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Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  354 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
"As someone who has spent forty years in psychology with a long-standing interest in evolution, I'll just assimilate Howard Bloom's accomplishment and my amazement."-DAVID SMILLIE, Visiting Professor of Zoology, Duke University In this extraordinary follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Lucifer Principle, Howard Bloom-one of today's preeminent thinkers-offers us a bold ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 14th 2000 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 881)
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Charlene Lewis- Estornell
I really don't know what to say about this book. I love the study of complex adaptive systems more than I could ever express. I loved that this author wanted to understand and write about systems, wanted to show the reader how things connect. And, while I truly loved so many aspects of this book, I wanted the author to engage in a bit more critical thinking. He was able to view E. O. Wilson's work from a critical lens. He was able to equally to take on the gene centered illusion of evolution. Bu ...more
Sean
This is heavily dosed with the techno-hippie singularity-embracing-orthodoxy Kool Aid, so be careful to swallow it with many grains of salt. But the fructose is backed with much more evidence and solid citations than most of the new age babble that you hear about this subject matter. Bloom presents another useful lens that I still find helpful for looking at human behavior and social trends and evolution.
Orin
Feb 27, 2010 Orin rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, ideas
There are some interesting observations here, but it is largely a reworking of the Gaea hypothesis. It relies far to much on arguments from analogy, which pretend much but fail to get the yolk out of the egg since they won't break the shell. Way too much brain lint here.
Dav
The principles Bloom developed in this book have colored my understanding of the world ever since I read it.
Christian
Oct 07, 2012 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Howard Bloom does it again! Well, he did it sometime ago with this writing. I was rather late with reading this but nonetheless, he did not fail to patiently stress the significance of the movement, the structure, the activity and the concerns of the Global Brain.

If we truly thought to ourselves for a long moment and asked if the insides of our body are similar to us, homo sapiens, on the outside of bodies, then we would possibly be in a better thinking position collectively. This was not perfo
...more
Jan Höglund
This is a well-written book, but the problem I have with it is that there are too many 'mechanical' or 'computerized' analogies in the book - and I think that these analogies lead the thinking (and understanding) in the wrong direction. The Global Brain, or Mass Mind, is NOT a Computer. And I don't think that "swarms of nanocomputerized bacteria", used as "exploratory engines", are a "giant leap for all mankind" (p.223). They might actually become a mega-nightmare! Maybe we aren't the "neurons o ...more
Lage von Dissen
Bloom has created a follow-up to his book "The Lucifer Principle" (which I read and enjoyed) where he looks at all of life on Earth as a massively evolving mind or giant biological "learning machine". He sees us as a global brain where all living things are either playing a conscious role, an unknowing role, or a combination of the two. Global communication (i.e. the internet) is just another step in this learning process occurring over the last few billion years. As for "higher organisms" (i.e. ...more
Traummachine
Dec 21, 2012 Traummachine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's so very much to say about this book. Part psychology, part study in societies and civilization, part biology, Global Brain is incredibly easy to read for subjects so in depth. The bottom line is that we are the way we are because we're programmed that way. Some will be devout followers, others will lead, and still others will try new and unusual things...but all of this is according to the same social system used by creatures from bacteria to pack hunters to other primates. Don't believe ...more
Tim Cusmano
Starts well with plenty of interesting ideas, then devolves into some claptrap about Sparta and Athens (or something. I don't know, it was a long time ago when I read this). Good if you can borrow or find for cheap, but don't pay too much if you can't help it.
Eric
Nov 11, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had recently read another of Blooms works, and took some time off before reading this one. I was under the impression that it would be more focused on the internet age (it was written in 2002) but in fact focuses more on a historical and biological evolution of global consciousness. As always Bloom provides copious references, footnotes and the like (about 1/3 of the actual book volume). It was a good read, if a little detail-heavy at times, and I like where he ended up. Worth reading if only ...more
Steve
Jun 29, 2012 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloom is an energetic writer, and his books are great fun for anyone who loves history and science. However, he belabors his analogy of the complex adaptive system way beyond its usefulness. Can the neural net (or anything else) really explain everything that has occurred in the universe since seconds after the Big bang? Is it really honest to talk about bacteria like E. coli having "intelligence"?

As I said, if you take it with a grain of salt, this is a fun read and a lot of food for thought.
Ryan Casey
Aug 05, 2008 Ryan Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloom combines historical trends with little known revelations from science and psychology to prove that while human beings may be the first individually intelligent beings on earth, there are many other interacting and competing group intelligences (including our own.) He even goes so far as to claim that each competing group or subgroup is a hypothesis of the 'global brain' created buy the contributions of each intelligence. Heavy stuff, but if anyone has the science to back it up, it's Bloom.
Nick Mather
Aug 05, 2011 Nick Mather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bloom presents a seemingly airtight argument that proves all life on the planet is interconnected, and not, as some would have it, a battle of individuals and selfish genes, but rather a world of cooperation. His argument is supported with 65 pges of notes and a forty page bibliography. But don't let that deter you; Global Brain iis beautifully written.
Darice
Feb 16, 2009 Darice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic line of thought with compelling evidence from evolution, sociology, ecology and psychology that supports humanity's development into a macro-organism. Focus moves onto the individual's role and the immaterial forces that govern the shifting of groups and formations of societies.
Bill
Jun 08, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It changed the way I look at everything. Love it or hate it You have to appreciate the genius(madness?)of Bloom and his ability to pull ideas from a variety of scientific disciplines and create a homogeneous theory of the world.
Chris Telesmanic
Sep 04, 2008 Chris Telesmanic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written very much like the Lucifer Principle, but a little bit more organized and detailed in the explanations behind the scientific research and theories.
ActionScientist
Oct 25, 2009 ActionScientist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Understanding Complex Adaptive Systems for Dummies like Me!

One of the most important books on my bookshelf. I've read it a few times.
Kevin Lee
The supposedly next "Stephen Hawkins"? I don't quite see that yet. Mass Mind evolution from Big Bang to now, where the line is showing?
Christopher
this guy's kinda nuts, but the science behind the wacky writing style is totally on. ignore the wrapper, go for the wrapped.
Sylvie
Feb 12, 2012 Sylvie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La nature, l'évolution et le comportement des superorganismes sur notre planète. L'un des meilleurs livres que j'ai lu en 2011.
Kevin
Nov 24, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at collective intelligence from single celled organisms all the way to man. Absolutely worth reading.
Pr0x1mo
Jul 18, 2013 Pr0x1mo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those paradigm shift belief books that makes you find god only to become an atheist.
Keith
Jan 10, 2013 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent and insightful book written by Howard Bloom.
Martha Johnson
Helped me to think about our corporate innovation strategy.
Brian Bulfer
Jul 08, 2009 Brian Bulfer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished it and I am going to read it again.
Avis Black
Not as good as his first book.
Bogdan
Jan 28, 2010 Bogdan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
mind blowing
Tayyib
Oct 13, 2009 Tayyib rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
mind bending
Michel-Éric
Sequel to the lucifer principle. awesome.
Amar Pai
Jan 06, 2010 Amar Pai marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed from Dav
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"I know a lot of people. A lot. And I ask a lot of prying questions. But I've never run into a more intriguing biography than Howard Bloom's in all my born days. " Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein,[and] Freud,” by Britain's Channel4 TV, "the next Stephen Hawking"
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