Extract from Neuroecology by Professor George Angel
The Noospheric Ocean
If the human mind is a sea in which ideas swim and compete then the collective human consciousness is an ocean. Ideas are not unique to an individual and are not isolated from each other. Ideas flow from one mind to another and can be gathered from a text, speech, music, and overheard conversation, a picture, a film anything you care to mention.
Like a Cichlid dropped by some passing bird into an empty African lake, a new idea can change, mutate and re-organise to meet its surroundings and might not also something greater be able to live across many seas, instead occupying this ocean of the mind?
When mankind spread across the Earth, communication was slow, limited to the speed of a man on horseback or the flow of the wind. Ideas could emerge and compete and find new niches. A perfect case in point might be the American Revolution, where old, strong ideas of monarchy and tradition, removed by a great ocean, could not wield the power they once did and were outstripped by younger, more vital, but ultimately vacuous concepts of liberty and freedom that have been dumbed down to the point of buzzwords.
Now with phones, the internet, the telegraph, the television, ideas spread from mind to mind almost as fast as they spread from neuron to neuron. The processing power of the combined human intellect is enormous and yet… and yet it does not seem to be working to our benefit. We are still the same, primitive, warring apes we ever were. Is it, perhaps, then not working to our benefit at all? Are we livestock to some meta-ego above the superego? Some supremely powerful memeplex that operates on the level of civilisations and cares no more for its environment than we do?
The more we talk to each other, the more information we record, process and communicate, the more likely this seems to me and if it hasn’t happened already, perhaps it will soon. Just as humanity emerged from the primordial physical soup, so too might something monstrous and alien emerge from our collective unconscious.
I think I have glimpsed it.