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Tagging the Noosphere

Jan 29, 2010, 03:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)

"The postulation of a noosphere was appealing in its simplicity, but in those pre-networked days (de Chardin died in 1955) it was without much practical application. Even as knowledge continued to expand, information remained sequestered in hundreds of disparate languages, and archived in millions of globally distributed libraries. De Chardin's concept could therefore at best be considered a philosopher's abstraction — an interesting paradigm to be bandied about in conceptual discussions.

"With the advent of the Internet and the Web, though, de Chardin's noosphere seemed to have become real rather than abstract. With so much accessible so easily to so many, the philosopher's vision of the noosphere as the foundation for the next evolutionary step of the cosmos seemed plausible, or at least a jumping off point for the next major advancement in humanity's own developmental path. Indeed, the emergence of language allowed the first humans to share individual discoveries, and the development of writing permitted knowledge to be more widely shared and more reliably passed on to future generations. Each of these major advances had unquestionably provided the basis for new and dramatic advances in the development of human society. Must not the ability to synthesize and share all of the world's information in real time lead to another great leap forward?"

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