Imagine each human is like a neuron in a brain. Then the totality of all humans communicating together would create some kind of hive mind.

But a single neuron isn't "aware" of the mind of the brain as a whole.

So a human would never know if the human-race had a hive mind.

But perhaps two colonies of humans would create two hive minds. And then the two hive minds would communicate. But how? And what would they say to each other?

  • $\begingroup$ Hello and Welcome to worldbuilding Zooby. Unfortunately, this is a very very very open ended question and I don't see how one answer can be better than all others. Firstly, how are you implementing the human hive mind? Do humans just drift in a certain direction due to the hive mind? Or is the hive mind a social/geological construct formed by the consensus of minds? General communication is too broad on its own. They can use smoke, guns, nukes, speech, memes and so on. And finally what would they say to each other? That is entirely up to you. Because you are the creating this concept. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Mar 4 '19 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ A mind has to be created, or evolve through selection pressures. It doesn't just randomly start existing out of nowhere. A hive mind, in the sci-fi sense, needs some kind of instantiation. If you can come up with a plausible story to turn a bunch of humans into a joined organism, then you can ask a more focused question. Really though, the question will start answering itself once you do the groundwork. $\endgroup$ – MichaelS Mar 4 '19 at 6:30

These sorts of hive minds already exist. We call them institutions, states, and countries.

They communicate by sending information across networks. Those networks also facilitate their computation. Take meme's as an example. These are higher order thoughts that persist across time. The thoughts that promote the organism as a whole tend to get maintained and propagated. Rule of law is one such example, very few countries now do not at least have a basic law body. The most successful countries have a well-maintained law body. And the hint is in the name law body, this meme is as real as you can get while being pure information.

Currently numerous conversation are occurring between different hive minds. Businesses are actively communicating about services, and goods. Countries are actively communicating about what land they own, who is allowed on that land, and what they will do if someone is on their land that should not be. Universities are communicating about the right ways to view the world, and how different views have different benefits.

Each of these are communicating via various representatives, who might the official representatives, or unofficial representatives who relay the thought. Sometimes those representatives are books, art, other times people. In this day and age many of these representatives are machines.


firstly, if many people aren't aware the hive mind exists, then there has to be a way to become aware of it and access it. questions to ask yourself: who does know it exists? does it come from some sort of divine being, and can be bestowed upon some ancient race which the character just found they were a part of? or maybe you have to go on some quest? or is it artificially manufactured, in a lab or something?

second, how do people within the hive mind (who are aware) communicate? do they avoid it at all costs? does it cause physical pain or cost you something? when I think of a hive mind, I think of it like the Microsoft Teams app. you focus on a particular issue or person on whatever and just like search the chat for it, then add onto the group discussion.

third, what about people who aren't aware it exists? do they unconsciously contribute to the discussion? can the opinions in the hive mind unknowingly affect their mood, their opinions? is that why everyone has a little voice in their head telling them no, or why they argue with themselves sometimes? is the hive mind a way of reading other peoples minds, if you are trained and skilled enough to pursue it?

fourth, communication as a whole being. does this suggest that a particular group of people can form as one being? then once they discuss a topic, they all kinda say it together in the general direction of the other hive mind? or is it more stranger things, where something is actually controlling the whole network? therefore, is that being able to listen to their own hive mind, then talk about it to another hive mind being?

I guess one hive mind would talk about political stuff to the other hive mind. like how politics is, with everyone voting and then a representative saying my group wants this, except you can hear everyone else's specific ideas and then reconsider your own. The main thing to look at: do the humans control the hive mind, or does the hive mind control the humans?

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    $\begingroup$ Hi new contributor; your 'answer' seems to be a list of open-ended questions and inconclusive speculation. $\endgroup$ – rek Mar 4 '19 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ >is that why everyone has a little voice in their head telling them no, or why they argue with themselves sometimes?< Yes, it is $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Mar 4 '19 at 6:42

But a single neuron isn't "aware" of the mind of the brain as a whole.

So a human would never know if the human-race had a hive mind.

Never know about the existence of a hive mind (or hive mind property) is not a correct conclusion here. Humans may or may not recognize that situation, as it is not essential for the functioning of it as a whole(and what that first assumption actually mean). But as you mention humans are more elaborate elements here, and they can recognize the hiveminds of things, at the level of their capacity. What they do not have is the general picture, a look outside the system. And they will be puzzled by so many things how it looks from a position of such human "neuron" as they do not capable of trace all the reasons and hold the representation of the system.

And in general, humans are like neuron layers in a multilayer network, and they are distinct/visible enough as connections with other members of the network aren't so tight(speech, vision, different types of expression, work, a product of work, friends, random people, family). So as connections are more chaotic, humans interact directly or not directly with plenty of people, but few connections are more permanent, so as Dunbar's Number is relevant here.

So any social group, which has some identification token and some set of base ideas around which the identity is built, can be considered as a weak interconnected hivemind, but more often it can be identified as swarm intelligence.

Considering that you can observe interactions between swarms/hiveminds in real life and it takes multiple forms. Negotiations one to one between some members of a swarm are a form of interaction between hiveminds build around some idea/set of ideas in case of humans, or maybe some technology which joins a particular set of humans in the future. Good teamwork, is also can be considered as a manifestation of hivemindness.

So as other actions or exchange of ideas in different forms - media, public speeches, books, movies, art, economics, wars etc - all are the forms of interaction between swarms, their way of talking.

All those we observe today, and there is nothing super mindblowing in that, it just needs to be recognized, that one of the problems you started with.

May it take some different forms, be more exotic to our today's perceptions - yes, why not. If you haven't read Echopraxia and Blindsight by the author Peter Watts - those are novels sort of full of that hive mind intelligence notion, hiveminds of different kinds.

What they gonna say to each other

That is a complex question. Basically, it can be anything, and interaction of base elements of one system to base elements of another system - which you may recognize as communications and understand the sense of those communications, but it does not necessarily mean you recognize or understand the message from one hivemind to another.

In some basic cases, and simple messages you may do, as in those cases hivemind is merely just way to organize base elements, to connect them and the message can be simple in terms of fight or flight response on the level of those hiveminds.

but with a more complex matter, for more complex organized hiveminds(meaning more intellectually sophisticated as hiveminds themselves) it may be beyond the comprehension.

In that sense, the message of one hivemind to another may be anything - starting from simple things to save the universe from death. In that regard religions concept of god and deities, in general, can be applied to advanced hiveminds, and it would be funny if it comes from that source.

Generally, hiveminds are somewhat a reflection of the base elements, so as for naturally evolved life, questions of self-preservation as a hivemind, may be relevant to them, so you may expect it to be one of the subjects they may "discuss".

Depending on resources, and energy for their activity - those also can be questioned to be "discussed".

what is a better way to organize the hivemind - also can be the subject of discussion and testing.

Those are quite basic topics, which basically fit the narrative of some primitive animal, from our standpoint of view. What would it be like a human level of intelligence on the scale, unfortunately, it seems like beyond comprehension stuff, at least at its potential depth. In approximate terms, there will be plenty of stuff we may describe in our terms, but so as the stuff which is too complex. But for to have that too complex stuff a hivemind has to evolve, sufficiently for that, even if there is enough hivemind unconsciousness complexity right at the beginning, as with humans today.

Complexity about which people think for millennia, like 10 thousand years in the past and you sure can find some stuff which is fresh today as it was the day it was born as an idea.


In short, take whatever you like, you just can't miss, by a definition.


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