Limitations of space
AKMA is still searching for the right metaphor for the web and finding ideas of space too limiting. I know what he means. Even the space that is occupied by my body seems more and more just a projection of ideas to me. The fact that my face is beginning to reveal aspects of my character even to myself is disconcerting. I'm beginning to feel that I can predict what illnesses I am going to get by the sorts of tensions my emotions generate in different parts of my body. It's as if even my own body is just a pulling together of stuff held together by my idea of me and moulded by my twisted sense of self.
The web feels the same to me, a bigger collection of even more virtual stuff held together by our sense of being part of something and molded by the ideas that flow through its veigns. I'd say it was like the neural pathways of the brain but even that feels like a return to a physical metaphor.
In 1938, a Jesuit priest wrote a book in which he postulated the existence of "a sphere of thought" enveloping the Earth. (2) This book, The Phenomenon of Man, wasn't published until the late 1950s, after its author, Teilhard de Chardin, had died. In it, he called this enveloping sphere of thought the noosphere and described it as "a living tissue of consciousness" enclosing the Earth and growing ever more dense. For several years after the book's first English publication in 1959, Chardin's concept of a thinking membrane surrounding our planet provoked significant controversy in both religious and academic circles.