The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
Expert Opinions on the book and the author, Howard Bloom
“A modern-day prophet, Bloom compels us to admit that evolution is a team sport. This is a picture of the universe in which human emotions find their basis in the survival of matter, and the atoms themselves are held together with love. I am awestruck.” Douglas Rushkoff—author of Media Virus, Coercion, and Ecstasy Club
“This lusty tome generated by Bloom’s voracious reading habit and extraordinary talent for explanation proclaims that groups of individuals—from people to vervet monkeys to bacteria—organize themselves, create novelty, alter their surroundings, and triumph to leave more offspring than loner individuals. A stunning commitment to scientific evidence, this sequel to The Lucifer Principle ought to purge the academic world of ‘selfish genes’ and the neodarwinist dogma of ‘individual selection’.” Lynn Margulis, Distinguished University Professor, University of Massachusetts, recipient of a 1999 National Medal of Science, author of Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution .
“I have met God and he lives in Brooklyn. I could try to convince you that Howard Bloom is next on a very short list that includes Darwin, Freud, Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, but Howard can probably do a much better job of convincing you himself.” Richard Metzger, creative director Disinfo.com, host of Channel Four TV Britain’s Disinfo Nation.
“In a superbly written and totally original argument, Howard Bloom continues his one-man tradition of tackling the taboo subjects. With a marvelously erudite survey of life and society from bacteria to the Internet, he demonstrates that group selection is for real and the group mind was there from the start. What we are entering now is but the latest phase in the evolution of the global brain. This is a must read.” Robin Fox, University Professor of Social Theory, Rutgers University, co-author with Lionel Tiger of The Imperial Animal.
“A fascinating new evolutionary theory which could deeply change our view of life, and a new worldview which could radically change our interpretation of social structures.” Florian Roetzer, editor, Telepolis, Germany, author of Digitale Weltentwürfe. Streifzüge durch die Netzkultur and Megamaschine Wissen.
“Global Brain is wonderful! I’m amazed at the book’s knowledge and the scope of its reach. The ‘mass mind’ idea is wondrous, smart and immensely creative.” Georgie Anne Geyer, syndicated columnist, Universal Press Syndicate, and author of Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro.
“Howard Bloom has a fascinating vision of the interplay of life, and a compelling style which I found captivating.” Nils Daulaire, President and CEO, Global Health Council.
“Howard Bloom’s work is simply brilliant and there is nothing else like it, anywhere–we’ve looked, as have our colleagues. Global Brain is powerful, provocative, and mind-blowing.” Don Edward Beck, Ph.D., author of Spiral Dynamics, co-director, National Values Center.
“The Thales of the Internet, Howard Bloom thinks what he wants, writes what he thinks, and performs his synthesis with a good heart, uncompromising truth, creative brain, and mountains of evidence. From the bacterial web of Eshel Ben-Jacob to the scientific sidelining of Professor Ling, we see the daunting power of groups that interact and sacrifice their members in order to thrive and evolve. Global Brain is a historical tour-de-force, one based on evolution and the complexity of adaptive systems.” Dorion Sagan, author of Biospheres and co-author of Into the Cool: The New Thermodynamics of Life.
“Stunning! Howard Bloom has done it again. He is certainly on to something.” Peter Corning, Director, Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, President, International Society For the Systems Sciences, author of The Synergism Hypothesis: a theory of progressive evolution and Nature’s Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind.
“Howard Bloom believes that the Leviathan, or society as an organism, is not a fanciful metaphor but an actual product of evolution. The Darwinian struggle for existence has taken place among societies, as well as among individuals within societies. We do strive as individuals, but we are also part of something larger than ourselves, with a complex physiology and mental life that we carry out but only dimly understand. With this bold vision of evolution and human behavior, Bloom has raced ahead of the timid scientific herd.” David Sloan Wilson, co-author of Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.
“Bloom paints a spirited and wide ranging picture of the importance of information sharing and other forms of cooperation in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Arguments on group vs. individual selection are normally conducted in dense prose, but Bloom’s overview is high, swift, and enjoyable.” Peter J. Richerson, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis; co-author (with Robert Boyd), Culture and the Evolutionary Process
“You have not lived until you have interacted with Howard Bloom. He offers sweeping looks at similar functional patterns of organization at cellular, neural, social, and cosmic levels, combining them with powerful insights on social history and movements in human thoughts and rituals.” James Brody, Ph.D., Founder, Clinical Sociobiology, organizer “Healing The Moral Animal” seminars, sponsored by The Cape Cod Institute, Albert Einstein Medical College of Yeshiva University.
“God, this is GREAT stuff!” Richard Brodie, author, Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme, original author/programmer of Microsoft Word.
“My head is still spinning from so much eloquence and content. Howard Bloom says with detail and clarity those things which bite the soul.” Valerius Geist, President Wildlife Heritage Ltd., founding Programme Director for Environmental Science, University of Calgary, author of Life Strategies, Human Evolution, Environmental Design. Towards a Biological Theory of Health.
“As someone who has spent 40 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.
“Bloom’s debut. The Lucifer Principle (1997) sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind. Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary’ biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series of achievements in collective information processing. He stands up for ‘group selection’ (a minority view among evolutionists) and traces cooperation among organisms—and competition between groups—throughout the history of evolution. ‘Creative webs’ of early microorganisms teamed up to go after food sources: modern colonies of E. coli bacteria seem to program themselves for useful, nonrandom mutations. Octopi “teach” one another to avoid aversive stimuli. Ancient Sparta killed its weakest infants; Athens educated them. Each of these is a social learning system. And each such system relies on several functions. ‘Conformity enforcers’ keep most group members doing the same things; ‘diversity generators’ seek out new things; ‘resource shifters’ help the system alter itself to favor new things that work. In Bloom’s model, bowling leagues, bacteria, bees, Belgium and brains all behave in similar ways. Lots of real science and some history—much of it fascinating, some of it quite obscure—go into Blooms ambitious, amply footnoted…arguments. …Bloom’s concept of collective information processing may startle skeptical readers with its explanatory’ power.” Publishers Weekly
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