22 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2024
    1. In 1941, he published "Wells, Hitler and the World State," in which he argued that Germany hewed much closer to a well-run society in which everyone thinks similarly and along scientific lines than England ever has. But it was run by a "criminal lunatic," so that didn't work out quite as Wells thought it would. Orwell also noted that patriotism, which Wells thought of as civilization-destroying, was the primary force inducing Russians and Britons to fight against Hitler.

      first referent "he" is George Orwell

      Example of a time in which patriotism and nationalism may have been beneficial.

    2. "In transport, we have progressed from coaches and horses by way of trains to electric traction, motor-cars, and aeroplanes. In mental organization, we have simply multiplied our coaches and horses and livery stables."

      from World Brain, double check with source

  2. Dec 2023
    1. Wells attempts in this essay to help mankind "pull it's mind together" for the betterment of people and the planet. How is this supposed to happen in a modern media environment which is designed to pull our minds apart as rapidly as possible?

      How might the strength of capitalism be leveraged to push people back toward a common middle rather than split them apart?

    2. Adler & Hutchinson's Great Books of the Western World was an encyclopedia-based attempt to focus society on a shared history as their common ground. H. G. Wells in his World Encyclopedia thesis attempts to forge a new "moving" common ground based on newly evolving knowledge based on distilling truth out of science. Shared history is obviously much easier to dispense and spread about compared to constantly keeping a growing population up to date with the forefront of science.

      How could one carefully compose and juxtapose the two to have a stronger combined effect?

      How could one distribute the effects evenly?

      What does the statistical mechanics for knowledge management look like at the level of societies and nations?

      link to https://hypothes.is/a/abTT1KPDEe6nqxPx4fXggw

    3. I dislike isolated events anddisconnected details. I really hate state-ments, views, prejudices, and beliefsthat jump at you suddenly out of mid-air.

      Wells would really hate social media, which he seems to have perfectly defined with this statement.

    4. without a World En-cyclopedia to hold men's minds togetherin something like a common interpreta-tion of reality there is no hope whateverof anything but an accidental and transi-tory alleviation to any of our world trou-bles. As mankind is so it will remainuntil it pulls its mind together. And if itdoes not pull its mind together then I donot see how it can help but decline.Never was a living species more peril-ously poised than ours at the presenttime. If it does not take thoughtto endits present mental indecisiveness catastro-phe lies ahead. Our species may yet endits strange eventful history as just the last,the cleverest, of the great apes. Thegreat ape that was clever-but not cleverenough. It could escape from mostthings but not from its own mental con-fusion.
    5. I believe thatin some such way as I have sketched, themental forces now largely and regrettablyscattered and immobilized in the univer-sities, the learned societies, research in-stitutions, and technical workers of theworld could be drawn together into areal directive world intelligence, and bythat mere linking and implementing ofwhat is known, human life as a wholecould be made much surer, stronger,bolder, and happier than it has ever beenup to the present time.
    6. My impression is that human brains arevery much of a pattern, that under thesame conditions they react in the sameway, and that were it not for tradition,upbringing, accidents of circumstance,and particularly of accidental individualobsessions, we should find ourselves-since we all face the same universe-muchmore in agreement than is superficiallyapparent. We speak different languagesand dialects of thought and can even attimes catch ourselves flatly contradictingone another in words while we are doingour utmost to express the same idea.How often do we see men misrepresent-ing one another in order to exaggerate adifference and secure the gratification ofan argumentative victory!

      We're far more alike than we imagine says Wells. Most of our difference is nitpicking for the sake of argument itself rather than actual meaning.

    7. They don't want their intimate convic-tions turned over and examined, and itis unfortunate that the emphasis put

      upon minor differences by men of science and belief in their strenuous search for the completest truth and the exactest expression sometimes gives color to this sort of misunderstanding.

      This emphasis on minor differences is exactly what many anti-science critics have done. See examples with respect to evolution and climate science denial.

    8. This Wo;Id Encyclopedia would bethe mental background of every intelli-gent man in the world.

      Who, here, defines intelligence?

      How would comparative anthropology between societies view such an effort? Would all societies support such an endeavor?

    9. very carefully assem-bled with the approval of outstandingauthorities in each subject, carefully col-lated and edited, and critically presented.It would be not a miscellany but a con-centration, a clarification and a synthesis.

      Compare this with Hutchins and Adler's solution undertaken just a few years following this beginning in the early 1940s and finally published in 1952: The Great Books of the Western World.

      These books speak toward the idea of living well and understanding mankind, but don't have the same deeply edited and critical synthesis viewpoint.

    10. It is science and not men of sciencethat we want to enlighten and animateour politics and rule the world.
    11. Can scientific knowledge and specializedthought be brought into more effectiverelation to general affairs?
    12. There is no dignityyet in human history. It would be purecomedy if it were not so often tragic, 'sofrequently dismal, generally dishonora-ble, and occasionally quite horrible.
    1. Wells, H. G. “A Galaxy of Authority.” Harper’s Magazine, December 2023. https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/a-galaxy-of-authority/

      Read on 2023-12-25 at 12:39 pm in paper format. This is a painfully foreshortened version of the 11 page 1936/37 article.

      See also notes at https://hypothes.is/a/8WtRpKOMEe6M63_J8qxz3g

    1. In his ideas for a "mental clearing house" Wells was probably influenced by "Die Brucke" and its Goals for a World Information Clearing House.
    2. Wells believed that technological advances such as microfilm could be utilized towards this end so that "any student, in any part of the world, would be able to sit with his projector in his own study at his or her convenience to examine any book, any document, in an exact replica" (p. 54).

      This sounds a lot like Vannevar Bush's Memex, n'cest pas?

  3. Mar 2023
    1. Ollendorff's name is used as an epithet in H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau:[10] "Yesterday he bled and wept," said the Satyr. "You never bleed nor weep. The Master does not bleed or weep." "Ollendorffian beggar!" said Montgomery, "you'll bleed and weep if you don't look out!"