Conclusion – Circle of Time
The back page of Jan and Simon’s Global Learning – Constructing the World Mind, has a written admission from H.G. Wells concerning “profound and conspicuous faults and weaknesses” of his work on the World Brain. While Wells tells us he spent “a few score thousand hours” writing his version of the World Brain, I have spent considerably less, on this meager paper, but the concept has deeply captured my interest and will surely demand more of my time as events unfold
Wells also challenged his critics, “Damn you, do it better” which I now echo. The World Mind presents complex challenges that are unfathomable for one mind to process. It takes cities and entire societies working together with a shared purpose. We must engage our “world heart” by reaching out to each other in what visionary Marshall McLuhan calls a “global embrace”.
As Rifkin pointed out in his “entropy/empathy paradox”, our technological expansion is energy intensive and it is taking its toll on the planet. We’re headed to collapse unless we rapidly change how we consume energy as a culture, recognizing that we can no longer progress as a ‘shopping species’. I’m reminded of a circle my professor drew on the chalkboard during a lecture which represented time before modern man began to ‘logically’ follow a forward line of progress.
Unlike the line, the “circle of time” once connected individuals to a greater whole where each mind played a small yet integral part. Today we’ve reconnected back through the “circle of time” in an exciting digital environment where we imagine much, but still perceive too little. Our choices continue to affect future generations and those who survive may be looking back in time, wondering what went wrong, or not.
In H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, he describes how “humanity had been strong, energetic, & intelligent, & had used all its abundant vitality to alter the conditions under which it lived. And now came the reaction of the altered conditions.” The Internet marks the beginning of an altered condition which may lead us toward superintelligence, or superorganism, but recognizing our common purposes, needs, components, and implementations comes first, and that requires a World Mind. The “world heart” brings us together not for ourselves, but for future generations. Any globally-minded individual, or institution who recognizes this is encouraged to exchange ideas with me and keep this conversation going.