This volume, reprinted in the 1990's with a superb introductory essay, is still a gem, and extremely relevant to the emerging dialog about Collective Intelligence that includes the works of people like Howard Bloom (Global Brain), Pierre Levy (Collective Intelligence), Howard Rheingold (Smart Mobs), and James Surowieki (The Wisdom of the Crowds).
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
The Wisdom of Crowds
The Internet has finally made possible the vision of H. G. Wells, as well as the vision of Quincy Wright (who called for a World Intelligence Center in the 1950's, using only open sources of information).
This specific work is the first brick in a global networked brain that is also linked to eliminating poverty and war and producing what Alvin and Heidi Toffler call “Revolutionary Wealth” (also the title of their book coming out in April 2006). Thomas Stewart (“Wealth of Knowledge”) and Barry Carter (“Infinite Wealth”) are among my other heros in this specific genre of the literature. See my List on Collective Intelligence, and my reviews of all these other books.
Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
The Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization
Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era
Published since my view, and highly pertinent:
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)