Paul Matthews

Published On


Page Range

pp. 65–84


  • English

Print Length

20 pages

5. Hive and Distributed Mind

  • Paul Matthews (author)
Telepathy and joint consciousness have long been a feature in SF stories. Here, we sample several visions and see how cognitive theory and brain-brain communication technology relate to the scope and plausibility of these fictional portrayals. One dimension of variation here is between possession and mind manipulation on the one hand, and an equitable and beneficent sharing of consciousness on the other. The former is exemplified in Aldiss’s power-hungry fungus, the latter in Sturgeon’s vision of a superhuman Gestalt where the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and the moral conscience is the capstone.


Paul Matthews

Senior Lecturer, Information Science; Programme Leader, MSc Data Science at University of the West of England

Paul Matthews is a senior lecturer in computer science at the University of the West of England where his research interests include human-computer interaction and human-centred AI. Paul has a long term interest in the connections between science fiction, technology and human psychology.