Many of us feel that the Web is ushering in a new era of global consciousness. But Howard Bloom thinks life has been a collective mind from the very beginning. He made the case in his book "Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang To the 21st Century." Host Jon Udell speaks with Bloom who reviews the themes of that book -- group selectionism, complex adaptive systems, collective learning -- and considers what has, and hasn't, changed since the book was published in 2000.
Howard Bloom has been called "the Darwin, Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st Century" by Britain's Channel4 TV and "the next Stephen Hawking" by Gear Magazine. Christopher Boehm, the director of the Jane Goodall Research Institute says, "Howard Bloom should be taking notes on what he's doing every minute of the day. He is single-handedly creating a scientific revolution."
Bloom comes from the world of cosmology, theoretical physics, and microbiology. He built his first Boolean Algebra machine when he was twelve, co-conceived a primitive but award-winning game-playing computer that same year, worked in the largest cancer research lab in America--the Roswell Park Cancer Institute--when he was sixteen, and did research in B.F. Skinner's programmed learning at Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education before his freshman year of college. But he did 20 years of fieldwork in the world of business and popular culture, where he tested his hypotheses in the real world. In 1968 Bloom turned down four graduate fellowships and embarked on what he calls his Voyage of the Beagle, an expedition to the dark underbelly where new myths, new historical movements, and new shifts in mass emotion are made.
Bloom returned to science full time in 1988. Since then, he has founded three international scientific groups, The Group Selection Squad, The International Paleopsychology Project, and The Space Development Steering Committee.
This free podcast is from our Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators series.