by Alex Vikoulov
"The concept of Singularity envisages a technology-driven explosion in intelligence... the resulting superhuman intelligence will not be centralized in a single AI system but distributed across all people and artifacts, as connected via the Internet. This Global Brain will function to tackle all challenges confronting the “global superorganism”. Its capabilities will extend so far beyond our present abilities that they can perhaps best be conveyed as a pragmatic version of the “divine” attributes..." -Francis Heylighen, Global Brain Institute
When Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth in April 1961, he carried generations of hopes and dreams into space with him. A growing number of thinkers now believe the "Overview Effect" heralds nothing less than the next “giant leap” of human evolution. As breathtaking space-down views of our world seep into our collective consciousness, people are waking up to the “Spaceship Earth” analogy that depicts our planet as a natural vessel that must be steered responsibly by its crew.
To see our planet from this grander vantage point astonished space pioneers, and today, through IMAX or VR, prompts us to recontextualize humanity, who and what we are, to raise our cosmic awareness, and how one may individually fit into that big picture. Ever since I was a kid, I've had this vision that humanity would play a central role in the destiny of our planet, as the Global Brain, on the co-evolutionary trajectory to become a fully functional planetary superorganism.
Any complex system composed of a variety of interacting subsystems, such as chemical networks, ecosystems, or societies, over time, tends to evolve towards more self-organization, coherence and interdependence, as its subsystems mutually adapt and lower overall system entropy. Realized through a network of internal feedback loops, such system may be considered “living” or "organismic" in the abstract sense. Also, tracing our evolution back two billion years, through mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and so on, we eventually wind up with one single cell that was the ancestor of all life on Earth. When this cell reproduced itself, and continued to do so for eons, mutating and evolving into new forms, it still continued to comprise but a single total organism. Literally, we are all "one".
The blue whale and the redwood tree are not the largest living organisms on Earth, the entire planetary biosphere is. Decades from now, when looking at our home planet harboring our post-scarcity transcendent civilization, and from our newly acquired Syntellect-inspired perspective, who would even doubt that the Earth has matured into the Global Superorganism? Just like once life on Earth complexified from one-celled organisms to multi-celled organisms, we are becoming one Global Superorganism, at first rudimentary like today, but more and more integrated over time, with distinct features like the Global Brain, a neural network of billions of hyperconnected humans, superintelligent machines, and trillions of sensors around the planet.
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Tags: self-transcendence, transcendence, neuroscience, collective intelligence, sentience, self-awareness, extended phenotype, artificial intelligence, Francis Heylighen, Yuri Gagarin, Syntellect Hypothesis, Extended Mind Hypothesis, wetware, mindware, ontological design, conscious experience, theogenesis, noosphere, superintelligence, singularity, mind uploading, postbiological superintelligence, posthuman superintelligence, the Syntellect emergence, overview effect, technological singularity, Inelligence explosion, dimensionality, spaceship Earth, Space Age, Global Brain, global superorganism, conscious agent, human evolution, human condition, cognitive enhancement, substrate-independent mind, digital mind, digital immortality, neural interface, Gaian Mind, Hedonistic Imperative, paradise engineering, experiential realism, philosophy of mind, science of mind, evolution of consciousness, phenomenology, mind uploading, quantum consciousness, It from Qubit, Omega Point, transcendental object, cosmological singularity, transcendentalism, neo-transcendentalism
*Image Credit: Shutterstock
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, singularitarian, evolutionary extrapolist, digital philosopher, futurist, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter and media artist, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution". Graduated from Tomsk State University and Armstrong University. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).