By David J. Staley (auth.)
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Extra resources for Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future
Indeed, the desire to accumulate all of the knowledge of the world in an easy-toaccess form is an ancient impulse. Thus, when Wells envisioned his Encyclopedia-cum-Global Brain as having ‘the concentration of a craniate animal and the diffused vitality of an amoeba,’ he was describing a long-standing desire to combine the contents of the world’s libraries within a device as portable as a book. That his description sounds very much like the distributed network that is the Internet should not escape our notice.
0006 Brain, Mind and Internet ‘Algorithms acting upon information’ strikes me as the kind of Global Brain Sergey Brin is discussing, and that Carr finds so alarming. ’ Or is it more like a thermostat, as cyberneticists have long held? While the secret life of data appears to be humming along without our participation or consent, we must understand that, in this formulation, the ‘brain’ in question is still a human brain, or at least the human brain that has designed the algorithm. ’ When Glowers posted that complex mathematical problem to the collective intelligence of other mathematicians, he was in effect ‘querying’ a larger network, and he received his response.
In the act of writing, the writer externalizes his or her thoughts. The writer enters into a reflective and reflexive relationship with the written page, a relationship in which thoughts are bodied forth. Writing, even writing on a computer screen, is a material practice, and it becomes difficult for a culture to decide where thinking ends and the materiality of writing begins, where the mind ends and the writing space begins. With any technique of writing – on stone or clay, on papyrus or paper, and the computer screen – the writer may come to regard the mind itself as a writing space.
Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future by David J. Staley (auth.)