Well - look at that - a PSU prof at TED - kudos for us all here - and discussing the noosphere? More kudos all around!
You don't know TED? What, you live under a rock? It's teh biggest netkultur conference on the planet, that's all...
It stands for Technology Entertainment and Design - TED
TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading."
TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California. TED's early emphasis was largely technology and design, consistent with a Silicon Valley center of gravity. The events are now held in Long Beach andPalm Springs in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prizewinners. TED's current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson.
From 2005 to 2009, three $100,000 TED Prizes were awarded annually to help its winners realize a chosen wish to change the world. From 2010, in a changed selection process, a single winner is chosen to ensure that TED can maximize its efforts in achieving the winner's wish. Each winner unveils their wish at the main annual conference.
What is the noosphere, you ask? Well, I'll give you my personal definition - it's the virtual cloud of information generated by life on this planet. Let's see - what does the wiki say... Well wiki calls it the sphere of human thought - I don't limit it to humans. All life processes information, and all life is a process of information - thus, all life contributes to the cloud of information. of "thought", that surrounds this planet - and possibly the solar system and near stellar systems. But, sure, for we humans, it's human information that is the most important. Besides, the idea is nearly a hundrred years old, back then they did not have the same awareness of the interconnectedness of life that we now enjoy - they were homosapiens-biased. As are most still today one could add.
Noosphere ( //; sometimes noösphere), according to the thought of Vladimir Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin, denotes the "sphere of human thought". The word is derived from the Greek νοῦς (nous "mind") + σφαῖρα (sphaira "sphere"), in lexical analogy to "atmosphere" and "biosphere". Introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1922  in hisCosmogenesis". Another possibility is the first use of the term by Édouard Le Roy, who together with Chardin was listening to lectures of Vladimir Vernadsky at Sorbonne. In 1936Vernadsky accepted the idea of the Noosphere in a letter to Boris Leonidovich Lichkov (though, he states that the concept derives from Le Roy).
In the original theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. In contrast to the conceptions of the