What if we could zoom out past our own myopic point of view and see the planet Earth and all of its inhabitants as one giant global intelligence?
That’s the question a trio of researchers recently tackled in a paper titled Intelligence as a planetary scale process.
AKA: the By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet theory, as we like to call it here at Neural.
This one’s a bit of a doozy. The paper itself is intriguing, but my first instinct was to call it ironically boring and painfully optimistic.
Here’s a snippet from the abstract:
We consider the ways in which the appearance of technological intelligence may represent a kind of planetary scale transition, and thus might be seen not as something which happens on a planet but to a planet, much as some models propose the origin of life itself was a planetary phenomenon.
Kinda, yeah. The researchers seem to be positing that observations on how Earth’s climate adjusts to technological advancements will give us great insight into what we should be looking for when we search for signs of advanced intelligence in the universe.
The researchers describe a sort of evolutionary ebb and flow between the unfettered world before the advent of technology, the destruction of the climate by the use of technology, and the ultimate saving of the planet by… more technology.