Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

Front Cover
Wiley, Aug 14, 2000 - Science - 384 pages
3 Reviews
"As someone who has spent forty years in psychology with a long-standing interest in evolution, I'll just assimilate Howard Bloom's accomplishment and my amazement."-DAVID SMILLIE, Visiting Professor of Zoology, Duke University In this extraordinary follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Lucifer Principle, Howard Bloom-one of today's preeminent thinkers-offers us a bold rewrite of the evolutionary saga. He shows how plants and animals (including humans) have evolved together as components of a worldwide learning machine. He describes the network of life on Earth as one that is, in fact, a "complex adaptive system," a global brain in which each of us plays a sometimes conscious, sometimes unknowing role. and he reveals that the World Wide Web is just the latest step in the development of this brain. These are theories as important as they are radical. Informed by twenty years of interdisciplinary research, Bloom takes us on a spellbinding journey back to the big bang to let us see how its fires forged primordial sociality. As he brings us back via surprising routes, we see how our earliest bacterial ancestors built multitrillion-member research and development teams a full 3.5 billion years ago. We watch him unravel the previously unrecognized strands of interconnectedness woven by crowds of trilobites, hunting packs of dinosaurs, feathered flying lizards gathered in flocks, troops of baboons making communal decisions, and adventurous tribes of protohumans spreading across continents but still linked by primitive forms of information networking. We soon find ourselves reconsidering our place in the world. Along the way, Bloom offers us exhilarating insights into the strange tricks of body and mind that have organized a variety of life forms: spiny lobsters, which, during the Paleozoic age, participated in communal marching rituals; and bees, which, during the age of dinosaurs, conducted collective brainwork. This fascinating tour continues on to the sometimes brutal subculture wars that have spurred the growth of human civilization since the Stone Age. Bloom shows us how culture shapes our infant brains, immersing us in a matrix of truth and mass delusion that we think of as reality.
Global Brain is more than just a brilliantly original contribution to the ongoing debate on the inner workings of evolution. It is a "grand vision," says the eminent evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, a work that transforms our very view of who we are and why.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

GLOBAL BRAIN: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The author postulates that all creatures are parts of a worldwide "learning machine" that has evolved since the beginning of the universe.Bloom (The Lucifer Principle, 1995) begins by proclaiming that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - librarythingaliba - LibraryThing

I had recently read another of Blooms works, and took some time off before reading this one. I was under the impression that it would be more focused on the internet age (it was written in 2002) but ... Read full review

Contents

Biology Evolution and the Global Brain
1
Creative Nets in the Precambrian Era
14
Networking in Paleontologys Dark Ages
20
Copyright

21 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

HOWARD BLOOM, author of the critically acclaimed book The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, is a Visiting Scholar at New York University. He is a member of both the New York Academy of Sciences and the National Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the founder of the International Paleopsychology Project. He has been written up in every edition of Who's Who in Science and Engineering since the publication's inception.

Bibliographic information