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Conclusion


Simulating a Global Brain: using networks of international organizations, world problems, strategies, and values (Part #6)


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The merit of the Encyclopedia initiative described lies in its effort to provide a framework to hold the variety of extant perspectives at a global level and to provide means for exploring their relationships. Its future value will lie in its ability to render this complexity comprehensible in useful ways to those refreshing the information. In some measure it may be understand as simulating the global brain constituted by the vast network of international organizations responding to the preoccupations of different segments of humanity -- perhaps like the 'lobes' and 'sites' of a global brain.

Much remains to be done to highlight the major pathways through such a global brain in terms of its integrative globality. This may be based on the existence of major 'pathways' formed by elements of different feedback loops. Such pathways can be envisaged as being like rivers from which local loops break off (as whorls). A number of such pathways may intersect. It would then be the interlocking of these pathways which ensured the integrity of the knowledge system of problems as a whole. The interesting possibilities for the development of more sophisticated displays of feedback loops depend on the identification and implementation of algorithms capable of positioning a multiplicity of loops (hundreds, if not thousands) over the surface of a sphere. To be useful, this has to be organised so the more detailed loops are positioned "locally" whereas the intersectoral loops exploit the global properties of the sphere.

This approach becomes especially interesting if it is hypothesised that such pathways are themselves necessarily circular. The question can then be formulated in terms of the nature of the surface onto which the pattern of loops can be usefully projected or mapped so as best to bring out the systemic integrity.

It might be argued that this approach to the analysis of the data is more complex than other more conventional forms available from graph theory. The assumption made here is that the constraint of representation on a surface comprehensible to the human mind is of immediate relevance to the ability to make informed decisions on such matters at a policy level. The existing ability to provide specialised analysis of what amounts to local loops in isolation has been well demonstrated, as has the inability to act on the larger loops to which these may contribute. A more comprehensive approach is required to 'thinking globally and acting locally', whether in the geographical or the systemic sense (as suggested here).

In terms of higher order knowledge operations, what will be the relationship of a global brain to memetic warfare between sectors and belief systems? Will competing cultures have competing global brains?


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