World Brain

World Brain

Paperback (03 Aug 2021)

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In a series of talks and essays in 1937, H. G. Wells proselytised for what he called a "World Brain," as manifested in a World Encyclopedia--a repository of scientifically established knowledge--that would spread enlightenment around the world and lead to world peace. Wells, known to readers today as the author of The War of the Worlds and other science fiction classics, was imagining something like a predigital Wikipedia. The World Encyclopedia would provide a summary of verified reality (in about forty volumes); it would be widely available, free of copyright, and utilise the latest technology. Of course, as Bruce Sterling points out in the foreword to this edition of Wells's work, the World Brain didn't happen; the internet did. And yet, Wells anticipated aspects of the internet, envisioning the World Brain as a technical system of networked knowledge (in Sterling's words, a "hypothetical super-gadget"). Wells's optimism about the power of information might strike readers today as naïvely utopian, but possibly also inspirational.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262542562
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 306.42
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: cm
Weight: 368g
Height: 203mm
Width: 133mm