February 15, 2011
What if digital communication felt as real as been touched?
This question lead Michael Chorost to explore profound new ideas triggered by lab research around the world, and the result is the book you now hold. Marvelous and momentous, World Wide Mind takes mind-to-mind communication out of the realm of science fiction and reveals how we are on the verge of a radical new understanding of human interaction.
Chorost himself has computers in his head that enable him to hear: two cochlear implants. Drawing on that experience, he proposes that our Paleolithic bodies and our Pentium chips could be physically merged, and he explores the technologies that could do it.
He visits engineers building wearable computers that allow people to be online every waking moment, and scientists working on implanted chips that would let paralysis victims communicate. Entirely new neural interfaces are being developed that let computers read and alter neural activity in unprecedented detail.
But we all know how addictive the Internet is. Chorost explains the addiction; he details the bio-chemistry of what makes you hunger to touch your iPhone and check your e-mail. He proposes how we could design a mind-to-mind technology that would let us reconnect with our bodies and enhance our relationships. With such technologies, we can achieve a collective consciousness – a World Wide Mind. And it would be humankind’s next evolutionary step.
With daring and sensitivity, Chorost writes about how he learned how to enhance his own relationships by attending workshops teaching the power of touch. He learned how to bring technology and communication together to find true love, and his story shows how we can master technology to make ourselves more human rather than less.
World Wide Mind offers a new understanding of how we communicate, what we need to connect fully with one another, and how our addiction to e-mail and texting can be countered with technologies that put us – literally – in each other’s minds.
Michael Chorost published his first book, Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human, in 2005. He has written for Wired, Technology Review, and The Washington Post, among other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Victoria, and their three cats. His website is www.michaelchorost.com.