The cosmic background
In the 17th century, British philosopher Robert Boyle invented a metaphor of the universe as a mechanism consisting of individual parts smoothly operating according to the general laws of physics. This metaphor was inspired by a real mechanism, the astronomical clock in the cathedral Notre Dame in Strasbourg.
Three centuries later, the emerging field of cybernetics shifted the view of our world from a cosmology of pre-defined mechanisms to that of self-regulating systems. Metaphorically, the mechanism of clockwork was substituted for the computer. In the third decade of the 21st century, we now stand on the edge of another cosmological shift, redefining the way we see our planet and our place on it. What current technologies will inform our cosmological templates for the next era? What will be the political consequences of this shift?