How does the Mind Work?
Evolutionary biologists indicate (ending all debates on nature-culture) that the brain has a modular learning function, where it can absorb a stimulus external to itself and process it with its own unique genetic makeup. It has thus been said that no two individuals react similarly to the same stimulus in the external environment. Moreover even in the same situation the same person would react differently at different times. On keying in these factors one gets the feeling of an anarchical and chaotic mind. It might appear that the human mind defies being pinned down to any patterns, principles or rules. This, however, may not be the case.
Patterns, Rules and Order
Though there are no easy patterns or rules to understand the functioning of the human mind, it is far from being entirely unpredictable. In a given situation, it is possible to predict (at least approximately) how an individual would think, feel or act. This kind of prediction may not correspond to the study of a behaviorist school of psychology since it is not necessarily a clinical response to a stimulus. This patterned reaction may, however, be the result of mere habit or custom. A fairly well established custom or habit is the best evidence of a self evolving system.
Language as a Self Evolving System
One of the best examples of a self evolving system is a human language. While there are several theories to explain the evolution of language, it has largely been agreed upon that it is not the work of a "plan", that it is in fact a self organizing dynamic system. The functioning of the mind shows that complex language structures are processed as not just as clusters of meaning but as clusters of relations within the language system, that is to say that the functioning of the mind is at the level of the meta-language. Thus new terms or newer sentence constructions which have not been encountered before are easily grasped. If a complex structure like a language can evolve without the intervention of human intention then similar systems could be set rolling.
The Web of Networks Outside of the Mind
Self evolving systems which replicate the functioning of the mind as it understands and processes language are already in the making. One such system is that of the web. The web has been able to create and replicate the functioning of the mind, not in a single machine but however in creating something of a global mind, or as Gazzaniga calls it, 'the social brain'. The development of the global mind depends on the evolution of distributed systems that function as the global equivalent of consciousness, memory, learning, perception, introspection, planning, creativity, and behavior.
The Web System
Based on the networks of the mind a mind writ large seems to be in the offing in the form of the internet. This system like the working of the mind requires no human intervention, at least not at an intentional intervention. The system is increasingly an open system where the input of each additional mind can enhance or affect the system. Moreover while no one individual can move to take credit for building this system, it reflects the inputs of all. The networks thus formed are neither entirely accidental nor calculatedly instrumental. It is the development of such a system, remarkably close to the mental web that is on the horizon now.