Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The roots of a global mind?

Well I have been slacking a little lately as far as the Blog is concerned, but I have been quite busy otherwise. The GRE is behind me now and while it would have been more ideal to do better on the verbal, I’m quite satisfied with my analytical. I also expect my essays (once they are graded) to be satisfactory for a science oriented education. Especially when you consider that I only had three solid days to study!

I also had an interview that I’m quite excited about, which means I may have found a way to make a living till I start a graduate program. I’ve felt good about an interview before, however, so I will continue to search for other jobs.

I met with professors again to talk about graduate possibilities. One had good news as far as funding potential, but another believed that he was not the best individual to assist with my program. I appreciated the honesty, as I truly do not want someone to simply sign off on the work I end up doing. I’d much rather have someone that is keenly interested in what I’m doing and who is willing to put some personal stake in the outcome of my project. Not all was lost either since he made some suggestions of others who might be better suited to advise me.

The next task nearing deadline is my application to the graduate program. I intend to have it ready to submit by this coming Thursday, which should not be difficult since it is nearly complete. Yet, I’m not very satisfied with my program description. While I expect the most important thing is to have the interest of faculty, I still feel that my application should be solid enough to be accepted on its own merits.

The main problem is that I’m being fairly general. I give an example for what I could do, but do not want to commit to it. The example is basically an extension of my Major Qualifying Project on terrorism, which is certainly a very pressing topic, but I find myself somewhat reluctant. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t want to ride on the coattails of my previous work, or if there is just something else more pressing that I want to work on. There is certainly a great deal of funding out there for work on terrorism, but I also know that there are plenty of other potential sources.

To get more specific I will likely have to begin formally working out some concepts. If not on this website, then at least on my own. Those that wish to help me in working through some of the details certainly know how to reach me.

Well enough boring blather, what else have I been reading about? Since learning about the philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin the term he coined, noosphere, has turned up some additional interesting information. One that provides an unique collection of links and background is The Integration Website, which wishes to co-develop the noosphere. It is a site that presents a predominately spiritual, artistic, and psychological thread to exploring the potential of a Global Mind. Created by Kris Roose The Integration Website provides yet another affirmation of the thoughts and feelings leading me on this project.

What is most interesting to me about all these searches are the variety of contexts turned up by using different keywords to search for a single concept. Of course when you look at the history of each keyword it is really quite logical where the differences come from. At the same time, I have yet to find a site that actively attempts to dissolve these differences. For example if you search for Metaweb and then for Noosphere the sites that turn up are, for the most part, remarkably different in the content they deliver.

What is more is that I’m only scratching the surface! Artificial Intelligence (AI) is yet another parallel to this thread. While it is perhaps a close relative to Cybernetics there are plenty of people out there that advocate AI as the ideal name for the trend towards emulating human intelligence in a machine. So who will win? Perhaps we all will, but I can’t help but think that there would be a great benefit to providing a more universal perspective to this task.

Diversity is certainly a clear force behind such innovation, yet collaboration is perhaps the most fundamental to making innovation widespread and practical. Nova Spivack may also be experiencing this frustration in his posting Every Revolution Needs a Name: The Metaweb, yet he is still only advocating for a name to a specific step in the process. I have settled on the Global Mind not because of any inherent ownership value, but rather because to me it says in plain English, what we are all working towards.

The mind contains all of our concepts of both spirituality and logicality. A Global Mind would then be an ultimate example of our consistent attempt to extend ourselves beyond the individual. We give lectures, write books, and post web logs, if we are not trying to create a Global Mind, then what is it that we are really trying to do with all this information?

This post has turned into somewhat of a rant, I apologize. So what am I going to do different in my project to make my point? That is perhaps the real question I will have to answer. It won’t necessarily matter what topic I end up choosing for my project. Instead it will likely be the process in which I present it that will make it my very own unique contribution.

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