Today's date:
Winter 2000

From Cyberspace to the Noosphere: Emergence of the Global Mind

David Ronfeldt & John Arquilla are two of the most innovative thinkers among that increasingly rare breed we used to call "defense intellectuals" during the Cold War. This essay is excerpted from a report, The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward an American Information Strategy, recently prepared for the National Defense Research Institute of the Rand Corporation.

Their previous works include The Advent of Netwar (1996), In Athena's Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age (1997) and, with Graham and Melissa Fuller, The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico (1998).

Santa Monica - "Noosphere" is a term that come froms the Greek word "noos" for the mind. It was coined by the controversial French theologian and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1925 and disseminated in posthumous publicaitons in the 1950s and 1960s. In his view, the world first evolved a geosphere and next a biosphere. Now that people are communicating on a global scale, the world is giving rise to a noosphere - what he variously describes as a globe-spanning realm of "the mind," a "thinking circuit," a "stupendous thinking machine," a "thinking envelope" full of fibers and networks and a planetary "consciousness." In the words of Julian Huxley, Teilhard's noosphere amounts to a "web of living thought."

back to index