Thought Mesh
Posted by aogMonday, 23 December 2002 at 15:20 TrackBack Ping URL

Over at The Brothers Judd they're talking about 'smart mobs'. These are groups of people using modern technology (text messaging, video phones, blogs) to communicate in real time, thereby forming a larger 'mob' which in some ways has a "mind of its own" independent of the people comprising it. This concept is where "Thought Mesh" comes from. "Mesh" is a standard CS term for a web of independent but communicating computing devices. As more and more people become wired and the wiring gets better, we approach a state where memes can run around on a distributed "thought mesh" getting considered, improved and filtered.

Of course, this concept long predates Mr. Thompson's discovery. It has always been a topic of fascination for me. I've mentioned it before on other blogs with regard to the Fermi paradox. Leaving such a web of communication might well feel as bad as a lobotomy. If such a thought mesh is the invevitable result of a technological civilization, then that might well prevent any members of that civilization from venturing very far from the home world. Even if that's not the case, we are already seeing profound changes because of this emerging thought mesh and are likely to see even more. Will privacy exist in a wired world with Google? Will fathers be able to google up teen-age blogs to investigate the scum dating their daughters? It may well be much more like a small town, where you can find out everything about anyone and nothing is ever really forgotten.