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Nature of meaningful integration within the global brain


Corpus Callosum of the Global Brain? (Part #4)


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Depth perception? More significant to the argument here is then the question of what constitutes "integration". There is no question that a significant degree of integration occurs with respect to the "plumbing" of the internet (and the tangibles it conveys). This can be represented on remarkable maps -- possibly even featuring the transactions dynamically. Far less clear is any form of integration relating to the intangibles of meaning and semantic content, however the integration of this might be understood. How might constraints on such integration inhibit depth perception vital to collective human survival, as variously suggested (A. Ptito, et al, Localization and lateralization of stereoscopic processing in the human brain, Neuroreport, 10, 1993, pp. 1155-8; Ian P. Howard and Brian J. Rogers, Perceiving in Depth, 2012)

Mapping? It is significant, for example, that Google only offers a list of search results in response to queries. This can only be understood as an integrative response to the extent that a succession of queries may suggest an integrative perspective -- but only to be inferred from what is actually provided. The answers provided to a search query are not in themselves integrative, and no claim is made in that regard. There is no effort to integrate the results into a map of any kind: a semantic map, a concept map, a conceptual graph, a cognitive map, a mind map, a knowledge integration map, or a topic map. Integration might however be reframed by considering processes such as profiling for marketing and security purposes, and trend analysis (as with Google Trends). Do these constitute what can be best understood as integration within the global brain at this time?

Although isolated explorations of such mapping are made, these must necessarily be understood as precursors of the integration required of a global brain -- as explored more systematically in the above-mentioned online simulation (Simulating a Global Brain: using networks of international organizations, world problems, strategies, and values, 2001). Given the implied dependence on computerization and artifical intelligence, the nature of integration might also be explored in terms of the capacity to respond to the more fundamental questions of a global civilization in crisis (Superquestions for Supercomputers: avoiding terra flops from misguided dependence on teraflops? 2010).

Relevance to a global civilization in crisis? Missing from such understanding, and the associated endeavours, is any sense of the kind of emergent integrative function that might be expected as a consequence of hemispheric integration. Describing and redesigning the "plumbing" may well be the remarkable role of one hemisphere. Envisioning the nature of planetary consciousness, or global consciousness, through the arts and otherwise, may be the function of the other. How any viable integration of relevance to a global civilization in crisis is to emerge is a matter of a quite different order.

Given the distinction made between the lobes of the human brain and their functions, how might this be reflected in in the future integration of the global brain? Are the disparate understandings of global brain distinguished above by Heylighen ("organicism", "encyclopedism", "emergentism" and "evolutionary cybernetics") to be understood as associated with different lobes?

Objectivity 8 Subjectivity? More challenging is the sense in which lateralization of the brain could be understood as related to the processing of objectivity relative to that of subjectivity -- with the latter associated with imagining, dreaming and reframing in ways which are antithetical to the former. There is clearly a degree of paradox to this process and to the manner in which they might then be integrated, as discussed separately (¡¿ Defining the objective ∞ Refining the subjective ?!: Explaining reality ∞ Embodying realization, 2011).

Use of the infinity symbol offers a sense of a form of "cognitive twist" required in order to achieve integration between the subjective and the objective -- through which the world is effectively turned "inside out", as separately discussed (Sphere eversion as guide to the cognitive twist of global introversion? 2013). The symbol, in the form of the Möbius strip is fundamental to a related argument by Steven M. Rosen (The Moebius Seed: a visionary novel of planetary transformation, 1985). The latter concludes by exploring the integrative potential of a global computer conference (a "Creative Visions Conference"). This depicts how the cumulative cyber-input of various holistic ideas, images, and sounds -- originating from both the sciences and arts -- finally triggers a radically non-linear shift resulting in the emergence of forms of harmony harmony that herald the birth of a "planetary organism".

Meta-pattern of connectivity? One approach to the nature of such an integrative function is to recognize it as associated with a connecting meta-pattern. This would follow from the argument of biologist Gregory Bateson (Mind and Nature; a necessary unity, 1979, pp. 8-11).

The pattern which connects is a meta-pattern. It is a pattern of patterns. It is that meta-pattern which defines the vast generalization that, indeed, it is patterns which connect. And it is in this from this perspective that he warns: Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily destroy all quality.

With respect to the role of aesthetics and the arts, in explaining why "we are our own metaphor", Bateson pointed out to a conference on the effects of conscious purpose on human adaptation that:

One reason why poetry is important for finding out about the world is because in poetry a set of relationships get mapped onto a level of diversity in us that we don't ordinarily have access to. We bring it out in poetry. We can give to each other in poetry the access to a set of relationships in the other person and in the world that we're not usually conscious of in ourselves. So we need poetry as knowledge about the world and about ourselves, because of this mapping from complexity to complexity. (Mary Catherine Bateson. Our Own Metaphor, 1972, pp. 288-289).

It is ironic to note that the elusive sense of the requisite integration is associated with the proverbial elephant in the living room (Strategic Challenge of Polysensorial Knowledge: bringing the "elephant" into "focus", 2008). The challenge is variously recognized and argued:


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