. Yes, I think you’re speaking to what I originally proposed. Though, some have made personally hostile comments, which of course the cultured amongst us ignore, I believe that this global phenomenon will achieve an awareness. And we the participants will be parts of it. It’s paradoxical, because it’s kind like the Matrix movies idea of a superintelligence that we will be a part of w/o being at its head. Because of the Human Superiority vein that runs in all of us (including me) we don’t like to think that and artificial thing could eclipse us. It’s frightening. What would it do? Would the Global consciousness entity in some way start to control the consistuents. But, I would rather like to see it as philosphers like Spinoza envisioned God. All that exist would be a sort of God. Using that model idea, all the myriad participants on the Net, would be the Global mind. But invariably somebody’s gotta wonder won’t there be some egghead outta that can ascend to the top and take it all in, and see this vast interconnected thinking being like as consecrated thing, like its paradigm: the human mind. I don’t know.

But we’re in a new century now. I’m only trying to posit some of what can become from what we’ve developed. Remember reading how at the turn of the 20th century, films, primitive recording instruments, air flight and other technological developments were seen to be forecasting miracles beyond our imaginations. There was pro-and-con debate going on in newspapers, journals and the then nascent telegraph lines. Well, I’m doing the same with the Net. I can take away to sci-fi and start imagining that at some point lets say all the net participants in say China and the pacific rim nations will emerge as a dominate force for this or that and the whole web will feel a certain direction…towards their views… or the Web will talk back to us like an awakening child because so many participants (neurons so speak) have audio programs that synchronize. Or areas of the globe will coalsce and we’ll see on billions of computer screens a strange expression of will. Or the growing participants throughout Africa and South America will start to impute their interest by having more ‘cells’ involved. I don’t know. I’m trying propose new ideas. I trying not be the guy that easily is able to poke holes in them. But, of course I expect such a show of solid disbelief.

Ultimately, like the self-organizing machinery of our brains into conscious mentalities, the Net might find a way to express all these competing cells as a living cybernetic entity. You don’t have to call it a mind you know.

Okay, laugh at it, say it’s a crackpot idea, but I am only trying to spark debate on the topic.

Well I tried. Malcontents have your field with this one. [/i]

Matrix is a corruption of Baudrillard’s thinking. His philosophy is a better understanding of what is the internet and simulacrum.

It is a true global mind to you if you want it to be…

I am not so sure yet, but I’ll keep a no for now: ironically, a no found in Kant’s philosophy - I never thought I would have to listen to him. I still want truth to matter.

A paragon virtual world is one in which our best dreams come true - for the loner a real “paradise”, even if a lie. The problem for me is - that would mean I’m living the paragon world for me, doesn’t matter if it exists or not, but would I be what I am if I had no relation at all with an alter? A development of this is the why I am not choosing “Virtual > Real”, even though it’s theorically best.

What do you think?