All quotes from Shima Beigi’s

Tononi posits that any network, organic or not, of which the states of the components change in a sufficiently integrated way exhibits consciousness. Since the definition of Phi merely depends on probability distributions for the states of the different components, it can in principle be computed for the web.

When we send an email, that message is transmitted automatically to the right address, without anyone wondering what path it took to get there. This is undoubtedly a form of distributed cognition, extending the information processing inside our individual minds across the globe. However, from the present perspective this type of process is not conscious, since it is not being examined, pondered, or circulated. Therefore, the information that is standardly available on the web can be viewed as the noospheric equivalent of the subconscious.

The noopshere then is the equivalent of a global workspace for the global brain. The web, and in particular social media, provides the shared forum where inputs from many different, more specialized sources come together, complementing, contradicting, or confirming each other, while circulating between individuals and systems. Ideas that are passed on, discussed, and elaborated sufficiently frequently may start to “resonate” or “reverberate”, thus being amplified until they reach “ignition”, i.e. widespread, global circulation that maintains the overall pattern for a while in global “working memory”.