chapter  5
Communities
Pages 11

As I explained in Chapter 1, the emergence of language in our evolutionary pre-history was important not simply because it allowed individuals to co-ordinate their work activities, but because people became able to combine their mental capacities. Unlike other animals, who lacked such a sophisticated means of communication, people became able to create a collective consciousness, a mega-brain, a ‘mental matrix’. The development of print, and subsequently of telecommunications, then made it possible for people to link their thoughts together in this way even when far apart. Today’s computerbased communications offer new kinds of opportunities for collective thinking, as we will see later in this chapter.