The most important task is to be in a new way: to experience, to be conscious, in a new way. We need to make the shift from this, the skin-encapsulated model of the self, to this, what some have referred to as “leaky margins.” The boundaries are still there, but they are much less solid. In addition, we now experience a greater oneness with the world outside.

from The Global Brain (1983)

Portrait of Peter Russell

Peter Russell

Futurist
Born: April 9, 1946

Peter Russell is an author and futurist, serving on the faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a fellow of The World Business Academy and The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest, and President of Science and Nonduality. At Cambridge University he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation. He also has a post-graduate degree in computer science, and conducted some of the early work on 3-dimensional displays, presaging by some twenty years the advent of virtual reality.

In the 1970s, he was one of the first people to introduce human potential seminars into the corporate field, and for twenty years ran programs for senior management on creativity, stress management, personal development, and sustainable development. Clients have included IBM, Apple, Digital, American Express, Barclays Bank, Swedish Telecom, ICI, Shell Oil and British Petroleum. In 1982 he coined the term "global brain" with his 1980s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have. As one of the more revolutionary futurists, Peter Russell has been a keynote speaker at many international conferences, in Europe, Japan and the USA. His multi-image shows and videos, The Global Brain and The White Hole in Time have won praise and prizes from around the world. In 1993 the environmental magazine Buzzworm voted Peter Russell "Eco-Philosopher Extraordinaire" of the year. His principal interest is the deeper, spiritual significance of the times we are passing through. His work seeks to distill the essence of the world's spiritual traditions and present it in ways relevant to the current times.

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Mentioned in 7 documents

Gottfried Mayer-Kress

The Global Brain as an Emergent Structure from the Worldwide Computing Network

We propose that the existence of a globally and tightly connected network of computer workstations such as the Internet can lead to the emergence of a globally self-organized structure which we refer to as the Global Brain.

Terence McKenna

The Birth of a New Humanity

Francis Heylighen

The Global Brain as a New Utopia

The global brain can be conceived most fundamentally as a higher level of evolution, the way humans form a higher level of organization that evolved out of the animals. Although the analogy between an organism and a society can be applied even to primitive societies, it becomes clearly more applicable as technology develops. As transport and communication become more efficient, different parts of global society become more interdependent. At the same time, the variety of ideas, specializations, and subcultures increases. This simultaneous integration and differentiation creates an increasingly coherent system, functioning at a much higher level of complexity.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Conscious Evolution

Barbara explored the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and the possibilty of humanity gradually giving birth to a new planetary-scale consciousness, which she called Homo universalis.

Donald Dulchinos

Neurosphere

According to Donald Dulchinos, the real action on the Internet isn’t in the realm of commerce. It is, plain and simple, in the realm of religion. But not exactly that old-time religion. This book is about the spiritual impact of our increasing ability to communicate quickly and with enhanced evolution. It's about our search for meaning, our hunger for a glimpse at humanity's future development in which, frighteningly or excitingly, the trend is clearly toward increasing integration of telecommunications and information technology with the body itself. Electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the brain's control of electronic and mechanical limbs move the boundary that used to exist between human and machine to some undefined frontier inside our bodies, our brains, and, perhaps, our minds.

Francis Heylighen

The Global Superorganism

The organismic view of society is updated by incorporating concepts from cybernetics, evolutionary theory, and complex adaptive systems. Global society can be seen as an autopoietic network of self-producing components, and therefore as a living system or “superorganism”.

Francis Heylighen and Johan Bollen

The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain

If society is viewed as a superorganism, communication networks play the role of its brain. This metaphor is developed into a model for the design of a more intelligent global network. The World Wide Web, through its distributed hypermedia architecture, functions as an “associative memory”, which may “learn” by the strengthening of frequently used links. Software agents, exploring the Web through spreading activation, function as problem-solving “thoughts”. Users are integrated into this “super-brain” through direct machine interfaces and the reciprocal exchange of knowledge between individual and Web. (Published in Cybernetics and Systems ’96, p. 917–922.)