Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Hive Mind: gravity, magnetic fields and electricity

"I postulate the theory of the "Hive Mind", where individual or collective thought carries over great distances..."
A few weeks ago I explored the parallel between physics and corporate behavior, applying the concept of hysteresis to explain the mechanics underpinning the adoption of new technologies and processes within a large corporation. This week I wanted to ponder this interesting article mentioned on CNN, about a successful experiment involving people communicating through phones and e-mail.

The experiment showed that some people could actually predict the identity of a phone caller or email sender with a greater accuracy than simple statistics would dictate. The experiment lacked a more controlled environment to be considered scientific proof, but I somehow share the scientist's belief that there is an interconnectedness of all minds within a social grouping. If anything, there is a higher probability that we spend more time thinking about the same subjects as people in our social grouping than thinking about subjects that are not interesting to that group.

The shared interest on the same topics is part of the glue that holds a social grouping together, including the ones at the workplace. That shared interest is possibly a stronger bond in our diverse corporate environment because we are brought together around a shared goal and often lack the other demographic background that unites a social grouping outside of the work environment.

Without getting into the telepathic effects explored in the experiment reported by CNN, it comes as no surprise that sometimes we find ourselves thinking about writing an email to someone and are suddenly interrupted by that same person calling on the phone or IM. I am willing to go beyond the inference that such phenomenon is the result of diligent statistics at work; offering a hypothesis that explains the (unverified) results observed by Rupert Sheldrake, the British scientist behind the experiment.

I postulate the theory of the "Hive Mind", where individual or collective thought carries over great distances and establishes a communication mechanism with other people beyond the currently known media; an effect that will be completely explained by (then) common physics years from now. Furthermore, I postulate that such magnetic field is also a component in the organizational realignment example introduced in my previous analogy between magnetism and corporations.

Our brains generate an elaborate wave pattern while working through any technical challenge; it is somewhat expected that the average human brain activates the same regions of the brain while solving similar problems. Now, those brain waves are formed by massive (for our body masses anyway) electrical currents traveling over thin conduits, which is bound to produce a coaxial magnetic field around these conduits. Magnetism, electricity and gravity are all related forces according to the Unified Theory for Electricity, Magnetism, and Gravity, which offers a more complete model for the physics underlying the "Hive Mind" hypothesis.

Magnetic and gravimetric fields travel unimaginable distances through a mechanism that has eluded the most brilliant scientific minds of all times and will demonstrably reach people across the globe. I could even entertain the idea of other kinds of unknown fields beyond these two but would do so at the peril of a weaker hypothesis. The effect on the people reached by these fields would largely depend on the magnitude of the field and the susceptibility of the receptor to the field. Newtonian physics show that the effect of the field diminishes significantly with distance (to the tune of distance3) but do not account for the repeating effects of intermediary brains resonating and amplifying the waves along the way.

Another interesting thought about the Hive Mind comes from the effects of mass in the laws of gravity. What is "mass" in the hive mind? The strength of the transmitter, or the intensity of the thoughts around a certain subject, are certainly a factor; but the resonating effects of the retransmitters (other people's brains) in the hive mind are bound to offset and surpass the strength of the original thought. In other words, the "mass" parameter in the intensity and reach of a particular line of thought is dictated by the number of people attuned to that line of thought.

The tribulations of our daily lives and the strength of our individual thoughts introduce a lot of background noise to the resonant waves of the Hive Mind; creating a somewhat healthy obstacle to a Borg-like conscience breeding out of the work place. The magnetic properties of corporate direction covered in the posting about hysteresis also explain some of the impediments to a freer flow of waves in the hive mind.

At any rate, the hypothesis of the Hive Mind is worth a thought, or many.

And if you were thinking about the exact same thing but never cared to write it down, do not be spooked; maybe I picked the idea from you ;-)

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