This series of books maps the history of the development of the World Brain as envisaged by Paul Otlet and HG Wells in the 1930s, and as predicated by Teilhard de Chardin in the 1920s. The largely unplanned, spontaneous evolution of this World-Brain occurred in the same period of time as our discovery of the complexity of life on our planet. Our understanding of eco-systems and the biosphere has culminated in James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. Concomitant to the development of Otlet and Wells ideas of a World Encyclopedia -the World-Brain as a cultural memory has developed – largely as a result of Tim Berners Lee’s invention of the World-Wide Web – into what I’m calling a MediaPlex – not just of books but of all our media, our visual arts, our museum artefacts, – indeed all of our still expanding studies of our history, all developing sciences, all our knowledge is being embodied in binary form in this World-Brain repository. And this vast cultural repository is supported and enabled by a still developing network of computers, microprocessors, servers, and embedded processors, creating another kind of externalised, machine-driven World-Brain, that includes machine-learning and artificial intelligences. And of course these data and processing networks also increasingly connect all the humans on the planet, importantly increasingly including all the scientists, all the inventors, all the designers, all the engineers, all the artists, all the coders, all the entrepreneurs – all the miners, fishermen, crafts-people, mechanics, builders, and all the philosophers – and all of us too!
Think of all that brain-power, all that augmented Intelligence, all that machine-learning extension of our brains – ultimate augmented memory, infinite augmented calculating ability, polymathically augmented expertise, augmented skillsets, data evidence, facts and figures at one’s finger-tips, a massively expanding augmented cerebral context and hippocampus, experts on everything at mouse-click instantaniety. All the data, all the information, all the knowledge we might glean, harvest and utilise from such a God-like omniscience! This is Ours if we want it. Back in 1968, Stewart Brand intimated this future in his quote in the Whole Earth Catalog: “We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” The question is: What precisely do we get good at? How do we use this global World-Brain? And the vast collation of mediated ideas I’m calling the MediaPlex? Its our human treasury, its all and everything.
check out this pdf taster/flier for What Next with the World-Brain