when the big is smallest and the small is biggest – Socratic overview and the Global Brain

healthy neuron

healthy neuron


Original: On Becoming a Neuron Ben Goertzel


“… The writer, who does not appear to be a futurist or transhumanist or Singularitarian or anything like that, is observing the extent to which he has lost his autonomy and outsourced a variety of his cognitive functions to various devices with which he interacts. And he feels he has become stronger rather than weaker because of this – and not any less of an individual.

“This ties in deeply with the theme of the Global BrainThe Social Superorganism and its Global Brain –which is a concept dear to my heart …

* * *

“Just as a neuron in the brain does not particularly manifest its individuality any less than a neuron floating by itself in a solution. In fact, the neuron in the brain may manifest its individuality more greatly, due to having a richer, more complex variety of stimuli to which it may respond individually. None of these observations are at all surprising from a Global Brain theory perspective.

“But, they’re significant as real-time, subjectively-perceived and objectively-observed inklings of the accelerating emergence of a more and more powerful and coordinated Global Brain, of which we are parts.

“And I think this ties in with Ray Kurzweil‘s point that by the time we have human-level AGI, it may not be “us versus them.” it may be a case where it’s impossible to draw the line between us and them. (full article)


image source: National Institutes of Health

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*Newcomb insert — see “What is a trustworthy face?” (“Friend or Foe — The most basic decision an organism must reach is whether another organism is a friend or foe … “) (Paul Bouissac), Prisoner’s Dilemma, “Friend-or-Foe Intentionality Priming in an Extensive Form Trust Game” (McCabe/Burnham/Smith).

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Newcomb’s commentary: “We drink from wells we did not dig.” Peter Raible



2 Responses

  1. Just and FYI…You said that
    “The writer, who does not appear to be a futurist or transhumanist or Singularitarian or anything like that”. However, Ben Goertzel is research director for the Singularity Institute in Artificial Intelligence ( SIAI ) and would have to be considered a singularitarian at the minimum and I think futurist and transhumanist would have to apply as well 🙂

  2. thekonshus1 — I suspect you’re right. I was quoting his blog at the Singularity Institute website. If you click “On Becoming a Neuron ,” it should hyperlink you to his piece… he referred to a writer who did not appear to be a futurist, transhumanist or Singularitarian as backdrop to his lead in to “the Global Brain.” Thanks. — Nuke

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