Teilhard and the Web Metaphors for New Space James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College Department of Earth Sciences and Geography Center for.
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Teilhard and the Web Metaphors for New Space James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College Department of Earth Sciences and Geography Center for the Advancement of Research and Teaching (CART)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Born Auvergne, France 1881 Studied geology and paleontology; taught physics and chemistry Ordained as Jesuit priest 1912 Sorbonne doctorate 1922 Paleontology research in China 1923 to 1946 Legion of Honor 1946 Died in New York 1955
Unity of Creation “… each of us is perforce linked by all the material organic and psychic strands of his being to all that surrounds him [sic].”
Continuity with Past and Present “If we look far enough back in the depths of time, the disordered anthill of living beings suddenly, for an informed observer, arranges itself in longs files that make their way by various paths toward greater consciousness.”
Human Role in Evolution “… there is an absolute direction of growth, to which both our duty and our happiness demand that we should conform. It is [the human] function to complete cosmic evolution.”
Evolution is toward greater complexity Geological Evolution: Energy Biological Evolution: Life Human Evolution: Consciousness
Noosphere “… above the animal biosphere a human sphere, a sphere of reflection, of conscious intervention, of conscious souls” “human consciousness turned in upon itself”
Science For Teilhard, science was in the service of directed evolution toward higher orders of consciousness. “… research students are numbered in the hundreds of thousands -- soon to be millions -- and they are no longer distributed superficially and at random over the globe, but they are functionally linked together in a vast organic system that will remain in the future indispensable to the life of the community.” 1961
World Wide Web Gophers Gopherspace Archie, Jughead, and Veronica Hypertext Hyperspace Images Commerce-free
1999: The Year of eCommerce 0.1% of U.S. Commerce
Has the Internet Changed Our Daily Lives? Where did Jeremy’s message go on its way to his mother?
Y2K Connection The y2k computer failure problem is like a massive intertwined ring of dominoes - one little nudge anywhere in the rings and you stand to witness an amazing chain reaction. In this case the nudge is the year 2000 and the intertwined rings of dominoes are those aspects of our society - worldwide - that interact with computers. Rev. Dacia Reid
… at all scales “Net” gives way to “fabric” More information in smaller spaces Oxygen Smart Dust Biological Models
Questions Is the Web really different from earlier technologies - from Gutenberg to the telegraph (the Victorian Internet)? Does the Web represent some sort of collective consiousness? If not, is this nonetheless a good metaphor? Could better metaphors be found?
More Questions Will the Web do more to unite -- as Teilhard might have hoped -- or to divide? Given the bugs seen in today’s technologies, are such developments as Oxygen and Smart Dust really possible?
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