Why Musk Turned the ‘Global Mind’ into a Nest of Psychosocial Disease
The terms visionary and genius are overused but they are both applicable to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The extraordinary Jesuit priest, palaeontologist, geologist and philosopher anticipated the evolution of a global collective mind. He also suggested that this would ultimately enable humanity to merge with a supreme consciousness. He called that moment ‘the Omega Point’.
Teilhard wrote about the evolution of a global mind, composed of collective thought (which he called the noosphere) around 1937. However, the Catholic Church prevented the publication of The Phenomenon of Man, his book explaining it and his concept of the Omega Point, until after his death in 1955.
Rather than, like many Christians, dismiss the reality of evolution, Teilhard embraced it and consequently was able to outline fascinating ideas about how Homo sapiens emerged and how we will ultimately, through a process of self-awareness, reach a supreme or end-point of consciousness. He called this supreme consciousness the Omega Point — and he equated it with merging with God.
As the internet emerged and grew, with social media filling up a significant part of many people’s lives, scholars and new age authors alike dusted off Teilhard’s writing, as it took on a revitalised aura. Twitter seemed like an obvious contender for the noosphere. While it could never be claimed that the collective of interactions that made up Twitter were quite a global mind (not least because some countries ban access to it), it was a good start. Until Elon Musk gained control of it.
It should be acknowledged that Twitter wasn’t perfect even before Musk got his talons into it. There were always malicious trolls, bots, disinformation and vast troubling deserts of incredible ignorance. It was an emerging, pulsating. global(ish) mind, visible enough for many of us to see areas of dis-ease and misfiring neurons. But while there were weak areas of distinct pathology, incitement of hatred (a crime in many countries Twitter operates in) was met with lifetime bans under the previous stewardship.
Unless he’s intent on destroying it, perhaps on behalf of nefarious cronies, who were troubled by the role Twitter played in the Arab ‘spring’ (Musk has strong links to…