July 25, 2010
Mystical traditions depict a singularity in consciousness occurring when all of humanity is united in the same state of mind. Our choices will determine if we will arrive at this state by achieving global peace, or take a detour through the another World War. In the limit, our shared reflective awareness is a possible consequence of globalization and has been linked to the promise of world peace.
Meanwhile, Princeton University’s all-but-unheard of Noosphere project has begun tracking meaningful correlations in random data that suggest an awakening of global consciousness. The project has distributed physical networked “eggs” which generate a steady stream of random numbers. Upon the occurrence of events of global significance the streams suddenly become a lot less random (actually immediately before these events, but that’s another mystery). Unprepared to even postulate the mechanism for the correlations they have established, the project minimally suggests that our collective intentions and emotions have the power to influence and affect our physical reality.
A wise mentor of mine thinks we might be able to accelerate this transformation if we all took the simple step of pausing, contemplating, and reflecting every day at noon. Similar to the Play As Being practice I sampled a while back, the personal potency of such a discipline is dramatic. Noon is a convenient time to sync up, but the coarseness time zones introduces a margin of error. Imagine if large numbers of people welcomed the sun every morning – a wave of transcendence would (en)circle the globe. Some kind of psychic beacon?
The idea that our technologies mirror our realities is common, though contemplating our reflection within these mirrors is less so. Our global communications system is not only the planet’s nervous system, but through computation and representation, it is becoming a 2-way mirror into our collective psyche.
In the past I have appreciated how distributed research has given way to tools which help aggregate many snowflakes of data into a meaningful snowbank. Flickr and Delicious taught us how to conduct distributed research on photos and hyperlinks, but Twitter has helped popularize aggregation around arbitrary structured data. We are monitoring elections, and each other’s sexual habits. And the data doesn’t even need to be particularly well structured, as this research on the pulse of the nation’s mood demonstrates.
Now that we have glimpsed own collective moods, can we design the biofeedback loops for us to become collectively-aware (in addition to self-aware)? To put this another way, could be learn to actually control the coordinated output of the Noosphere eggs, instead of merely tracking their correlations with our global state.
If we could collectively broadcast one syllable into the universe, what would it be?