Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Development levels

The Global Brain. See first 2.05 minutes and take your time to see the little video from 1983 here, it's worth it!

I read the book The Global Brain (or The awakening earth, 1982) many years ago and wanted to share it here with the right translation, but since Peter Russell seems to be a little bit too spiritual ?, it seems to be hard to find it if not order the book. Text under is translated from Swedish, En uppvaknande värld, 2:ond edition, 1987.

From the fact that the world's population is now raising from the scale of 10^9 to the scale of 10^10... In the case of the emergence for a new level of development, there seems to require a specific number of basic components.

In the living cell, the basic component are atoms (stable materie units). In each cell of Escherichia coli, there are about 40 billion atoms (expressed in mathematical terms shortened to 4 times 10 ^ 10, where 10^10 is read "ten raised by ten", that is a one followed by ten zeros). More complex cells, like muscle cells may contain 10 ^ 10 atoms, and some large amoebas can contain as much as 10 ^ 15 atoms. If we look in the other direction we find, however a few cell types contains less than 10 ^ 10 atoms and there are no known forms of life with less than 10 ^ 8 (ie one hundred million) atoms. If just look to the numbers, it appears to be a threshold, which below, life can not easily arise.

A similar threshold appears to exist for the emergence of self-consciousness. The average human brain contains about 10 ^ 11 neurons, of which 10 ^ 10 in the Corpus callosum, which is the part associated with the conscious mind. A brain whose bark contains 10 ^ 9 or fewer neurons, such as the brain of a dog does not seem to exhibit the phenomenon of self-consciousness. Only when it reaches the human cerebral cortex size scene this ability, and with the development of conscious thought, intellect, language, knowledge, free will, science, art and religious experiences.

We can therefore assume that it requires something of the order of 10 ^ 10 units to achieve the level of complexity is necessary for a new leap in the development are to occur. If the total number of units is less than that, the space is too small for the organization and interaction which is also required.

Peter Russell came out with a new version of the book 2008 The Global Brain: the awakening earth in a new century and released a new book this year; The Brain Book: know your own mind and how to use it. He has also written much more.


Video below is about how memes, ideas and practices, spreads over the world and can be a treat to the diversity of cultures and also a treat to the diversity of ideas. Everything happens in our minds and may not be in the conscious part. "Like the germs, ideas can be toxic".. "and like the germs, we can never annihilate them".. "but what we can do is, to foster public health care to protect people from the most toxic ones". This is one way of using that power of human consciousness and our capacity to think together.. and that is what we need to do, if we would like to have a better world to live in.

Starting with the simple tale of an ant, philosopher Dan Dennett unleashes a devastating salvo of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of memes -- concepts that are literally alive.

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