Mendis and Hsiang have embarked on a project to map out the entire world, as one city. They see the globe as an a single urban entity — for instance, impact from cities spreads out to the rural farming areas who feed them — so we should start visualizing it as such. The project will bring together disparate data such as population growth, economic indicators, topography and more to create a comprehensive geo-spatial model of the world.Here is the video of that project:
But what do I see in all of this? The emergence of a new form of consciousness. There used to be a time when humans would make progress by way of the great individual, the new type of mind that connected the dots and revealed some unexpected aspect of reality. My feeling is that the great individual mode has been exhausted. The complexity of the human world, the terrific speed of its cultural evolution, and its intensifying metabolic relationship with nature, which Marx described as the universal (the general is production, the particularities are how wealth is distributed, and singularities are consumers) can only be grasped or processed by something much larger than the great individual, by something like a truly social intelligence. Networked cities might be to this globalized awareness what neurons are to the mind of the brain.