Wholeness and Virtual Communities

“The Jewel Net of Indra…Imagine a vast net: at each crossing point there is a jewel; each jewel is perfectly clear and reflects all the other jewels. In the net, the way two mirrors placed opposite each other will reflect an image ad infinitum. The jewel in this metaphor stands for an individual being, or an individual consciousness, or a cell or an atom. Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight in every other jewel.”

– Stephen Mitchell

Declining the Neurosphere

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Some of course, believe that an interconnection of human minds through the ether is not such a good thing. It’s good that scientific research is proceeding in this, ah, sensitive area.

Abstract – Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as

the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified.


Collective Consciousness – Ways and Means

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

This web site attempts to track, among other things, technology as a mechanism for collective consciousness. My book surveyed other mechanisms identified in the ongoing investigation of the nature of consciousness, and here’s an older paper I missed in that vein.

“Evidences are presented that electromagnetic potential fields mediate the collective field of consciousness. This result offers for the first time experimental access to the study of collective consciousness by measuring the field-related information-carrying potentials and their derivatives, the electric and magnetic fields between different individuals.”


World Digital Library

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Here’s those darn Google guys again, this time teaming up to form a noospheric institution. Twenty years ago, I worked at the Library of Congress, in the Congressional Research Service. We wrote technical reports, based on Library collections and other sources, for the benefit of members of Congress in their deliberations on public policy. I always thought it was a no-brainer to make them available to individual taxpayers. When Billington came in at the end of my tenure, he proposed that. It only took about 15 years for the bureacracy to be overcome, and now some of my reports on energy policy are available if you google my name. Some institutions evolve faster than others.

“Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin announced today that Google is the first private-sector company to contribute to the Library’s initiative to develop a plan to begin building a World Digital Library (WDL) for use by other libraries around the globe. The effort would be supported by funds from nonexclusive, public and private partnerships, of which Google is the first.”


For more on similar topics

click WHOLENESS on menu at left.

Regulating Archetypes

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Ursula King and other theologians influenced by Teilhard speak of “noospheric institutions” – Doctors Without Borders is one example. I don’t think Television Without Frontiers is the best example, but it’s interesting that the Internet was transborder from the get-go. Telecommunications technology is by nature more effective and capable without geographic constraints – but politics right now governs television technology because it is the battleground of our most sacred archetypes – from holy warriors to Janet Jackson’s breast. But the calls for control of the latter ring hollow – the genie is so far out of the bottle that proposed controls function solely as political litmus tests.

The “Television without Frontiers” directive (89/552/EEC), adopted on 3 October 1989 by the Council and amended on 30 June 1997 by the European Parliament and the Council Directive 97/36/EC, establishes the legal frame of reference for the free movement of television broadcasting services in the Union in order to promote the development of a European market in broadcasting and related activities, such as television advertising and the production of audiovisual programmes.


United Nations Discovers the Neurosphere

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

In my day job, I work periodically with the International Telecommunications Union, a standards-setting body under the United Nations umbrella. Their new report, The Internet of Things, describes the kind of trends and challenges I’ve been covering in my book and in this Blog – “ubiquitous network society” may or may not be a synonym for neurosphere. Like the European Union, they are struggling to adapt old legal and regulatory structures to rapidly evolving technologies.

“We are heading towards what can be termed a “ubiquitous network society”, one in which networks and networked devices are omnipresent. …Technological standardization in most areas is still in its infancy, or remains fragmented. But perhaps one of the most important challenges is convincing users to adopt emerging technologies like RFID. Concerns over privacy and data protection are widespread, particularly as sensors and smart tags can track a user’s movements, habits and preferences on a perpetual basis. But whatever the concern, one thing remains clear: scientific and technological advances in these fields continue to move ahead at breakneck speed. It is only through awareness of such advances, and the challenges they present, that we can reap the future benefits of a fair, user-centric and global Internet of Things.”


Be the Grid

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Grid computing available at retail!

“The Sun Grid can accept any self-contained, 32-bit application that is pre-compiled for Solaris 10 OS on the x86 architecture. (Java binaries will work as well.) Upload your apps for deployment on the Sun Grid and for execution. Input files may be cataloged and stored for repeat usage.”


Grid computing like other innovations starts to see business model enablers come along. To the extent free markets are the perfect vehicle for expression of human needs, this growing grid entity will have the necessary circulatory systems to keep it going. Here’s one enabler from H-P, and a fully formed market mechanism for buying “computons” from Sun.

“Tycoon is a market-based system for managing compute resources in distributed clusters like PlanetLab, the Grid, or a Utility Data Center (UDC). The basic idea is that users have a limited supply of credits. Consuming users pay providing users to use computer resource. Users who provide resources can, in turn, spend their earnings to use resources later.”


Whenever someone uses the term “solution”, I reach for my wallet. But I suppose this is the way the grid infrastructure is adapted to specific uses.

“Kontiki offers the industry’s most secure and scalable digital media delivery solution, enabling enterprises and content providers to securely publish, deliver and track digital media to employees, partners and customers.”


Wholeness, Ancient and Modern

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Pir Vilayet Inayat Khan died this year. Pir Vilayet brought the teachings of Sufism, the contemplative, mystical branch of Islam, to the West. He founded the Omega Institute, a “holistic” learning center whose name comes from Teilhard’s concept of the Omega Point. He talked about the institute resurrecting the aims of the ancient library of Alexandria, the compendium of all known knowledge at the time. Years ago, Internet pioneers had the idea that the Interent had the potential to be a mechanism for such an ambitious project of wholeness. Today advocates of online encyclodpedia Wikipedia harbor similar ambitions.

“Omega will be a global center for the development of human potential.”




Teilhard and Intelligent Design

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Here’s a critique of theories of Intelligent Design by reference to Teilhard de Chardin’s more inclusive synthesis of science and religion.

“And this is the first thing to notice; unlike ID, Teilhard’s cosmology is not a shortcut to anywhere. Teilhard’s cosmology does not close off questions; it opens them up. And, if it is right, it really does help us make metaphysical sense of everything about the universe without having to abandon real science at any point in the process. That is, for Teilhard, as much as for any naturalist, we understand the universe by looking at the universe; not outside of it. In Teilhard’s universe there are no dei ex machina; things happen in the universe because that’s the way they happen in this universe. The difference is that this universe is not quite as straightforwardly self-subsistent as the naturalists would have it be.”


The Original Grid

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is a group of companies seeking to spin gold by characterizing the electrical line to your home as a provider of broadband Internet and video access. I think this is a long way from competitive with the incumbents, but the interesting thing is the natural synchonization of such data intensive uses with the primary use, electric power. This recent announcement is another step toward an electrical grid with distributed intelligence, that is to say, a network that operates itself in an efficient manner commensurate with the global nature of its environmental impact.

“The alliance’s command and control specification will offer whole-house control of lighting and appliances, allowing them to respond to simple commands such as “turn on” and “turn off” and to report their status to a controller. Recent advances in powerline signaling technology enable interference free connectivity throughout the home while greatly reducing the need for additional aids such as phase couplers and repeaters.”


Polling the Neurosphere

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

So this company is doing customer research in the form of data mining. Except consumer research has never been very scientific, useful more in yes/no situations (President Bush – Yes or No?). Amazon and others have a leg up in recording actual mass market purchasing behavior. But the research here is polling bloggers whose goal is pushing their opinions out there in the first place – a deep well of individual thoughts and beliefs – a step closer to tracking the attitude of the Neurosphere itself?

”Umbria is a marketing intelligence company that analyzes and distills the opinions and perceptions of the online world – from more than 20 million blogs, message boards, opinion sites and other public forums – into actionable market insights about companies, products, people and issues.”


Tip of the NeuroHat to my homeys at the Boulder Daily Camera