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For me the internet is a material manifestation of Father Teillhard de Chardin’s notion of “noosphere,” i.e. the thinking envelope of the planet earth, emerging from the geosphere and biosphere, as matter in the cosmos is in process of divinisation, in a drama he calls “complexification.” Marshall McLuhan’s notion of an emerging “global village” through the web of electronic communication linkages has also influenced my work.
More recently Clay Shirkey, author of “Here Comes Everybody: Organizing Without Organization,” has built upon Chardin and McLuhan(in my mind). Here’s a great TED talk by Shirkey worth checking out.
Also, editor of “Wired Magazine,” Kevin Kelly, has captured some of the power available to us by virtue of the world wide web.