Tuesday, April 8, 2008
everybody's brain = nobody's brain
Goertzel’s ideas and descriptions of the future World Wide Brain were both fun and frightening to think about. While I’m sure that I do not completely understand his vision, some aspects got me thinking in strange and circular ways. When Goertzel starts describing how people could be physically connecting and uploading their brains into the web-consciousness, on p. 16 he says “Imagine brains as websites,” I did – I pictured what my brain would look like if there was some sort of output - a nonstop stream of mostly incoherent text and images. What if you actually could see a record of your thoughts? I forget so many things, and lose my train of thought all the time, at first I thought it would be pretty handy. But then… what if everyone could see? If you were always connected to and feeding the global internet consciousness with your individual brainpower, and people could see everything you thought, if everyone could see what everyone was thinking, would self conscious thought patterns emerge? OK, I know this is just crazy, but if something like this were to ever happen, it would be the complete and total loss of privacy, since thoughts are the only thing we can completely keep to ourselves, and lots of thoughts are just spontaneous blips. I guess there have been plenty of sci-fi stories along those lines, so it’s nothing new. Anyways, instead of continuing to ramble I’ll just say that this future web-mind-organism is going to be one strange bug, especially if it’s got little bits of everyone in it.