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Humans are already in the process of creating a hive mind (very early stages). Consider the limiting case when every brain has access to the same information. Suppose you get born into such a civilization. Their doctors inject a quantum chip which integrates with your entire nervous system and then open sources all of your data into the common information highway. Your thoughts are known by all as you know them. Data is released, not to be "owned". After all, you're a piece of matter, and your brain represents an unknown to other people who deserve to know the state of the universe just as much as you. Morally, we humans aren't there yet, however, hive minds aren't unreasonable in more advanced and connected societies.

Perhaps someone from 2000 years ago, looking at our society today, might have thought that we had a hive mind (at a first glance). After all, you seem to know your friends' birthdays as they know them. You seem to know their messages to you as they know them.

But our society is still stuck in the "ownership" phase. We have concepts of "corporations" and notions like "privacy" and "secrets", which are in direct contradiction to a pure hive state. Even if we have the technology to do it, we will remain bounded and unable to converge into a hive state. The notion that other societies may be capable of utilizing matter to such an extent doesn't surprise me.




Neat! You've just invented the Borg.


Or Alastair Reynolds' Conjoiners, for a less dystopian vision of a collective mind.




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