An old Washington Post story, about bird watchers forming an extremely large, and intriguingly active, virtual community, inspiring references to Teilhard.
“Suppose the Earth is all one big single living organism, with all the elements of it — from the people to the birds — connected like cells in a body. Suppose the goal of evolution is to link up individual human minds, bringing an explosion of intelligence and even global consciousness to this mammoth being…That’s not the earth-moving part, however. The earth-moving part — literally — is that, as a result, a movement is spontaneously emerging that alters the physical nature of the planet so as to make it more amenable to the birds that are indicator species of global environmental health. Some of this is as simple as town-house owners deciding to plant lobelia in their back yards because these flowers please hummingbirds.”
“This is just an example where the Web is mediating a collective thought process that has feedback effects. It is affecting the distribution of the species,” says Robert Wright, author of “The Moral Animal.” It is reminiscent, Wright says, of Teilhard’s idea that technology would connect minds into a “brain for the biosphere as the human species consciously assumes stewardship of the planet.” It explains, he says, why “serious people take Teilhard seriously.”