Biosphere — Noosphere

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity

Exploit the worldwide Internet as a combination human/machine tool. Of all the items on the list, progress in this is proceeding the fastest and may run us into the Singularity before anything else. The power and influence of even the present-day Internet is vastly underestimated. For instance, I think our contemporary computer systems would break under the weight of their own complexity if it weren’t for the edge that the USENET “group mind” gives the system administration and support people! The very anarchy of the worldwide net development is evidence of its potential. As connectivity and bandwidth and archive size and computer speed all increase, we are seeing something like Lynn Margulis’ [15] vision of the biosphere as data processor recapitulated, but at a million times greater speed and with millions of humanly intelligent agents (ourselves).

I have linked to this item before However I am following up on the biosphere notion — see also the post re Chardin a day or so ago.

[15] Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, _Microcosmos, Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors_, Summit Books, 1986. amazon

I could not resist adding this review from amazon, all new to me, I hope the reviewer (unknown from Texas 1998) is is ok with me quoting this:

This is an outstanding and very readable book on the world of microbes. Beautifully written and filled with insights, it should be required reading for biology students. I couldn’t put it down and I hated biology in high school! I takes you from the beginnings of our planet to the present time, showing the reader the crucial role of microbes in the creation and maintenance of all life. This book will also be of interest to any serious student of the Gaia hypothesis. Read it and you will never think of cells, bacteria and viruses the same way again. You will come away with a humbling and enlightened view on man’s place in a world created, dominated, and maintained by microbes.

For those of you who don’t know, Lyn Margulis is the ex wife of the late Carl Sagan (prior to Ayn Druian) and Ms. Margulis is Dorian Sagan’s mother.Together, they make an excellent writing team.

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