One of the more eye-opening concepts in the book is this idea of Rising Billion. These are the hundreds of millions of people all over the world, particularly in developing regions, who are coming online for the first time, through mobile phones and increasingly affordable Internet connections.
These people are adding new ideas, new frames of reference, new intelligence to our global consciousness. The rising billion represent, in effect, new neurons and connections in our group mind. There’s no telling where that will lead, but it can only be good. From my Economist post:
As more people become connected, particularly in the developing world, new voices, new points of view and new ideas will augment the growing number of crowd-sourced innovations. Projects such as DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, the online protein-folding game Foldit and others that will follow them only stand to benefit as we continue to connect the individual human elements of our collective “brain”.