This is the collective state of human reason and knowledge. Everything we know, understand, and can reason about as a species is the noosphere. It is constantly expanding as we learn more and more.

The name comes from the Greek “noos” which means “mind” or “thought.”

The noosphere is an informal term – it’s a theory proposed by several people throughout the 20th century. While the concept of collection human consciousness certainly exists, noosphere is just one name for it.

Why I Looked It Up

The term came up in the book The Ascent of Information: Books, Bits, Genes, Machines, and Life’s Unending Algorithm, but I had heard it before then.

It’s also related to “nootropics” which are drugs or supplements that claim to make you smarter. Discussion of those has been popular on the internet for some time (example: there’s an entire subreddit for them).

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