Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I've been rereading Steven Den Beste's post on hive minds, and there's something very refreshing about it. The idea of being somehow assimilated by a supermind at the cost of your individuality, as with the Borg, seems to have a grip on many imaginations. More likely our individualities will be part of any hive mind we may form, much as the nature of ants and bees is ideally suited for the hive minds they form. Yet I'm not sure I completely agree with him.

We are affected by the emotions and ideas of those around us whether we chose to be or not, often meeting anger with anger without consciously willing it. This may in some sense be part of the operation of a global brain. At any rate, many of the problems we face are global in scope, and can only be solved at that level. Arguably we have already found solutions to all problems which can be solved on a lower level, and India and China are attempting to replicate and improve upon (at least from their perspective) the solution we have found (capitalism) to poverty. Yet disease can spread all over the world, so that if we don't have adaquate prevention for infectious diseases globally we don't have it at all. The dynamics of terrorism are even harder to deal with, but who can doubt today they are a global problem, requiring global awareness to solve? Some still question the impact of global warming, but we need to be capable of dealing with a problem on such a scale, even if this turned out not to be it. And we need to be able to deal with the dynamics that make the conviction that inaction is enough achieve success, although the majority of scientists who have studied it believe otherwise.

No comments: