Components – “information objects traded on a knowledge market”
“You see how such an Encyclopaedic organisation could spread like a nervous network… knitting all the intellectual workers of the world through a common interest and a common medium of expression into a more and more conscious cooperating community and a growing sense of their own dignity, informing without pressure or propaganda, directing without tyranny.” World Encyclopaedia, p 94
Central to H.G. Wells’ World Brain is the essential World Encyclopedia. H.G. Wells expected people would spread the content of this Encyclopedia by spawning “swarms of pamphlets”. Through these pamphlets a multidisciplinary worldwide group of scholars, scientists and intellectuals… continuously [communicate] with a well-informed public”. Wells wishes for each individual, a life engaged in self-managed learning.
In CWM, H.G. Wells advocates education be revived by the “original university idea” whereby groups of students organize around their masters. He confesses that the “new world organ” wouldn’t need to rely on the “tinkering of a highly conservative and resistant university system”, but would come about by the hands of “innovators, who may be dreamers today, but who hope to become very active organizers tomorrow” (Wells 120).
H.G. Wells worried that the World Mind could become, “in effect a world monopoly”, but the CWM suggests that the World Mind is “beyond the scope of monopoly”. CWM suggests that if “knowledge is to be valued above money” than “application specific currencies” could function as the economic component of the World Mind. The “interactive book” hints at what could become a full-blown marketplace composed of “individual learners”.
In the 90s we also hear of “self-organization” as the political component. The CWM calls it “a new level of conceptual organization”. Hans Swegen describes how matter organizes itself into “information processes” which include self-organizing individuals. He foresees “several global sub-centres” which emerge and then merge together into a “main global brain”. In CWM, Alan Mayne points to H.G. Wells’ slightly more instrumental aims and suggests that the network also requires the minds of policy and decision makers, professional advisers, generalists and holistic thinkers.
Michael Josefowicz, a retired Printer and fellow co-learner of mine from Twitter, thinks the challenge for the World Mind involves “cracking open the academics”. He tells me “their knowledge is tied into their incentives… it’s the coin of tenure”. He goes on to suggest that “to collaborate they need a common language”. He and others (including me) have formed a group of minds via Twitter where we are exploring the potential a common language, called Nemetics.
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