We as individuals are stuck inside what is deemed a ‘super-brain’. These super-brains incorporate web based-algorithms which generate structured identities of individuals, categorising and personally tailoring web search engines results to these identities. These structured identities are limiting what we see and what information is available to us online, therefore constructing an enclosed media space of access.

In exploring further in depth about the conceptual ideas of the ‘super-brain’, I found that the super-brain concept came about through the World-Wide Web. As it is distributed hypermedia architecture functions similar to an “associative memory”, which may “learn” by the strengthening of frequently used links. Furthermore users are seen to be integrated into this ‘super-brain’ through explicit man-machine interfaces and the reciprocal exchange of knowledge between individual and Web (Bollen and Heylighen 1996). Iklé (2009) mentions Tim Berners-Lee’s comment that the analogy of a global brain is tempting, because Web and brain both involve huge numbers of elements – neutrons and web pages – and mixture of structure and apparent randomness. This suggests the terminology of the ‘super brain’ is similar to that of the human brain.

In conclusion, the super-brain is an approach of the worldwide network assembled by society with information and communication technologies, which associate into an intelligent self-organising system.


Bollen, J. and Heylighen, F., 1996.  The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain: from metaphor to model. Cybernetics and Systems [online], 96, 917-922.

Boyd Rayward, W., 2008.  European Modernism and the Information Society: Informing the Present Understanding the Past. Surrey: Ashgate publishing.

Iklé, F., 2009. Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations. Columbia: Columbia University Press.


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