Knowledge Working – Learning to create an “intellectual authority”

from “Constructing the World Mind”

People whom H. G. Wells called “intellectual workers” would, he predicted, arise from the world’s universities and research institutions and cooperate in order to create an “intellectual authority” – consisting of a “network” linking centres of learning with the people of the world, whom he conceived as its “general intelligence”. The goals of Wells’ life long learning society are listed as: developing individual talents, fostering “each individual’s capacity for independent thinking” and providing the practical knowledge needed “for working and everyday life.” H. G. Wells predicts that knowledge workers will move from the assembly of knowledge to its digestion, with the ultimate objective of achieving wisdom, defined as having “a sense of knowing what to do, when handling complex problems that require understanding and effective decisions.”

Constructive Sociology – Proposing a new literate, aesthetic and ethical science

H. G. Wells advocates “research into a field to which scientific standing is not generally accorded,” which he describes as “a science of pure observation” named “constructive sociology.” Wells envisaged research into the trends and requirements of humankind’s social and environmental circumstances. However, he warned that such study could not avoid an “irreducible element of purpose to its problems,” and that it would be “impossible to disentangle social analysis from literature.” He also doubted that constructive sociology would ever be free from “a certain literary, aesthetic and ethical flavouring”.

Still DIY research initiatives.

H. G. Wells reports having spent “a few score thousand hours” writing his own prototype version of a World Encyclopedia. Despite admitting to “profound and conspicuous faults and weaknesses,” Wells insists that “somebody had to try out such summaries on the general mind” and challenges his critics, “Damn you, do it better.” (Wells’ italics). He also bows to the “very considerable amount of such harvesting and storage” already accomplished by librarians and scientists. In his Critical Introduction, Alan Mayne cites three current examples of World Brain type projects: 1) The Intelligent World Encyclopedia Project (CYC) using expert systems which aims “to link its knowledge base into an evolving global model of the real world”  2) the Senior Scholars State-of-the-Art Statement System described as “a method of scholarly collaboration to integrate all knowledge and place it online”; and 3) Professor Abe Goodman “computerized self-instructional mediagraphic system” using “hypermedia and hypertext features”. Projects cited, based around existing

World Mind

In March of 2011, I was handed a document  called Global Learning – Constructing the World Mind (photo).  It was written by Jan Wyllie and designed by Simon Eaton in 1997.   The material within the document has become the subject of my final paper, which I must write in order to graduate in International Studies.  With their permission I have posted the contents of this document, or “interactive book” on this blog.

Feel free to browse through the book using the page navigation on the left.  It is divided into a schema which has also been adopted by this blog, in an effort to categorize research pertaining to my paper.  All of the diagrams, except the one seen below, are currently limited to the print version.  A renovated website as well as hard copies may be available soon.  Contact me if interested.


In the late 1930s. H. G. Wells perceived the world to be on the edge of social, political and environmental disaster. In response. Wells conceived of what he called a “world knowledge apparatus’ based on the creation of an efficient learning network. This interactive book is designed to show how, through using both the World Wide Web and traditional paper and print, Wells’ vision could be implemented as a practical communication process. This document is organized by a framework of questions – those which were used to interrogate the source books shown on the opposite page. In order to identify the common threads of meaning in these books, we gathered and re-organized what the authors were saying under five categories.

Purposes: (what the World Mind offers)

Needs: (what the World Mind requires)

Components: (how World Mind can be designed)

Implementation: (how the World Mind can be put into practice)

Examples: (where the World Mind has been put into practice. which, as you will see, is a set of which this document is a member).

The Diagrams at the beginning of each of the main sections are designed to be read radiantly (or from the center out) and radiantly (or clockwise, usually starting at about one o’clock). The diagrams and the text are linked by the use of common ‘icons’ which illustrate an overview of Wells’ vision in each of the categories focused on in Alan Mayne’s World Brain compilation. This view can then be contrasted with those of a selection of key 1990s authors. Using this common framework it is possible to read the document as if H.G. Wells and the modern authors were conversing on the subject. To do this, compare the text on facing NOW and THEN pages by reading across these two sections. Alternatively the reader can focus on either period of time by reading the sections down the page in the conventional manner.

Still DIY research initiatives.Still DIY research initiatives.

Considering Radical Life Extension? Why?

A pill might one day help extend your life drastically. Here is what a
study by UQ School of Population Health researchers Associate Professor Jayne Lucke and Professor Wayne Hall has revealed.

Clipped from

personal benefits to life extension including spending more time with family (36 percent); having more time in life to achieve ambitions (31 percent); and better health and quality of life (21 percent).

“Eighty percent also envisioned at least one downside,” she said.

“These included prolonging a state of poor health (34 percent); financial cost of living longer (16 percent); and outliving family and friends (12 percent).”

She said some of the other results were half of the participants believed the benefits to society would include increased collective knowledge (26 percent); extended lifespan of ‘important’ people (15 percent); and more time to contribute (12 percent).

“More than half (52 percent) of participants thought that life extension would not be beneficial to society though, with seven percent of these participants identifying overpopulation (40 percent) and an increased burden on healthcare and welfare (23 percent) as problems,”