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Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century ebook

by Howard Bloom

Howard Bloom's Global Brain is filled with scientific firsts.

Howard Bloom's Global Brain is filled with scientific firsts. It is the first book to make a strong, solidly backed, and al case that we do not live the lonely lives of selfish beings driven by selfish genes, but are parts of a larger whole. It is the first to propose that sociality was implicit in the start of the universe-the Big Bang

Praise for Howard Bloom and GLOBAL BRAIN. With this bold vision of evolution and human behavior, Bloom has raced ahead to explore possibilities that the timid scientific herd may well be forced to follow

Praise for Howard Bloom and GLOBAL BRAIN. With this bold vision of evolution and human behavior, Bloom has raced ahead to explore possibilities that the timid scientific herd may well be forced to follow. -David Sloan Wilson, Coauthor of Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. Filled with scientific firsts. -Elizabeth Loftus, past president, American Psychological Society. I doubt there is any stronger intellect than Bloom's on the planet. -Joseph Chilton Pierce

The summer of 2011 has seen the first mass-scale social protest in Israel in its 70 years of existence.

The summer of 2011 has seen the first mass-scale social protest in Israel in its 70 years of existence. This social wave that shook the country, showed unique characteristics a-typical of most social and political uprisings, that go largely unexplained by social theories of social change and crowd psychology. Hence, given the central role played by imitation on the construction of human culture, which was neatly summarized by the phrase "Imitative learning acts like a synapse, allowing informa- tion to leap the gap from one creature to another".

Global Brain follows the evolution of individual and mass minds from the multi-trillion member collaborations .

Global Brain follows the evolution of individual and mass minds from the multi-trillion member collaborations among our bacterial ancestors to the ten-thousand-strong mass marches and claw-to-claw showdowns of Mesozoic spiny lobsters. The book predicts that the great world war of the 21st century will take place between the collective intelligence of humanity and that of a world wide web 96 trillion generations old and billions of years wise-the global internet between microbial societies. Finally, Global Brain anticipates some of the creative paths this planet's team of battlers and borrowers may take during the next hundred and fifty years.

This fascinating tour continues on to the sometimes brut.

This is one of those books

This is one of those books. While there are some giant leaps of faith and unexplained challenges.

"As someone who has spent forty years in psychology with a long-standing interest in evolution, I'll just assimilate Howard Bloom's accomplishment and my amazement."-DAVID SMILLIE, Visiting Professor of Zoology, Duke University In this extraordinary follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Lucifer Principle, Howard Bloom-one of today's preeminent thinkers-offers us a bold rewrite of the evolutionary saga. He shows how plants and animals (including humans) have evolved together as components of a worldwide learning machine. He describes the network of life on Earth as one that is, in fact, a "complex adaptive system," a global brain in which each of us plays a sometimes conscious, sometimes unknowing role. and he reveals that the World Wide Web is just the latest step in the development of this brain. These are theories as important as they are radical. Informed by twenty years of interdisciplinary research, Bloom takes us on a spellbinding journey back to the big bang to let us see how its fires forged primordial sociality. As he brings us back via surprising routes, we see how our earliest bacterial ancestors built multitrillion-member research and development teams a full 3.5 billion years ago. We watch him unravel the previously unrecognized strands of interconnectedness woven by crowds of trilobites, hunting packs of dinosaurs, feathered flying lizards gathered in flocks, troops of baboons making communal decisions, and adventurous tribes of protohumans spreading across continents but still linked by primitive forms of information networking. We soon find ourselves reconsidering our place in the world. Along the way, Bloom offers us exhilarating insights into the strange tricks of body and mind that have organized a variety of life forms: spiny lobsters, which, during the Paleozoic age, participated in communal marching rituals; and bees, which, during the age of dinosaurs, conducted collective brainwork. This fascinating tour continues on to the sometimes brutal subculture wars that have spurred the growth of human civilization since the Stone Age. Bloom shows us how culture shapes our infant brains, immersing us in a matrix of truth and mass delusion that we think of as reality.Global Brain is more than just a brilliantly original contribution to the ongoing debate on the inner workings of evolution. It is a "grand vision," says the eminent evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, a work that transforms our very view of who we are and why.
Early in Earth's history; life in the form of prokaryotes emerged, and one type of prokaryotes, cyanobacteria, began forming colonies which evolved into a worldwide network of communicating cells, referred to by Howard Bloom as the "Global Brain". However, primitive cells cooperated closely and eventually formed eukaryotes that had a nucleus and complex cell functionality. The World Wide Network of bacteria splintered as the eukaryotes was more self sufficient but more isolated than prokaryotes. The eukaryotes formed multi cellular organisms, plants, animals, and eventually humans. Plants, animals and humans also communicated to some degree but with the emergence of communications technology and internet the global brain is evolving further.

This book is essentially a brief history of life and its interconnectedness coupled with Howard Bloom’s “Global Brain” hypothesis, that we are all part of a sort of a “global brain” encompassing all life. Groups of individuals, animals as well as people, often exhibit intelligent behavior that goes beyond that of the individual as if their “brain power” is extended across multiple individuals as they communicate. He gives some astonishing examples of how animals can learn and adapt as a group even though individuals don't have the brain power to do so. Bees can learn and can make intelligent decisions as a group in ways they cannot do as individuals. Even germs form colonies and networks of colonies that exhibit some surprisingly intelligent behavior. The colony, packs, tribes, and groups, are in themselves intelligent "super brains".

Howard Bloom describes and analyses evolution from a communications perspective. He believes in group evolution and rejects the “selfish gene” hypothesis as the sole explanation for what is driving evolution, which might be somewhat controversial. He identifies five basic principles of the complex adaptive system of any group. The first one is "conformity enforcement". Every society and group, human or not, enforces conformity, sometimes ruthlessly, for the sake unity, group identity, and the effectiveness of the group. The second one, "diversity generators", are needed in times of change or when new opportunities appear, or when the group needs to evolve. The third is "inner judges", which are factors which are inherited factors which determines whether we are needed or not, and if not, causes us to become depressed, or sick, or even to commit suicide. Some people are unfortunately born with relentless "inner judges". The fourth is "resource shifters" which shifts resources away from those who are not needed to those who are. The fifth one is "intergroup tournaments" which is used to perpetuate the most effective group or individual(s). These are often held between groups that are close genetically. In fact 150 millions of us killed a sister or a brother as fetuses while in the womb, we just don't know that we did.

The book also touches on human society. Bloom claims that the mass mind needs its internationalists, cross-cultural floaters, homosexuals, explorers, introverts and oddballs to continue to prosper, invent and adjust. At the same time conformity enforcers like religious and political fundamentalists constantly threaten to crush human freedom and achievement. The fundamentalists invent boogey men/enemies to rally around and it is quite effective. Diversity generators are needed for prosperity and expansion and conformity enforcers are needed to create unified action to stave off existential threats. Overall the book promotes the diversity generators for modern human society.

I found Howard Bloom’s arguments to be both plausible and supported by good evidence, at the same time as I am somewhat cautious in fully embracing his world view. Reading this book was an intellectual adventure at the same time as it was also somewhat depressing. It was well written and well organized and full of both delightful and disturbing ideas. It is one of those books that make you view the world a little differently after reading it. I highly recommend this book.
Golden freddi
This book is incredible. Howard Bloom has both a scientific and intuitive understanding of evolution, particularly in the realm of mass behavior. I was given this book by my father just as a random recommendation. At the time, I was deep in the trenches of learning about music business- and feeling very frustrated by it. The ideas presented in The Global Brain helped me understand how the music business, and more broadly, politics work. For those scratching their heads, the music business runs on social politics. I finished the book and didn't pick it up for a few years until giving a copy to a friend. It was at this time I decided to google the author to see what he was about. To my amazement, I noticed what he did as a career before writing this book- music PR! I had no idea this was his background when reading the book and applying his ideas to my problems understanding the music business world!

Conclusions drawn largely from Howard Bloom's "Global Brain":

1. Behavior of matter gives evidence of spiritual existence.
2. Similarities in behavior give evidence of a specific spiritual foundation common to all matter.
3. Spiritual means intentional, purposeful.
4. Abstract interpretation of evidence can induce a common logic to be found in the physical process all matter undergoes, that is to achieve a purpose. Intelligence in matter controls this process to achieve the purpose.
5. Intelligence means an understanding of the way things work in the universe. Understanding predicts what behavior is required to achieve a given purpose.
6. Understanding of what works is retained in a hierarchical structure from atomic particles to atoms, to molecules, to cells, to solar systems, and throughout the universe.
7. In living matter the understanding carried by cells is then augmented by complex hierarchies of cells, then by organisms, societies of organisms, and cultures of societies, essentially creating a single unified body fulfilling a common purpose.
8. Some understanding in living matter is too fleeting to be captured in the physical structure of the cells themselves. Such understanding is carried along by an organism in the form of symbolic representation, or text. Over time, textual understanding is maintained by incorporating into physical structure either the understanding itself, rendering text unnecessary, or sophisticated text using capabilities.

Questions generated by these conclusions:

1. Why purpose? Human understanding is heavily based on cause and effect. Cause assumes the existence of purpose. Effect assumes the fulfillment of purpose. The efficacy of these terms prompts us to use them outside a purely human context, extending them to the entire universe. These terms work for us in every conceivable context.
2. Why hierarchy? Again, the term works for us. Humans organize their own behavior hierarchically. The structure is then imagined as extended to the universe as a whole. Each level in a nested hierarchy adapts to and fills a unique niche. This perspective precludes contradictions in description and explanation, yielding superior prediction and control. Is this a structure that actually exists independent of our imaginations? Who cares! It works for us!

Final comment: Bloom is to be commended for following a generally misunderstood rule, that theory has to describe and explain the behavior of the subject as well as that of the object.
Interesting! But the one thing Bloom should discuss if he were to successfully complete his analogies would be the phenomenal binding problem. Only philosophers such as David Pearce can be taken seriously when they discuss intelligence on a grand scale and they way systems ultimately compose minds. How do we distinguish between an apparently intelligence insentient system such as bacteria and the stock market from, say, conscious minds like ours if not by referencing the unitary nature of consciousness?
Interesting speculation but others have thought the same but have not made such a big deal about it.
Interesting concepts. Well presented. Gave 1 to my Doctor.
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century ebook
Howard Bloom
Biological Sciences
EPUB size:
1439 kb
FB2 size:
1184 kb
DJVU size:
1105 kb
Wiley; 1st edition (August 14, 2000)
384 pages
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