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The Global Brain Awakens

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The Global Brain Awakens

Our Next Evolutionary Step

Element Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Is the Internet the central nervous system of a newly evolving global being? Peter Russell thinks so...

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Editorial Rating



  • Visionary


Not too many philosophers have taken a serious crack at explaining what the advent of the Internet means to the future of human society. While technology takes a back-seat to spirituality in The Global Brain Awakens, author Peter Russell takes all the recent hype about global interconnectivity to a fascinating extreme: The Internet as the central nervous system to a newly evolved global organism. Russell draws parallels between the development of the central nervous system in living organisms and creation of Web communications here on Earth, which he argues is the biggest living organism of them all. Unfortunately, this intriguing line of thought is undermined by the book’s conclusion, which collapses into a mire of hokey higher consciousness that lacks the same critical reasoning. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in an alternative vision of a Web-enhanced future, provided you are not turned off by its new age clichés.


Planet Earth

What is your world view? Is it your local neighborhood? The country you live in? Think about your world view while pretending you’re an astronaut standing on the moon. How do you perceive the planet Earth?

The ability to expand our world view beyond the horizon is new. With the advent of the space program, mankind became able to see the planet from a distance. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man on the moon, has said that his world view changed when he stood on the moon and looked back at the Earth. "It was a beautiful, harmonious, peaceful-looking planet, blue with white clouds, and one that gave you a deep sense of home, of being, of identity. It is what I prefer to call instant global consciousness."

Gaia The Gaia hypothesis is the theory that the planet behaves like a living system. Gaia is an ancient Greek term meaning "Earth Mother." British chemist Dr. James Lovelock coined the term in the 1960s to signify the entire biosphere - everything living on the planet - plus the atmosphere, the oceans, and the soil. Under Gaia, the biosphere creates systems to maintain itself.

Homeostasis identifies the biological process of system maintenance. For...

About the Author

Peter Russell was among the first to introduce self-development to the business world. His corporate programs have proved useful to such companies as Apple, American Express, British Petroleum and IBM.

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