Apologies. We disappeared for 24 hours yesterday!

During January SOT moved offices and web-servers and upgraded and expanded our facilities. The lesson we have learned is not to do all these things at the same time. Despite all the precautions we fell through a crack and disappeared for 24 hours. That was scary but we’re back now. Phew!!

The good news is that we have lot’s of exciting new plans for 2007.

We trust it will be a great one for you, too.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Altruism, one of the most difficult human behaviors to define, can be detected in brain scans, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.

They found activity in a specific area of the brain could predict altruistic behavior — and people’s own reports of how selfish or giving they are.

“Although understanding the function of this brain region may not necessarily identify what drives people like Mother Theresa, it may give clues to the origins of important social behaviors like altruism,” said Scott Huettel, a neuroscientist at Duke University in North Carolina who led the study.

Follow the story through Google news … 

Twenty-five years ago I coined the term cognocracy to mean ‘a society of individuals who think for themselves’. I did this to anticipate the coming social revolution empowered by technology and individual thinking.

In an interview for Reason Magazine (October 1982) with Patrick Cox I explained what I meant by cognocracy:

“as communications technology improves and people acquire the tools to think for themselves, systems such as democracy, socialism, and communism–where a few do the thinking for the many, who are, if anything, asked simply to vote on other people’s ideas–will be replaced by societies of individuals who think for themselves.”

The advent of the www has made it possible to directly link technology to global brainpower. This  is accelerating a move away from the slow and traditional ‘follow-the-leader’ democracies towards fast opt-in/opt-out cognocracies. These cognocracies are open to anyone, anywhere, anytime … 24/7. Early examples of cognocracies in evolution can be seen at Wikipedia, MySpace, Google, eBay, YouTube, Blogger and LimeWire. Watch this space!

The “Great Man” theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species.

2006ManYear.jpg  Click image to enlarge.

That theory took a serious beating this year. Read more of this exciting insight …